So, I need to talk about this women's retreat I went on with my church. I was hesitant to go, but a friend encouraged me & so I did. When I read a little about the speaker, I have to admit I was really nervous. Having been a teenager during the Toronto movement time in a Pentecostal church, I had seen a lot of people faking it. It seemed that if you didn't speak in tongues or you weren't slain in the Spirit when being prayed over you weren't following God. This mostly happened in my youth group, but it was all around me. So when I saw that the woman coming to speak at the retreat was very charismatic I automatically put up a wall. I was nervous that there'd be a lot of drama, unorganized craziness & fakeness. Yes, I'll admit that I was really hesitant about the whole situation.
The first night I pretty much just sat. I sang and took notes, but my heart wasn't in it. On the morning of the next day I woke up with a horrible migraine & ended up missing the morning session. I did make it to the evening session and started the evening the same way I was the night before. I sang, took notes, but my heart wasn't in it. Then came prayer time... and yep! Lots of speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, etc. I just sat there & watched. Then I started to pray and the Lord spoke to me that it's time to take the walls down. Then, as clear as day, I heard "You always say you don't put me in a box, so why are you putting me in a box?" Ouch.
My prayers changed... I started praying that God show me how to break down the walls. I started concentrating more on my work than worrying about whether or not what was going on around me was real or fake. Then... as I was getting ready to leave.. one of my good friends was hit with the joy of the Lord and laughter just began rolling out of her. There is NO WAY this person would ever fake it... she's not one to bring attention to herself. I didn't realize it at that time, but it began the work of chipping the walls... it was so obviously the hand of God in her life because that was exactly what she needed at that time. And again later, she received a word that was also exactly what she needed. The speaker could not have known that... it was obviously from God.
I can feel a change in my life due to that retreat and a Weekend to Remember with my husband the weekend. Due to the WTR, my marriage is healed & restored, tho that is a testimony for another time. I just cannot even begin to describe the changes I am feeling inside... and all I can do is sit back, laugh and say "Wow!" We serve an amazing God & if He can begin a work in ME... chipping away at those concrete walls I've put up to protect myself (tho He showed me they really are just hindering me)... He can work in anyone.