Lifelines: Living Free!
I went into the Lifelines Northeast Women's Retreat tired from school, drained emotionally, and honestly not really expecting that much. When we got there after a long drive, the last thing I wanted to do was the energetic ice breaker on the schedule. However, as soon as I had a chance to reenergize and we sat down for the first talk, my outlook changed. At the end, I ironically left with a feeling of freedom in Christ which had eluded me for a long time. The conference centered around the theme, "Living Free," but I didn't really understand it until we left. I realized that I had been holding a lot of hurt and fear in my heart for a long time instead of giving it to God. That can take many forms, whether it be denied sins, overwhelming stresses and worries, or sins committed against us. We all experience these things at some, and most, points. The answer to all of them is to be open about them. This doesn't mean to everyone. Your hurt is valuable and raw, and it's important to be careful with the people you open up to about it. Of course, the first place to go is to God. Once we do this, we often try to let it go, close the case and move on. But the Lord doesn't want this for us. Healing from these things takes a long time, and sometimes the only way to be completely free of it is through opening up to someone else. This is one of the reasons God gives us a community of believers. These people can listen to us, pray with and for us, and help us through. Sometimes they have been through something similar, and God loves to bring us to people who have been through those same struggles. All of this is extremely freeing, and just the act of saying it out loud helps us let go, too. At the retreat, we learned that when we open up to others, we are really opening up to God. He loves when we ignore our fears and trust He will protect us and our secrets when we are vulnerable with them. So I challenge you to work towards that freedom. Take the first step, and the Lord will give you the power to give it all up. He will help you forgive, just as He forgives you. He will help you be free of worry when you give it to Him, and He will put in its place the peace that comes through the Holy Spirit. Amen for Lifelines!
- Angelique Cavagnet