Monday, March 1, 2010
This past weekend was a women's retreat with our church. Retreat...doesn't it just bring to mind a picture of rest, relaxation and good times? That's what I was hoping for and that is apparently not what I needed. The theme was "Image Is Everything" and what that meant was that the image we present to others is the sum total of experiences we've had. Image is neither good nor bad, it just is. We were encouraged to ask Jesus to bring to light all the things about our image we should leave there at the retreat and all the things we should take with us. It was in essence, a time of healing, at least for me. I was asked many times toward the end "Did you have fun?" and I always hesitated, not knowing what to say. FUN - heck no! Fun is not the word I would use to describe sleepless nights, wrestling with yourself and your anxieties, and staring down the most painful things of your life. Was it good - yes. ABSOLUTELY. Was it fun? Honestly, it was the farthest thing. Would I go again? In a heartbeat. How could you not want freedom from your chains? How could you not want lies you believe about yourself to be uncovered and the truth that God loves you and thinks you are beautiful to penetrate to the deepest parts of your soul? If God thinks you are lovable, beautiful, worthy and you see Him as the final authority for your life - then absolutely NOTHING anyone else can say about you matters. I hope every person that ever reads this believes that. And my prayer actually is that as you read this, God starts the process that helps you come to know it at the deepest parts of your soul too. The journey might be painful, but I encourage you to hold on, press into Him when it hurts, and let Him do His work in you. I believe beyond on a shadow of a doubt that this part of the journey was necessary for me to be in ministry.