“I can’t be gone for a whole weekend. Who will take care of the kids?”
“My husband hates it when I’m gone. It’s not worth the hassle.”
“It’s out of my comfort zone and a little scary.”
We have a hundred reasons why we shouldn’t go to the women’s retreat. Some years the voices win out, and we stay home. Later, when we hear the glowing reports from others about how wonderful it was, we feel a pang of regret, but it doesn’t last long. “Oh well,” we say, “maybe next year.” Other times we make the extra effort, and we’re the ones sharing happy stories and telling how glad we are that we attended.
Let’s make the extra effort this year ladies!
Here are a few reasons why, with accompanying evidence from the Scripture in case you need extra persuasion.
Why Should You Attend the 2014 GLOW Retreat:
When is the last time you sat before God without a To Do list hanging over you, a pile of laundry the size of Lake Michigan in the background, or family members pressing in on all sides? If you can’t remember, you need to attend the retreat.
“To retreat” means to leave our normally occupied positions and go to a place of safety, quiet, and seclusion. By going to a retreat, we physically remove ourselves from life’s distractions, the call of chores, and the demands of people in order to make space for God. If you think you’re less spiritual because you struggle to hear from God in the cacophony of your daily life, be encouraged. Even Jesus recognized the value and need to get away.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35). Jesus retreated.
Faith is contagious. Just like a virulent virus, it passes from person to person through close contact. Today’s busy world allows little time for women to share faith stories, pray together, and hear biblical messages written with women in mind.
As we consider and apply God’s Word together, we learn from each other’s varied backgrounds, experiences, and insights. The better we understand God, the stronger our faith becomes. Then we can strengthen others. Hearing other women’s testimonies about God’s faithfulness helps me realize that God will also take care of me. Hebrews 10:25 spotlights the value of mutual encouragement and warns us not to neglect corporate worship: “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.”
The Greek word for “spur on” is paroxusmus, which means to stir someone up. It has negative connotations, such as stirring up disagreement, but in this passage, it underscores the fact that meeting together as believers helps us love and serve God and each other better.
When I join a group of women singing praise songs to God, I experience a taste of what Heaven’s going to be like when we’re gathered around his throne. When I sit with my sisters and open God’s Word, the insights I gain as we study together add weight and credence to its truth. When I pray for others, and they pray for me, I know I’m not alone, no matter how heavy my burden is. Some years their faith strengthens me, and other years my faith strengthens them. Together we bear each other’s burdens.
For these and many other reasons, we place a high priority on women’s retreats.
Maybe you’re a woman who has young children and it’s going to take more planning and preparation to be away from your family. Prepare meals in advance, swap carpool duties, and cash in spend-the-night favors. Or maybe right now it’s financially challenging, and you have to find creative ways to pay for your retreat registration like saving birthday money or squirrel away coupon savings. Maybe you have been struggling spiritually and have to push yourself to go even though you don’t want to. Invite a friend to join you so you can’t back out or commit to carpool with friends. Regardless of your situation, you will return refreshed, strengthened, inspired, and closer to the Lord and your sisters in Christ.
Most women never regretted attending a retreat, but often regretted not attending. If you’ve never attended a retreat, or you haven’t in a while, why not make plans to attend the 2014 GLOW Retreat? You’ll be glad you did.