God did amazing things on this retreat, just as I imagined He would. I was nervous about what to expect but every day was full of new insights and ways to connect with God on a deeper level. In the first 24 hours, Rhonda taught us to ask God to reveal things to us – like where we needed healing, where our bodies felt rejection, and what we wanted from Him. In this secluded environment, I was able to truly focus on these life-changing concepts and learn to trust God more.
First, I discovered that I had a limited belief about God’s goodness; I didn’t really believe He was good or would always accomplish good on my behalf. This was the first thing He healed in me. Now I have scriptures to support the goodness of God in the past, present, and future. He wanted me to know how this belief was really limiting my daily joy in life, and how it was affecting my relationships. Immediately, I felt more free, as if clouds had been removed from my eyes and now I could collect evidence of His goodness without a focus on my disappointments.
Then Rhonda led us through an exercise identifying a place in our bodies that senses negative input or the lack of complete acceptance. I felt it in my neck, where it closes up, gets tight, and even feels like someone choking me, cutting off the air. God gave me confirmation during the week that this was my ‘body area’ which responds to rejection; now I had a physical way to measure when the spirit is free within me vs when I am just pushing through on my own. I used to love playing the piano and painting, but haven’t done either for a long time. With God’s healing of this ‘creative flow’ in my throat and neck, I now feel great freedom to add these things back into my life! Who knew … that a body part could signify so much about my spiritual state and under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, bring both healing and rejuvenation to me? Now I am aware of when I feel closed and when I feel open. More joy is coming, I know!
In our last day, Rhonda taught us to identify three core values, (which I’ve done many times before, right?), but also to attach a positive emotion to these things. Then we listed activities that bring us more bliss in our lives, and added those activities to our calendars! What a concept. Just add the things in that raise our emotional state and that honor our values. I loved this fantastic closure to the week, and recognize that God orchestrated the sessions for my personal growth and freedom in stuck areas.
I thought that the primitive environment would be a deterrent to hearing from God, but instead it enhanced my ability to really hear Him and know where I would feel the most relief from emotional pain. Now home, I know that the tools I learned on this retreat will serve me to keep my healing and to keep a check on my emotions so that the Spirit is involved, and I am better able to practice emotional wisdom throughout my day – and my life! Thank you, Rhonda, for offering so much freedom to so many!