Ten years of running away from life or running towards Him? Maybe a little of both. But what started as a one-time girls’ weekend with my best friend has turned into our annual getaway.
This is the 10th anniversary of our Annual Girl’s Renewal Retreat Weekend with Living Proof Live and Beth Moore, and it is definitely a time we look forward to each year!
A little background: Lynn and I have been friends basically since birth thanks to our moms who also had a friendship that spilled over into our lives. However, as life happened, we grew apart, each with our own families and careers. Fortunately, in 2005 a mutual friend invited each of us to a lunch date. Neither of us knew who else was coming, but we both readily agreed knowing we were up for meeting someone new. What a reunion! It is funny how after 20 years apart, we reunited for a friendship that is like no other. Only God knew the bond we would have together, and we are thankful for the reunion that has led us to this point.
Despite our busy lives, husbands, and small children at the time, Lynn and I decided we were in desperate need of a girls’ trip. Our first weekend away we chose to attend a Living Proof Live Beth Moore event—which also happened to be the first Beth Moore conference for both of us—as our destination.
We experienced God in a way that we both needed so deeply. We realized the time with our girlfriends and our time with God needed a refreshing new breath, and that is exactly what we walked away with that first year. It reinforced to us that we needed this time, and now it is a given that we spend at least one weekend a year together—and we always spend it at Living Proof Live.
Because this event has never come to our hometown, we have traveled to several states within driving distance … road trip! During our time in the car we reconnect, encourage each other, share love, laugh, and shed tears that sometimes lead to the ugly cry (you ladies know what I mean).
It is amazing what God does in this weekend and how He uses Beth to speak to us! He meets us where we are—sometimes on the mountain and sometimes in the valley. We are in such awe that even though our circumstances are always very different, God always manages to speak directly to us individually, giving us that very thing that we need most for that time in our lives.
We also so love our time of praise and worship with Travis Cottrell! There is nothing like praising our Savior and the feeling of 10,000 plus ladies lifting their voices as one. The ground truly vibrates. It gives me chills just thinking about it!
We also try to give back a little of what we receive, so this year—as we have for the last 3 years—we will volunteer at the conference. You cannot believe the blessing you receive from meeting all of these women. Through simply being the hands and smiling faces at one of these volunteer positions, we have made some wonderful friends who we still keep in touch with. If you have never tried it, we highly recommend it! It is easy, and you will receive a blessing from it.
Lynn and I say that our annual trip is a renewal weekend because we return home renewed and ready to face our everyday lives better than when we left. Our cups truly runneth over!
So we anxiously await this July when this time we go from Arkansas to Indiana. We are ready to see old friends and to make new ones. We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us this year!