5 Blessings from Retreat 2011
- in a marriage that ended in a divorce;
- in financial stress because of finishing my education and because of unexpected bills;
- in health regarding a badly hurt back and broken shoulder;
- and in fearing that my dreams would never materialize.
If it wasn’t for being able to draw upon God’s strength, I don’t know where I would be today. But since God is faithful to His promises and His character, I have overcome (or am overcoming) these difficulties.
Because of these strength-buster events, this year’s women’s retreat topic was of special interest to me: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12).
3 women shared their story (at retreat) about how God strengthened them. Their talks were frank and vulnerable. Debbie shared how she found strength to overcome bad decisions which impacted her financially. Pam shared how she found wellness and strength in her many continuous health issues. Lastly Jenny shared how she trusts God’s truths enough to believe she was created to dream and to see those dreams fulfilled. I saw in each of their stories that God was faithful to them too. I came away greatly encouraged.
Below are 5 more blessings I saw this past weekend.
1. Everyone came home well. There were no accidents, near accidents or illnesses while travelling to and from or while at the conference center. This is always a HUGE blessing. Right, Marsha?!
2. I roomed with my sista. I don’t think we’ve been room mates since I was in high school and we shared a bunk bed. I am glad to tell you there was no fighting or pouting. Instead I felt comforted to room with her since my gallbladder wasn’t too happy and my shoulder gave me some pain. I enjoyed our conversations at weird times during the night. (I did miss Lorna though.)
3. The talks made an impact on behaviour and thinking. I.e. About 9 times I heard a woman state, “I was going to buy xyz, but then I remembered Debbie’s talk and I changed my mind.” At my table-time during Jenny’s talk, I realized that others have the same fears and questions I have regarding dreams. I was encouraged by this and motivated to get to the next step in growth.
4. Women connected with one another. It was so cool to see women playing games, chatting in groups, laughing and teasing, praying and crying, walking in pairs, and intently listening to one another. We connected on a friendship level as well as on a spiritual level.
5. Communion was powerful. Elise explicitly stated what Our Lord went through (bodily) at His crucifixion. Jessica pointed us to the song In Christ Alone where it says we are “bought with the precious blood of Christ.” Singing this song during communion was especially meaningful. Lorelei signed the words and that moved me to tears several times because it was so beautiful.
It was the prayer of the Women’s Ministry team that the women experience God’s faithfulness and strength this weekend. We also prayed they’d experience connection with the material, the speakers, and each other. I am grateful that God did all this and more.
Share your blessings in the comments or write a post and link up with Susanne’s meme, Friday’s Fave Five. If you went to retreat, PLEASE share a blessing or two (or five).