Amazing! That is the word that I would use to describe what God has done here today. I really had no idea what this retreat would be like. But I do know this … It has been more than I could have imagined. God is convicting my heart, stripping away pride and taking me outside of my comfort zone!
Let me tell you a little about the ladies here at the retreat. There are ladies here from all walks of life, all nationalities, all socio-economic backgrounds and all stages of life. They are all either from different parts of the US or Italy. Most have come here because of their association with the US military and the PWOC. But there are five Italians here – three who do not speak English and two who know English well. They were invited by ladies of the PWOC. That is just amazing to me!!
Every woman has a different struggle or a different need. Some are struggling financially. Some need help with their marriage. Some have job needs. Here's what strikes me about all of this. Even though we all have different issues, we all have the same internal needs as women. We all need encouragement, love, forgiveness, courage, grace and a sense of belonging. Here is the other amazing part … the answer to every single one of their problems, issues and needs is the same … GOD!! That's right, God. They are learning that they need nothing else but our all-sufficient, all-knowing God, all-powerful God.
You know, God has no favorites. He doesn't love me any more or less because I'm from Augusta, GA. He doesn't pay me more attention than any of these precious ladies. He doesn't just seek me out – He seeks us all out. He loves each one of us individually just the way He made us. He offers encouragement, love, forgiveness, courage, grace and a sense of belonging to all of us at any time or place. And though none of this is new to me, I have gotten a fresh glimpse of God's love for us, and His desire for all of us to know Him more fully and serve Him more completely this weekend.
As I look at the faces of these women, I see pain, laughter, joy, heartache, peace and weariness, but I also see them seeking the face of God, calling out to Him and looking for the answers to their deepests questions and darkest hurts in Him.
Amazing … life-changing … humbling … inspiring … POWERFUL! I can't believe God is allowing me to be a part of ministering to these women. I am truly humbled and in awe of God!
Here are some pictures of the wonderful women of God here in Sicily.
The little girl above is Eleanora. She and her mother and grandmother were here today. Eleanora, along with the other women in attendance, heard about our need to abide in Christ. They heard about our need to worship Him in the sunshine and the storms of life and they heard about our need to obey God and offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice – Romans 12:1.
I am praying for each woman tonight … that she will find satisfaction, rest and security in the arms of Jesus …
… He is worthy of all honor and glory and praise!
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