you guys like the new skin? courtesy of my pogi husband… well, here’s my testimony on the retreat; i wanted to document it here too:
my testimony from the retreat
last night, we came back home from the annual sjbci family retreat.
last year, we couldn’t attend because i had em, and needed to devote my time to focus on my new role as a mom. this year, we planned to take emma so she could make friends but we both caught a cold that week, so we decided for emma’s best interest for her to stay with my parents for the weekend so we both could recuperate. it ended up being a good idea because we were able to devote some time to each other, and to what God was doing in people’s lives that weekend. it was a little difficult though to leave her, and admit there were secret times i cried cuz she wasn’t there. nevertheless, i’m thankful, like really thankful that we went this year. i was in need, and God covered it over and over and over again through His word, through his people…
rom1:12…”I’m eager to encourage you in your faith,
but I also want to be encouraged by yours.
In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other.”
i came back from the retreat and this was the first verse i read, and it was the sweetest reminder of how God covered us this retreat. i’ll try my hardest to be brief and concise, so i’ll list the 3 things of greatest blessing to me. so this was the retreat through my eyes.
we had testimony time saturday night which included all the ya/yb, and to my surprise everyone came. despite their fatigue from minimal sleep the night before, despite the uncomfortable heat for those in the cabins, despite tepid dramas, despite overkill on the day’s activities, everyone gathered in a circle, unmic-ed and willing to share. the beginning went a little slow, having talked about things we learned in classes and sermons, but it transformed into a meeting of specific personal stories of struggles. i heard testimonies of people struggling for change, struggling to trust God with things they fear of letting go, struggling with certain familial behaviors, and even relationship issues, and it reminded me how God is real to tug at your heart if you are willing to listen. and this was the yb….they’re willing to change, and that’s what i got most from them. i was moved with their change. i think as adults, we try so hard to minimize change in our lives, in our relationships, and in ourselves, because we get so comfortable not to let go and think we’re old enough to know what’s good for us, but these young believers amazed me…they’re challenging themselves…hoping to live out a life to trust God. i know it’s a slow progression for some, passionate for others, but i have faith that God’s doing His thing nevertheless.
even after the retreat, here and there, i’m getting after-testimonies, hearing some people’s thoughts about change, and it encourages me…man…this weekend, the altar became a platform of change and promises. it was such a place that was able to debilitate and rejuvenate. man. you ever wonder how Jesus does that? how he can break the strongest heart in love, through words, through songs, through a simple idea, through silence…who says my God does not speak in our day? glory to God.
to be honest, i’ve shared with some people before the retreat how discouraged i felt on teaching this year because in my shortsightedness, i didn’t think anyone would listen. i felt that what God was asking them in the lesson was archaic and that the standards were unreachable, impossible, and they’d disagree on what had to be said. but before the retreat, i was corrected and reminded that God alone has the conclusion in His hands, and that all i had to do was deliver his word. i know this paragraph is really only gonna relate with those in my class but there’s two things i want to stress. Sold out and Trust. most of the time, in our decisions, we know what to do, despite our pros and cons in our heads and outside voices, there’s something in us telling us that something’s lacking, yet we rationalize how good it feels at the moment, how its consequences are trifle and the effects or ripples in our decisions won’t yield big diameters, but we have to simplify everything to God’s heart for us. We need to keep the standard of God’s will for our lives within vision. Then we need to trust God with the things we want, in the areas we try so hard to take care for ourselves. Sometimes trust is such an obscure word until we’re challenged to act on it, until we come to a crossroad where we might actually lose something to which we cling so hard. But like we learned in our lesson yb, there are promises within the hurt, and peace like nobody’s momma! and somewhere down that road, there’s promise of something greater…be glory conscious…
perze and i were talking before the retreat, admitting that there were signs that Satan didn’t want us coming to the retreat. He’s sneaky man…he gave emma and i an amazing cold, he made us doubt leaving emma with my parents, he stirred quarrels between us, he discouraged me to teach…by God’s grace, we were so renewed through the messages and altar call. i’m telling you, that altar was debilitating and rejuvenating because you hand over your brokenness and God hands you wholeness. you bring your inadequacies, and he right goes and gives you sufficiency. i took home a lot of practical things to build strength for our marriage and our family. that means a lot to me, because i really need to get it into me that i’m responsible for my family now…my main role is not a daughter anymore…and i know slowly the role of a mom is still maturing in me, but i want to make the foundation of God evident in the home now. i know it sounds a bit dramatic, but i hope in the few last days of my life, i have the assurance that my family doesn’t just know the Lord, but they’re completely in love with him. i want to live that dream out with perze…
so after the retreat…i’ve been talking with a couple people bout serious stuff, and i want you guys to know i’m praying for you specifically…the retreat was time out, a place and time we could sit still to listen…but the important time is now…it’s tomorrow…continue to search and listen…now that the drums have faded and our hearts have stopped beating loudly, God’s still saying the same thing…so don’t get lost in life’s noise…
to God be the glory…