Every January for the past 3 years, I’ve headed to a secluded camp in the woods of Northern Minnesota to join other women in a week of fellowship and spiritual refreshment. Camping in January seems a little extreme, but there are no tents, no swimming, no summer activities. We stay in cozy, warm cabins and sit around the fireplace sharing. If the winter isn’t too dreadfully cold we might go for a hay ride or ice skate on the pond. When it’s so cold that you wonder what you are doing at camp, we throw hot coffee in the air to see how fast it freezes.
This year, I considered not going. I had barely been back to work after some vacation, and was already scheduled for another trip in a few weeks. I was tired of driving on icy roads, and I would be returning the day of my husband’s birthday, a day I’d hate to miss.
But it is here, at this camp, in the middle of the cold winter, that God never fails to speak His truth into my soul. Don’t get me wrong, God is often speaking to me; the little things. At camp, God always lays it on me. Life-changing, life-giving words. I had to go
So I left work and family behind for a week, took the train and hitched a ride with someone else, and ended up missing most of my husband’s birthday (the train runs notoriously late these days). And it was worth it.
This special trip in January is really the only time of the year where I am free of any expectations from anyone but myself. I have no work or family responsibilities, it’s just me. I have always felt nearest to the presence of God and most open to hearing His voice when I am in nature. The combination of these factors are what I believe makes this trip the place where I am most open to hearing the still, small voice of God.
One afternoon I walked outside to get some fresh air. I had spent most of my time reading by the fireplace. The first thing I noticed when I walked outside was the lack of noise. You know how it is- you get so used to the noise of life that you almost don’t realize it- until it’s silent. A beautiful cold, silence filled the air as I walked out onto the frozen pond. I walked and slid around awhile – just for fun. I snapped a few photographs and as expected, God showed up.
Right there in the middle of the frozen pond I heard His voice in the wind. A small whisper. A reminder of love. A reminder of the precious gifts given by Him. A reminder to be full of grace and truth. A reminder to be me.
Where do you most often hear God speaking to you?