As a mom to two little ones, I don't often have the chance to get away for time for myself. I was lucky enough that John agreed to stay with the kids (he had back-up from his mom) so I could attend the women's retreat at our church Friday night and Saturday. I looked forward to it as a chance to set aside my responsibilities as wife and mother and focus on myself and my relationship with God.
The theme for the weekend was “Restore. Renew. Rejoice.” and we welcomed Holly Snell and Heather Gilion as our speakers. They are authors of the book Dancing on My Ashes. These girls are a lot of fun, but more importantly they have an amazing story of God's healing and His great love. The weekend was filled with prayer, worship, time in God's word, fellowshipping with other women, and plenty emotion.
I heard many powerful and insightful things from Heather and Holly both from their own experiences and what they drew from God's Word. I wanted to share what spoke most to me.
We all have labels we live with. They may be labels given to us by others, by ourselves, our circumstances, or our choices, but often these negative labels keep us from experiencing what God intended for us. They separate us from His love because we don't feel good enough or worthy enough. The Bible reminds us that none of us are worthy of the love He freely gives us, but it is there for us to take. God wants us to see ourselves as He sees us-perfect, new creations.
Isaiah 62:2-5 (MSG) You'll get a brand-new name straight from the mouth of God. You'll be a stunning crown in the palm of God's hand, a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God. No more will anyone call you Rejected, and your country will no more be called Ruined. You'll be called Hephzibah (My Delight), and your land Beulah (Married), because God delights in you and your land will be like a wedding celebration. For as a young man marries his virgin bride, so your builder marries you, And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride, so your God is happy with you.
God does not promise His followers easy lives free from heartache and pain. What He promises is that He will always be with us. His love is sufficient to meet all our needs. Most importantly, if we cling to God and live in relationship with Him, He has promised us eternal life with him in heaven.
This weekend, I was restored and renewed. I was reminded of the work God has already done in my life and of the work He promises to do in me if I continue to seek Him.
You can visit Holly & Heather's Facebook page here.