A difficult topic. A necessary topic. A Godly topic.
Jessica and I led worship for a women’s retreat last month as we all grappled with the challenge of looking beyond ourselves to a bigger perspective. Our speaker shared that we often will nurse a wound, cradle it, replay the details over and over of who caused such pain to our hearts. Bitter roots grow deep and before long we are entwined in our self-made prison because we cannot or will not let go. At the end of the retreat I challenged the women to write down whatever kept them from the freedom that Christ promises: perhaps unforgiveness, self doubt, anger, worry, or fear. We then tied those papers to a balloon stating together, “Lord, I release this to You. I place the next steps into Your hands. I’m letting go!” And we did. Some women shared with me they released some deep hurts and lies that had lodged in their hearts for years. A bitter or resentful heart is a heavy weight to carry around day after day. May we let go and walk in freedom. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galations 5:1
The Power of STORIES retreat
“God wants to redeem the circumstances that have shaped your life.”
Women listened intently as I explained how God wants to use the junk, even the most painful experiences in our lives to be a connecting point with someone who doesn’t know Christ. That is . . . IF we are willing to share. There is power in the telling of how God has worked and is at work in our lives.
The vulnerable sharing that took place at this retreat was deep. I believe God set some women free that weekend. I watched the relationships deepen right before my eyes. Such a blessing! We all want to be known, but we must be willing to risk and share our stories, even with those closest to us.
Thank you for YOUR partnership in ministry through giving and praying! In addition to the retreats, I am leading a women’s group at our church, and preparing training for international outreaches for my trip to Bulgaria in July! I will share more about that trip very soon!