A Journey to Collected
I remember as if it was yesterday… the quiet of the room, the stillness of the trees, the restlessness in my heart. The moment I felt the whisper of God inside me come alive and alter my path. I lived in Sydney Australia for five and a half years, pursuing… something. I went for work, I stayed for God, and I left a new woman. I still remember striving, and being consumed by this thing called perfection. It controlled every aspect of my being, and when I wasn’t trying to be it, I was afraid of what it would think of me. It was a miserable life, especially as a Creative soul. I wanted so badly to be free, I wanted so badly to have peace, I wanted so badly to be enough. I took a deep breath and asked God for rest. True biblical rest, the way He intended it. The way He took a rest. The way Jesus described it in Matthew 11:28-30, a ‘real rest’. I asked Him to show me how to operate out of that rest. I wanted this cycle of not enough, never enough, to no longer control me. I was done.
So I sat back on my bed, kicked my feet up, looked out the window over the trees and rolling hills, and waited. I passively waited, not sure what I was waiting for… I waited… and waited until finally the breath of God revived my soul. I heard these words in my heart “Wait… wait for me… with anticipation… as a Hunter waits for his prey… then you will not miss me.” And this kind of ‘spirit light bulb’ went on. Rest was not an inactive, put your feet up and veg out on your favorite tv show kinda thing. Rest was an active anticipation of the Spirit of God. Silencing everything around you, getting away into the ‘wilderness’ and focusing on the only thing that could really revive you - zeroing in on the horizon and waiting with fervor to be freed. So I sat up on my bed, took an active posture, looked to the hills and waited on God.
He met me there, you know. He changed my life. He showed me how to take a ‘real rest in Him, to get away with Him, to recover my life with Him.’
Over the past 4 years I have been learning this new posture of rest - this posture of refuge and retreat, and it has revived my soul. It hasn’t been easy. Five moves across the world and the country, heartaches, loss, grief, sorrow, cruelty, and devastation after devastation. This journey has not been a walk in the park… but it’s been beautifully complex and soul jarring. I’ve learned to ‘walk in the unforced rhythms of grace’ and to be free. I’ve learned that true freedom comes at a cost. Jesus died on a cross so we could be free, and we must die to so many aspects of our busy lives, occupied mind, and pride to live in that freedom. I’ve learned how to recover from tragedy and triumph well. And I’ve learned to take people with me as I go.
Little did I know that God was taking three other people on a completely different and yet very similar journey. Going through parallel life experiences, journeys with God, and recovering their lives with Him too. One is an obvious one… My husband! But even when you are married to someone, it can take a long time to see the outer signs of the Spirit of God’s deep inner workings in their life. The other two are my brother-in-law and his wife. We met in Australia, doing different things in church and life, and I promise you that back then, we never would have guessed we’d be doing life together forever. We all moved back to America at different times and through a wild journey have ended up living in Charlotte, North Carolina 20 minutes from each other.
God has been so good to us, He has shown His faithfulness to us, He has taken all of us through the desert land and brought us to something so rich… His living water. Our lives are not easy, we don’t have it all figured out, but we have learned to walk in His rest and live in His peace. So we found ourselves with this ache in our heart, to equip and unify the church. To guide and give breath to the Creative soul, and do it together. God put four similar dreams in our hearts, and the time has come to cultivate those callings and operate in them. The time has come for Creative Collected.
Our heart is that you would find your place here among the crowd of Creative individuals and take a deep breath, because you are among friends. Our hope is that you would learn how to operate in God’s rest posture for you. Our prayer is that you would be free to create and wonder and live the life you were always intended to life. Welcome. You are loved and cherished here. You’ve been prayed over and fought for. You are the why behind our what.
So come, get away with us, and recover your life with us.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)