Take Time To Rest And Reflect

This past weekend, our church had our First Ladies Retreat. When God first put this on my heart, I’d only been to one retreat in my life, so I didn’t have a lot of experience to draw from. I was at a point where I just had my hands full preparing each week to play on the praise team. So, I kind of buried that urging under a pile of other responsibilities. I’ve found out in the past few years that with God, it doesn’t matter your experience. If God calls you to it he will equip you.

COVID hit a few months later and before I knew it, I found myself leading worship on an instrument that I was not proficient at playing. My pastor had told me to take our down time during COVID to learn a new instrument. I was a bass player and had worked really hard to improve my skills when I felt I couldn’t go any further on my own. Now I was going to have to brush up on my limited acoustic skills and get unused to singing and leading solo. About 6 months later, I got the call! I felt totally out of my element, but God had never let me down and I was sure he wasn’t going to start now.

After I got a handle on leading with our keyboardist, God began to urge me toward planning a retreat again. I had mentioned the idea of a retreat along with some other ideas to our pastor, but his focus was elsewhere. It finally dawned on me that it was my place to plan the retreat, it wasn’t my pastor’s place to take that upon himself. A good friend mentioned that we should have a ladies retreat and that’s all it took to spur me into action. She even told me about a local retreat that was available for overnight events.

So the research began. By this time I’d been to a few more retreats, but what God was putting on my heart was very different from what I’d experienced. This needed to be something for our own ladies. It was meant to build relationships among us. It needed to be made up of activities and speakers who would dig deep and share their hearts with us.

I prayed about it and turned the process over to God. I wanted the ladies to see that he was involved in this process and I prayed fervently that they would feel his hand on us. I asked our ladies in my prayer group to pray, another ladies bible study to pray as well, and even another bible study that our pastor led. I asked our leadership and our congregation to pray for it as well.

The next step was to get other ladies involved. I needed speakers which needed to be mostly from within our own church, photographer, people to share testimonies, crafts, people to share devotionals, lead prayers, play music and man the slideshow with the lyrics to the songs that God would place on my heart. There is not a single person that balked when I asked them to do something. In fact, one of our main speakers ended up volunteering to speak. I didn’t even have to ask her.

Several women told me that speaking was totally out of their comfort zone, but that is not what I saw as the evening progressed. From the introduction and opening prayer to the last worship service on Saturday evening, God was there. I have never before felt the Holy Spirit so strongly. That feeling was evident the entire time!

My best friend had agreed to lead some mixer type activities and I was amazed at what she did with that assignment. She was able to turn them into opportunities to learn more about each other. From four corners to 3 things about yourself, both activities I’d done before, we experienced much more than I expected.

The worship sets we’d been planning took on a whole different look when days before the retreat, we realized some of the new songs we wanted to introduce were just not supposed to be on our set lists. So much of a lift for us to see women worshiping with eyes closed and hands lifted up.

The ladies that spoke and shared testimonies dug deep into their past to speak of God’s hand in their situations. Healing, growing, peace, strengthening their walk with the Lord were some of the themes.

It’s difficult to explain what really happened, but relationships were built and strengthened during our time together. I know that we can’t top this retreat, but God can! I know it is important to keep him in it from the very beginning as we start to look at themes for next year’s event. We are looking at growth in our attendance next year as we encourage women to invite family and friends.

If you’ve never had a retreat for your ladies I strongly encourage it! Pray over every aspect of it and see what God does.

In Faith,


Most of the things we used to plan our event came from lovingchristministries.com.

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