Life has been crazy for me: emotionally and physically and spiritually my walk with the Lord has not been where I wanted it to be. I have whined, pouted, hibernated, cried ~ you name it I have been doing IT to avoid finding TRUTH for me. A few weeks ago I was invited to a ladies retreat hosted by True Stories Ministries. I had heard about Story Rope Retreats by a friend in WA state and I thought this might be interesting. So I sent off an email, got the details, made arrangements for sharing a hotel room with a gal I connected with via my friend in WA.
And then two weeks before the retreat we were hit with some difficult times and information and so last week Monday I wrote an email to the gal who I was supposed to ride with and said it didn’t look like I was going to be able to go. She suggested contacting Holly or Cathy (the facilitators of the retreat). So I did. Holly and I wrote back a couple of times and then I got a phone call from Cathy saying “come, it is all going to work out” and I was feeling like I really needed some down time. Ladies retreats are fun, get to meet new friends, eat lots of good food and by getting away I might get a new perspective or a new idea on how to deal with the situations we were facing.
But by Friday morning, the devil himself was telling me I shouldn’t go and I tried to think of some really good reason why I should stay home…but God would not allow that…so off to Branson to meet up with Jo, who had driven from Wisconsin to pick me up to go to Eureka Springs!! If you know me, I have a hard time doing something or not doing something if it is going to disappoint someone. I can’t do that…so off to Branson!!! and then to Eureka Springs.
It was a relaxing drive, we made a couple of Uturns but in the end we found the motel. Country Inn of Eurkea Springs. It was nice and clean, the beds were super comfortable. And it was right across the street from a cute little restaurant and pub. The manager/owner was wonderful and ready to help out in any way possible. I wouldn’t mind going back there for a few days with Ron.
First off, here is the description of a story rope retreat: What is your story? Everyone has one! Have you wondered what purpose or value there is in your story? STORYROPE™ brings to life TRUE perspective of who you are and why you are here. As you see the presence and purposes of God in your story, you will find that you are part of His BIG story,
and your story is of great value.
Of course, I went with my agenda – how can this help GUMI Camp, be utilized here?
But GOD had other plans…this is what I wrote during our 2nd Quiet time (we had 5) “As I am sitting here lookingat lies, truth, grace and looking at my story rope I am wantng to take it all apart and redo it ~ make it right ~ it feels like I have done it all wrong. It is a jumbled mess which how I see my life ~ I work hard to make things right and to do it well. I just see mess after mess and no matter how hard I try I just screw up, getting it all wrong.
I want to tell JoAnn just take me back to teh hotel and just hibernate and be alone so I can figure it all out on my own ~ I just want to be home with Ron where even in the chaos & mess I feel safe with him. I just want to SCREAM ~ it is so much easier to just leave the stuff behind and buried and go on and live today just dealing with stuff in the moment, each day as it comes.”
I was feeling so angry…I have dealt with things from my past over and over, God has healed me from so many things. Why do I need/keep going back again and again. And I have shared my story so many times!!!! But I was there so I continued on. I didn’t hibernate though during the 2.5 hour free time I did take a nap and slept for about an hour.
After that session it turned to HOPE and I felt the Lord tugging at me and working in my heart. One of the things that was shared was that we are like a computer. We have the M drive (MIND) and H drive (HEART) and we have a Firewall between the two and sometimes we get a V (VIRUS) ~ wronged, hurt, bruised, etc. and that we have to get rid of the viruses (satan’s lies!!!) and the biggest lie in my life is “I am not good enough!!!” and God reminded me through scripture Exodus 3:1-2 To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose, a time to be born (I am not a mistake) another lie and Colossians 2:10 … and you (ME) am complete in Him! If I am complete in Him I must be ENOUGH because more can’t be added to me if I am enough!!!
And I don’t believe the Lord wants me to hash everything out over and over again BUT He does want me to tell my story, to be an encourager to others, to let others know that though we may face some difficult times in our lives, God is with us all the time, He does have a purpose for me and every time I share my story, or even a part of it HE shows me how He has been with me all the time, how far I have come in my walk with Him and how healthy I have become: emotionally and spiritually and with His help I can get healthy physically too!!!
It was a good time, I cried and laughed and cried and laughed some more. So many women came up and told me how much they appreciated my gift of humor…gift of humor?? never thought of that…I was just sharing different times in my life when I have done things or been involved in things and looking back they are pretty funny! One of the stories I shared was what I call one of my not so proud momma moments. When our boys were 4 & 2 I was not having a great day ~ in fact they were really stressng me out and I was getting more frustrated by the minute. And finally in exasperation I sent them to their room. Brandon, 2, was put on his bed (top bunk) and Jamie, 4, was told to sit on the bottom bunk and don’t move! I put one of my artificial eyes on their dresser, started out the bedroom and told them “don’t you move!” and then walked out and slammed their bedroom door. After about 45minutes I was feeling pretty guilty about scaring them like that and so I walked into their bedroom. Brandon was sound asleep; Jamie on the other hand was sitting in the same exact position he was in when I walked out. I mean, sitting there with his hands in his lap. Now years later, Jamie likes to tell me I am the reason kids go into counseling and it is the mom’ fault.*** In fact, one gal said I should become a stand up comedian!!!
And I am so glad I went.
I made new friends,
saw some beautiuful country
Beaver Lake Dam open wide!
And I was reminded how important it is to
And so today I choose to
What do you choose today??
*** Shared with permission of my son, Jamie. In fact he wrote back to me when I asked if I could share that story here on my blog “Yeah, go ahead I find it a funny story”