Yep...like I said....Blessed!
The Lord came to me in a place of total surprise. A place in my heart that has been forgiven, but not quite healed....not because of our Lord's mercy but because of my sinful nature. I am convinced nothing is worse than knowing the Lord has forgiven you of your past, of your sins, but you cannot in turn forgive yourself.
I am very aware of certain things that hold me back in my every day life, my marriage, being fully joyful, being fully present. Unfortunately though, at these times, I get lost...I know where I am failing and don't know how to deal. Don't know how to pull myself out of the hole I have dug. I want so badly to move on, but just have not learned how to effectively do it.
This weekend taught me how to! Praise God! And it is really oh so simple...yet tricky all at the same time.
This picture sums it up....Pray and always remember the Cross.
You always hear...well your Christian but do you have a personal relationship with Christ. Hmmm....maybe?!?!
I feel like I have always longed for this relationship, but for any relationship to flourish, there must be sacrifice....and I just don't think I was fully aware of how much actual dying to self this would require. Prayer is part of my daily life, but not the type of prayer that is sacrificial. Not the type of prayer that builds but really only sustain.
A couple points from this retreat just made a home in my heart.
And it goes back to the beginning For me, understanding why exactly God made me, a woman, a female, is crucial to my existence. God made women to bear life to the world. He made us to bring hope! He made us to be a helper. He made us a specific way, for a specific reason that has totally become lost in our society.
What moved me most was God made women to bear life to the world....we are the crown of creation. This is not something to be taken lightly! If we cannot respect our bodies, if we cannot respect our sensitivity and femininity, if we cannot view our own beauty...then the point is lost. Because we are the crown of creation, because we bear life to the world....we are severely under attack!
The devil knows exactly where to get us, where to destroy our femininity, destroy the gifts God has given us, destroy the hope we are meant to bring.
The devil attacks what makes us woman right to the core! He starts with the first gift God has given us...our ability to bear LIFE! Without women...the world would not go on. New life would not begin. So it only makes sense that this would be the first place the devil would go...through contraception, through abortion, through destruction of our bodies, through denial of our beauty and self worth. When we stop putting faith in God in these areas....the devil wins. When we medicate ourselves because we refuse to allow God to work His plan in our lives...the devil wins. When we deny what makes us truly feminine as God made us...the devil wins. When we deny that we are the crowns of creation...the devil wins.
We have to be aware that we, as women, are constantly under attack! Every second of every day! And the only way to rise above these attacks....is the relationship with our Lord that I so desperately long for. And so we must learn to fight like a girl!
The second talk that just totally struck a cord with me was all about the tools we need to fight....to battle our temptations, to battle our world and all the lies it tells us each and every day! And the first way to do this is Prayer and Scripture. What a gift that we all too quickly put aside on the shelf. I feel that these two go hand in hand...and are a deadly combo to battle any attack upon us. One of the tools or weapons that I loved is Reinforcement. We need to surround ourselves with people who will battle with us, who will pray for us, who will celebrate the victories with us, who we can let our battles be known to. In addition to our husbands, for those who are married, we need women in our lives that we can trust, that will encourage us and build our hearts for Christ. That will accept our flaws and love us anyway.
The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.
~Pope Benedict XVI