By: Val Thiessen
I’d heard about the Christmas “silent walk-through” at the Mark Centre, but I had never taken the time to actually attend. This year a friend texted me just hours before the event started and asked me to join her. I’m so glad I said yes! On the drive in, I asked God for a word specifically for me. He heard my request and answered my prayer.
There were 7 different rooms set up with varying themes centering on Immanuel – God with us in the circumstances of our lives. This past year I have been very aware of God moving in a number of different ways in my own life so each room touched me in some way. We started in “the Holy of Holies”. It was very appropriate to slow down during this busy time of year and recognize the holiness of our God. I am in awe that the God of the universe, the Creator and Sustainer of all, cares about each one of us individually. The experience was a great reminder to breathe deeply and take time to adore God and hear from him every day.
The other rooms focused on God in our loneliness, at times of crossroads, in sickness, during celebrations, and in our everyday routines. It’s so easy to forget that He truly cares and wants to be invited in. He is longing to have a conversation with me as I wash dishes or do the laundry. With the busyness of life I have found intentional times of solitude to be refreshing, but I can also be fully alive and aware of His presence as I drive or take care of my grandkids. The best days are when I just have one long conversation with Him that lasts all day. And then, as I lie in bed and reflect on the day, I can see His hand at work throughout and am once again humbled and thankful.
After a time of response and communion, we were invited to ask for prayer. You may remember that I asked God for a word specifically for me. Well God used Luke from Samuel’s Mantle to gently remind me that my Heavenly Father wants to shower His love on me, but I need to actually accept that love. It’s a gift, but I need to receive it and open it. When I’m at a crossroads or when I’m feeling stuck, Luke reminded me that often it’s because I have been holding God at arm’s length instead of allowing His love to wash over me. It’s a decision of surrender, choosing God’s ways instead of my own. I won’t share everything about that night, but if you could read my journal for the past 6 months you would be amazed. There is no mistake that the God who created heaven and earth cares enough about me and my little corner of the world to make sure that I knew that His love for me runs deep and wide and is forever and always! He is my Abba Father, I am His daughter and my heart is overflowing with thankfulness.