Written on Saturday November 14th:

I got the opportunity to come to a women’s retreat with at least 100 women, most of whom live in Senegal.
Since losing our last baby my world has been rocked and I haven’t known how to move forward with trusting God. And yet, especially in the last month, I can sense Him calling me back to Himself, with a continuous sense to be rid of the lies my heart wants to believe.  Being near to God is like being near no one else; it is deep, intimate, and life changing.  Being near God is being in a place where we grow, where we grow to love Him, serve Him and Just BE His.

We arrived at our 5 Star hotel yesterday and had our first session last night.  I didn’t plan on really hearing from God here because I have felt in the past that there is the stereotype that these are the kinds of places where we hear from God-when in reality we can hear from God anywhere.  That is true, BUT how ignorant am I that I don’t believe He can use these seasoned and amazing women to bless me and speak into my life! After the first session today there was a healing prayer meeting at 11:30.  I didn’t want to go because I didn’t needed prayer, or healing, for that matter.  On the outside I want everyone to think I’m good and I wasn’t interested in being vulnerable…  Again!  Why would I want to be vulnerable again?  I didn’t want to be vulnerable with other women let alone be vulnerable with God… He hurt me!  That is how I felt.  I was just CURIOUS… didn’t want to be prayed for… HA!  Turns out that us 20 women split up into like 5 groups.  There were 4 people in our group and no longer could I sit on the outskirts and just listen to what people wanted prayer for, but I was in an inner circle where they were gonna ask me what I wanted prayer for. What did I want HEALING for (?) that is an even bigger question!

The lady that was leading our small prayer group I could tell had experienced a lot past doubt in praying for healing. As she has come along in her journey, she has learned to expect God to come, expect Him to speak, expect Him to heal.  Not in a weird way, because the ladies leading this also talked about how God works and heals the way He wants to heal.  Healing isn’t just something He does, it is something He is (I LOVE this!!).  Sometimes He doesn’t heal right now.  Now… they were talking about spiritual, physical and emotional healing.  They were clear that God is not our puppet and he doesn’t heal everyone right there, and we don’t know why.  All we know is that we can come to Him, expecting Him to be able, expecting Him to do something in our hearts, in our minds, and maybe in our bodies.  But we are open to Him and we are inviting Him…. okay that is my premise for what’s next.

As the two ladies before me shared and cried as they shared what they needed healing for, I started shaking a little knowing that it was gonna be my turn to share next.  And remember, I wasn’t ready for this, but God obviously had me there for a reason and I could tell that He was working and He was preparing my heart.  It was like He was calling me to His side, asking me to consider hearing from Him.

So I shared very quickly that I had lost 5 babies in the last 2 years and that this past year God has brought me through a journey of physical healing and that I got pregnant with what I thought was a blessing from God, and to my great surprise I lost the “promised” baby.

So as each lady shared, our prayer leader (warrior) was praying/listening to God and pictures would come to her mind and she would just share them with us. She had no knowledge of our past or what God had already done, or how he had worked.  She reminds of my mom of the way she listens to God and sees pictures that God gives her.  So…  when I shared what I shared, she said she thought of Rachel in the Bible and also that she felt like God was doing a big work in my husband (I have seen that) and that God was inviting me to remember His promise and that He hasn’t forgotten me, that she felt like He was asking me to hope again in the promise He had given me, to remember the name that He had given me.

I loved how she continuously shared scripture that was brought to mind, and had us as individuals repeat scripture as it applied to us.  She wanted to remind us that she is very careful with what she tells people and that she is vulnerable when she shares what pops into her mind (what God gives her) because the tendency is to be quiet especially -when it comes to someone’s womb, but if God is speaking then we must share. She reminded us to compare all that she says with God’s word, and that He is the authority in all things.  Okay so even though I’m trying to share details with you, I want to share with you what I walked away with in my heart.  We can be as skeptical as we want with what people say, but when it is confirmed in scripture and other people then we must consider what God is saying.

I know that God is calling for me, and I haven’t known how to come.  This morning one of the songs talked about believing Him again…  like I’ve stopped.  Yes, I have stopped believing Him, and He wants me back.  What I’m getting from this retreat so far is that He wants me, He finds worth in me, that is why He pulls me to Him. He decided that I was worth Jesus, He gave up Jesus for me, that I might have life in Him.  And today, as I was listening to that song about believing Jesus again, I struggled with knowing how to do that.  And yet I have not stopped seeking Him because, even though it is difficult in my heart, I know in my head that He is worth it!

