BY HYEYEON LEE, GRACE ATTENDER & DISCIPLER
One Friday in September, my husband and I took a day off from work and went to the Unplugged Retreat together. We’ve been to the retreat before, but this was the first time after we had brought home our youngest son, Jonah, from Korea (we have four children, including Jonah). I had experienced several life turning points at Unplugged before, especially related to our adoption journey. And God continued to speak deeply into my heart regarding Jonah that day.
At the retreat, as I always do, I went on the labyrinth prayer walk. I took each step following the path, talking and listening to God. When I got to the center, I was reminded of what I had discovered the previous year. The center of the labyrinth is shaped like a flower with six petals, just like six of us in our family. The last time I was standing there, Jonah was still in Korea, but this time it was different. So I was going to step into those petals one by one to pray for each one of us. But as I was almost done praying for my oldest daughter, another lady joined me in the center of the labyrinth and she knelt down and wept on the last petal, where I was going to pray for Jonah. I couldn’t get into that petal but my heart started to connect her tears with Jonah.
So when I walked out from the center, I continued talking with God about Jonah. And God prompted a question in my heart. “Do you know what it means to be abandoned?” As the word “abandoned” pierced through my heart, my eyes were drawn to a large crack that went across the labyrinth path right before me. “No… I don’t…” was my honest answer…
God explained that I wouldn’t fully understand the pain and wounds that Jonah has to carry in his heart, which is like the crack I was seeing on the path. Jonah is only 4 years old now, but as he grows up he will need to process his pain and God was showing me a glimpse of my son’s heart. And He showed me how once a stone is cracked, it is not something that can be erased, even if I wanted to…
I was overwhelmed and my heart ached. I didn’t know what to do, but cry. But God continued by saying when His hand and my hand tenderly touch the crack over and over again with His love, then it will become firm and strong. The brokenness will be a part of firm solid rock in Him.
I stood there for a long time, staring at that crack… I couldn’t bear stepping over it. I wept over it…
When I finally lifted my eyes off it, God brought all the other cracks that were all over the labyrinth into my view. They were all sorts of different colors, shapes, sizes, and depths… there were so many of them.
He was showing me how broken all the people are in this world. Among all of those numerous cracks, He said, there are some that are similar to Jonah’s and that Jonah could one day influence and reach them through God’s grace. Yes, true, it’s still broken but becoming firm in Him and by walking along with Him.
And finally, He reminded me that one day, when we get to be in His presence in heaven, there will be true healing and the cracks will be gone without a trace! He also reminded me to pray for those who may not know Jesus… so I pray… I pray for Jonah’s heart, his birth mom’s faith, and for true healing that can only come from God.
The Unplugged retreats have been instrumental in my personal connections with God. From the very first labyrinth prayer walk in 2010 through the latest one in September, God has met me over and over again through Unplugged, molding my heart and life to be His. I hope many others will get to come and commune with God through the Unplugged Retreat.