Posted Feb 22, 2024 | Share this:

Have you ever craved a deeper understanding of your faith, or perhaps a more intimate encounter with the divine? In the latest episode of our podcast, Pastor Sarah Jane opens up about her journey to find a satisfied soul amidst the chaos of everyday life.

As a pastor and clinical therapist, Sarah Jane is no stranger to the complexities of spiritual growth. She’s dedicated to helping believers untangle the knots of messy theology and embrace the healing power of God’s word. But even she found herself seeking a more profound experience of God’s presence.

Her story begins with a conversation among fellow female pastors, which sparked the idea of attending a monastery retreat. Despite the initial surprise—after all, she isn’t Catholic—Sara Jane’s curiosity led her to a three-day sojourn that would transform her spiritual practice.

The monastery, a place of simplicity and tranquility, surrounded by nature’s beauty, became the backdrop for an encounter unlike any she had experienced before. The monks, embodying the fruit of the spirit, welcomed her into a routine of worship that was both ancient and awe-inspiring.

Through the rhythm of the monks’ daily services, Sarah Jane discovered the power of silence and the beauty of chanting psalms in Latin. She describes the ethereal voices of the monks, likening them to angels, and the profound peace that enveloped her—a peace that seemed to say, “You are in the presence of God.”

But the episode isn’t just a recounting of a personal experience. Sarah Jane delves into the various ways one can feel God’s presence, from worship and prayer to fellowship and tithing. She offers practical advice on how to seek God deliberately, even through discomfort, and shares a poignant reminder from Matthew 7:7-8 about the promise of seeking and finding.

If you’ve ever felt like your spiritual life could use a refresh, or if you’re simply fascinated by the diverse ways people encounter the divine, this episode is a must-listen. Sarah Jane’s insights and the serene backdrop of her retreat will inspire you to explore new avenues in your faith journey.

Don’t miss out on this soul-nourishing conversation. Tune in, let the tranquility of the monastery envelop you, and perhaps, find a satisfied soul in your own everyday life.

Remember to leave your thoughts in a review wherever the podcast is found, and connect with Sarah Jane on Instagram to continue the conversation. It’s time to step into a space where it’s less of you and more of Him. Listen now and be transformed.

Listen Here

If you are more of a reader than a listener, check out the full podcast transcription below.

Welcome. ​You’re ​listening ​to ​the ​satisfied ​soul, ​where ​I ​help ​believers ​untangle ​messy ​theology. ​

As ​a ​pastor ​and ​clinical ​therapist, ​I ​am ​passionate ​about ​helping ​people ​discover ​how ​God’s ​word ​is ​intended ​to ​bring ​direction, ​safety ​through ​boundaries, ​mental ​healing, ​and ​help ​you ​enjoy ​your Christian ​journey. ​

Join ​me ​as ​we ​shake ​off ​the ​boring ​of ​God’s ​word, ​find ​a ​love ​for ​his ​truth, ​and ​discover ​a ​satisfied ​soul ​in ​our ​everyday ​life.

About ​a ​year ​ago, ​I ​was ​having ​a ​conversation ​with ​someone…she ​was ​a ​fellow ​pastor, ​female ​pastor, ​actually, ​a ​group ​of ​female ​pastors ​I ​was ​talking ​to ​about ​being ​in ​the ​presence ​of ​God. ​

I ​have ​felt ​the ​Holy ​Spirit’s ​presence ​when ​I ​am worshiping, ​or ​even ​when ​my ​sister ​Jamie ​is ​singing. ​The ​girl ​has ​such ​an ​angelic ​voice. ​God ​gifted ​her ​with ​an ​amazing ​talent. ​And ​so ​when ​I ​hear ​her ​sing, ​it ​just ​makes ​me ​feel ​like ​I’m ​in ​his ​presence. ​

I ​have ​felt ​his ​comforting ​and ​directive ​presence. ​During ​tough ​times, ​whenever ​something ​bad ​has ​happened ​or ​something ​that ​has ​just ​broke ​my ​heart, ​I ​have ​felt ​his ​arms ​around ​me, ​telling ​me, ​it’s ​going ​to ​be ​okay. ​

Although ​I ​know ​these ​were ​moments ​I ​experienced ​his ​presence, ​how ​they ​were ​describing ​it, ​these ​female ​pastors, ​how ​they ​were ​describing ​it ​to ​me ​seemed ​a ​bit ​more ​like ​an ​out ​of ​body ​experience ​that ​I ​had ​not ​yet ​had. ​

