Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A Weekend with Jesus

“No, Jesus, I do not captivate you? I can’t believe that. I know you love me, you died for me, but to be captivated by you …no not possible". 

Am I the only one who has a hard time believing that? These were the lies I believed for a long time. I spent a weekend with Jesus at Captivating Retreat in Colorado Springs over a month ago. I went on an Individual journey, alongside 450 other woman aged between 17 and 90 years. God is so good. For 4 days, Jesus, worked hard, He pursued me.  Have you ever been pursued by Jesus? I am sure you have, but like me you may have simply not acknowledged it or really let it penetrate your heart. 

Ps 23:6 “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.” 

I mean every woman wants to be pursued, loved, chased after, fought for. It is in every love story. I am a “Rom-Com” queen, I should know. My DVD collection proves that. But this weekend it was no soppy, fluffy, smarmy pursuing of my heart. On this weekend it was like being in a 10 round boxing match. Every input session was like a round in the ring, and when the bell would go for a break, I would catch my breath and then the next round would begin. By round 6 I was starting to feel numb and my eyes were bulging from all the tears.  Doesn't sound like fun or very romantic, but Jesus was pursing my heart and I was fighting with all I had to NOT surrender. Why do we do that?  Why do we hold onto our hurts and our woundings? Why do we wear them like badges? Why do they keep coming back to us over and over again, when we thought we had dealt with them a long time ago?  

Well, as in all love stories there was another player in the ring, who was also doing all he could to sabotage me, to keep me stuck, to hold me back, to reinforce the lies I have believed about myself for a long time. I had never really given him as much credit as he deserved all these years. But this weekend I saw him for the snake he was, for the plans he made, to break my heart and take me out of the ring a long time ago.  I wrote a letter to my enemy that weekend and as I spoke that out loud, I broke the agreements I had made with him a long time ago, and by round 7 it was just me and Jesus in the ring, together. 

I also wrote a letter to my baby girl, making sure she knew how precious she was, as I had seen for the first time the power of the wrong beliefs in my life and how much it had bound me up for many years. Jesus doesn't want that for anyone, especially my baby girl. I finished the letter by saying “you have captivated my heart.” As I wrote it out, I cried with such deep love and devotion for my child and the deep longing that she might know how much I love her and how much Jesus loves her. I couldn't wait to return home to give it to her. But, I kept reading the letter over and over again and crying every time I read that final line. The love I felt, I can’t describe. Only a parent knows the feeling of that kind of love for a child. In that moment Jesus pursued me again and said, “You know that’s how I feel about you…don't you?”

I quickly answered: 

“No, Jesus, I do not captivate you? I can’t believe that. I know you love me, you died for me, but to be captivated by you, no not possible". 

He continued to pursue me. Like in a movie, like in a story, the music intensifies, the scene slows down, the sun sets softly, the scene is intense and the pursuing feels too much to bear. I can’t describe it well enough, but as round 8 finished I knew that my life would never be the same again. 
When you spend time in the presence of Jesus, it only takes a moment and something shifts. In that place of surrender you see His deep, unfailing love that ransoms your heart and captures your soul. It is better than any love scene I have watched, better than a novel I can’t put down, even better than the love of a man (yes I know, hard to believe). 

I know Jesus is captivated my me. And He is captivated by you too.  The question is, what will it take for you to believe it?  I can only say that those four days were a special time which I will never forget. Months later I know I am still being transformed from one weekend with Jesus and according to Ps 23:6 this will continue for the rest of my days. 

Ps 23:6 “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.”