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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Women's Retreat

If you're like me, when you hear the word "retreat" you envision blindfolds, planks, and a collective "you can trust me."

I think it was the second time we visited our new church when the retreat was mentioned. In my mind, I immediately filed that in the maybe department. 

However, it was mentioned week after week and I grew more and more accepting of the "challenge". A challenge because it was beyond my comfort zone.

They seriously wanted me to go spend the night, talk about my faith, and sing some songs around a campfire. The more I thought about it the more my anxieties began to set in. The what ifs. What if I don't measure up? What if it's uncomfortable? What if they talk about something that is so above me? What if, what if, what if. 

Then, I remembered. God so perfectly placed me right here at this time that I needed to trust Him. I needed to trust that He knew what I needed even when I wasn't sure myself. 

What if He was beginning to answer my prayers little by little? What if He was now ready to show me what in my heart I was ready for?  What if I just let myself walk alongside Him?

We arrived yesterday evening to the women's retreat. With little expectation, but the buzz of excitement. 

We crafted, we prayed, we sang, we ate, we laughed, we cried, and we listened to Vickie Henderson pour into us about discovering the glory of God. 

It was such a treat. 

After our first session last night, we enjoyed a bonfire while singing songs. The first song up was 10,000 Reasons. 

The very song that has basically became my confirmation song. The very song that lulled me to sleep while Ryan and I were separated by 4 doors each night in the hospital. The very song that some days brings nothing but smiles, while other days it's heavy with tears. The very song that is mine. 

And as I sat there in tears, enjoying my song, barely whispering the words I just knew that God was giving the desires of my heart. 

And I continue to watch these little gifts from above continue to open. 

Some of the greatest memories of my youth is the big slumber parties we use to have. So many girls crammed into one room with nothing but our stories to share and our laughs. The older we get, the quicker those experiences begin to fade. You get a couple more shots at it here and there- a milestone birthday, a bachelorette party, and typically wedding rehearsal night. It's just not enough especially when you are constantly growing. Changing. Maturing. We laughed so hard and shared with each other so much. Dave Ramsey, parenting, home schooling, past relationship, our marriages, you name it, it was probably talked about. The beautiful part was it was safe. Free of judgment. We are all women carrying different burdens. We are sinful in nature, but each of us are working so hard to glorify God in everything we do. Failing so miserablably, but continually asking Him to guide our steps and show us His way. We caught ourselves asking how we can do better as parents. It was light hearted to the down right heavy. But it was necessary. It was necessary for growth. Growth in ourselves, in our faith, and in our relationships. 

Ultimately, those are my biggest takeaways from the retreat. These friendships that God so graciously blessed me with continues to show me the person I want to be. I feel blessed to have stepped outside of my comfort zone. I love the fire that is burning hot inside of me. I love seeing God in the little things and going beyond my expectations in the big. I pray that I continue to walk in faith with Him and that these sweet sisters of mine walk it with me. 

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