Take a deep breath. In and out. And another deep breath. And finally, a third one. Sometimes, we need to make ourselves pause for a moment to gain clarity and reclaim our inner strength. Taking a pause allows us to reconnect with God and to give the Holy Spirit a chance to be our advocate.
A few months ago, I attended – as I do every year – the YMCA Women Adventure Wellness Camp. It is a very conscious choice to take a pause from my busy life of being a full-time working mom to two awesome girls (who are rapidly turning into two amazing young ladies). This was my third time attending the camp, and I knew visiting would be good for my soul. At the time, things were especially hectic at work due to some changes in leadership at the university where I’m employed. Some new faces on the team were putting considerable stress on everyone else, which created a challenging work environment. In addition to work, my daughters had kept me very busy at home (as is usual when one has two active daughters), and I also had a personal matter to deal with that caused me great sadness.
Where the camp is held, there are many fantastic facilities for all the awesome indoor and outdoor activities that you can do there (archery, kayaking, high-ropes course, horse riding, arts and crafts, and yoga, to name just a few). Although I did them all and much enjoyed them, this time around, I knew I needed something else. Something more. I needed to make a conscious choice to pause. There is an outdoor chapel on the vast grounds of the camp, which I had passed by in previous years but never considered investigating. This year, I knew that this was where I had to go to seek that moment to pause.
The chapel is surrounded by tall, majestic trees on three sides. Inside, are rows and rows of wooden benches and a wooden stage with a small podium-ll weathered by the elements and simple but beautiful. I chose to go there on Sunday morning while everyone was still at breakfast. All alone, I sat down and prayed regarding that personal matter that had been weighing me down. As I prayed, tears streamed down my face. When I finished with praying, I paused. It had been wind-still the entire time. But the moment I finished my prayer, there was a sudden breeze that went through the trees around me. Just for a few seconds and then it was wind-still again. I knew at that moment that my prayer had been heard and that I was not alone. It was a very special moment, and I felt an incredible inner peace. I felt reconnected with God.
In the spirit, you have an advocate who will never leave you.
The Holy Spirit is always with us as he is inside of us if we have made a decision to follow Jesus. In him, we have an advocate who will never leave us. Someone who will bring our prayers to God as our advocate even when we cannot find the right words to express what is going on inside of us during prayer (Romans 8:26-27). It is important that we do take moments here and there to pause: to realize that we have an advocate and that we are not alone; to regain our inner peace and to let go; to let the Holy Spirit be our advocate; to surrender fully to the path that God has for us. I have carried this special moment at the outdoor chapel with me ever since. I know that God has his best plan for me. His plan is better than I could imagine. No matter what may happen, I will be okay if I pause and remember that I am not alone.
When was the last time that you took a moment to pause? If you did pause, how did that make you feel? If you have not taken a pause recently, what are the obstacles that prevent you from doing so?
Irrespective of how long ago your last moment of pause was, make a conscious plan to find a special place to do so today or sometime this week. Write down the results on the rest of your day.
What can you practically do this week that will help you remember to pause throughout your day? (Be Creative)
Dear father in heaven, thank you for providing me with opportunities to pause and connect with you. Thank you for letting the Holy Spirit within me be my advocate to you when words fail me. Please give me the wisdom to recognize opportunities to take a pause and the strength to let go and have faith in you. I know you are good and that you have a wonderful plan for me. Thank you for allowing me to pause once in a while. Amen.
This post was written by Cordula Mora. Cordula is a neuroscientist who currently works in the Provost office at Bowling Green State University. She was born and raised in Germany, then spent many years living in New Zealand before settling in the US almost 16 years ago. She was raised in a German Lutheran church but feels blessed to have been spiritually awakened when she was introduced to CedarCreek Church. She thanks God every day for all the blessings in her life, including two amazing daughters and a wonderful man who loves the Lord.
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