Finding the Blessing in a Place of Risk: Reflections of the Five Minute Friday Retreat

Reflections from the Five Minute Friday Retreat :: A Special Edition Link-Up
“This is the craziest thing I’ve done!,” I exclaimed to myself as I boarded a plane on July 21st.
Headed out to Missouri, I would be joining seventeen other women from the Five Minute Friday writing community for a retreat. What made this experience unique to most of the participants, including me, was the fact that we had never met in real life.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only person to find the paradox involved in the situation. One of the women mentioned that we reiterate to our kids the dangers of meeting up with online “friends.”  Yet, here we were doing just that. In addition, I flew to a city I had never visited.
Obviously, this event involved different factors than the typical online chats which made it a safe option. At least from the perspective of physical safety.
But gathering in such a manner involves a degree of risk and requires vulnerability. The latter is a characteristic of which I have been slowly learning to adorn.
However, it was not difficult to meld with these women. So many different narratives came together to create an eclectic, beautiful community. Laughter, tears, and storytelling ensued as we shared life together over three days. I gained insight into lives different from my own. In addition, the depth of God’s grace and mercy were revealed through listening to the personal glimpses shared.
When we hear the ways God’s hand weaves through the lives of others, we find hope for seeing it weave in our lives as well. 
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I arrived home armed with writing goodies, wisdom, an improved skill set, beloved friends, private jokes and a transformed spirit.
Though my plane touched down in the midst of an approaching storm, the environment in my soul radiated light.
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God opened up my world and my heart over a few days.  I am thankful for such a blessing.
(photos courtesy of Jen Lamos, Kate Montaung, and Tammy Belau)

15 thoughts on “Finding the Blessing in a Place of Risk: Reflections of the Five Minute Friday Retreat

  1. Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros

    I am truly blessed to know you in real life. My world just opened a little wider for having your friendship in it. I can’t wait to hug you again sometime soon. You are a wonderful gift and a treasure for many. I’m praying for your family, my beautiful friend. xx

  2. Jeanne Takenaka

    Stephanie, I’m with you. I was still riding the “high” of the weekend when I walked in my door Sunday night after a nine-ish hour drive home. It was such a delight to meet you. You have a great smile! I’m so glad you put on “brave” and came. And that I got to meet you. 😉

  3. Meg Weyerbacher

    Stephanie it was a blessing getting to talk with you. I felt as if I had known you longer. I can’t wait to meet up again. God does deep work doesn’t he? I hope to post mine soon!

  4. tammysincerity

    what a joy you are! I hope you continue to find room to grow and trust again as God leads you. And thanks for sharing my photograph, it’s like I can share that moment with more people than I ever know when you pass on the beauty of that morning! 🙂
    From the first moment you began speaking, your gifts of courage and speaking truth began to come out. You then gave courage to the less courageous in your area to speak.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      Tammy, what a blessing it was to be in the presence of such a beautiful community. I am so thankful we connected; if even through brief conversations in the car (and even toothpaste:)). Your gifts in music and creativity blessed us. Looking forward to connecting again!

  5. Stephanie Neson

    “When we hear the ways God’s hand weaves through the lives of others, we find hope for seeing it weave in our lives as well.” Thank you for these words. What a perfect description of our weekend. Thankful to connect with you!

  6. Christina Hubbard

    I could hear your voice as I read this! You captured the weekend perfectly. It was a risk and you entered in, with all of us. Wasn’t it such a rich time? I’m so blessed to count you as a sister in Christ.


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