Boy, do I have troubles!
The weeks leading up to a recent women’s retreat have been some of the most intense I’ve experienced. The time spent with the Lord was so very rich, His Word piercing, and my soul excited to learn and then get to share with ladies. But, the physical and mental battle leading up to and actually during the retreat … intense. The last morning of the retreat, I woke up with little signs of the physical problem I’d been having for over 3 weeks and the mental heaviness I’d been experiencing was lifted. Hallelujah.
Interestingly, the theme of the retreat was all about running our race of faith with endurance. Ya gotta laugh, right? I have something for you at the end of this post, so bear with me as I explain what I’m sharing with you and why.
During the retreat, we spent a lot of time in the book of Hebrews…written to encourage and strengthen those who had been hit with many trials and troubles. They were in need of endurance to keep going in their faith. Without that encouragement, without the endurance they needed, their faith was in danger. Such an applicable book and word for us all.
In the book “Self-Talk,” I refer to the movie “Inside Out” a lot because it’s such a fun and whimsical way to get us all to start thinking about what the emotional characters in our own heads are doing when trials and troubles come our way.
My favored emotional character is “Joy”…I mean who doesn’t just want to be happy, right? I like her to be at the control center of my mind and I’m all for keeping “Sadness” in her circle (a scene in the movie). So, I used a lifesized cardboard cut-out of “Joy” as the visual for the retreat. First off, we wrote down on sticky notes all the trials and troubles we were facing and then put them all over “Joy.” Then, we wrote down on more sticky notes the variety of things we begin to tell ourselves when trials and troubles come, added those to “Joy” and then discussed how easily we can start believing lies. You know, things like God must not love me, I deserve this, I don’t measure up, bad things always happen to me and on and on.
We discovered from God’s Word that when we get like these pictures of “Joy” our faith is in danger. We can grow so weighed down and weary from our trials and troubles that we can begin to lose heart and even drift or fall away in our faith. You know, we stop doing things like…digging into God’s Word, drop out of our Bible studies, small groups or even our prayer groups. We can even stop growing spiritually. Our trials and troubles can rock us to the point that we lose our confidence on many levels. We don’t talk so much about Jesus anymore. In fact, we might even stop talking to Jesus as much as we used to or maybe stop talking.
Because we all have troubles, we need to do as the author of Hebrews says…we must consider how to encourage and stimulate one another because we each are in need of endurance.
Oh, it was a rich retreat reasoning through God’s Word together…sorting out what we feel and what we say to ourselves versus God’s Word. It was mind-blowing as it blew up our #selftalk! God talk…God’s Word…is so powerful.
I created a Spotify playlist of songs that reinforce many of the Scriptures we studied during the weekend so that in the days and weeks AFTER the weekend, the women could listen to this playlist as a way to remind and reinforce all the truths we discovered, rediscovered and discussed during the weekend.
I’m sharing a link to this playlist as well as the above details as it might just be what you need to help you fix your eyes on Jesus right now rather than fixing them on your trials, troubles and all the emotions evoked by those trials and troubles. Run your race of faith dear people with endurance…fixing your eyes on Jesus…the author and perfecter of your faith.
May you be strengthened and encouraged!