Ladies, my husband tells me that most men have a “nothing box”, a compartment of thought where they can tune out the world and think of nothing. I have yet to meet a woman who shares this trait. Even in moments of quiet or rest, thoughts seem to roll around in our heads continuously. To-do lists, kids and family needs, friends and their struggles, goals, dreams, frustrations, disappointments – do you ever feel like all your thoughts tangled together like a pan of Grandma’s chicken tetrazzini? Where do all of these thoughts come from? What influences them? How are they affecting us? I’m excited that we have an opportunity coming up to talk about just that.
I know that women’s events can sometimes get a bad rap. They can often feel more like a social event where everyone is “doing well, thanks, how are you?” with little spiritual depth. I know I’ve had the experience of showing up to an event craving biblical teaching with practical application, or a genuine realness and vulnerability with other women, but have been left wanting. Women (and men) need to be equipped! We are disciples who are called to make more disciples. We have a mission. We need something more than a social event. We need to be steeped in God’s Word – to be refreshed by it, convicted by it, taught by it. We need to go deep with other women – sharing, confessing, and praying together. To reference one of Pastor Spence’s recent sermons, we need a fight plan, and we need sparring partners. So, I want to invite you to Mercy Church’s very first Women’s Retreat. I want to invite you to come and be with Jesus, to be changed by Jesus, and to return home to be on mission with Jesus.
Women’s Retreat is March 16-17,
and my prayer is that this will be a weekend for us to experience rest and fellowship, to spend time with Jesus, and to be changed by Him. We’re calling this retreat “No More Lies” and here’s why. Women think about a lot of things. And I think the enemy takes advantage of our active minds by feeding us lies in every area of our lives. These lies can cause us to worry, to feel anxious, to feel insecure, to feel inadequate, to be frustrated or angry, or to feel alone. The lie could look a million different ways and can lead to tons of different thoughts or actions, but I believe the root of these lies is the same.
I think women struggle to believe God is who He says He is, and to believe what His word says about us. We are often more influenced in our day-to-day lives by the opinions and expectations (real or conjured in our minds) of culture or other people. How many of us have moved to a new home, school, or job and found it hard to make real, gospel- centered friendships? Could this be because we put up so many walls or expectations in our minds before we even open our mouths and get to know someone? How many of us have been afraid to share the gospel? There is a lie in our minds that we won’t know enough, that we won’t say the right thing, or that we will burn a bridge if we say anything. Have you ever felt like you just aren’t enough? The enemy whispers in our hearts that we are inadequate, that we need more (food, rest, time, activities, friends, approval, accomplishments, money, etc.) and then we will be “happy.”
I believe that if we could recognize these things, take them captive, and replace them with Gospel truth, it would have an incredible effect on the women of our church. My prayer is that women would walk away from this retreat weekend feeling empowered and equipped through the Spirit to go back to their life with a fresh view of who they are in God’s eyes and what this means for the mission to which He has called us.
What if we didn’t feel the need to compare ourselves to others? What if we weren’t consumed with worries or fear? The lies will never be gone, but what if the loudest voice in our hearts and minds was God’s? Each one of us has people around us who are close to us but far from God. What if every nook and cranny of our city was touched by the truth of the gospel, and filled with women who shined the light of Jesus where ever they are? How could we not expect and anxiously anticipate a gospel awakening in the city of Charlotte?