I want God, not my idea of God. -C.S. Lewis
I want God – a simple enough theme for a God-centered women’s retreat, yet it’s profound. The statement bubbles and overflows with anticipation of what’s to come. You think you want God? He wants you even more!
Several years ago I attended the women’s retreat with a nursing baby. It wasn’t my first time doing bringing along a short sidekick, however, this was my first time doing so with one who could crawl. Nearly my entire retreat was spent in the conference center’s foyer with half a dozen other moms. We bounced our babies on our laps as the guest speaker mouthed an entire sermon we could not hear.
At the closing session with communion and a sweet time of worship my little Energizer Bunny finally gave in and napped! I felt like a deflated balloon as I dragged my feet into the conference hall itself and plopped onto a seat in the back row. I was disappointed, and a little on the grupmy side, that I hadn’t gleaned anything out of the retreat that would serve everyday life.
Do you remember the guest speaker that had a table of different candies in hurricane vases. What the candies represented I couldn’t tell you, because I had been in the back with a baby, but as I sat down and God rushed upon me with an understanding that those Hershey Kisses were meant for me and He lavished me with kisses and love until I was overcome and undone. I cried and worshipped at the altar with other women who had heard the entire sermon series.
This year I challenge you to come to the women’s retreat with all your doubts, questions, unanswered prayers, exhaustion, and despair, because God wants you. Bring your excitement, desire to worship, the need for friendship and connection, because God wants you. Come to the retreat this year with a seeking heart and God will show you that He was there the entire time.
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened… If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Matthew 7:7-8, 11
What’s your favorite part of the women’s retreat?