Monday, February 23, 2009

My Healing Retreat

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:8 (NIV)
I had the distinct privilege to attend a 2 1/2 day healing retreat at Ellel Ministries this past week. I blogged a while back about needing to find peace and healing in my life. Well, this was the event I was waiting for. I had my formal invitation for over a month after being on the wait list for about 5 months. I must say the closer the event got, the colder my feet felt. I think down deep I was afraid that I would be disappointed and that maybe just maybe God wouldn't meet me there. I had heard so many wonderful and awe-inspiring testimonies -- I began to shrink back and wonder if God was really in it for me. In the end, God did not disappoint me yet my experience was not what I expected. But as the norm for my relationship with the Almighty -- His ways are not my ways and if they were, then I would miss out some wonderful blessings. It all began on Tues evening. I arrived a long with 5 other ladies -- all of us strangers apart from a need to meet with God and for healing, answers and some kind of direction in our lives. From initial appearances, they all seemed pretty "normal" and didn't seem to be too out of whack. We were from all different walks of life - -single, married, widowed, young, middle aged, in their prime, and so on. The differences were varied but one thing we had in common was that we yielded ourselves to bring our "issues" and meet corporately individually at the foot of the cross. Appearances can be deceiving and all of us in this life have become "masters of disguise." No one really knows unless we tell them most times. The old saying goes - -"no one knows what goes on behind closed doors." The irony of the week was that we all felt a comfort and safeness about the place to be able to share with our ministry team. I told my two ladies things about my life that I have rarely spoke of and in some cases, God brought to light things I didn't realize I needed to deal with. I also am a person who doesn't really like to be alone.. In the sense that I am in constant contact with the outside world.. My PC, cell phone, ipod and home phone are never far from my reach. However, this week the Lord was sufficient. There was no TV and no computers. I had no compulsion to use my cell phone other than to call home a couple of times to tell Little Man good night. I didn't even use my ipod aside from about 5 minutes the last day. God and I had a great time getting to know one another more intimately. I felt so comfortable in His peace and presence that everything outside of that place was a non-issue. What I walked away from this past week was my need to forgive -- not others per se but more so myself. I held onto the deep-seated feelings that I must be to blame for all the things that happened to me in my life. Once I was able to give that up to the Lord, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders and I felt a lightness that I hadn't experienced before. From that point on, I started seeing other areas of my life that had been blocked my own unforgiveness. I must say, it was pretty emotional for me.. .Not in the crying so hard I can't breathe sense but the baggage I had to let go. I think I was so tired from carrying it all for soooo long that I didn't know what it was like to not walk around dragging it behind me. I came home on Thursday night and was pretty busy all day Fri and Sat. I went out with some friends on Sat night and it hit me like a ton of bricks. My body screamed for me to stop and rest. I slept most of the day on Sunday and by Monday I felt refreshed. So, I come to you many many emotional pounds lighter and tell you that my journey still continues as God brings things to mind constantly.. The difference is that I can bring them to Him and truly let them go. Back to my fellow comrades on the recent journey... it was nice to see us all bond on the 2 days we spent together. Some of the ladies shared some of their struggles --while others just listened and prayed. On our last night together, all 6 of us piled into one bedroom and just talked about God and how good He had been to us on the retreat. We all met at the foot of the cross but left somehow connected knowing that something bigger than any of us happened. I am so glad to have been on the retreat with these ladies. Their strength and encouragement are a source of strength to me.. I pray for them daily as they go back to their lives. I pray that the Lord continues to reach out to them as He has for me. I pray that the questions they had were answered. I pray that they have peace that surpasses understanding. That is my prayer for every one -- to have a saving knowledge of Christ -- to bring their burdens to the foot of the cross and find healing and forgiveness far beyond their wildest dreams. God showed me that He is bigger than any dream or expectation that I can have of Him. I have learned not to put Him in a box! Dear Father - Thank you so much for meeting with me and helping me to find forgiveness in my life. I thank You for the peace You have instilled in me. I pray that You show me how I can make a difference in the lives of others. I pray for my fellow sojourners on their path to redemption. In the name of Jesus - AMEN Application:
  • What are you struggling with in your life? Make a list and present it before the Lord and ask Him to meet you where you are.
  • Do you need healing and/or forgiveness in your life? May I suggest the following book "The Most Powerful Prayer on Earth" by Peter Horribin? It's a short but powerful read.
  • Check out the Ellel Ministries website for more info on healing retreats and powerful teachings to help you on your road to restoration -- the life the Lord intends for you to live.

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