On March 8, I was able to attend the women’s retreat on the beautiful Oregon coast at Twin Rocks camp. As I sit and reflect on those three days, I remember many fond memories, including watching a group of beautiful and diverse women learning to dance, with another group sitting around a table knitting wonderful and creative things, while the rest formed clusters of joyful conversation. They’re all beautiful, and I was blessed to be able to spend the weekend with them. Although I was the youngest at the retreat, my heart was so warmed by the vast array of stories that were present and the hearts that were shared.
Over the course of the three days, I spent many hours walking beach after beach, seeking God’s beauty with my eye and camera lens. And beauty I found. A bald eagle soared overhead. Pink and purple shells shimmered in the sandy sunlight. Dogs, with bigger smiles on their faces even than mine, ran into the water, splashing and playing. Seagulls bathed in the waters, content for a moment to silence their harassing of picnickers. Driftwood piled high in stunning architectures created by wind and water. A wily wind playfully entwined with my hair and skirt, turning my head to notice more, more. Beauty. It is all around us. Reflecting God’s face, God’s love. And in the midst of all the beauty I realized a very important thing. I am a part of that beauty, as is every woman at the retreat, as are we all. In all of our faults and failures and struggles and burdens and hurts and
regrets, we are beautiful—even if we often allow the world to tell us otherwise. But as I walked along the beach, the only human in sight, as I twirled with the wind, allowing it to lead me in a dance, I felt beautiful. There was no one there to confirm that fact, but
more importantly there was no one there to deny it. It was just me, dancing to the rhythm of my God’s creation. My brokenness didn’t matter. He was piecing me back together; he is constantly piecing us all back together with his faithful, endless, and binding love.
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