The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. – John 3:8
How do I even begin? How am I supposed to tell you how amazing the Blessed is She Wild Retreat in Washington, DC was? I honestly don’t know.
Let’s just say that it was exactly what I only kind of knew I needed and so much more.
Here it is in a nutshell… I was able to meet several amazing women that I had only ever talked with over the interwebs. Ike Ndolo and Danielle Noonan were our worship leaders. The venue was stunning. The speakers were inspired. And the Holy Spirit was seriously on fire, bringing life and light to the entire experience.
Friends, if I tried to unpack every single lesson, heart tug, and insight from this retreat, we’d be here for a really long time. Honestly, I’m still trying to work through some of it in my own heart! But I just can’t wait any longer to share some of this goodness with you. For now, I’ll try to break it down for you as it was presented to us.
Living a life WILD in the love of God should be four things: untamed, unashamed, unleashed, and undone.
“We lose so much when we try to domesticate God.” – Megan Philip
If anyone thinks that a life lived fully committed to the love of God and in cooperation with the Holy Spirit is safe? They’re nuts.
I keep hearing this idea from one of the Chronicles of Narnia books (which I…umm…have never read) that, like Aslan the Lion, God isn’t safe, but He is good. How true is that?!
Does it feel safe to reach out to people you don’t know on Instagram? Not really. What if they inspire you or if you seem to have lots in common? What if you admire their work and want to tell them? Truthfully, it still kind of gives me pause before I hit “send message”. But God can be so good to reward you with precious live & in-person time with these exact same people! He can work the the craziness of social media to bring honest to goodness friendship to your life. MaryRuth, Sharon, and Mary…even if we won’t actually see each other in person, you are friends of my heart and for that I am so grateful.
Did it feel safe all those months ago when I sent my first blog submission to Blessed is She? Not even a little bit. But has good come from that? So much so! I’ve been given space to grow in my faith and am continually growing in the confidence to do so with abandon. What a gift!
Friends, what would it look like in your life to be wild, to live untamed in the love of God? How would your life be different if you said YES to the untamed love of Jesus? Are you ready to find out?
“Shame clips our wings and, ladies, we were born to fly.” – Sr. Gaudia Skass, OLM
What are you ashamed of? Why? What would your life be like if you could lay that shame at the foot of the Cross and walk away from it completely?
This was the gist of the talk given by Sr. Gaudia. In her soft spoken, lilting Polish accent, she spoke so much truth about the love of God being big enough to take on and take out all of the shame we have in our hearts. And when she looked in my direction, the wimple of her habit framing her face, it was as if she was speaking directly to me.
She explained that guilt is good, as it causes us to change our actions for the better. But that shame only leads to secrecy, silence, and judgment of ourselves and others. “Guilt says, ‘I can’t believe I did that.’ While shame says, ‘I can’t believe I did that.'” Do you catch the difference?
Living a life filled with shame, holding onto it like it is a precious part of us instead of something that only holds us back, what good does that do? So often, we let shame speak into our hearts to tell us that we are never good enough and ask us why we think that we deserve love. Can we not let the voice of the Holy Spirit power through, instead? Let His truth speak louder than the lies. Let’s listen to the truth that we are good enough, just as we are, and that Jesus Christ thought we were deserving of the love it took for Him to die for us. So why should we hold back from our lives and cower in shame?
Live life unashamed, my friends. Let’s learn to live WILD.
“So many things that we believe about ourselves can leash us. What is there that we need to let go of so that God can love us more?” – Tricia Tembreull
I loved this idea.
What am I holding onto in my life that I could be letting go of? What larger, more wonderful, simply unimaginable things (love, experiences, joy, confidence) could God fill my hands and my heart with instead?
Look back up at the verse from the book of John at the top of this post. The wind he speaks of? That is the Spirit! And if I’m supposed to be born of that same Spirit, how can I possibly blow where He wills if I am tethered? Tied down to my sin and my hurts, my anxiety and my worry, my self-consciousness and my shame I can go nowhere.
But if I break the chains and untie the leash…where will the Spirit take me? Oh, friend. I am almost afraid to find out. Exciting as that life could be, fear can hold me back like no other. What is it that holds you back? Where do you need the power and the wildness of the Spirit in your life?
“God wants to come into our locked hearts, gently, to let us discover Him. The Father is after your heart!” – Beth Davis
All I can say is that if you ever want to hear someone who really and truly knows what it is like to be loved by God the Father, listen to Beth Davis. She is as entertaining as she is inspired. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’ll be great I promise.
She was the last speaker we had at the retreat leading up to Adoration and her message couldn’t have been sweeter.
God the Father loves each and every one of us. Jesus deeply desires to be in relationship with us. Can we let them in? Can we open our hearts even just a little to the love they want to pour into us?
Friends, I’ll be super honest and vulnerable here, OK? I don’t know if I can. I want to! But can I let go of that control that I think I have? Can I look at those amazing people who truly have intimate, personal relationships with Jesus and not think that either they are crazy or there’s something wrong with me? I don’t know. But that’s the goal, isn’t it?
Holy Spirit, make me untamed, unashamed, unleashed, and undone. Take my shame, my fear, and my insecurities. Fill those holes in my soul with Your love. Make me WILD for you, Lord. Surprise me with my own life and make it whole. Amen.
* Featured image courtesy of Blessed is She.
7 thoughts on “The BIS Wild Retreat: Becoming WILD in the Spirit”
Beth, I loved this blog ! Your words touched my soul! Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our world could love Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to take over our lives in total abandonment! What a beautiful place it would be! BTW, God gave you so many talents… and writing is definitely one of them! Happy Thanksgiving… We love yall’
Thanks, Janey! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too!
Sister Guadia was my favorite of the Wild Weekend. I can still hear her saying, “I can’t believe I DID that” and “I can’t believe “I” did that.” I met lots of interesting and smart and charming and fun women. I made a new friend in the real world and got to meet women I only had met through the Internet. All in all, I will try to go to another, especially if it’s close to me in Yorktown, VA. The JPII Center was great for me and an easy drive.
I love that we were both there, but I don’t know you!
yes!! aw, I am so glad that you have shared some of your heart and some of your gifts from the weekend. I truly cannot even tell you how glad I am that you were there. Dang, Beth, that Holy Spirit better blow our paths to cross sometime.
Me, too, Gina!! Me, too.
A retreat allows you to not only learn something new–such as mindful running–but also to let go of the need to be in charge of or responsible for everyone else. This is your moment to unwind and concentrate on your needs and activities that bring you joy.