Victory in Surrender

Ladies Retreat 2016 Prayer Walk: White Flags

Another great Ladies Retreat with the women of the Central New York District of the Wesleyan Church.

This year’s prayer walk devo… You can check out last year’s here.

White Flags: Surrendering Our Battlegrounds

On what do you base your hope?

One thing that living with chronic depression has taught me is that we can’t manufacture hope. Hope has to be based on something outside ourselves, and there’s only one Hope that holds through it all. Even when we can’t feel it.

My dreams have changed over the years. Some died. Circumstances burst them. Or let them slowly deflate.

It’s easy to resent that.

My life looks different than I thought it would. In some ways it’s better. In some ways just different. But others…

Sometimes life choices so basic that we take them for granted, are taken out of our hands.

It’s hard when God doesn’t give us the things in life that seem basic, even necessary. You know, those things that it seems “everyone else” has.

It's hard when God doesn't give us what it seems everyone else has. Click To Tweet

Maybe you struggle with infertility.

Maybe you can’t pursue a career you’re passionate about.

Maybe you thought you’d be married by now.

Maybe you’ve lost a spouse. A parent. A child.

Whether or not you’ve held it in your hand, you miss something so badly it’s a gaping, empty ache deep inside you, and when you’re willing to admit it, you’re angry at God. You don’t trust Him. You’d rather have your will in the situation than His.

Because His way seems hard. Unfair.

When we pin our hopes on things of this life and they’re not given, or they’re taken away, we lose our joy, and forfeit peace.

I don’t understand all the pain in the world. The unfairness. The injustice.

I just know that God is bigger. God is good. And God transforms everything yielded to Him into something worthwhile. Even beautiful.

Maybe you resist God’s loving embrace in less visible areas.Claim Victory in Surrender

Pride. Unforgiveness. Self-centeredness. Disobedience.

Why do we fight a loving God so hard? We will never win. Every day we fight we lose a little more peace, a little more joy, a little more of the woman God created us to be.

Life is a series of losses. Nothing comes without something being left behind. The only way to have hope, peace, and joy is in surrender to the God who created us, and sees the bigger picture that we cannot.

What is your battleground with God?

Claim victory today by surrendering.

Are you ready to wave your white flag?

This year’s speaker was Shana Schutte. Check out her wonderful book Betrayed by God?: Making Sense of Your ExpectationsAlso available for Kindle.

Coming soon… Saturday & Sunday devos… AND prayer walk e-book!!

Why do we fight a loving God so hard? Click To Tweet

You can find this post and other worthwhile Christian content at the following link-ups:

SittingAmongThumbnail holley-gerth-button-250x250 livefreethursday-sm intentional-tuesday-linkup-button Grace & Truth Weekly Christian Link-Up Under the Tree

6 thoughts on “Ladies Retreat 2016 Prayer Walk: White Flags

  1. I’ve gone on the Wesleyan Ladies Retreat. I’ve actually only gone once and not in a long time. I think it was 2000. I sewed American Girl doll clothes for the silent auction. I just remember Chambers being freezing and wishing that I had brought a knit hat to wear while sleeping. I haven’t heard about that retreat in a long time. I attend Crosswinds Wesleyan Church in Canandaigua. My two oldest kids go to the Indiana Wesleyan University.

    As for life looking a lot different than expected- I get it. I guess the Lord is teaching me to let go of my expectations. It’s hard to do that sometimes. I think that whole theme is life’s lesson for me. Maybe I ought to read the book.
    Priscilla recently posted…A Knock on the Door Interupted Me…My Profile

    • Retreat has changed a bit since then, so has the campground. I started attending twelve years ago, and have only missed one year since. Every year Chambers makes improvements, but, it’s still a campground. 🙂 This year had the mildest nights since I’ve been attending. Maybe you should check it out again next year… though it probably won’t be as warm as it was this year! 🙂
      My older son is interested in IWU. He’s a sophomore thinking youth ministry and computer programming. We’ll see. He has been going to Beaver Camp for several years now, and also loves Chambers’ D-Camp (Discipleship Retreat).
      I haven’t yet had a chance to read Shana’s book, but I enjoyed her speaking and my friend Claudia LOVED the book. If you read it, let me know what you think.

      • Beaver camp! We have been going there since my son was about 11…so 10 years. My youngest daughter went to teen camp for the last time this year since she is a senior. I don’t know if we’ll be back there. It is a chapter that is closing. It makes me so sad. Mike and Jeanna Judd are amazing! So if your son was at teen camp, then we were probably both there at the same time eating popcorn on the beach!

        My son Allen was assistant activity director last year and he was a camp counselor for three years before that. You most likely heard my son speak when you went to the closing fireside last year. He also led the high peaks adventure camp in 2015. He did not work there this year, but my older daughter Audra did. She was a lifeguard and she plans on being one there next summer too. We live in a very small world!

        Has your son visited IWU? It usually takes us close to 9 hours to drive there (including breaks), but it’s a great school. Both of our older two are happy there. Our youngest doesn’t want to go as far away.

  2. “I just know that God is bigger. God is good. And God transforms everything yielded to Him into something worthwhile. Even beautiful.” – Love this! I feel your heart here, and while I haven’t lost a spouse or kids, my spouse has either lost jobs for a decade in a row after serving His country for a decade, or he has been gone doing jobs..so much of our marriage we haven’t been together or in a “comfy” place. I battled bitterness for years, but only this year after breaking down last year, has healing truly began it’s work in me. It is all Him of course, and there are still days that are tough. I appreciate you being so open here. Many of us who have battled things alone need someone to just be available and say, “I understand.” Blessings to you. Glad I found you at #SittingAmongFriends~

    • Bitterness is hard, as it is so easy to justify. I’m glad you are finding healing. Thank you so much for sharing some of your story. I’m glad you found your way here.

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