The women of Hillside stepped away this month – from busy schedules, families, and demands to rest, grow and retreat. Over the weekend we looked at the incommunicable and communicable character of God – knowing Him and His limitlessness, His perfection, and unchanging nature. By observing His character we began to see our own limitedness and lack, how unlike God we are, and how much we need Him! As well as how generous He is to impart some of His characteristics to us as children made in His image.
Ninety-five women came together to share meals, laugh and have fun together. Learning together and lifting each other up in prayer. Our teaching team prepared for months to lead workshops where we learned and put to practice praying through scripture, the value of praise and worship. There were also workshops on the importance of church history and how and why to study Church history, the methods for studying the bible, as well as our call to make disciples. Our small group time gave women opportunities to share with each other what God is teaching them and how He is growing them.
We heard stories of women feeling more bonded to one another in our church body… feeling more known and cared for and growing in relationships with God and each other. Women shared during small groups that they felt a great sense of freedom in knowing we are limited! There was a relief from striving, from the feeling that we have to be everything to everyone. There was joy in moving forward in freedom, a new contentment in knowing who we are created to be, in our limited nature. We also heard from many women that listening to and learning from Belinda during a vulnerable time in her life was a powerful aid in walking in freedom from carrying burdens that the Lord calls us to take to Him.
This year we gave the women the opportunity to pray for their sisters in Christ. Each women received a library card, and we asked women to write their name and prayer need on a card. In the main meeting area there was a wall with library card pockets and women placed their cards in these pockets. Throughout the weekend women were taking the time to pray for each need and encourage women by logging their name, the time they prayed and words or verses of encouragement on each card. The prayer wall gave an opportunity for women to live out vulnerability and grow in community with each other by sharing trials, struggles and joys with one another!
Our prayer for every woman that came and for all of Hillside Women is that we would know God and His character and our lives would be defined by Him. Knowing God leads us to freedom, joy and rest. In our limitedness He is glorified!