Since I’d never been to any sort of retreat before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I did know that there would be no cell service and limited WiFi, where mama could get some rest! ??
So, I packed up my things, left my kiddos with daddy and made the trip to NaCoMe. The drive itself was beautiful, as the camp is in a very remote area.
We spent the weekend in the quiet; kayaking, walking and listening to testimonies from women- all with different stories, but the theme was the same.
At one point or another, for varying lengths of time, we’ve all felt alone. We’ve all felt that God had abandoned us; that God had forgotten us; that we were set apart- but not in the way that we had been told we would be set apart. In fact, it was the exact opposite.
And while some of the stories were that of abuse, neglect, addiction, or abandonment- we’ve all made it to the other side. As my good friend Heather said, “He left the 99 for the 1- me.”
Each testimony shared that weekend were from 1’s- those of us who had strayed in our faith (even when we didn’t realize it), or who actually didn’t have a faith or who had yet to experience God working in our life.
We had a shell of a faith- we knew the outward expressions, the story of the gospel, but we didn’t have a living, breathing faith- until life happened to us.
Experiencing the negative, the suffering, the brokenness led us to our faith. It brought us to a new understanding, a new relationship with God and a renewed and restored faith.
As I shared my story, I shared my thoughts on suffering. What I’ve learned is that suffering is a necessity. Life, here on Earth, can’t be perfect. It never will be. And, although I’ve already experienced much suffering, I know that there is more to come.
I’m on the other side- for now.
My story isn’t over.
Struggling and suffering is a reminder that this is our temporary home. It’s a reminder that one day, we can escape this world. It’s a motivator to walk closer to God.
I was restored over the weekend with a much needed break from this fast-paced world, but one day I will be completely restored.
1 bring back (a previous right, practice, custom, or situation); reinstate.
◦ return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position.
◦ repair, fix, mend, refurbish, recondition, rehabilitate, rebuild, reconstruct, remodel, overhaul, redevelop, renovate
For more information on the retreat, click here.