If you read my blog much, you know I’m a fan of all the things Jan Richardson writes. It seems that anytime I pick up a blessing to read, it speaks to me in that very moment – wherever I am, whatever I’m experiencing. Her writing is simple, yet so profound (credit to Adrienne for that statement). If you sit with her words they find a way to your deepest core. I am so incredibly grateful for the words she’s given me in my most painful moments of grief. She is a gift to my life.
So, when I wrote on her Facebook page telling her my plans for tonight, I had a “fan girl” moment when I got a personal response back!
Last week I saw her post about a retreat she wrote for Women’s Christmas (i.e. Epiphany). In the introduction she offered several ways this could be used with one of those being to gather a group of friends and talk about one or two of her reflections. Since my word for 2018 is “explore” I decided to take this as an opportunity to step out of my normal routine and explore something new.
I sent a message to 10-12 women who I thought might be interested in a gathering like this. Since Epiphany fell on a Saturday (today), I offered the evening to gather at my house for conversation, connection and reflection. 6 women took me up on this offer and tonight we sat together and shared.
I can’t tell you how much it warmed my heart to see connections being made among these women that I’ve met at various stages and places in my life. They were willing to be vulnerable with each other even though they just met tonight. They trusted one another and they really listened to each other.
The theme of the writing is “The Path We Make by Dreaming.” We talked about dreams we remember. We wondered what some dreams mean. We thought about Mary and Joseph and the Magi and all those who made space in their lives to pay attention to the way God chose to speak to them, even in a dream. We heard Jacob’s tale of betrayal and encounter with God in a dream – when he awoke and exclaimed, “Surely God was in this place and I didn’t know it!”
We read blessings to each other.
What a gift – to have women read blessings to each other. We need more of that.
Often dreams take us to places and feelings we don’t anticipate when we lay our head on the pillow at night. Similarly, life takes us to places and feelings we don’t anticipate when we wake up in the morning. Many times the road we take to get somewhere is not the road we take when we leave – often we go “home a different way.”
We are only at the beginning of this year. We don’t know what it will hold. We are all “traveling to the road [we] know not.” All of us. Every single one. We don’t know where this road is taking us. Oh sure – we have planners and goals and all that, but those are just tools to ease our anxiety of not really knowing at all what lies ahead.
A little over a year ago I was propelled in a life I did not expect. But I’m still here. I’m still standing. I’m still making my way one day at a time just like everyone else. God didn’t give up on me. I didn’t give up on God.
This year I want to hear more women read blessings to one another. This year I want to laugh and cry with those who understand my pain. This year I want to bring together more of the amazing people who’ve crossed my path in this life. This year I want to explore what it means to go home a different way. It’s not better or worse – it’s different. Life is different than I expected so it only makes sense that a different path is unfolding for me – day by day.
I end this day of Epiphany with a heart full to overflowing. I’m so glad I took a risk – albeit a slight one – and said, “Join me, will you?” I hope to ask that question much more this year as I explore this new road.