This is my Story…This is my Song!

When group members have struggled with life and trusted God, regardless of the outcome, a powerful testimony develops.

Twelve of us sat comfortably in big comfy chairs and couches listening to each one tell his or her spiritual story. It was a small group retreat in a lovely bed and breakfast in an historic, alluring seaside community. Our first night together began with after dinner snacks and cold soda. A few attendees were friends with one another; several had little or no knowledge of the group gathered, so we began our time with friendly hellos and introductions. We introduced our one and only activity for the first night together, telling our stories, to begin the self-disclosing process of "getting to know you." We suspected that a few attendees might be a bit shy in sharing their lives with a new group of people, a natural dynamic, so we assured them that it would be a fun activity. Passing out 8.5x14" white paper and piles of colored pens, we invited the attendees to describe four or five spiritual highs and lows in their lives. The idea was well-received, and a sense of enthusiasm permeated the group.

Before dismissing them to create their masterpieces, I whipped out my best attempt at art, a production of strange looking stick people, a slight resemblance of a church, cross, and a not so realistic sketch of Christ. An artist I am not! Being the retreat leader and modeling the assignment was an important step. A sense of safety suddenly prevailed. "That I can do!" was the response, and off they went to their areas of choice.

Twenty minutes later, we gathered back to our comfortable spaces. Again, I briefly repeated my spiritual journey experiences. I discussed the strange-looking stick people and the numerous question marks for all the unanswered questions that had plagued me and filled me with fears. The ups, downs, discoveries, ...

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