This weekend I saw a life-long dream come true. I was able to host my very first Known. Retreat in a gorgeous home in Southern Oregon. It was surreal as I saw years of planning and praying take shape and a beautiful weekend unfold.
I whole heartedly welcomed each woman that came. We pressed into what 20/20 spiritual vision looks like for this year. Together we watched in amazement as God unwrapped a custom weekend hand-crafted for each and every heart there.
I felt deep peace as the large snowflakes fell and the wood-burning fireplace crackled during our morning coffee time. I was overwhelmed as each woman experienced God’s touch in a beautiful and fresh way.
I was truly content sitting in a corner and taking it all in. I didn’t need to be a part of the conversations that were happening. My heart was full just watching these ladies connect. I loved seeing hearts heal through real love, compassion and caring as people shared vulnerably and honestly their life and their story.
This was enough for me.
But God is not a God of just enough. He is a God of abundance. He is a God of more than you could ask, think or imagine. He had more.
One dream I’ve had for years is to incorporate a DANCE PARTY into the retreats I host.
Now I realize, to many that idea may not gel with the lazy-snowflakes-and-warm-mug-of-coffee vibe I was basking in earlier. But to me...a dance party fits with ANY vibe.
When we were planning the weekend, I wasn’t sure where we could squeeze it in. But I secretly desired it. On Saturday night, we were wrapping up a day full of beautiful connection, relaxation and personal prayer time, my leadership team and I decided what needed to happen next was laughter and fun.
~Insert DANCE PARTY!~
We had so much fun moving and grooving and cutting lose. I recall a moment singing at the top of my lungs to “THIS IS ME” and feeling fully Tami. Nothing Hidden. I loved it. I felt alive, every cell of my body.
As the dance party wrapped up, and I was reliving moments of the very full and magical day, I started to get a sick feeling in my gut. I started to hear lies like, “What did you think you were doing? Who do you think you are?” These are not new lies I’ve had to battle. It’s funny how we get hooked by the same old lies, followed by new false evidence.
“That’s not very Christian to have a dance party at a retreat...you weren’t even playing Christian music..” On and on it went. A lie that I wasn’t adequate, or holy enough to run any sort of Christian Retreat.
As I quietly asked Him what He thought about the lies I was hearing, He reminded me of the ladies dancing with me. Fully free to be. Ladies that at other moments in the retreat were more withdrawn and quiet were laughing and showing off their version of the running-man as we jammed to “Move It.”
I heard God Whisper, “Healing happened and freedom was released. Not only in them, but in you too.”
I asked Him when the lie came in that dancing wasn’t holy?
I was reminded back to my younger days when at church we would sing a song out of a hymnal on Sunday morning, but the real fun came Saturday night out with my friends. Church and fun never seemed to mesh in my world. But God has since shown me He is lots of fun. Even more FUN than I can handle. Abundant fun. I was stuck in a religious mind-set I didn’t even know I had. I had disqualified myself. God never did. He loves dance. And He loves it when I dance. I think He loves it when you dance too. Yes, Freedom was released.
I pondered the question of how healing happened through the dance? Okay, freedom I now understood, but healing? I was still unsure.
The next morning over breakfast, one of the ladies at the retreat, Shelly, came up to me and told me how much the Dance Party meant to her. She went on to explain that she had lost her best friend of 21 years, Hope, to cancer the previous year. Shelly said that every time they would get away for a girls weekend, Hope would say they HAD to have a dance party. She hasn’t danced since she lost Hope. She went on to explain that when we started dancing Saturday night, it brought healing to her heart. A message of deep joy and encouragement to Shelly that it’s okay to keep dancing.
So, it’s official. Every one of my future Known. Retreats will have a dance party as part of the weekend. And I will turn the music WAY up and Moonwalk, Robot, and Dougie my heart out.
And if anyone questions whaaat I’m doing? I wlll probably have to ask them to repeat themselves because they will be trying to talk over the pulsating beat of the music. After they do, I will simply shrug and say, “This is me.”
Then I will teach them how to moonwalk.