Before I knew Jesus, sex was my drug of choice. My self worth was very low, so I went searching for love in all the wrong places. It didn't make me feel better like I hoped. Instead, I added on the pain of multiple affairs (some with married men), abortion, and two failed marriages. I knew I was broken, but I didn't know how to fix it.
When I accepted Jesus, life didn't automatically get easier. I carried my pain with me for a long time because I didn't know how to put it down. No one knew the private hell of my life. My issues were ones you don't talk about in the polite church world.
The Changed Women's Retreat was the first time I internalized the truth that I don't have to carry the baggage of my past with me every day. It wasn't the first time I had heard it, but it was the first time I believed it.
Forgiving myself and accepting God's grace is hard, and my process has been long. But I decided not to fear the hard stuff and to never stop working on myself. So I came to the retreat a second time. And a third. And a fourth. I've been to five retreats, and I plan to keep coming until they tell me I can't. Every retreat, God reveals more things for me to work on--things I didn't even realize were there. I had to work through my junk on the surface to get to these deeper layers. And I'm still growing. I'm still becoming.
If I could encourage you with one thing, it would be to challenge you to never stop growing. You are changing, whether you see the change or not. The gap behind you (between where you are and where you've been) is big, even though the one in front of you (between where you are and the perfection of Jesus) is bigger. That gap will always be there, so give yourself grace and don't get discouraged. Learn how to not just say the truth you hear at church or read in the Bible--but believe it, live it, and come find freedom at the Changed Women's Retreat.