What Others Are Saying
I learned and am learning to know Jesus as fully present, non judgmental and, as I get caught by His gaze, His love transforms me. I am learning that EVERY longing, desire, dream, hope, expectation and need is found in LOVE (God)!
My experience has brought me to God in the now and physical. It is delightful to see His presence in places I never looked before. Ambermest for me is a safe place to experience the presence of God.
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God has become more kind.
My spiritual direction group is a sacred circle. Renee’s close relationship with Jesus and her guidance in the practice of silence has allowed the space for us to share the unspeakable pain that each of us has experienced. There is no greater comfort.
Silent Directed Retreats and Days Away here at Ambernest have revolutionalized my relationship with Jesus. The space and time provided during these extended periods of silence have allowed me to listen to and learn to recognize my Good Shepherd’s voice.
The contemplative practices that I have learned through these years in Renee’s Ambernest groups have given me the opportunity to hear Jesus and to understand His invitation to:
“Watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
My dream is to experience more freedom. The practices of contemplative prayer that I learn and experience under Renee’s guidance with my sister sojourners on this journey move me toward that dream of more freedom.
I feel like this year I gave myself the space and time to be with God in quiet. I experienced living from the inside out instead of the other way around. Our PCY group gave me gentle structure and safety from which I could practice a new way to be with God and myself. I feel so grateful for my two years at Ambernest with Renee.
This year has felt like the transition phase of childbirth and the joy and relief of bringing new life into the world after a long labor. For the last few years, Renee has been there to witness the pain and elation, to hold my hand and remind me to breathe, and finally, to gently urge me on to the delivery of a spacious and liberating way of knowing God.
I’m grateful for the safety of the nest and the circle of women who have come to tell their own stories of God- and self- discovery, holding the sacred and human together with gentleness, respect, and awe.
I have grown in feeling the “peace that passes understanding” through the exercises. I have appreciated the practice of being “washed by the water of the word” and don’t want to stop the flow. The exercises have become a part of who I am and want to continue to be.
I am rediscovering some of the pieces of my heart and soul that make me who I am. Missing pieces that were taken from me or willfully surrendered are being returned as broken yet beautiful pieces — a mosaic.
I am celebrating a stronger sense of self; an awakening that I no longer need to apologize for the space I take up on earth. I am learning to struggle with the beauty of questions rather than always demanding answers.
The truth that God is kind, loving and always moving toward me continues to settle, slowly but surely. God has become less of a Stern, Scary and Angry Father and more a Proud, Nurturing and Loving Papa. Abba.
It’s been hard for me to trust God. My idea of myself was of damaged goods and a God who was stern, rigid and righteous. The spiritual exercises in group have given me space to explore my relationship with God, opening up the world to me. I’ve found love. True, lasting love and a kindness I never knew existed. God loves me and has been gently after my heart since I was a little girl. And I’m free to open my heart to him, whatever that looks like for me and Him.
And in the process, I realizes that I’m not alone in my brokenness, suffering or search to be known and loved. My sweet fellowship in group has shown me how we each join loving one another through God and with God. My heart grew inside my chest just like the Grinch on Christmas.
The image of myself as a damaged, discounted, end-of-the-season scraggly tree was redeemed into an image of me as a sturdy oak, rooted deep, deep down in Jesus, surrounded by other oaks and trees of all sorts. Direction saved my life. I see myself a shade closer to how God must see me. I am learning about trust and love and grace.
At the end of the day, direction is the gift God had for me that have me back to myself and to Him. “The glory of God is man fully alive” and I’m learning to live again.