Carry Camp Retreat – Part 2
Did you miss part 1? Click here to read that first.
So the retreat goes on...
Saturday morning we arose early, had breakfast, and then made our way to the living room. This time the focus was the keynote speaker. She had a message prepared for us. She shared her story and reminded us that God is telling us that our hope is in Him. And then asked us to ponder the question: Is God your safe place?
Two things really stuck out to me. The first was the reading of Day 1 from Sarah Hagerty’s Everything Bitter Thing is Sweet 16-day Adoration devotion. I’ve shared it below. But to read this free devotional for yourself, click here.
The God of Safe-Keeping
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me. — Psalm 27:5
You tuck me away inside of You. Perfect hiding place, You are. My life releases a sigh in the sight of You who made me.
I adore You, God of safe-keeping, safe-hiding.
You don’t stand distant in the face of my trouble, You reach in. You engage. You retrieve.
I want to run and hide, but You tell me: come and hide. Trouble that makes me shrink back initiates a diferent response from You. I cower, You hold. You surround. You protect.
Trouble is my invitation into Your deep cave.
When the world has words for my wounds, You cup Your hands around my pain and You hide me in the only safe place for healing: You. Your pavilion is You. I am introduced to the luxury of Your deep when I bury my head in the truth of Your person and Your Godhead, when I retreat to Your home.
Secrets of You become my own to keep. When life on the outside stops working, You pour out treasures on my inside. You’re a well to be explored, a secret tabernacle.
I adore You God who offers new of You when the old in me has left me leveled. When I hide in You, I expand. When I hide in You, my understanding of You expands.
You don’t just keep me, retain me—You grow me. When I look at You, I swell. Each long stare cultivates what once was my bone dry heart.
To be made safe in You means to increase. You increase in me and my heart increases as I fold myself up in You.
I can’t look at You and walk away unchanged. I love You, oh my Hiding place.
Just wow. No words to really describe that devotion, but it spoke to me so much.
Then, she handed out a sheet of paper, to which the words to the song, Sovereign Over Us. This song is amazing!!! We read the lyrics. Then we worshipped to the song. It was the theme song for the weekend. You can check out the song here. This song had me wrecked.
We transitioned from this to quiet time. They encouraged us to find a space for 30 minutes and spend time with the Lord. They had us use the lyrics to the song as a base line. So I headed for my room since no one else was in there. I pulled out my Bible and the journal they gave me. I immediately downloaded the Sovereign Over Us song and listened to it on repeat. I felt God nudging me to look more into BRAVE since that word had been coming up so much in day 1 of the retreat. So here’s two scriptures He led me to:
Be strong, and let us fight bravely for our people and the cities of our God. The Lord will do what is good in His sight. — 2 Samuel 10:12 & 1 Chronicles 19:13
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. — Deuteronomy 31:6
The first scripture was in the Bible twice! That to me said, “Listen to this!” I took this scripture to mean that the Lord does what is good is His sight when we fight bravely for our God. This to me was huge and such a big deal.
After the quiet time we had lunch. It was during this time the topic of support groups came up. Women were wondering how to start one. I clearly heard the Lord say, you're going to start a support group. I thought I was hearing things or He couldn't possibly be talking to me. I think it was mostly denial. So I just held onto that with the intent to figure it out later.
We moved back into the living room. During this time the three leaders of the retreat shared their stories and they were so impactful and encouraging. I jotted down a few points from when they were talking:
Faith is not a formula to get the good stuff, faith is the good stuff.
Our hope is not the miracle or the baby. Our only hope is in Jesus.
Joy and grief can coexist.
Lean into the Lord and into the struggle.
Then they did a panel where we were able to ask questions. One question and the answer really stuck out to me. The question was What's your favorite verse regarding infertility in the Bible? Her answer: Let's look at these three verses in Genesis:
"Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him.” – Genesis 21:1-2
“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.” – Genesis 25:21
"Then God remembered Rachel; he listened to her and enabled her to conceive. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, “God has taken away my disgrace.” She named him Joseph, and said, “May the Lord add to me another son.” – Genesis 30: 22-24
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They all had wives that suffered from infertility. All of God's nations came from women who suffered with infertility. Think about that. This tells me that God cares very deeply for those of us going through infertility. Wow. That gives me a totally different perspective of our Father.
From there we went to a small group time with about 6 of the women. The facilitator of the group I was in was the keynote speaker. And she was amazing, and has such a big heart. She asked us to share what God had been doing in us so far. I was able to share about brave and what He had been showing me. So cool to be able to share that.
Then they scheduled an activity, either you could go hiking (which was interesting in itself because a storm rolled in) or you could do a craft. I chose to do the craft. Such a cool craft. These wood chips that we could carve one word on and then color something on the other side. And it would turn into a necklace or keychain. As you see, I chose the word Brave. I also chose to color the back with this bullseye. I really stared at the back for like 10 minutes trying to figure out what to color, and just felt compelled to draw this bullseye. Later I found out that a few months after the retreat that a friend had a dream about me and in that dream appeared a bullseye (talk about God moment). The details of that dream will come later.
Then followed dinner and a pajama party where we painted our nails, danced and played a game. The game was so much fun and we laughed so much!! And that ends day 2.
Read part 3 in this series here.