Stories from the 18 Inch Journey Retreat
Last week we hosted our fourth 18 Inch Journey Retreat. 45 hearts from all over the world joined us on the land for four days of saying yes to Jesus, pressing into emotional health and building sustainable, healthy belief systems. This retreat is sincerely one of our favorite weeks of the entire year. For six months of the year, we give our lives to discipling young adults, but every year, when we come to this retreat, we are moved watching adults, many of whom have careers, spouses or children, make powerful choices to change. They are courageous and vulnerable, honest and humble, and we feel the great honor of getting to lead them for a few days that will hopefully have an eternal impact on their lives. We eat meals together and worship, teach and give tools, rest and practice believing who the Father says we are.
Below you’ll find photos of the retreat and testimonies from some of our guests. As you read what they have to say, we hope you will be inspired to ask the Father what practices and healthy beliefs He wants to build in your life. You are worth growth, extravagance and rest.
The 18 Inch Journey had an enormous impact on my heart and life. I wasn’t offered a quick fix or promised a moment that would sort out my restlessness. My desperation was seen and validated, and a tool was placed in my hand to help me move towards wholeness. I was given back the greatest gift I never realized was stolen: my loving Father’s voice. The 18 Inch Journey gave me a place to remember what Abba says over me, to see my own reflection in his eyes, to find peace in his affirmations and victory in his declarations. And maybe greatest of all, it gave me permission to work it out, with the Holy Spirit, for the rest of my life.
I've been walking with the Father my entire life, but had gotten to a place where my heart was incredibly tired of all the ups and downs and come with a life of faith. I knew that there were places inside my mind that had spent their energy on the wrong paths, and I felt that couldn't afford to get my hopes up for another season. Coming to the 18 Inch Journey was a leap of faith. The entire time was an investment in my heart, the returns of which I know I'll be reaping for the rest of my life. The days challenged, equipped, and strengthened my heart to continue on, and through the life-giving teaching, kindness, personal relationships, and vulnerability of the staff I left renewed, and with new family by my side.
You could have made us pasta. You could have done a couple of worship nights and told us a couple of stories and called it a day. You could have given us $2 notebooks for journals. And it would still have been amazing and we wouldn’t have known the difference. But in everything, you went so above and beyond, you gave so generously and poured yourself out in ways we never expected you to. Extravagant doesn’t begin to describe it. In a million ways, you looked into each of our eyes and loved us so presently. Thank you more than I could say.
- Tracie Dutoit
I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am that I was able to come here to learn and grow. What you do here is beautiful, life-giving and full of love. Thank you for showing us all so many amazing attributes of the Father.
- Jes & Mark Hagan
I am still in awe of what happened here over the last four days. Your team helped me to rediscover the strength deep within and the desire to dream big again. Thank you for showing what true, and I believe, heavenly, hospitality, grace, love, kindness, humor and joy look like!
- Courtney Walton
The cultivated culture of family, community and grace contagiously grips you as soon as you enter the farm. Every staff and intern of the 18 inch journey is completely invested and genuinely interested in your story, your journey and how God sees you. In this safety of belonging I found myself more vulnerable and honest with myself and with God than ever before. Miraculously the outside world, concerns, and my defensive barriers melted away. In this short time, I was able to walk miles with the Father and know His goodness, His love and His voice in a real, everyday way, not from a place of performance, but from friendship and sonship.
- Josh Crawford