The video promo spoke of princesses and beauty and featured a gorgeous woman. I somewhat begrudgingly signed up for retreat because my friend was so excited about it. I didn't want to hear about beauty, especially from a beautiful woman.
Several times I thought about backing out. I had reasons - the money, my friend moved, I wasn't sure who was going, the weather. But I went.
The speaker was just as beautiful as she walked to get the microphone as she was on screen. I found myself thinking, There is no way she is going to teach me anything. Here comes another message that will say, "God thinks you're beautiful. Blah blah blah." If I am honest, I will tell you that I have had issues with beautiful women for as long as I can remember. I thought I would probably just go through the motions this retreat. God had other ideas, and He tore down my preconceived ideas.
Jennifer Beckham was smart and articulate, funny and sincere, prepared but Spirit-led. To my relief very little time was spent on beauty - or at least in the way I thought it would be. Instead she spoke on wounds and pain and scars. She spoke on healing in ways I had never heard before. My tears flowed easily over the two days, and new concepts resonated and stuck deep within my soul. Instead of the usual "camp/retreat" high I think I've experienced since high school, I came home with resolve, purpose, peace, and an action plan.
In the last twenty-four hours post-retreat, I have already had to apply some of the things I've learned. The incredible insight just from those small-scale experiences alone are reason enough for me to know that I was supposed to be at that retreat, and the enemy had tried to use my preconceived notions about the theme and the speaker to keep me away. I'm sure in the coming days, I will be using this blog to process and share some more. Tonight, however, I just repent of prejudging something/someone and say thank You, God for what You are doing.