“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
We have all had seasons in life where it feels like the chaos just. won’t. end. Sometimes, the chaos is the result of our own doing. Yet, sometimes, it’s the result of being obedient to God and pursuing God’s call. For me, my chaos is most often the result of pursuing God because . . . well, that’s just kinda how the Christian walk goes.
Jesus knew that we would have weary days/weeks/months/years. So, in the verse above, he calls us to come to him, so he can give us rest. Later in this passage, he goes on to encourage us to hand off our burdens to him, to let him carry the load. When we find ourselves in these seasons, we may often cry out for sanctuary – that place of refuge of safety. Last year, I received a literal gift of sanctuary, and I want to share with you how you might be able to receive the same gift.
Many of you know that I have been going through a long season of struggle. (This explains why my blog has been dormant for so long.) In the midst of this, I was working on a writing project while feeling overwhelmed with life. I needed a break, but I also needed to write. I needed a break, a retreat, but I could barely pay rent. God had a ram in the bush.
My friends, Dave and Paula Clark, had recently opened a bed and breakfast called The Sanctuary (named for the fact that it was an old church). Dave and Paula have amazing hearts for God and God’s people, so they were intentional about making The Sanctuary available as a place of refuge and refreshment for creatives and CCD (Christian community development) practitioners. They partnered with Canaan Community Church (located in Chicago’s Englewood community and pastored by Jonathan Brooks) to create a scholarship fund, and I was one of the first beneficiaries of it!
My stay at The Sanctuary was amazing! The meals were homemade by Dave and Paula and included everything from “right off the grill” to a “make your own sandwich” cold cut and cheese platter. (I even had the pleasant surprise of discovering that Spicy Chili Doritos aren’t too spicy for my sensitive palate!) The atmosphere was peaceful and restorative – both the bedroom and the “big room” which had lots of comfy seating options as well as a writing desk. And the bathroom has a shower like you wouldn’t believe!
The remainder of this post is simply photos of The Sanctuary. I hope it will whet your appetite and encourage you to consider it for your next getaway or retreat. For more information, on The Sanctuary, click here. For more information on The Canaan Sanctuary Scholarship for “Creatives” and CCD Practitioners, click here. Also, during my time at The Sanctuary, I was able to complete a writing project. Check it out here.