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From This Place: Torrey Conference 2012

Reflections on solitude, community and ministry: Learning to be alone with God

Director of Spiritual Life, Barbara Miller, teaches the "We Are His Beloved" workshop on Wednesday afternoon. Students were unable to sit comfortably in the pews due to overcrowding. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

After being turned away due to overflow at the Sutherland workshop, I headed to my second choice at Calvary Chapel — We Are His Beloved: From Solitude to Community to Ministry. I managed to snag the last possible seat. After a long, hot day, I could tell many students were starting to become tired. Barbara Miller, director of Spiritual Life, sensed it too.

Miller explained this workshop would examine the power of the Lord through solitude, followed by a time of reflection.

“God desires for us to spend time with him,” she started. “Jesus spent extended time in prayer, and I’m going to talk about why we need to too.”

Through discipline we can create space for Jesus to work in us. Discipline may not seem like a pleasant word, but it is the everyday act of spending time with the Lord — not just the “super-spiritual”, but for all believers.

The word solitude makes us think of being alone.

“It is truly being alone with God,” Millers said. When we are in solitude, we face ourselves, our desires, and our sin. When we are in solitude, we begin to see God’s will. His nature becomes clearer. We begin to become rooted in his love.

“Spending time with God is kind of like stargazing, but God-gazing,” she said.

By spending time in reflection with God, we see where our roots lie.

Millers said, “If we aren’t rooted in knowing that we are truly loved, we try and look other places for love,” and I think we all know where that leads. “Our identity is his beloved,” she concluded.

Solitude with God helps us to open our hearts, so that we may experience his love for us. It is his will for us to know we are loved, and I love that concept.

Through this time of reflection and prayer lead by the Christian Formation and Ministry team, I was blessed. Somehow I think God knew I needed to be at this workshop. 

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