I’m sitting in our chalet at the end of Word Alive, the boys are asleep and I have some time before heading to a friends for wine and chat to reflect on the week. Word Alive is a conference where people come to hear teaching from the Bible, have fun and generally try and remember the reality of who God is. It’s a conference from one tribe of Christianity. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it has been a place of remembrance for me throughout my life with God.
We came here as a family when I was an angst ridden teenager. I came as a student and then as a adult and then as a student worker (different breed of adult clearly) and now as an adult with a family, two tiny people in tow. It’s one of my thin places. One of those places where I breathe a sigh of relief that God is real and loves me very much.
It’s a place that reminds me of the things I am certain of. The love of the Maker of this world. The wonder of God becoming human in Jesus. The crazy death on a cross to bring me back into relationship with God. The rising again meaning new life is certain, death has no sting and there is hope in this world. There is so so much beyond those truths that I am uncertain about, so much diversity of opinions, so much confusion about the mess and pain in this life. I naturally dwell more in the confusion. I dwell more in the lands of fog and tiredness. It is good to remember there is more.
Word Alive has lifted me once more up above the fog. I’ve been reminded of the love of a shepherd who will not let his sheep go. I’ve been reminded that he is committed to me, that he is big and amazing and yet full of tender compassion for me. I’ve been reminded that he’s got our family in his hands, he is in charge of the universe and knows what he is doing.
It has been lovely to get away from normal routines, to not have daily jobs in my head, to enjoy the friendship emerging between the boys, to delight in them having more Daddy time than usual. It has been great hanging out with friends and seeing old friends again. Most of all though it has been insanely refreshing to hear God speak again and enjoy his crazy never stopping, never giving up love for you and me.
Phew. I hope to head back to normality tomorrow holding on tight to the One who holds onto me and will never let go.