Our women's retreat was this past weekend and I am still looking for the right words to describe what happened. I thought I would start with some pictures, but the camera refuses to let go of them so that I can get them on here. So I will do my best to describe how God moved in us and among us for two and half days.
As women from different churches, different denominations, different stages of life began to arrive, I could sense the peace of God filling the campground. Uptight is exactly how I normally would describe myself before something like this, but not this time. I knew God was handling every aspect. He had hand-picked each one of the women who were there. He knew what was to be said, prayed and presented. I was to be a vessel for him to use and nothing more.
On Friday night, Linda Millsaps-Jones and her Glory Bunch got us pointed straight in God's direction. Somewhere between her teaching and the worship and the prayer, God was opening something up in the heart of each woman there. He moved so mightily that worship and prayer lasted about 2 1/2 hours longer than we expected. But if God is moving and the women are following - you don't stop because of a clock!
By Saturday morning another 10 -12 women had arrived and God's presence was thick upon us. Jody Thomae and the Alabaster Worship Arts Ministry took us by the heart and hand and led us into the most amazing time of dance before the Lord. If you are thinking - I don't dance or that is not of God - guess again. Every woman who said "I don't dance" - danced, cried and enjoyed every last minute of it. So much so, that they asked for more. I stood on a chair to take pictures and thought I would bawl my eyes out with the beauty of worship that was taking place. I can only begin to imagine how God must have felt as he watched from the heavens.
As Saturday continued, women were laying stuff at the foot of the cross that they had held onto for years. Tears were shed, laughter was plentiful and lives were being healed.
By Sunday - God had done some powerful work in the lives of many of the women there. Myself included! A wonderful group of women had ministered to me in prayer on Saturday night and I cannot begin to tell you how overwhelming it was to feel God lift burdens off of me and begin some healing work in my own life. I have learned that if I am going to lead a retreat that God makes me go through it all before, during and after. I don't ever just get to talk about it - I have to live it.
So how was it? I could tell you how many women were there, but that isn't important. I could tell you some of the nice things that were said, but that isn't important either. How was it? God did some spiritual and emotional healing in many women. They testified to it themselves. God poured out His living water on some women who were dehydrated from a long season in the desert. God fed his daughters and they ate at His table. God reminded some of the hope that He is always with them and will never leave them. God opened the eyes of the hearts of some of the women to words in Psalm 61 that He wanted to tell them. God took them into a place of worship in song that they hadn't maybe ever gone before. God placed a desire for His word in another. God freed one woman from some struggles she was having as he taught her to dance before Him. God brought another back to the heart of worship. I have a feeling He did a lot more than we know.
God moved. We followed. And what a joy it was!
Thank you Father for allowing me to be a part of the journey - you never cease to amaze me.
I am a Daddy's girl - Kim