Ladies, who is that older Christian woman you admire? You know the one. The one who is a picture of grace. The one who has it all together, and not only is it all together, but it’s tied up in a neat little raffia bow with wildflowers in it, and pine cones hot-glued to the center!
The last message at the retreat was a heart question: What if God wants to use me just as I am? Could I handle that, or do I need to fix God’s work? Now, this does not mean that I/we don’t have sins and behaviors that need addressing. What it means is, your alter-ego needs to die. You know what I mean—that person you pretend to be when you are trying to impress people. That person mentioned above who is usually a sweet older lady, and in your mind you believe she is perfect, and the most spiritual woman you know. And so you try to be her and not you when you are around your Christian friends.
It’s completely futile and exhausting. Stop it.
God gave you a personality, and He’s not necessarily going to change that just because you’re a Christian. He changes your heart, and He changes your desires, but that doesn’t mean He will change your boldness, your passion for bikes, or your whatever. Name the personality trait that you think is bothersome to people. You don’t have to stop being bold, for example, just because you are a Christian now. What if God put that quality in you so that He could use it for His purposes? Will you allow Him?
This is a freeing message, and although I am pretty sure I have long ago murdered that phony on the inside of me, it is still a comforting message to hear, and a wonderful reminder that I don’t need to try and resurrect the alter ego.
There was a lot of other stuff I liked about this weekend:
One thing I really appreciated was that all women were invited. Nursing moms with infants, relatives from other towns, and friends from other churches.
The schedule included plenty of free time, including time for shopping, which if you know where I live (small town with nothing but Walmart), you know how important that is. And a great touch by one of the organizers–she had name tags made for everyone that were laminated, and they included the entire weekend schedule on the back. These were on lanyards for us when we arrived. And we got t-shirts and lots of other gifts and prizes! What woman doesn’t like gifts? We also had time for hiking, swimming, relaxing, and playing games as well.
But what was the absolute, hands-down, best thing about this retreat?
We had a chef. Oh, my. A chef. Nobody who attended had to cook at any time. Ever. And wow, did they feed us like royalty. If anyone went hungry, it was her own fault.
I hope I get to attend the next one!