This past weekend I went to a moms retreat. Friday evening my cousin, my friend and I packed up the car and headed about an hour and half west. We drove through the rolling hills of Tennessee and it was absolutely beautiful. I have lived here 7 years and the beauty of Tennessee has not gotten old to me. We were warned that where we were going was out in the woods and there was no cell service. It was so freeing to release the hold the phone has over me even for a few days. There was wi-fi in the dining hall so we weren’t totally in the dark ages and I was able to check in and see some pictures of my little love while she was at the Vols spring game. But I loved not having the temptation to scroll through FB or IG during downtime. It allowed for moments to reflect and listen to God speak…and that He did.
One of the things that blessed me from the weekend was hearing the testimonies of several women. These women were brave in sharing their stories and God received so much glory through it. They had been in desperate places and God rescued them. As one friend said, “He left the 99 for 1…for me.” He loves us so deeply, so relentlessly.
Our first speaker, Sue Detweiler, reminded us that we are called, chosen, picked out to be our child’s mother. With God’s grace I am the best mom for Emma Sue. It makes me tear up to think about…that God chose ME to be her mom. I pray I can keep this in the forefront of my mind even through the challenging aspects of toddlerhood.
My biggest takeaway of the weekend was confronting the lie of self-reliance. Self-reliance…it seems like a good thing right? Well it’s not a good thing when we carry all the burden and the weight of it is too heavy. We weren’t meant to go at it alone. God doesn’t want us to carry this. We are His children, He will take care of us. I went up for prayer one night and was talking with one of the prayer leaders and right away we sensed God’s presence because the things that I was sharing with her were things that she had walked through and had come out the other side. As she was praying for me she said she saw an anchor and that I needed to drop the anchor. She said that fear and control were at the root of it and that I needed to release that and trust God. Easier said than done, right? How I wish I had the words to describe the peace I felt in this moment though. I believed in my core that God sees me, He loves me and He will take care of me. In so many areas of my life I feel like if it’s going to happen it is up to me. It is a heavy burden to carry because I wasn’t meant to carry it. Earlier that day one of the speakers played the song, “I Can Only Imagine” and encouraged us to listen to what the Lord wanted to say to us. I felt in my spirit that He was telling me, “I will take care of you”. I felt that this was so surely from the Lord that I just started crying. I keep ruminating on this from one of the speakers as if it is God speaking to me:
“You don’t see everything. What you perceive as good…what you perceive as bad… I am in it all. I need you to trust Me.”
This all culminated Sunday morning when our last speaker said “We need to break agreement with the lie of self-reliance.” My heart started beating fast. My palms got sweaty. I thought I am not entirely sure what this looks like but I know I need to do this. As soon as she was done speaking I practically tackled her as I said, “what do I need to do to break the lie of self-reliance?” She smiled at me and looked at me with the kindest, warmest eyes. I felt like I was in the presence of Jesus. She led me through a prayer of confessing that I had believed that it was all up to me and asking for forgiveness for not trusting Him and stating that I was breaking agreement with this lie that I have believed for so long. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing even if I tried (do you sense a theme?) She quoted Matthew 11:28-30 to me which says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy ad my burden is light.”
These words don’t do justice to how God met me in the woods this past weekend but I at least wanted to attempt to share some of my revelations in hope that it might encourage some of you as well. If you are feeling tired and weary, if you are feeling alone, if you are feeling like it is all up to you… you don’t have to feel this way. Drop the weight, drop the anchor… you weren’t meant to carry it. He will take care of you.