When my friend asked if I would attend the Deeper Still Retreat, I responded by saying that “I had been healed a long time ago.” I had suffered with shame and guilt for so many years and it had affected so many areas of my life. I had asked God for forgiveness and I had finally forgiven myself…..”I really don’t need healing, I’m good”, I reassured my friend as she gently persisted. After much prayer and persistence I finally decided to attend not because I felt that I needed healing, but because of a desire to minister to others.
I never realized what a stronghold the enemy had over my life, especially the fear of heights until we traveled the mountains of Tennessee. When we arrived at our destination, I stepped out of the car, and was overwhelmed with emotions. I was greeted by these beautiful women of God, our leaders, who comforted, and consoled me. The view was breathtaking although initially I could only enjoy it at brief glances from the safety inside the lodge. The first night was spent sharing our testimonies and getting to know one another as we settled into our cozy surroundings. The next day was very structured and emotionally exhausting. I quickly realized that the healing I had experienced previously went only so deep, if I wanted true healing and freedom I would have to allow the Lord to go Deeper Still.
With the gentleness, kindness, and care we received from our leaders it was impossible not to feel deeply loved. Any shame, guilt, fear, or regret that I had arrived with was once and for all covered by the blood of Jesus. Now I had a fresh revelation that what He did on the cross was enough to cover ALL of my sins. That evening all the exhaustion of the day had been washed away and I was revived, renewed, and restored. I worshipped and danced with these women that I had come to love with a freedom that I had never before experienced. After a sweet peaceful sleep I awoke the next morning – Sunday the Lord’s Day to an indescribable view of the sunrise in the mountains. There was one more step in our journey and while our time at the retreat was coming to an end our healing would continue.
There was an enormous rock that was just over the mountain, some of the ladies would sit there and pray. As we headed to brunch I noticed one of the leaders standing on the rock, facing the mountains, arms spread wide in worship and I knew that I wanted that kind of freedom. To the amazement of all who saw me that first day and even to myself I climbed upon the rock. All the fears were gone and as I stood facing the mountains, arms spread wide in worship the wind picked up and for a brief moment I felt fear starting to rise up but God whispered to my spirit “I have you, you’re safe in my arms, even when the wind blows.” I discovered, sometimes we’re too afraid to face our fears but there is freedom in the knowledge that we don’t have to face them alone…. we’re safe in His arms. We can experience true freedom and healing that we may not even realize we need, when we enter into a right relationship with Him.
It was time to leave this place and these women that I had come to love. We said our goodbyes and headed back down the mountain, this time was different though. I left without fear,with complete healing, and with a new found freedom.