One ​of ​them ​suggested ​that ​I ​go ​to ​a ​monastery ​for ​a ​retreat. ​I ​told ​her ​that ​was ​bizarre ​because ​I’m ​not ​Catholic, ​but ​she ​reassured ​me ​that ​I ​should ​just ​give ​it ​a ​try. ​And ​trusted, ​and ​I ​trusted ​her ​opinion. ​I ​mean, ​she ​was ​one ​of ​my ​friends, ​and ​I ​knew ​she ​wasn’t ​Catholic, ​and ​I ​knew ​that ​she ​very ​diligently ​sought ​after ​the ​Lord. ​And ​so ​when ​she ​said, ​you ​should ​try ​it, ​I ​thought, ​okay, ​I’ll ​give ​it ​a ​try. ​

I ​spent ​three ​days ​and ​two ​nights ​with ​the ​monks. It ​was ​a ​form ​of ​his ​presence ​I ​had ​never ​felt ​before. ​It ​was ​the ​coolest ​thing. ​These ​monks ​were ​so ​sweet ​and ​kind ​and ​generous. ​I ​mean, ​last ​podcast, ​I ​was ​talking ​about ​the ​fruit ​of ​the ​spirit. ​I ​could ​not ​have ​seen ​it ​any ​more ​clearly ​displayed ​than ​what ​I ​saw ​with ​these ​monks. ​

There ​was ​an ​area ​where ​we ​had ​sleeping ​quarters, ​and ​I ​had ​my ​separate ​bedroom. It ​was ​very ​minimalist. ​There ​was ​a ​bed, ​a ​dresser, ​a ​desk ​and ​a ​chair ​in ​this ​room. ​And, ​when ​you ​left ​the ​room, ​down ​the ​hall ​was ​the ​communal ​bathroom ​with ​showers. ​And ​then ​up ​the ​road, ​up ​a ​hill ​was ​actually ​where ​the ​monastery ​were, ​where ​the ​monks ​lived, ​and ​where ​the ​kitchen ​was. ​And ​so ​that’s ​where ​we ​went ​for, all ​of ​us ​who ​stayed ​there ​went ​for ​food, ​as ​well ​as ​worship.

They ​had ​services ​every, ​like, ​2 ​hours. ​And in ​the ​past, when ​I ​had ​attended ​Catholic ​mass, I ​just ​thought ​it ​was ​just ​boring ​and ​ritualistic. I ​don’t ​know, ​maybe ​the ​monks ​do ​it ​differently. ​But ​when ​I ​had ​attended, ​I ​attended ​probably ​four ​of ​them ​per ​day. ​I ​didn’t ​go ​to ​all ​of ​them. ​There ​was ​an ​early ​morning ​one ​that ​was ​04:00 ​a.m. ​In ​the ​morning. ​Not ​a ​fan ​of ​04:00 ​a.m. ​In ​the ​morning. ​But ​I ​did ​go ​to ​most ​of ​them, ​and ​they ​don’t ​last ​very ​long. ​They’re, ​like, ​20,30 ​minutes ​long. ​

The ​longest ​one ​is ​the ​04:00 ​a.m.. ​One. ​And ​also ​the ​07:00 PM. ​One ​is, ​uh, ​a ​longer ​one ​because ​they ​also ​do ​a ​blessing during ​that ​time. ​They ​actually ​open ​up ​the ​psalms ​and ​sing ​them. ​Now, ​some ​of ​the ​services, ​they ​sing ​them ​in ​Latin. ​Some ​of ​them, ​they ​sing ​them ​in ​English. ​The ​early ​morning ​one ​is ​definitely ​in ​Latin. ​And ​the ​07:00 ​PM ​is ​in ​Latin. ​The ​other ​ones ​were ​in ​English. ​And ​they ​have ​books ​for ​you, ​and ​they ​ask ​you ​to ​sing ​along ​if ​you’re ​comfortable ​with ​it. 

It ​was ​amazing. ​I ​sat ​there ​in ​awe. ​They ​sounded ​like ​angels. ​It ​just ​was ​the ​most ​sweetest ​thing ​I ​had ​ever ​experienced. ​And ​the ​whole ​time, ​you ​feel ​like ​you’re ​in ​God’s ​presence ​because ​it’s ​so ​quiet ​and ​so ​peaceful. ​There’s ​no ​electronics ​there. ​You’re ​out ​in ​the ​middle ​of ​a ​ravine. ​There’s ​mountains ​on ​each ​side ​of ​you, ​and ​there’s ​a ​river ​down ​next ​to ​you. It‘s ​just ​very ​peaceful. ​

And ​you’re ​actually ​encouraged ​to ​be ​quiet. ​You ​can ​talk ​in ​your ​room. ​You ​can ​whisper ​on ​property. ​You ​can ​talk ​louder ​when ​you’re ​kind ​of ​off ​property if ​you ​go ​hiking. But ​in ​the ​cafeteria ​and ​then ​in ​a ​church, ​it’s ​zero ​talking. So the ​idea ​is ​to ​be ​in ​a ​space ​where ​you’re ​drawn ​closer ​to ​God. ​It’s ​less ​of ​you ​and ​more ​of ​him. ​

So it was, like ​I ​said, ​a ​form ​of ​his ​presence ​that ​I ​had ​just ​never ​felt ​before. The ​silence ​was ​all ​consuming, ​reassuring, ​and ​comforting ​all ​at ​the ​same ​time. It ​felt ​like ​I ​was ​sitting ​at ​his ​feet, ​at ​God’s ​feet, ​while ​angels ​and ​all ​of ​heaven ​were ​worshipping ​him.

