Hello Sweet Cheer: Jesus refines


Jesus refines

     This weekend I went on Spring Retreat with the Wesley Foundation at Texas Tech.  It was held at Ceta Canyon in Happy, Texas just about 2 hours from Lubbock.  This was my second SPRING Retreat & my fourth retreat with Wesley.  I have an INCREDIBLE community.  The Lord has blessed me abundantly with people who love, encourage & genuinely care about me.  Not only do they care about me but they care about my soul.  They care about how my relationship with Jesus is going & want to know what I'm going through.

     When we arrived at Ceta on Friday I had no idea what the weekend held.  I was ready to see God move & excited for a relaxing weekend.  For some reason I tend to go into these kind of things thinking I've got everything figured out.  That's my flesh talking.  The thing is, Ceta Canyon is a significant part of my story.  My testimony consists of a time when I was taken advantage of by someone in the church.  Unfortunately, this time of my life began at Ceta.  It will forever remind me of the beginning of a dark, secretive, destructive time of my life.  I hate that a place like Ceta has to be associated with darkness.  Ceta Canyon has been around for years & many of my friends have accepted Christ there, been counselors there for years, encountered the Holy Spirit there, etc.  I KNOW in my mind that this place is good.  I know the Lord works here.  I know it does not represent my brokenness.  So why is it that the first worship set on Friday night I am UNCONTROLLABLY bawling?  Memories are flooding back, I'm replaying moments in my head, & tears just won't stop coming down.

     This weekend was tough.  A lot of pain resurfaced.  In my mind I had washed my hands of the situation & moved on.  My life would not be defined by the sin of another.  I am strong.  I will leave this in the past.  I realized this weekend that I am still in the middle of the healing process.  I realized that I am still dealing with this & there isn't an end in sight just yet.  I also realized that's okay.  I realized that sometimes it takes time.  I realized that healing isn't always at the blink of an eye.  In recognizing all these things Jesus showed me that although I was suffering He was using it to refine me. The word refine is defined as "to remove impurities or unwanted elements from".  As I relived things I had blocked out for years, the Lord was working.  As feelings of unworthiness, uncleanliness & inferiority came flooding back into my heart, the Lord was working.  As tears rushed down my face & my breath shortened, the Lord was working.  As I suffered, my God received Glory!  You know what though, the reality is that it HURTS.  Being refined is PAINFUL.  But I know that the Lord is in control & has a future plan for my past suffering.  Through being refined not only does God receive glory, but I begin to know Him more intimately.  He refines my heart & my heart knows Him more.  I better understand His character, learn His scent & better recognize His presence.  What could be better!?

No matter the circumstances in our lives, our God is good.  He is true & worthy of our praise.

     I am so thankful for these retreats we take each semester.  God shows up BIG & I love it.  He spoke to me through multiple people & showed me He cares.  He showed me that I'm not forgotten or unworthy.  He showed me that He LOVES me, through the good and bad.  This weekend was definitely through the bad.  My Jesus is never failing.  His love and grace are unending and I pray that whoever might read this blog from week to week would experience that!

     Peace & blessings, friends!

Stay tuned for a book review over "Completely His" by Shannon Ethridge coming soon!

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