Intermissionary Retreats are a break between acts. Just like at the theatre, IM retreats give you a moment to catch your breath, grab a glass of wine and wander around, considering what just happened and what might happen next.
- Erin Kirk Founder/CEO Girl Catch Fire.
Think about the last time you went to church.
Did you thoroughly connect with anybody there? Did you tell someone about your struggling marriage, your overwhelm, your loneliness or your faith that feels like a dry riverbed? Or did you slip in a few minutes late, then dash out after, hoping to beat the traffic, making vague promises to get together with someone for coffee soon?
Or maybe you're not a church goer.
When was the last time you sat with someone who really loves you and told them your struggles - the real ones? When did you last stop being "busy" long enough to admit you're lost, overwhelmed, bored, anxious or depressed?
It is a hallmark of western culture to manage the difficult parts of our lives privately, with a stiff upper lip. I did that forever and frankly, it sucks.
Life is hard and we need each other.
I skulked around the borders of deep friendships most of my life because I was ashamed to admit I was lonely. I was afraid to admit I wanted good friends who would see the real me and love me in spite of it. Being a smiling hermit, was in some sad ways, easier.
But a few years ago, I began hosting a group of women around my dinner table every month. We called it Love Dinner and along with it came tablecloths, candles, red wine and a whole new level of accountability and friendship. Somehow, I accidentally invited a bunch of women to hold up mirrors in my face and I did the same for them.
We talked about loneliness and doubt, marriage and fear, anxiety and loss and a million other things. None of us had the right answers, so we took the questions to Jesus, laid them at his feet, and He changed everything. He is the secret sauce at Love Dinner. Always was.
Now, two of the original seven are gone, off to chase dreams the Lord planted deep in their hearts and I am proud to say I helped launch them. The dreams they realize will be partly laid to my account too, and that is so cool. I didn't have that option before when I was hiding under the shame of loneliness.
That friendship is the heart of Intermissionary.
When I started Love Dinner I didn't know what it was for. I did it because I felt like God asked me to. Now that Intermissionary is a living, breathing thing, I realize Love Dinner was its mother. Rather than being one night though, Intermissionary is now a week of long meals and deep listening. Intermissionary is about gathering and getting down to the way things are, so we can clear out clogged channels, embrace what we've been given and get on with it.
So what about you?
Do you have bags to drop? Are they so heavy you can only take a few steps a year toward the things you dream of? Come to Intermissionary and let's leave them at the cross.
Are you heading back to your passport nation after years in global service and secretly wrestling the question, if I'm not this who am I? Come to Intermissionary and let's talk over your identity with Jesus.
Have you spent a few months in global service and find yourself so wrecked, you don't even know how to talk to your people anymore? Come to Intermissionary and let's work on strategy.
Are you ready to get serious about your identity and purpose but could use some help? We don't know what you're supposed to do, but we know who does. Come to Intermissionary and let people speak and pray into your questions with you.
It probably helps that Intermissionary Retreats happen in the French Alps, the Rocky Mountains and other awesome high alpine places, that's because we believe it's easiest to hear the Lord speak in crisp, cool air and silence.
The June retreats are in Chamonix, France. They are tailored for people taking a break or leaving global service, but as we grow, so will Intermissionary. Soon we will host your small group of women, or families, or maybe even young men searching for meaning. Maybe we'll even host soldiers coming home from war zones. How cool would that be?
I don't know exactly how it will all look, but Girl Catch Fire will be center of this connection revolution, and we'd love you to come along. Leave us your comments and subscribe to keep in touch.