There ​are ​many ​ways ​to ​be ​in ​his ​presence. The ​five ​that ​I ​think ​are ​the ​most ​common, ​or ​basically ​what ​everything ​can ​be ​lumped ​into, ​is ​number ​one ​in ​worship. ​That’s ​actually ​probably ​the ​most ​common ​one ​where ​people ​have ​reported ​feeling ​being ​in ​his ​presence ​in ​prayer. ​That’s ​probably ​the ​next ​most ​common, ​where ​people ​have ​said ​that ​they ​felt ​like ​they ​were ​in ​his ​presence. ​In ​his ​Word, in ​fellowship, ​and ​actually ​in ​tithing.

 ​So ​there ​are ​actually ​things ​you ​can ​do ​to ​help ​you ​feel ​more ​like ​you’re ​in ​his ​presence ​in ​those ​five ​settings. 

So ​the ​first ​one ​is ​worship. ​We’re ​to ​put ​ourselves  ​in ​a ​position ​that ​is ​uncomfortable. ​

Sometimes ​worship ​needs ​to ​be ​uncomfortable ​because ​you’re ​putting ​yourself ​aside, ​you’re ​dying ​to ​self, ​so ​getting ​uncomfortable. ​And ​instead ​of ​focusing ​on ​the discomfort, ​focus ​on ​finding ​him ​within ​it. ​

So ​if ​I’m ​uncomfortable ​and ​I’m ​in ​an ​uncomfortable ​position ​when ​I’m ​dying ​to ​myself, ​I ​have ​to ​be ​very ​deliberate ​to ​look ​at ​God.

Um, ​Matthew ​7:7-8 ​says, keep ​on ​asking, ​you ​will ​receive ​what ​you ​ask ​for. ​Keep ​on ​seeking ​and ​you ​will ​find ​it. ​Keep ​on ​knocking ​and ​the ​door ​will ​be ​opened ​to ​you. ​For ​everyone ​who ​asks ​receives, ​everyone ​who ​seeks, ​finds, ​and ​everyone ​who ​knocks, ​the ​door ​will ​be ​opened. ​

So ​we ​are ​to ​put ​ourself ​in ​an ​uncomfortable ​position, ​seeking ​after ​him. And ​worship ​is ​one ​of ​the ​coolest ​ways ​or ​times ​to ​do ​that, ​because ​you ​are singing ​his ​praises, ​glorifying ​him, ​worshipping ​him. ​But ​if ​you ​do ​it ​in ​an ​uncomfortable ​way, ​then ​you’re ​dying ​to ​self.

So ​some ​uncomfortable ​ways ​most ​people ​worship, ​like ​sitting ​down ​and ​singing ​songs, ​or ​they ​stand ​up, ​raising ​their ​hands. ​ ​And ​if ​you’re ​one ​of ​those, ​then ​probably ​anything ​outside ​of ​that ​will ​be ​uncomfortable.  ​But ​if ​you ​tend ​to ​be ​somebody ​that’s ​a ​little ​bit ​more ​expressive ​in ​your ​worship, ​maybe ​you ​raise ​your ​hands, ​maybe ​you ​wave ​your ​hands, ​maybe ​you ​pump ​your ​hands ​up, ​maybe ​you ​kneel ​down. I ​mean, ​you ​could ​go ​even ​more ​extreme ​with ​your ​worship ​in ​that. You ​could ​lay ​face ​down ​like ​prostate, ​the ​Bible ​calls ​it, ​and ​bow ​yourself ​towards ​him ​in ​reverence. ​I’ve ​seen ​people ​run ​while ​they ​worship. ​I’ve ​seen ​people ​dance ​while ​they ​worship. You could be kneeling with ​your ​head ​down ​and ​your ​legs ​tucked ​up ​underneath ​you. ​That’s ​actually ​called ​child’s ​pose, ​but ​it’s ​a ​vulnerable ​state ​of ​being ​in ​worship. ​

And ​so ​you ​could ​be ​doing ​all ​of ​those ​things ​to ​put ​yourself ​in ​the ​uncomfortable ​position ​so ​that ​you’re ​dying ​to ​yourself.

Tune in next time to read/listen to Part Two!

Thank you for being here.

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