a quiet space to listen and experience hope, healing and wholeness with God

Brenda Henry

My childhood in northern Minnesota, saturated with summer weekends at our family lake cabin, instilled in me a love of adventure. Although I might not have recognized it at the time, the sense of God’s presence I experienced while catching sunfish from our faded old rowboat, building tree forts with my cousins, and feeling the spray of water on my face as I skied, instilled in me a deep awareness of fullness of life. These experiences have much to do with the unyielding nature of hope I have discovered within myself. They are places where I began to understand the truth of Acts 17:28: “For in Him we live and move and have our being.”

Nearness to God has been my lifelong heart’s cry and the reason my eight-year-old self wanted not only to be a water-skier, but to be a nun too. Yes, Houston, we have a problem—at least it seemed so to me. To that point in my young life, I understood God to be quite a serious Person, and I wasn’t sure where He weighed in on issues of fun and desire—yet these were the places I felt most alive.

In my early twenties I discovered that same sense of aliveness in God’s Living Word, and I leaned into it through decades of living, loving, and raising a family. Subsequently, a deep experience of grief and brokenness seemed to bring my life to a standstill, and I found myself crawling through a desert place, struggling to keep sand out of my eyes—hoping that then I might be able to see what to do next. In the dryness of that desert experience I discovered an altar, a sacred place where I could lean in and ask God all the questions I wanted, questions like: “How did I get here?”  “Where are You?” “Who am I now?”

Faith drove me to that altar, but it was Love that held me there; Love that listened to my rants, and still drew me towards Himself; Love that told me the truth—that He really was not so heavy handed after all, and, by the way, that really was Him with me in the rowboat.

Although my theology is most deeply rooted in my personal love relationship with the Lord, it is framed by my experience of God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. My childhood heart’s cry did not lead me to a convent, but it did, ultimately, direct me toward receiving my MATS degree at Bethel Seminary in 2010. 

Conversations with my Spiritual Director have been a vital, life-giving part of my adventure in knowing the Lord, others, and myself more accurately and more intimately. One of my deepest joys, along with spending time with my family and friends, writing, playing outdoors, and cheering for the Minnesota Twins, is companioning others on their faith journey toward a deeper knowing of God and self.

 I completed my training in Spiritual Direction at Christos Center for Spiritual Formation in 2013, having sensed God’s call to this ministry shortly after completing my Seminary education.  I knew it must be the Lord because it tugged at my heart with the same joy and sense of adventure I felt all those years ago in that little faded fishing boat...a tug that told me that a fresh spray of living water was headed in my direction.

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