As we debriefed as a volunteer team this morning, a common theme emerged from the conversation: restoration. When we began the retreat on Tuesday, many attendees looked heavy-hearted, tired, and burned out. Their eyes looked hardened and their postures looked shrunken.
As the days progressed, it became very evident that God was orchestrating healing in incredible ways to these women. Yet, one of the greatest images in my mind of this theme of restoration lies in the fashion show during the last night of the retreat. Throughout the global women’s time in Breckenridge, they had the opportunity to to pick out several outfits of brand new clothes for free in a clothing boutique that the volunteers had set up. On Thursday night, the ladies were asked to wear their favorite new outfit to the evening session, and we had them line up outside the door of our meeting room. One by one, I watched as the attendees strutted confidently into the room, with an overwhelming look of light-heartedness upon their faces, dancing to the music. I saw on their faces something that I had not seen in many of them on the first day: joy. Not just happiness, but a joy in the Lord. Something had changed in these ladies. God had begun to restore their joy.
Yet, the restoration I hadn’t expected to see was a restoration among the volunteers. As we began to process the week, volunteers began to open up about how encouraged they had felt by the stories of miracles, boldness, and restoration that the global women had shared throughout the week. Hurts and burdens within their own lives were lifted by God’s faithfulness and His joy.
God often brings about His restoration in unexpected ways. Often he uses other people, whether through large acts of service or through a simple and sincere, “How are you doing?” This week Thrive provided a space for God’s restorative work this week, and continues to plan further retreats that do the same.
How are you creating space for God’s restorative work? Is God calling you to be an advocate for global women by getting involved in Thrive’s work?