Our church held a women’s retreat this past September. It was something they advertised for quite some time before I actually registered myself for the event. I was feeling hesitant to go since I was new to the church and didn’t know a lot of women. I also would have my wee 5 month old in tow for a weekend long retreat. I just wasn’t sure how it would all play out. I hummed and hawed over registering, but deep down inside I knew it was something I was longing for. I longed to connect with other women spiritually and to re-kindle the fire in my spirit. The timing couldn’t be more perfect either, because my mom was visiting, so she would be able to watch my other three children since my dear husband was scheduled to work that weekend.
As soon as, I registered I felt good about the whole retreat. I found out a friend from our previous post who now lives nearby and attends our church also registered for the event. We decided to car pool together which took off a bit of anxiety of going to the event alone. Everything seemed to be coming together perfectly. I was excited to go, the children were well cared for and I had a friend in tow, so what could possibly hinder this experience?
It wasn’t more than an hour into being at the retreat that I could hear Satan’s voice of doubt, regret, and fear. My usually sweet, loving, easy going little girl was all of a sudden not her usual self. I just couldn’t settle her. I ended up being the only one at the conference with a baby and now I just felt totally out of place. In my head, I just kept saying, ‘Oh, how I wish I didn’t come.’ It was probably a good thing I had carpooled because I couldn’t just pack up my things and leave
I turned inward to God and prayed that He would work things through for His good, that He would help my sweet girl settle, that He would remove these feelings of doubt, regret and fear. I reached out to my best friend through text and explained my feelings and she too joined me in prayer and reassured me that being at the retreat would be such a good experience. So, I stuck through the first night, which I’m so thankful I did.
“For the LORD will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.”
By the next morning, I already had felt some of those negative feelings dissipating. My sweet girl had a good night’s sleep and seemed much more her usual self, the morning worship was so good for my soul and the speaker, Christelle Baldovinos spoke on just what I needed to hear. God was at work in this place and in my soul.
The first session I attended was titled, Aiming Your Arrows. It was in reference to Psalm 127:3-5
Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
Christelle runs a ministry called The Global Prayer House out of Medicine Hat, Alberta, with her husband Antonio. In the first session, she spoke profoundly on realizing the incredible blessing of our children and the power they have against the enemy.
Throughout Scripture, we see just how important and valuable children are to the Lord. Jesus rebukes his disciples and says, ‘Let the little children come to me’ (Matthew 19:14). Often times, we devalue the significance of children. In today’s society, people are having fewer and fewer children. We are sending children to school earlier and earlier, releasing them from our care and placing them into the care of the world. We are being told we cannot teach our children, we are told how to raise our children and much of these values are in direct opposition to our Christian beliefs. We are giving over our children to the enemy ill-equipped and untrained. The enemy has fooled us into surrendering our most wielded and powerful weapon—our children.
The Lord has given children an incredible gift to be a blessing to those around them simply by just being. They have a sweetness and innocence about them. They are not tainted by the cruelness of the world. They live each moment with joy and excitement rather than fear and doubt. Children have a boldness about them that we as adults have lost as we aged. We evaluate and assess situations, whereas children simply jump in with both feet. It is this boldness and courage that I too wish to harbor as I walk confidently in my Christian faith. It is confidence that I gained while being at the retreat. I gained boldness to tune out the enemies lies and trust that God is greatest and He knows what’s best.
On the last day of the retreat, I was feeling so full and refreshed. It was exactly what I needed for my spirit. All weekend, my sweet girl was such an incredible blessing to so many women who took delight and joy in holding her and rocking her to sleep. She refreshed and blessed these women simply by being there. It was on the final day though that I saw the Lord’s plan revealed. All weekend, one lady in particular had kept wanting to hold my sweet girl, but it just never seemed to happen. Finally, during the last worship song, she approached me and asked if she could hold her and I handed her over without hesitation. As the song ended, she returned her to me and knelt down beside me already with tears in her eyes. She ever so kindly thanked me for the opportunity to hold my sweet girl. She then went on to say how healing it had been for her, as it was the first time holding a baby since hers passed away five years prior. As you can imagine, I became a sobbing mess and realized at that moment how Satan had wanted to prevent this moment from happening. The enemy never wants us to be healed, he thrives in our sadness, brokenness and hurt. I knew that the Lord had orchestrated me being there with my arrow in hand to pierce the enemy and prevent him from causing any more hurt. It is just beyond incredible how the Lord can use our children no matter how young or old they are to defeat the enemy.
Do you realize the weapon you hold in your hand? Are you wielding it and training it? Are you safe guarding it from being taken or misused?
Let’s take back what has been given to us by the Lord. Let’s be responsible for training up our children in the Lord so that when they are older they will not turn from Him (Proverbs 22:6). Let’s fill them with His Word to be wielded like a sword against the enemy, so that when the day of evil comes, they may be able to stand their ground, and after they have done everything, stand (Ephesians 6:13). Let us walk confidently into every situation trusting that the Lord is at our right hand.
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you He will not fail you or forsake you.”
SHARE: Tell about a time you lived courageously against the enemy. How did the Lord use this opportunity to reveal His big plan.