The Awakening Winter Retreat was this past weekend. It is an event that is near and dear to my heart. Three years ago, on the first ever retreat, I met the love my life who I am going to marry this coming May. From the beginning, this retreat has been a time where I have met with God and gained some clarity into the next year. I hold high expectations for what this weekend has in store for me and I cherish the moments that I have had with God and friends. I went this year with a deep need to meet with God and slow down the pace of my life. Planning a wedding can be very stressful and I was definitely feeling the pressure of the clock ticking, along with the chaos of the Christmas season. Long story short, I was a mess and in desperate need of a break. I had high hopes that this weekend with God would bring clarity of what I needed to focus on for the next few months in regards to wedding plans as well as hoping to gain some clarity on what the new year might have in store. I was thinking that He would help me with making the hard decisions or even how to not become a Bridezilla. However, God had other plans for this weekend. I was once told that if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans. At times, I could almost hear God laughing at me for trying to plan out every detail of my life, including my time with Him. It was VERY clear from the start of the retreat that God was not about to tell me what to do with the wedding or my social life, but that He was going to show me how selfish and controlling I have been. He was going to show me that what the next year needed to have in store was more of Him and less of me.
1 God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the Earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
When Jay read these verses the first night, it hit me like a ton of bricks! I have been trying to be my own help in trouble and worrying that things would not get done. In this worry I had been ignoring God and trying to do things on my own. I had been spending all my free time with myself and trying to get things done when I should have been trusting God that things will work out as they are meant to. I should be spending more time in prayer with Him and less time trying to control the situation. God opened my eyes that night, as He does often when I am being selfish. He opened my eyes to see that I had not been trusting Him to be my help and strength. It seems to silly now that I was trying to rely on my weak self. I was slowly breaking myself down because I was trying to control things that I will never have any control over.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the Earth.”
This is the last part of Psalm 46, and the words “be still” in this passage are not literally meaning to be still, as in no movement, but they mean to sink deeply into something, to really focus on one thing. This passage is not telling us to stop what we are doing and sit immobile, but to stop trying to play God. It is telling us to sink deeply into knowing who God is and trusting that He is everything that He says He is. After my realization of how selfish I have been, this verse hit me harder than the others. I realized that spending time with God doesn’t have to be sitting in my room in silence and my eyes closed and not getting my “stuff” done that I “need” to get done, but rather diving into who He is and getting to know Him better. With doing this, the other things in life will work themselves out and will get done and figure out, probably more efficiently and better than I could do them on my own, without trusting them to God.
To sum it all up, I had an amazing weekend with God at the center of it all and I left humbled at what God had taught me. I was not disappointed that He did not tell me how to plan the wedding or what the future will hold, because He showed me something even more important: Trust Him and all things will work together for good. That is how the rest of the wedding planning will go smoothly and that is how the chaos of life will calm, by diving deeply into God and trusting that He knows what He is doing.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Author: Laura Watkins