Women’s Retreat Report: Take Heart, There’s Hope!

Women’s Retreat Report:  Take Heart, There’s Hope!

Following a few years interval, the spring Wisconsin Women’s Empowerment Weekend returned February 28 through March 1, with guest speaker Tawny Sportsman from Oregon, founder of Take Heart Ministries. She shared with the 50 ladies – young and young at heart who attended, about the importance of reaching out to anyone who suffers from grief because of loss: loss of a loved one, finances, a job, relationship, and health. Loss is especially hard when it is sudden and unexpected.

What can you say? What can you do to show you care? It is hard to know what words of comfort to say or what actions we can take.

The ladies were given insights of how the heart can be hurt and what love does not look like. The heart can be broken due to feelings of abandonment, anger, bitterness, low self esteem, addictions, and broken dreams. Often feelings that suicide is the answer come in situations of rape, betrayal, divorce, abuse, physical or mental disabilities, learning disabilities, slander, rejection, or pornography.

We were given the tools to become the hands and feet of Jesus, reaching out to connect with those who are hurting, alone, and lost in the sea of grief.

Ladies who attended were all blessed as we learned the following:

1. What Does Love Look Like?  “But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit.” 1 Corinthians 12:7 AMPC https://www.bible.com/8/1co.12.7.ampc

2. Take Heart, there’s Hope! “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” Psalms 31:24 KJV https://www.bible.com/1/psa.31.24.kjv

3. Embrace the Hope “Behold, the Lord’s eye is upon those who fear Him [who revere and worship Him with awe], who wait for Him and hope in His mercy and loving-kindness, To deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. Our inner selves wait [earnestly] for the Lord; He is our Help and our Shield. For in Him does our heart rejoice, because we have trusted (relied on and been confident) in His holy name. Let Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us, in proportion to our waiting and hoping for You.” Psalm 33:18-22 AMPC https://www.bible.com/8/psa.33.18-22.ampc

4. God grief it takes a village “And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment], So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble]. May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized].” Philippians 1:9-11 AMPC https://www.bible.com/8/php.1.9-11.ampc

5. Jesus sees “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.” 2 Chronicles 16:9a https://www.bible.com/1/2ch.16.9a

The surveys revealed there was healing of broken relationships this weekend. There were tears shed, hugs given, situations lifted in prayer, burdens given to God, and everyone was blessed with renewed strength to face their situations and rely on God even more.

The food was delicious, the company was enjoyed, there was a lot of laughter, new friendships made and old friendships renewed. Praise God from whom all blessings flow and thank God for the opportunity for ladies to get together and share experiences.

May God bless the women of Wisconsin as well as the ladies who attended the Empowerment Weekend from Indiana, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Patricia Antoine-Norton, Women’s Ministry Coordinator