In order to serve at a Thrive retreat, volunteers are called to leave behind various responsibilities and people. Sometimes it is in the preparation of leaving or in the separation that God speaks most personally to a volunteer.
This has been true for our volunteer Bree. She has known about Thrive for years through her parents’ involvement with Thrive and wanted to serve at one herself someday. For her, “someday” meant years down the road when her little one was older and she was in a place that she felt comfortable leaving him. Despite having many reasons why this was not the time to go, through prompting by her mom and personal prayer, the Lord made it abundantly clear through His Word that she was to step out in faith and serve at the Beaver Creek retreat.
As a young girl, Bree knew she was gifted in helping other women enhance their beauty through the use of cosmetics and hair styling. She is very aware that every woman is beautiful simply because she is created by an amazing God and doesn’t need extra adornment or styling to be beautiful. However, Bree has also learned that God can use her gifts to help women see themselves in a different way, ministering to them through her encouragement and teaching. Once she committed to serving His global workers at the retreat through these unique gifts, the time of preparation went fairly smoothly and she felt very affirmed that this was, indeed, what she was meant to do at this particular time in her life.
However, after arriving at the site and spending a few days working alongside other volunteers, she was suddenly overwhelmed with feelings of doubt and fear. She discovered it was much more difficult than she had anticipated being away from her baby. Because the volunteers spend days in prayer and sharing before the attendees even arrive, Bree found a safe place to express her anxiety and sadness. The Lord ministered to her through the other women and He brought her to a place of peace in the knowledge that she was here for a purpose. She fully anticipates watching God use that time of pain and fear to encourage and bless the women she will serve. There is true beauty in allowing God to take our pain and use it to His glory.