The weekend is over. The retreat was everything I had hoped for and more. Our speaker, Renee Swope from Proverbs 31 Ministries, definitely had inspired words for us. To try to sum up a weekend's worth of messages would not do it justice, but she gave me the motivation to bring God's peace, perspective, and passion into my everyday life. She used different stories from the Bible to remind us that we are chosen, that we are valuable, and that we belong to God, no matter what. No matter what brokenness fills our lives and our hearts, Jesus wants to take that from us and fill us up with Him, the Living Water. She took us through a devotional based on the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4). She came to the well in the heat of the day when no one else would be there to cast shame on her for the choices she'd made to try and fill the empty places. Jesus met her there, revealed Himself to her, and offered her the Living Water.
Renee encouraged us to remember our own stories of coming to faith. I remember I was sitting on my bed feeling very alone in a new marriage that wasn't working out how I'd hoped. It was not filling up the emptiness I'd carried for a long time. I cried out, "Oh my God, I can't do this by myself anymore." Very clearly in my heart I heard, "You don't have to." I know the Lord spoke to me that day, started to gather me to Himself, love me, show me that my sins are covered by His grace and lead me in the direction He needs me to go. But where are we going? It doesn't matter. I will follow.