I had no idea a weekend could change my life...
How to you write about something you haven't even begun to grasp? Just when you think you can wrap your mind around some of it, He blows you away again...
How do you write about something which you can't yet describe? Words will never seem adequate to describe all that happened...
I have been trying to process all that went on this past weekend at the Simply Living for Him Retreat, and pretty much all I can muster up right now are tears. They just keep falling. But as one of my sisters from the weekend said...they are "glory tears."
I have seen a glimpse of His glory that I have never seen before.
I had been consumed with the details and planning and praying for this retreat for many months, and the past few weeks all of that was even more magnified. The fact that it is now over left me coming home a bit like a lost little girl...not sure what to do...but with SO much of me filled beyond compare. And I know it is just the beginning...it is not over. Something new was birthed.
Last summer I had this vision to have a ladies weekend. I had been inspired by my ladies prayer times, and God kept nudging at me to do a weekend away for ladies to come from all different places for one common goal...to seek Jesus.
Over the year I covered it in prayer constantly, and even when I would wake at night sometimes in a panic thinking,
"I have no idea what I am doing. Who am I to do this? What if it fails? What if no one comes? What if...What if..."
My mind would spiral out of control.
Yet all along He told me...
"You don't know what you are doing. But I do. Trust me. Keep going."
Praise the Lord I listened to Him and not myself. It would have been easier to listen to myself. More comfortable. More logical. But He knew what He was doing. He showed up and He worked in ways beyond my every expectation.
He blew the doors off my plans and replaced them with HIS power.
I think this sums up so perfectly our weekend. My friend Cindy posted this:
"So privileged to be in PA with my friend Amand soaking up all God has to say through Karen DeBeus. This was amazing today, 30+ ladies singing in one accord. We weren't focused on things like race, denomination, job status, marital status or who we were voting for. We were focused on one thing, Him, God our father, the only thing that truly matters. Thank you, Karen, for helping me get back to the feet of Jesus. And thank you God for loving me enough to hand pick me to be here."
It was a glimpse of God's glory and what can happen when we let Him totally lead us, obeying even when we are fearful, and how it looks when women come together for no other purpose but to seek Him.
It didn't matter where we came from or what we've been through....nothing mattered, but Jesus.
Words can not describe what happened there.
And the best thing is, it didn't end there. We have been bonded together for this world and for eternity. We have been using technology for good and are able to stay connected and encourage each other, lift each other, pray for each other...
I can hardly stop the tears as I type.
GOD IS SO GOOD.
I prayed for months and months over the names of the attendees. I had their names memorized and would wake with their names on my lips...and throughout the day I would remember to pray for them. Their names hung above my sink and my desk.
And to see the faces that went with those names this weekend was beautiful. So, so beautiful. Words don't do it justice...My heart has never been so full.
God provided more than I ever asked or dreamed this weekend. He showed me so many things and I have only begun to touch the surface of it all.
We left that place changed forever. We all took part in something so special.
It is my desire to let God continue His Work there. To step out of myself and let Him lead this.
We are planning another retreat for next year, Lord willing. I have begun to pray over it and we are going to reserve the dates now. As soon as I have them set, I will announce them. I am beginning to pray over who He will bring next year. You can begin praying about it too if you want to be a part of this amazing experience.
This is something I pray can reach even more women because it is truly transforming.
I had wanted to Facebook Live from the weekend, but course the sound would not work once again. I realized, though, God must have wanted it that way.
This was so much more than a social media post...it was a sacred time and one that needed to be treasured in hearts and not on screens.
What happened this weekend solidified many areas of what I want for my writing, speaking, and ministry. I know for sure, without a doubt now, I do not want to be known for being a blogger or a speaker, or a writer...This was so much more than just an event...this was a life changing and life giving experience.
I simply want to follow Jesus... and be known for following Jesus...
I praise the Lord that I have weeded out the details that come along and make ministry feel heavy...like you"should" do this and that... yet, God is in control of this. It is His.
In the next few weeks, I will make available the recordings for anyone who would like to hear them. In the meantime, enjoy some glimpses of our retreat!
New Friends...sisters knit together!
Lunch at the Lodges
My Parents- their support was immeasurable and appreciated so much!
Friday night at the bonfire
Our amazing worship leader and dear friend, Robin. She was a blessing!
The Remedy to Chaos and Clutter- Jesus
Some fun giveaways
Sisters in Christ. Forever.
If you are interested in staying up to date on plans for the 2017 retreat please click below: