March 7, 2019 – Cat (2018 Student)

Reflection on the School of Connection

Process is slow and can be painful.  At the School of Connection, I said yes to meeting God in the slowness of the process.  He changed so much in me during that time that I don’t even have words to express all that He’s done.  But for you, dear reader, I will do my best.

The School of Connection was a journey of discovering my identity. It was a beautiful process, with so many surprises. Of course, not everything was a surprise. I expected more of God. I expected to go deeper into relationship with Him, and by all means I did. But He surprised me with just how much He wanted to give me. He surprised me by showing me how big His love is – for ME. Right in the middle of my messes, I experienced the reality that He doesn’t want anything from me, He just wants to be with me. He showed me what it really means to be His daughter. 

I came to the school already knowing Him. I have been walking with God for years, but I came wanting more of Him. I had no idea that He would reveal and shift so many things in my heart.  He worked so faithfully and patiently with me in the process!  In the safe atmosphere that Gary and Cathy created, I began to understand what it means that God is a Father.  I felt His love from them.  They loved, taught, and spoke blessing over me.  They challenged me when I needed it, and I never felt an ounce of condemnation.  During the school, I was invited to interact with God, and I began to trust for the first time that He is my true and perfect Daddy.  I experienced His love poured out on me in abundance.  He gave me the courage to face deep pain, and I encountered Him as my Healer.  When I knew Him as Father, I started to recognize myself as His beloved daughter. 

It felt like I was learning for the first time who I really am, who I have been all along.  I felt deep acceptance from God, my Daddy, and that changed everything for me. It is like I had vision clouded with debris: bitterness, pain, judgments, wounds.  Because of it, I couldn’t see myself, God, or the world clearly.  At the school, my sin was revealed and removed, wounds and pain were healed, the debris scrubbed away.  As a result, I can see clearly who I am, who God is, and His desire for the people around me.  I learned how He thinks about me with so much love, and realized that I am not condemned at all.  In a lot of ways, I feel like I have just now come alive to what is true, to my true identity. It amazes me to realize that I didn’t even know what I was missing. 

In this transformation, I realized that God doesn’t want to change me into something besides myself.  I had harbored this idea deep down that He wanted to take everything about me and make it different, that I was a problem in need of fixing.  I thought He could not possibly accept me as I am.  At the School of Connection, I realized that those things aren’t true at all.  I felt His total acceptance of my awkwardness, my creativity, my flaws.  He loves all of me, and the changes He wants to do only free me to be even more myself than I was before. He lovingly showed me where I had gone wrong so that I could finally be myself.

I am so thankful that Gary and Cathy said yes to God, and continue saying yes to Him.  Because of their obedience, I had time and space for God to transform like He did.  They said yes to what God asked them to do, I said yes to the process, and God transformed.  He worked on my heart day by day, repairing, redeeming, recreating.  And at the end of it, He launched me back into life, saying, “I can’t wait to watch you fly!” What a joy it is to be soaring through life with Him!