My first thought about spending an entire weekend away with 100 women was… oh my goodness. What would it be like? Would we be crying all weekend as we talked about our feelings? What about my husband? An entire weekend away from him. What about my cat Oliver? What if Joshua (my husband) forgets to feed him? Or give him water? What about the bunk beds? Or the showers? I am not a fan of public restrooms as it is so would I be able to do that for an entire weekend? I already had a couple obligations booked but they were things that I could change. My schedule ended up opening and I had ran out of excuses.
Thinking back I quickly realized how selfish I was being. What about me? What about me? What about me? The world does not revolve around me and what I want. This was an opportunity for me to get to know people I hadn’t had the chance of meeting yet. I could let go of the comforts of home for a few days.
The retreat was nothing like what I had anticipated. The scenery was out of this world. I was able to breath in the fresh country air. I gazed upon a beautiful lake every morning as the sun rose. I was reminded of my creator everywhere I looked. I could see how his tender hand had crafted the mountains and it did something on the inside of me. A God that spent so much time creating the world around me loved me even more. My heart was filled with thankfulness and I knew this was going to be the start of something new.
During one part of the retreat, we had the opportunity to talk about different things that we were going through. Listening to women describe how they had encountered sadness, disappointment, rejection, and insecurity confirmed some things in me. A lot of times as women we feel like we are the ones that need to have it together. Whether that be for our husbands or families that pressure is something we put on ourselves. But hearing how other people were dealing with things and how they continued to trust the Lord reminded me that I don’t have to do this alone. That pressure that I put on myself was something that I needed to let go of. Society tells us that we need to have it all together. Wear more makeup. Eat more salad. Lose more weight. When does it end? God never intended for us to live our lives that way.
We are beautifully and wonderfully created. We don’t have to be perfect. We can cast our cares on Him because he cares for us. We are so much more that what we think. This retreat challenged me to be vulnerable. I had been dealing with a lot of fear about becoming a mother. Would I be good at it? Would my child love me? Would my instincts kick in? So many different thoughts seemed to consume me. On the last night there, the alter was opened up for prayer. I cried in my seat as I listened to the song that was being sung. I knew I needed to go up there but I was scared and I didn’t want anyone else to know what was going on in my mind.
After a few minutes of contemplation, I made the decision to step out on faith. I didn’t know what to expect or if the person I talked to would understand. But she did. She patiently listening as I struggled through the tears to get out the words that were so deep in my heart. After she prayed, I felt different. I surrendered everything I had to the Lord and he gave me peace. I have confidence (Godfidence) through Him that He is going to give me everything I need to be the mother I desire to be. I don’t have to overcompensate for what I didn’t have. Through Him, everything has been restored.
I know that this was a long post but I needed to share my experience. If you are dealing with something please do not do it alone. Find someone that you can talk to and that will pray with you. It is so important. There are women out there that have been where you are and can share their testimony about how God carried them through it. You’ve got this. Step out on faith. I did. And it was worth every minute.
Until next time,