FORGIVENESS. HOPE. FREEDOM. TRANSFORMATION.
By Megan Fate Marshman, Director of Women’s Ministries
What is it that makes us forget to appreciate the value of our next breath? In this day and age I think it’s linked to our need to be everything to everybody. When I have the privilege of appreciating God’s creation as God’s, it’s like a switch is flipped and everything is three shades brighter.
I have loved the recent moments at Hume where women saw the beauty of His creation, heard the Truth and ultimately walked away transformed by His grace. Suddenly, the trees were viewed as works of art, the wind that blew through our fingers was appreciated as God’s own and even the sense of closeness between lifelong friends became novel.
When the ladies were asked to write of their weekend experiences, I came across many bold proclamations of the Spirit’s transformative work: “I have finally allowed God to clean my Spiritual house,” “My eyes are back on my Father,” “I’m finally free,” and “I can have God fill my cup rather than holding my empty cup to be filled by others.”
I had the unique opportunity to sit with one woman who tearfully shared of her “inability to be a good Mother.” I looked directly into her eyes and reminded her that God’s grace is bigger than her guilt. When she quickly and unaffectedly agreed with my statement by replying, “I know,” I decided that I wouldn’t let up: “Don’t let your guilt be stronger than the cross.” There was a pause. This woman closed her eyes in prayer and three minutes later opened her eyes to a new world. Not only did she know this grace, she experienced it. She pursued God. She ran to His loving grace rather than aimlessly running around trying to please people. God was redefining how she identified herself:
Forgiven rather than guilty. Strong amidst her feelings of weakness. Free.
Grace is victorious. It is the grace of God overcoming the sin that separates us from Him. And with His grace, my new friend saw hope.
We need Jesus, we need to experience His grace daily and then live the rest of our day seeking Him out of appreciation. I knew what to say to this woman was because my community in Christ has known what to say to me throughout my life. So often I’ve tried to keep up a façade of perfection, which blinded my understanding of my need for the gospel and how it actually affects my “today.”
Women at these retreats have recognized their need for Jesus and have been transformed for a purpose. They have let down the façade and chosen not to settle for “fine.” “Fine” had let them rule their own lives, rather than their need for the firstborn over all creation, Christ. They were “fine.” Now, they’re filled. They’re overflowing. It’s beautiful.
To those who have attended a recent retreat, thank you for taking time outside of your everyday to pursue a God who desires to radically transform us for our everyday. To those reading this article, “Hello!” I hope you take three minutes to close your eyes before you turn this page.
Delight in the breath you’ve been given. See God’s creation as God’s. Allow Christ to flip the switch that makes your day three shades brighter.
Fall Women’s Retreats
September 28-30, 2012 & October 5-7, 2012
SPEAKER: DEBBIE ALSDORF
For more info on women’s events visit