When the concrete jungle gradually turns to rolling hills of green, and sunlight glistens over distant peaks of hazy blue, as one drives along windy roads with no shortcuts back to the busy noise of routine, something changes in the heart. The restless heart, previously told by the world to sit in a corner and stop crying, to slap on bandaid after bandaid of distraction, is free. It’s free to gently brush its fingertips upon the ungraspable reality that is its own existence. There, one voice is able to penetrate through the barrier of shouts all claiming to have life’s answers and say, “I love you, my daughter.”
Last weekend, 18 women traveled two hours west to Deer Creek Camp in Medina, TX to rediscover the meaning of being a woman in God’s eyes. This semesterly women’s retreat changes from year to year, but ever remains a sacred time for the women of SPO Texas. This time around, Texas State Alumnae Colleen Hadsall, Kimi Butler, Courtni Eaton, Kristy Chapa and Juliana Rueda traveled from far and wide to share their wisdom with the retreatants, by giving talks and leading discussion groups.
Every woman is called to be bride and mother, either in the physical or the spiritual sense, said Colleen Hadsall, the Texas State chapter’s Women’s Supervisor. Everything from the design of our human bodies to the story of Adam and Eve points to how women were made to receive love unabashedly and to bear good fruit. When these feminine qualities are purified and embraced within the context of prayer, a woman is able to more fully receive the love of God and allow it to overflow through her nurturing nature of self-gift.
Kimi Butler followed Hadsall’s first talk with some practical advice on how to be a Biblical woman, using the comparison of Mary to Eve as an example. A Biblical woman, Butler said, does four things: she embraces God’s calling for her life, she chooses wisely, lives courageously and expects great things from God. When Mary said yes to the Angel Gabriel, she practiced this wisdom, courage and trust. She believed that, while God’s call seemed impossible and terrifying, He was trustworthy and would take care of her.
We’ve only scratched the surface, Hadsall said as the women prepared to leave the retreat. Those 18 women returned to their homes, their classrooms, and their workplaces, where they continued the conversation, diving ever deeper into the particular way in which God loves the female heart.