“Be still and know that I am God”.
As you all know in the month of July, Bibles & Basketball hosted the first annual spiritual retreat. To say it was amazing just doesn’t quite do it justice honestly. It was really an experience that left me speechless (not an easy task as some of you know). We hugged, we laughed until we cried, and we cried until we laughed. We fellowshipped – and the best part of it all, we had the opportunity to pray TOGETHER.
Friendships were forged and bonds were made that I don’t think could ever be broken. Our goal for this retreat wasn’t just to idealize things but to have each woman walk away with tangible tools to change her life.
Our overall theme for the retreat was Rest and Release, a 4-week bible study by Courtney Joseph. We live a lifestyle that requires us to be ready to go at any moment. We spend the majority of our time on our own in a foreign country, which I think gives us a mentality of “I’ll just do it myself”. Add to that, the fact that we live in a society that applauds this “sleep when you’re dead” mentality, and you’ve got a recipe to run yourself completely ragged.
There are times when we are called to work, but the Bible tells us very clearly to REST. I don’t know about y’all, but this is something that always sounds good to me but is nearly impossible for me to actually practice. In case you’re anything like me (please say you are and don’t leave me out here alone), here are some takeaways from the retreat:
Exodus 18:17 – 18
“The thing that you are doing is not good. You will certainly wear out both yourself and these people who are with you, because the task is too heavy for you to bear; you can not do it alone.”
Did that punch you in the face like it punched me? Not only am I wearing myself completely down, but I’m not doing my closest friends and family any favors by doing it all alone. Which is the exact opposite of what my brain processes. I’m not asking for help thinking its making life easier for those around me, but really I’m just making it worse for us all. Who knew?!
Pride keeps me from wanting to admit that I need help. What’s wrong with me that I can’t get it all done?! This girl looks like she’s doing it all, why can’t I?! Or worse, what if I finally break down and ask for help, only to be denied? Or the person says they’ll help, but deep down they don’t really want to.
This year more than any other, I have had to humble myself and ask for help from family and friends. Trying to do it all on my own doesn’t warrant any trophies or medals, it just empties my cup much faster than if I’m willing to accept help from those around me. We have to stop trying to carry our heavy burdens alone. Whether you know it or not, there are people around you that are willing to do some of the heavy liftings with you.
So, what are some ways we can let others help us carry our burdens?
- Start a to-do list and see where others can help…what can you delegate?
- Do a self-check. Are you irritated? Tired? Feeling worn down? Then it’s probably time to ask for help
- Evaluate your “yes”. Sometimes we are so used to taking care of others without even noticing we offer our time and effort on impulse. Sometimes we have to be able to say no, AND (pause for reaction) sometimes we even have to say no…WITH NO EXPLANATION! (I know, gasp!)
- Schedule self-maintenance: Workouts, nail appointments, massages, lunch with friends, or even a morning devotional.
1 Peter 5:7
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.”
What do you carry in your bag that you have been hiding from those around you? Unzip your bag and give it over to God, right now. Release it to him today.
During the retreat, we wrote down some of the things we’ve been hiding, put them into bags and lit them on fire. What a freeing experience it was to set fire to the lies the enemy wants us to believe. Shame, guilt, hurt, pain, and offense, were all released that day.
My hope for you today is that you are able to do the same. Take some time to evaluate your life and see where you need to REST and RELEASE. It will be a continuous work in progress, but that’s ok. Now you have the truth God tells us, to help dig you out the next time you start to bury yourself.
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