Alright, so...I recently just got back from a girl's retreat, the theme being "As You Are". And there's some things I really want to share.
I think I said a lot about the girls, and being pretty, and being popular, etc. in my post True Beauty: What It Means. So you could read that too...I'd be happy with that. :D But I think I'll probably end up touching on it again anyway. :)
Please note: I'm using the "journal" they gave us at the retreat to help me figure out what to say and what to share.
The first big thing I thought I should share is on Comparison. Yet another big struggle in our lives. They gave us 3 tips on how to conquer comparison.
#1 - Surrender the fear of people
Fear of people? What fear of people? I love people!
When they taught us this, they didn't mean you can't be shy of people. They meant that you couldn't be afraid of what people think of you, your clothes, your beliefs, etc. Proverbs 29:25 says, "The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." If you are focused on what other people say about you and think about you, you can become obsessed with trying to please other people instead of God.
As a side note, I'd also like to mention that in this section they also included "Faith is the opposite of seeking control. It is surrendering control," which I thought was a very good point.
#2 - Realize how He sees you
God sees us "through the work of Christ." The Lord sees you as perfect, because he made you and designed every aspect of you.
This is where I might start to stray from the journal. Guys are a big think girls think about - a lot. Speaking of which, I'd reccomend reading Boys, by Olivia M. I thought she talked about a lot of good points!
We can think so much about guys that we sometimes start to stray away from God. But we can date countless guys, finding that they're never the one made just for us. So, like in Olivia's post, I think it helps to come to God with the matter. I'm not saying you shouldn't ever date guys. But if you try to trust God, you protect your heart. I'll share this from the journal: "The most lovely Mary, 'She adored Him. Fervently, single-mindedly, she loved Him. She was totally enamored, completely enraptured, and utterly in love with her Lord and Master. She did not care who knew it. She was embarrassingly unembarrassed about the matter. Before all eyes this simple girl was unfolding the highest order of the universe. To love her God. Watching her, they learned. For though she expressed her love in service and care, she expressed her love yet more in eyes, in heart, in soul, and in the fervor and passion of her whole being. Unwavering, day after day, with total abandon - loving him. You saw it in her eyes, in her kneeling, in moments of praise and rejoicing, and when she looked into His face - which was almost always.'"
To get to my point: fall in love with God, and trust that he will bring the right person into your life.
And to fall in love with God...he is already in love with you.
Chamber music - from the throne room - makes you want to dance.
Kings' daughters are maids in your court,
the Bride glittering with golden jewelry.
"Now listen, daughter, don't miss a word:
forget your country, put your home behing you.
Be here - the king is wild for you. Since he's your lord, adore him...
Her wedding dress is dazzling, lined with gold by the weavers;
All her dressed and robes are woven with gold.
She is led to the king... A procession of joy and laughter!
A grand entrance to the king's palace!
You are the bride. And look at how much your King, you Lord, loves you! And how can you not fall head-over-heels-in-love with him back? And if you're completely and entirely in love with him, you don't need to worry nearly as much about...guys. You can trust that, because he loves you so much, God will bring the right person to love you at the right time.
While I'm on the topic of beauty, I want to share this awesome quote they had:
I really like that quote...obviously - it's in 15 pt and in caps!
#3 - We Need Each Other (on this I'm just writing exactly what the journal says)
You can't do it alone. Never, never, never try to fight this battle alone.
John 13:34 Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Mother Teresa "If you judge people, you have no time to love them."
Speak with the intention of God. True blessing is speaking how God sees someone. (May not be how they appear at the moment)
When we declare God's intentions, we release His ability to change things from what they are into His desired plan.
Now I'm going to share some of my favorite verses from the retreat - I definitely think you should read them, as they've become some of my favorite overall, and may become yours:
Psalm 45:11 The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your Lord.
1 Samuel 16:7 But God told Samuel, "Looks aren't everything. Don't be impressed with his looks and stature. I've already eliminated him. God judges persons differently than humans do. Men and women look at the face; God looks into the heart.
Romans 12:2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by channging the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleaseing and perfect his will really is.
Song of Solomon 4:7 You're beautiful from head to toe, my dear love, beautiful beyond compare, absolutely flawless.
Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Ephesians 1:3-8 I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child.
2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.
1 Thessalonians 1:4 I am chosen.
(Not a bible verse) CHRIST IS THE KEY TO BEING FREE FROM THE STRANGLE-HOLD OF PAST FAILURES AND MISTAKES.
Alright, I feel kind of bad about how long this is...if you actually read everything, thanks and congrats! I actually have more that I can add, but then this could turn into a 5 page essay, so I'm going to post those separately. Probably every other day from today, or something like that. They'll be called "Movement and Fuel Session" and "Identity and Faith Session".Quick explanation: we had four sessions that we did and I thought they were pretty helpful. I'm just combining them into what makes the most sense (to me). (The links may or may not work, depending on whether I've posted them yet.)
Thanks for at least attempting to read this!