Every year, we set aside an extraordinary amount of time to spend with God and one another. Many of us learn something or have an aha that we just don’t want to let go of. If you have something you’d like to share, we’d love to hear from you. The best way for us to stay connected to God is to remember what He has done. Today we get to hear from Kelby Bruno. Kelby is married to Chris and mom to Cade and Chase. Did you know she was a professional windsurfer and competed on the world tour with world class windsurfers? NBD as the kids say… she did that in the middle of becoming an awesome singer/songwriter. Next time you see her, be sure to give her some love.
“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
The retreat was a great weekend of being reminded of the “trues” that we mostly know, but we forget! As I set out for the weekend, I had no idea (like most women’s retreats) what to expect. Every time I go to a retreat, God is up to something different! I had decided to go earlier this year,(although it took me twice as long to register), I knew that leading up to the retreat, things would start to get hectic. They always do! Kids get sick, the week seems overwhelming, anxiety sets in, just to name a few. You find yourself a day or two before questioning, “Should I really go?” Well, I do know a few things about that nasty little devil that tells us and discourages us from almost everything good in our life; so I did start to pray and stand on the fact that I had already decided to go. I had already agreed with God that He would speak to me on some level, and that fellowship with the body is always God’s heart. Nevertheless, the battle was still there. As me and my roommates forged ahead in somewhat of a disheveled state, we did make it to the beautiful setting of the retreat and could then start to settle our hearts.
The great thing to find out is that we were not alone. Many women faced these similar feelings, setbacks and apprehensions. As the retreat started and the women began to share through the teachings, #1 we are not alone in our struggle. So often you feel you are the only one that “doesn’t have it together”. You seldom release yourself to the fact that it’s ok to not be “ all together” and that you can just come as you are. We need to let not only our self, but also others to do that too. Fact #2, is that Jesus had already ordained us to be there. Individually, and as a group, His sovereign hand and mind had something to say to us personally. What did He say to you? What did He say to us? What He said to me is that I needed to be reminded once again of His loving truths in my life. I so often forget the important things that I believe through the ups and downs of life. His loving hand wanted to reach out and encourage me upward through the teaching of the Word, corporate worship and adoration, fellowship with women, friendships rekindled, on top of enjoying the moment of His creation and being “away” with Him. It wasn’t just another lunch date or walk; it was a time that He was going to speak through all these things. He needed to remind me that “little foxes” come to attack the fruitful vine He has planted in my heart and life. Yes! He has planted a fruitful vine in our life because we love Jesus! That is just one thing He spoke. He let me see the hearts of other women that spoke honestly and humbly and broken about their struggles, which in turn helped others to open up and receive the healing they needed. He reminded us as a group that we all need healing in different areas, and that He has enough of Himself to heal all of us at the same time in different areas. It was marvelous! He reminded me that as we welcomed new people to our lives, He was also rekindling people that we have known for a while, but only in part. He was developing and forming new friendships.
By Sunday, we women felt full. We felt encouraged and loved. We felt that God had so undeniably met us where we were. Not that everything is done, but for this time and place the Lord was able to speak to us. It was a time to invite new things and be open for the “new” season that God has put us in. As I read and meditated on Philippians 3:12-13, it reminded me that I must do this. Forget what lies behind. Don’t look in the rearview mirror. Press on to what the Lord has ahead. Press on to what the Lord has in the here and now. Remind yourself of the trues that He has spoken to your heart. God Bless you.