These are just my thoughts and reflections as I look back on this past week…
I’m not trying to preach or anything haha.
I just want to express my love for my Father.
Can I just say how amazed and in awe I am of God’s glory?
This past week has been unreal…
Tuesday: First day of retreat.
I don’t remember much. I just remember crying a lot, asking God why I didn’t feel cleansed. I thought I had already accepted Christ’s love for me.. But I still didn’t feel “white as snow” or “whole”. Everything seemed so out of reach. Pastor B’s sermon hit home though. He just laid it all out. The truth, everything. He hit us where it hurt… But it definitely woke me up.
Wednesday: Second day of retreat.
Woke up before mostly everyone and went downstairs to set up breakfast because I honestly had nothing else to do…. Han gave us a crucial seminar on reading the Word…. So wise. Haha but I had a little epiphany of sorts. I realized that all this time my soul’s been hungry, thirsty, longing for something… and I kept feeding it things from this world and it destroyed me. I feel like a part of me died… but I realized that the Word can bring me back to life. And then Pastor B’s sermon on the Prodigal Son… Except He described God as the Prodigal Father… Prodigal: one who wastes excessively. God wasted excessively to save us from the fate that we deserve.. He gave us His only Son. Wow. He hit home again. And then during small group Rick (Lyricks, the rapper, came to our retreat LOL) shared something about pride… He said “Yeah, there’s the pride when you think that you’re too good, or you’re good enough for God’s grace… But then there’s also the pride when you think your sin is so bad that God’s grace can’t cover over your sins,” after I shared about not feeling cleansed…
Thursday: Third and final full day of retreat.
Jason’s seminar on moral compromise was so good. I realized I can’t be wishy-washy about things anymore. As my small group leader Joe said, we gotta go into it “cold turkey.” No more in between stuff. I can’t just tell myself that I’ll cut back on things. I have to stop. Completely. Still gotta work on that.
And I don’t know why but for some reason I was so tired this whole retreat… I took naps all the time LOL. So unfortunately I missed Pastor B’s sermon that night… But I did listen to a good bit at the end.
During prayer, I was still crying out to God. Why do I still feel dirty and tainted? Why?
Friday: Last day!
I was not ready to leave. But Pastor B’s sermon was again… Such a blessing. He asked people to read certain passages. So I stood and read Philippians 3:7-14. While I was reading out loud to the whole room, I almost choked up….
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, 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.
Pretty sure these verses sum up what I got from this retreat.. and my new mindset/mentality on the way I will see things from now on.
I realized throughout the service and as retreat was wrapping up.. I am cleansed. I am new. I can feel whole. If I put everything into Christ. Give up everything to Him. Give Him my sin, my pride, my joy… Everything.
Even though I deserve Hell, even though I deserve to spend eternity apart from my God… He showed me grace. Now I can choose to spend eternity with Him.
But I can’t keep living in this world, idolizing the things that I think about more than my God, sinning against Him.
The theme of our retreat was ALL IN. Christ doesn’t want a piece of us. He doesn’t care that we go to church once a week, or even twice a week. It doesn’t matter that we serve as leaders or actively participate in the praise band. He wants all of us. Or nothing at all. Doesn’t He deserve at least that much? Being a Christian isn’t a label, it isn’t something you merely do once a week… It’s a commitment, a relationship. There’s a give and take like with any worldly relationship. Yes, he saved us. He redeemed us. He loves us.
It’s our turn to love Him back. To tell Him, “Yes, you are more than enough for me.”