WOW! What a BeYOUtiful Weekend!

The infamous WOW (Women of Worthiness) retreat. I had heard about it and been invited to it for so many years. Many of my sisters in Christ would go and come back with tales of strengthened faith, closer bonds, and many laughs. Though I longed to share in this experience with them, I was never able to be a part of it….until this year.

At first it was babies at home. Then it was the weekend of my daughter’s birthday. And then, it became more about my physical sufferings through Crohn’s disease and Fibromyalgia. But not any more. I have no more babies, my daughter is now able to come with me, and my physical ailments have improved to the point where I can manage. How God has worked everything out in His time.

And so, as I was reminded so many times at the WOW retreat, God has a purpose and time for everything, yet no matter what, I am always beYOUtiful in His sight reguardless of my circumstances. Maybe I wasn’t able to go for all these years, but the longing and waiting made it that much more special and my heart was even more ready to receive God’s message from all those who so lovingly put their heart into reminding us what true beauty in Christ is all about.

Thank you, Elizabeth, for reminding me that beauty manifests itself by using my talents to work and aspire to do great things in life, all to the glory of God. Your aspirations to be a foster mom and motivational speaker inspire me to reach for more.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

Thank you, Karen, for reminding me of the beauty of prayer as a place of refuge. I felt a special comfort and peace as you were affirming the best ways to fight my battles.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6

Thank you, Ouida, for reminding me that true beauty is to love others with the heart of Jesus. Your words especially plucked my heart strings as you remind me of my own grandmother who, like you, so passionately shares her wisdom with the younger generations.

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:43–44

Thank you, Kristi, for reminding me that my struggles have beauty in their purpose to help others. Tears came to my eyes so many times as you spoke of the woes we suffer, but yet encouraged all of us to use them for good.

Blessed be the God… Who comforts us in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3–4

Thank you, Nikki and Kelli, for teaching our teens about true beauty. I don’t know what all you talked about, but I do know your labor was not in vain as the impact you made in these girls showed in their smiles and expressions of how excellent the lessons were.

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Thank you, Jenny, for leading our ladies beautifully in song. Your zealous, enthusiastic spirit brought all of our voices together in such a way that we could feel the emotion in the room.

Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession who are zealous for good works. Titus 2:14

Thank you everyone who worked hard to put the retreat together. Your labor of love is a beautiful manifestation of Christ’s love.

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Thank you, my sisters, Iris, Ariel, Jasey, Kacie, and Kelly for all the prayers, wisdom, laughs, hugs, tears, and talks. There’s no doubt that every single one of you have beautiful hearts that love me (and others) more than yourself.

You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:31

Thank you, Ashlynn and Trinity, for hanging out with us old fogies and enduring our goofy quirks and mom conversations. It’s a joy to see two young ladies growing in their understanding of how beautiful God made them.

I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Thank you, most of all, my gracious Father, for giving me the opportunity, strength, and health to enjoy this weekend with other like-minded sisters of faith. Through many intercessions by the Holy Spirit, You heard me in my weakness.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26

What a blessing to be reminded of how beautiful our life is because we serve You, our mighty God, Who gives us all hope in Christ. Help us to extend that love to others as we remember these words:

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11

Amen!

Truth in love,
Heather

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