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  • Writer's pictureSheri Peterson

Leaving the Nest

Time to “spread my wings and fly.” A clear message I received just over a month ago and so much has happened since. I’ll get to some of that, but first I want to turn back time just a tad to May 5, 2019. When I spoke to the congregation, much like I will this coming Sunday, sharing my story. Only that time I was just starting this journey as I had just committed to taking the first steps. I remember the vulnerability, fear, and excitement of leaning into a pull I had held back from for a while.

You can actually go back and watch the message on my facebook page videos thanks to my friend Michelle. I recently watched it again, and found how far I really have come. That initial leaning in started a pattern in me - baby steps. Steps into the unknown or uncomfortable as I was stretching myself, growing myself and expanding my comfort zone little bits at a time with each experience. That’s how it works. Each step has to be adjacent possible, and with each step we take we move further from that starting point. Then when you look back 2 years later you can be amazed at how much ground you’ve covered! How much you have expanded your territory with God’s help and guidance.

Trust and clarity. That talk over 2 years ago was about Seeking Relationship. I shared how the commitment I had made of prioritizing time in my life to practice Centering Prayer; entering into intentional time with God had brought such clarity on my path. I see now how it also brought trust. The trust in the clarity to take the next right scary baby steps. I had the trust to step out or lean into the next one because I trusted God wouldn’t let me fall.

In this past month, I have experienced deep healing, enlightenment and empowerment during a Vision Quest I was fortunate to take. Four days of fasting solo in the wilderness. Certainly not something I would have leaned into over 2 years ago. It was not adjacent possible then. The growth I have embraced, especially over these last few years, has brought me along my path to this point of being ready to leave the nest, spread my wings and fly.

Much of that growth occurred here in this Lord of the Hills community. For that I am so very grateful. Grateful for the many bible study discussions where I was encouraged to think deeply and share my curiosities in Lectio Divina, the Women’s Gather bible study group, and Mind Body Spirit. Grateful for the time spent in prayer with these groups, as well as, Centering Prayer. Grateful for the fellowship and opportunities to be of service with Sisters on the Hill and the many service projects we took on with the youth programming, monthly Change-for-Change foci and Thrivent Action Teams. Grateful for the love shared with the many preschool families during my tenure teaching, as well as, the Sunday School families, VBS and Day Campers! For the small group guides and many volunteers who have made the ministries of Lord of the Hills possible and impactful in our world! For book studies and courageous conversations, I feel like I can go on and on. So grateful for a community that has journeyed with me in my highs and lows. Prayed with and for me and my family. Watched my boys grow and supported them along their faith journey, as well. Thank you seems too small.

Through these opportunities I have formed new beliefs, and learned how to reframe old beliefs which no longer served me into new ways of being. I’ve learned how to be comfortable in the uncomfortable so I can walk with others in their discomfort. I’ve learned how to reroute my patterns and form new neural pathways so I can guide others in doing the same. I am now courageously taking flight to inspire and guide seekers in finding harmony through healing and nature connection.

Nature connection is my new community. My conduit of connection with God, my source. Through nature connection I have learned how to be connected to source. How to guide seekers to be soul-directed on your path to living out your purpose in this earth community. How to spread your wings and take flight! Shameless self promotional plug...if any of this sounds like something you’d like to experience for yourself, please seek me out at my website so we can look at how I might continue to journey with you along your path!

Maybe I am taking this message too literally but I will be paragliding for the first time on Saturday! Truly taking flight. Thought it might be a great way to experience my new way of being first hand, or maybe I’m crazy? Again, your support and prayers are certainly appreciated!

While we are not leaving the area at this time, it feels right to remove myself from our church membership to provide the space for those who will fill my space. I believe the next right person/people for Lord of the Hills will be gifted and called for just what this church needs next. So we will be around, hope to cross paths with you out and about and plan to pop in as visitors from time to time.

Again, my gratitude for your role in my life. Please stay on mission to love, serve, and grow! I know I will.

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