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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Another Retreat Coming Up

Hello there blogger world. We have begun a new year and with that comes new retreats. Our next Rachel's Vineyard Retreat is the last weekend of January. I have my first prep meeting for it this evening. There's a sense of anticipation for what is to come...a wondering of whether or not we'll have enough participants to conduct the meeting. That comes with every prep, however. We pray that God will provide the right people at the right time. It does always seem to work out...one way or another.

I'm looking forward to again being a part of something so amazing. The weekend is such a combination or raw emotions, unknown journeys and new friendships and bonds formed. When I went through my own retreat weekend, I felt all of those things. No doubt, the women who are preparing to attend as participants are probably starting to feel their anxiety levels rise. Between now and then, there will be more than enough excuses that arise to prevent them from attending. They will have conversations with themselves about whether or not they "really" need this weekend. Perhaps they are overreacting. Maybe they don't need to spend 3 days on this with people they hardly know? Yep...they'll talk all of that through.

That is one of the biggest reasons we pray for them even prior to the retreat weekend. We know the spiritual battles that come along with this, even before they set foot in the facility. But, once they follow through...once they brave those rising waters...the healing that awaits them is beyond measure and explanation. No, it's not an easy thing to do. It's work...it's hard, hard work and you are taken to places that are uncomfortable and at times, may make you want to jump up and run out of the room. BUT...BUT...fighting through all of that is what leads you to the immense healing that awaits. Being strong and trusting in God to lead you there is a blessing that stands ready if only you will accept it.

I know what these women are going through. I know what they'll face during and afterward. I know it because I experienced it firsthand. Since that weekend, I have been free. I have been able to deal with many other things in my life that have allowed me to experience my faith, my marriage, my friends and my life on a level I thought foreign or at the very least, impossible. Rachel's Vineyard gave me the tools and strength to press onward and know that fighting for my life and finding that joy was worth every frightening step it took me to get there.

As you may know, I now use that lesson to help others. I speak whenever possible and I try to be there for anyone who may need help. If we stand together...if we look at one another with compassion and love...there's nothing we cannot accomplish!

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