So these ladies, these seasoned missionaries that I was sitting around with in prayer, were struggling too! And it was a REALLY special time of prayer and hearing from God.  I felt incredibly blessed!  What did I walk away from that with?  I walked away with a new sense of hope in the Lord, like He hadn’t left me, that He wasn’t going to leave me, and not only that, but that He hadn’t forgotten me.  One of the things that our leader of our group of 4 felt lead to tell me  was that whatever happened, it wasn’t my fault and I hadn’t done anything wrong.
Side Note:  I thought I must have heard from God wrong, I really did.  Someone may have told me before that it wasn’t my fault, but I didn’t hear it until today.  And the other thing I walked away with today in my heart is that HE didn’t forget what He spoke to me way back in the spring… I didn’t hear Him wrong.  It just hasn’t played out the way I pictured it would.  With complete vulnerability and trust in the Lord I walk forward with the Lord believing Him for the promise He gave me.  You may think I’m crazy or tell me that’s a bad idea, but what if I know it in my heart?  I believe God has more children for me, I believe God has a baby boy for me. I don’t know if that baby will come from my womb, I don’t know if that baby will be adopted or if it will be an African baby.  But I believe God for what He has said.  What was the name He gave me?  Joseph, it was Joseph.  So Joseph I will pray for, I will pray for him daily whoever he is.  Can I also tell you a little secret?  Maybe about a month ago, Ava came to me and said “mommy I’m praying for God to give us a baby boy”  She said “I’m praying and I’m gonna pray every day for a baby boy for you”.  I have literally just brushed her off because I feel like that is ridiculous, I have felt like that is a stupid thing to pray because obviously God has already said no.  My sweet girl, she LOVES God… and I don’t doubt that she hears from Him at 5 years old.

As I continue to walk forward I am trusting God in a new way.  Today I have a renewed relationship with the Lord.  A sort of – jump forward with not holding back-sort of renewing.  I am thankful for Him continuing to pursue me when I believe the worst of Him.  You may think I’m crazy to jump back toward the Lord like this.  But let me make something clear… I’m not gonna pretend like I know how God is gonna work or make some big plan to make things happen. I’m gonna seek God, and I’m gonna listen to Him, because let me tell you He speaks clearly… He  really does.  God has been faithful and He remains the same… He will never change!  Don’t you love that?!  Why…. Why am I sharing these such personal things with you?  Because I want you to know that God is faithful in my life, I want you to know that I am far from perfect, but I want to stay close to Jesus because He is and He will guide me.  I received a really encouraging email from an elderly couple, and she said to me “Every day God is preparing you for tomorrow”.  We are to love God for today, serve Him today, listen to Him today to see what He says and how He leads.  Today is just today, don’t worry about tomorrow.  God knows tomorrow not me, isn’t that comforting?  Thank you Jesus, I want to make a public proclamation that God has moved in my heart and continues to lead me day by day, and I don’t believe that He will stop. {Sigh}  These things are good.  If you are one of my prayer warriors, please pray with me, to serve God today, to trust Him and listen to Him today, because that is where He is with us, He is in today.  Thank you.

God gave TJ these scriptures the morning after I got home and sure enough God has been doing a big work in him, and I am encouraged by these as well.

God gave TJ these scriptures the morning after I got home and sure enough God has been doing a big work in him, and I am encouraged by these as well.


My new skirt that I got at the retreat. The lady selling it lowered the price and someone helped me buy it… I love it!! (Also trying the head wrap thing out more often)

Eating crazy weird and delicious foods at the buffet in our dining hall

Eating crazy weird and delicious foods at the buffet in our dining hall

this is me writing.

this is me writing.

Walking away from Saly about to get a taxi back to our hotel... yes I've been bartering for taxi's on my own... yaay for progress that I thought I would never make.

Walking away from Saly about to get a taxi back to our hotel… yes I’ve been bartering for taxi’s on my own… yaay for progress that I thought I would never make.

We ventured into Saly together to find some lunch together... some pretty fun adventures with these special girls.

We ventured into Saly together to find some lunch together… some pretty fun adventures with these special girls.