It was a short and sweet time with God and many women at the Empower Retreat. The most memorable moments from the retreat were God’s swift and humorous response to me: “I see you. my dear, I do!”
The theme of the retreat was centered around the breaking of lies. On the first night, we were asked to write down the lies about ourselves in the mirror. My lists were not quite uplifting: I am a loser, not as good as others, unworthy, no one looks at me. Then a voice answered me, “I look at you. Yes, I do!”
At the retreat, I realized that so many women were like me, who suffer from low self-esteem. They think they are unlovable, desperate for other people’s love and acceptance. They want to perform well so that others would look at them and pay attention. Even for long time Christians and we still sometimes fall into Satan’s scheme. Thanks to God who spoke to my heart that night. He confirmed to me who I am, a beloved daughter of our dear Heavenly Father. He does not need me to do anything in return. He made me, and He knows me well.
We walked into Joseph’s wilderness experience during the retreat. One point that impressed my heart was that God stripped away the facade and protective scaffolding for Joseph. Through difficult times, God shaped Joseph to be a humble person, rejecting bitterness, choosing forgiveness, but trusting God. Yes, there were times that God gave me a “not-so-easy” experience to go further in understanding myself and Him. My real self was exposed. Through my character flaws and weaknesses, I learned to humble myself and trust God. I know to let go of my ego, to allow God to drive me through each day. Currently, I am facing aging and experiencing inadequacy in a few areas. The wounds I carried from my past have come back to trick me repetitively. But God gave me the renewed strength and courage to live. On our second day on Zoom, with many witnesses, we all broke our mirrors as a gesture in breaking the lies of the enemy and declared God’s victory over our lies. It was a meaningful act.
God revealed to me how my original family’s judgmental words and comments had shaped me, and reminded me of how I carefully provide good influences to my children, though I believe damage may already have been done. We all need God’s grace and healing!
I end my sharing with Psalm 16:2, the Bible reading from the day after the retreat. “I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.’ ” Indeed, I have all the best things when I am with God, just like Joseph.