If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!
Gay shared her message with us about her life in the church as a child and then the sad turn of events in her adulthood when divorce struck her family. She has had some highs and lows of life, but while she struggled she kept her faith in Him. She shared that God was always guiding her steps. Divorce, moving, career change into education, and ministries within the church have all shaped who she is. She has been involved in the Kairos Ministry with people in prisons. She shines God’s light onto these young people by the phrase: “Listen Listen, Love Love.” She has a big heart for the young men especially and offers them a retreat and mentoring. Gay is also a member of the Daughters of the King, an organization of women within the Episcopal Church who commit to daily prayer for people of our church and the greater heart of the ministry that God has for them in the church. They were the hosts of this women’s retreat! Gay’s third ministry of the church is that of Young at Heart. This is a group of the seniors of the church who gather to do monthly activities together that are fun! She had the idea, and she presented it to the priest at the time who endorsed it. It’s been a ministry of our church for years now. People love it, and people love her! She is a woman of love and light.
Her testimony got me thinking…
I would like to take more of an active role in our own youth ministry. I need to be a voice from a family with teens who wants more activities and study to be available for growing our children’s faith and future in the church body. I loved youth group in the Methodist Church growing up. It was big, and it was beautiful. I treasure the people I met there, and the mentoring that I received by church members was life changing. Mission trips, Bible study, and praise music stand out in my memory. I hope our youth ministry may develop into something our kids enjoy as well.
I want to continue leading Women’s Bible study in our home. It went really well this fall. I was so nervous no one would want to join, and it was a success with about 10 women filling the room on any given Tuesday night. We loved our time in God’s Word and listening to Jennie Allen share about Find(ing) Your People. I need to be bold in my faith and continue to offer the space for women to meet, pray, and share.
I also would like my husband and I to talk with Father Dave about Families of Resurrection to see if we could have more small group activities like camping on the church property, a progressive dinner, or Bible Study by families divided into those with similar aged children. We did a Homebuilders group in Georgia when we lived there, and it was very meaningful and developed our church friendships in new ways. The kids spent time together, and the adults as well over a meal and a Bible/book study. This is possible here in Florida too. We just have to be intentional in trying to start something like that again. Prayer time!
Gay and I had a nice chat after the women’s retreat about my possible role in Kairos Prison Ministry. I want to help. It is something I feel called to be a part of but not sure in what capacity. I am a busy working mom, but there is room to carve out time to pray for those in prison for sure. I’ll start there.
The scripture above shared “God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken.” Gay had her moments that threw her down, but she did not break. She drew closer to the Potter and found healing and new purpose. She is a woman that I admire within our church, and I appreciated her sharing her story with our group this past Saturday. I will think of her often because she is now sharing her Jesus Calling daily text with me and numerous others.
What is God healing in your life?
What is He calling you to do within your church?
While you are down, do you realize that you are never broken but upheld?
Points to ponder this Friday. Cheers to the weekend readers!
Time to finish that lukewarm tea. May need to hit the microwave again! Have a wonderful weekend!
*Linking with the Five Minute Friday Community on the prompt “WHILE”
2 thoughts on “Women’s Retreat Reflections Part 3”
Thanks so much for those points to ponder, Jennifer. I really needed to read them. I keep waiting to be more together to be useful, but I suspect that He doesn’t need me to be. Thanks for sharing. Kath, visiting from FMF #2 this week.
Great blog. May God bless you and continue to use you in serving Him and loving people around you.