July 13, 2022
A Note from Emily Clark
Last August, two of my closest friends, Jon Esala and Meredith Osborn, told me of a group that was starting at their church — one that they thought I might be interested in. I had never even attended HUMC, but Jon and Meredith gave me the information, mentioned my name to Beth Palmer, and I decided to apply.
The group was Deeper Waters, and I was pretty jazzed when I read the description — a group where we read books and listen to podcasts and discuss topics like personal growth for nine months?!
Sign me up!
What I expected when I went into this group was to immerse myself in new learning and build relationships with new people.
What I did not expect, however, was for it to be a catalyst to move mountains within my own life.
Part of the deal for those of us in Deeper Waters is to engage in a daily spiritual practice.
And in a world that is so noisy and is always demanding our attention, doing any kind of intentional work to slow down is hard — like we’re swimming upstream.
But through that daily practice, something important was happening.
That knowing voice that lives inside me, that lives inside you, was emerging more clearly and audibly than I had heard in a long time. Whatever you might call that voice — intuition, God, Holy Spirit — was communicating to me that it was time to move.
It was time to compassionately turn toward all my hard feelings — the yucky and sticky and uncomfortable and painful ones — instead of avoiding or being overtaken by them.
It was time to make room for new relationships, particularly a romantic one, after I was quite certain I was best by myself.
It was time to leave my career teaching elementary school, where I had given so much of my heart and soul, blood and guts, flesh and bone for 11 years.
Deeper Waters opened me up — it broadened my perspective and beliefs, and it moved me deeper into my relationship with our good and trustworthy God.
It also was healing — I cannot describe the incredible power of belonging to a community of people who are open, honest, and committed to doing the hard things of life together.
It’s no wonder why Jesus said, “When two or three come together in my name, I am with them” (Matthew 18:20).
It’s like he knew this or something!
The next cohort of Deeper Waters will begin this fall. If you’re feeling a stir of curiosity inside you, I invite you to honor hearing it. (Applications are due September 1.)
Take a leap.
See where it leads.
For me, it was one of the most meaningful experiences in my life, and I wonder if it might be for you, too.
Lastly, I just want to say thank you to my Deeper Waters family and the amazing community at HUMC for inviting me in. I am so grateful to each of you.
clark.emily.r at gmail.com