Our third and final speaker for the weekend was Wanda. I wasn't really sure about how to process Wanda's story at first, but there is so much good information to take from this discussion. The only thing for me is that her talk was geared more toward people that might be facing marital problems, and for this season of my life - I feel like that area of my life is going well.
Wanda's story began like a fairy tale that turned into a soap opera... they endured years of strife, discontent, discouragement, bitterness, and finally absolute loss of hope... and then God rebuilt their life to become a fairy tale again. She married a wonderful man when she was 19 - had some SERIOUS marital problems - but has come back from those hard times with her husband and marriage in tact... and they are now full-time missionaries in the Republic of Georgia.
The soap opera part of Wanda's story was very very dark, and incredibly sad... to the point of I don't know how she found the strength to keep going, but I know that even though she didn't have a practicing healthy relationship with Christ - he was still there intervening on her behalf.
His faithfulness to her, is the only way that you can describe her journey being able to come to the conclusion that it has. Her husband, she says was an evangelical atheist for the better part of their marriage - but through God's grace and his own pain in their troubled times - he found his own faith just at the perfect moment.
Wanda also gave us some great notes:
She wrote this as a paragraph, but I think each idea needs to stand alone for it's own merit and with the scriptural reference point as well.
God loves you and wants a personal relationship with you through His son, Jesus Christ.
John 3:16-17 (NLT) For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.
He has known you from before the foundation of the world.
Psalm 139:13-17 (NLT) You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous--and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable!
He is always there wanting to drawn you to Himself.
Psalm 73:28 (NLT) But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.
He promises to never leave you or forsake you.
Josh 1:5-6 (NLT) No one will be able to stand their ground against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. "Be strong and courageous, for you will lead my people to possess all the land I swore to give their ancestors.
He can always work things to the good of those who love him and are called according to His purposes.
Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
He has a future plan for your life.
Psalm 119:105 (NLT) Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.
His word will guide you and be light to you.
Psalm 18:28 (NLT) LORD, you have brought light to my life; my God, you light up my darkness.
His truth will lead you.
Psalm 43:3 (NLT) Send out your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to your holy mountain, to the place where you live.
He has give us everything we need for life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:2-4 (NLT) This letter is from Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ. I am writing to God's chosen people who are living as foreigners in the lands of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bithynia. God the Father chose you long ago, and the Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ and are cleansed by his blood. May you have more and more of God's special favor and wonderful peace. All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.
Study his word. Grow in grace. Gain all the fullness He has for you now and for eternity.
The shear exposure to all of this scripture was well worth the struggle to figure out how to connect to her story and use to to benefit my spiritual walk...
And this is the conclusion of the speakers from retreat... amazing messages from each lady... I don't know how they will do better next year, but I know that God will lead us the perfect women to speak to us during that time as well.