July 5, 2014

Journey to the Cove

I have been out of the loop for a while and the reason why is because I have been traveling a little, retreating a little and trying to relax and refresh.  I promised myself that I would take June and July “off”.  I guess for me that meant actually taking time for a vacation and just escaping from the pulling and tugging of life.  I purposely did not take on any new projects, engagements, meetings or signings and decided to take time for me. 

So, what am I doing during this time “off”?  Lots of self care.  I considered going on a retreat for about a year now because I felt God was calling me to it.  I planned one about a year ago and that fell through, so I took a mini one.  Then I planned a longer one, one I had been looking forward to for a while, then I came down with a terrible cold and couldn’t go.  So, I went on a nice long weekend retreat and that was amazing.  But I know God was calling me to more and I had to honor that calling.  Well, I did a few weeks ago and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time.  I made a trip to the Cove.

What is the Cove?

The Cove is a Christian conference center in Asheville, NC.  This place is one of the most beautiful places I have visited.  The beauty was more than just physical it was spiritual as well.  Once I entered through the gates, it was as though I was in a different world.  From the moment I checked in until the moment I drove away I was in awe.  All I can say is God’s timing is perfect. 

On the balcony over looking the mountains

In future blogs I will share more about my journey to the Cove, but I will give you some highlights now because I’m still so full from my experience. 

The past year I’ve been having a feeling of being stretched and wondered what was going on.  I was getting a little irritated, a little frustrated, a lot uncomfortable and very confused.  I knew God was speaking, but I couldn’t hear everything clearly and knew that I needed to.  You know those times when you feel like running, but don’t know where you’re going, those times when you cry but don’t know why, those times when you just have to be alone, even when you’re in a crowd of amazing people.  I understand now more than ever that when you feel the promptings of the Lord you must move.  We don’t know why or when or how sometimes, but we must move in faith. 

I longed to know God’s will for my life, my future.  I knew that ministry was a part of it but how, when and why?  I knew that I had a desire to write and teach, counsel, encourage and empower… but what was that going to look like?  What is this calling you have on my life God? 

Enter the Cove.  The Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove in Asheville, NC.  I decided I needed time to refresh, renew and retreat and a friend suggested I visit the Cove.  I signed up for a retreat.  I don’t regret my decision for one moment.
Flowing  waters at the Cove

Where do I begin?  Maybe I will begin with the 40 days of fasting and praying I did before I made the journey, or maybe I will begin with the fear the enemy tried to place in my mind about making this journey to get closer to God, or maybe I will begin with me driving in the mountains without a plan, not knowing what was ahead of me or what this retreat would be about or maybe…well, you get the picture.  Doubts, fears, joy, excitement…expectation!  I pressed on!

My first day at the Cove was beyond anything I could have imagined.  I played a song (that I’ve blogged about before) when I entered through the gates and took the winding roads through the property, because for some reason I always think of the Cove when I play this song, so it was fitting.  Then I was greeted by many smiling faces and a warm “welcome to the Cove” at every turn.  I definitely felt welcomed and instantly at ease.  I checked in at the front desk, handed materials that was to offer support during my retreat, and a "let us know if you need anything".  Now what?     

I asked the Lord to speak to me during this time and help me to listen.  I wanted Him to impress upon me His will for my life and whatever else He wanted to share.  I was ready; at least I thought I was.  But what He was to reveal to me during those days before the Cove, during my retreat and afterwards… was priceless. 

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey with you.  Truly a part of the Journey of Healing.  I pray that after this is all said and done, you find a place and time to retreat.  It’s worth it.  You’re worth it. 

There’s so much more to come...

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