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God, Google, and Camp

Stimulating Generosity

Nikki found herself about to celebrate another birthday and struggling with her marriage and the weight of life. “I was praying,” she shared. “God, I need time alone with you.”

Nikki sat at the computer and put the only dates she had available in the Google search. “This place called Lutheranch popped up with a Labyrinth Retreat. I had never heard of Lutheranch, but I listened and obeyed.”

Nikki couldn’t wait to arrive. “I was excited to see why God was leading me to this place at this time.” Once she arrived though, she understood.

In 2015, Nikki was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I felt at peace. I felt so close to God during that time, and honestly, I haven’t felt that since.”

She took a chance on the retreat at Lutheranch. She didn’t know anyone. It was completely sight unseen. As the retreat began in silence, she began to feel glimmers of that closeness with God she was longing for – those moments that were being drowned out by the everyday stress and pressures of life.

“On the second day, we began walking to the center of the labyrinth and I began to feel that same sense of peace I felt after my diagnosis. I knew God was with me. When I got to the center I collapsed and wept. There were so many heavy things, but I was also able to begin to feel joy. I didn’t want to leave that space, I knew God was there with me, but I knew I had to. As I turned and began walking back out of the labyrinth, I felt lighter – different. I could hear God talking to me. I asked for direction and felt the answers. I journaled it all when I finished.”

Nikki left the labyrinth aware of 5 truths and shared the first one with us. On the labyrinth path there are 2 trees close to each other. On the journey into the labyrinth, when she came to the trees, she knew she could either walk around them or through them. She stood and asked God what to do. “I listened and heard, ‘walk through,’ but I hesitated. I am presented with some heavy choices in life right now and I can go through them or around them. On the way out of the labyrinth, I didn’t hesitate at all. I know God is walking through them with me.” Those trees represented for me the choices I have in life. On her way out of the labyrinth, when we arrived at the two trees, she felt excited. “I found myself smiling, and as I smiled and walked through the trees, the view opened up. The beauty ahead was a gift. I felt the closeness of God in my life again and trusted that no matter what I am going through, God’s beauty is there in front of me, walking through life with me.”

Nikki is a member of Elizabeth Baptist in Atlanta, GA.


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