I had a relationship with Christ and loved encouraging others in Him before attending the Changed Women’s Retreat. However, looking back, I find it interesting that I had no problem with my negative self-image, low self-esteem, and negative self-talk. I suppose I knew it wasn't a good thing, but I figured that's the way it was for me. I was trapped.
The retreat helped me realize that I am a masterpiece, made by God, and that He is in relentless pursuit of me. God doesn't expect perfection from me. I don't have to have it together. He still pursues me. He has a role for me in His story. I am lovely.
I cannot fathom the love He has for me. He didn't want me living in the bondage of negative self-image. It actually grieved His heart, because He created me, and my negative thoughts were a barrier to fulfilling His plans for my life.
It was at the Changed Women’s Retreat that I was able to walk into a crowded room without hesitation and without fear. I was able, for the first time in my life, to walk in with my head held high knowing that I am worthy, adored, and loved. I will always remember the moment - it was powerful.
I took that confidence in Christ with me after the retreat. Of course, I still have days that I struggle, but it's different. I now recognize ways the enemy attacks me, I have tools to fight, and I have a community of women who support me.
One thing I always tell women is this isn't a traditional retreat. Yes, you will get away from the business of life back home. Yes, you will be able to spend time with God in ways you never have before. Yes, you will meet new people. Yes, you will be well fed! But what sets it apart is the fact that the change continues long after the retreat is over.
You will leave with a better picture of who you are in Christ, knowing that He speaks to you in ways He doesn't speak to others. You will leave knowing that He has a role for you. (You may not know exactly what it is, and that's okay). You will leave with confidence knowing that He has you right where He needs you in order to fulfill His divine purpose for your life.
It won't be business as usual when you go back home. You will see life from a different perspective. You will return forever changed.