Monday, May 2, 2011

The WOW Retreat

WOW! God is AMAZING. I was so blessed to meet such a Great Group of Awesome Women. I must confess, I wasn't sure that this Retreat was something that I needed. I have suffered a huge loss recently. My Family of Origin are a bunch of users and abusers and God told me it is time for Letting Go. It is time to give up control. Time to take them out of my hands and place them in His. I was not created to be their Personal Savior. God showed me in His Word and gave me a Love Telegram from Heaven. This Love Telegram was delivered by Robanne and given to me one Powerful Day to confirm what the Lord was telling me. Even when you have to let go of abusive, toxic People in your Life it creates a void. Having just one Toxic Parent in your Life is Horrible, having both your Parents be Abusive People is too much to bare alone, then multiply that by having Siblings who don't care about you and you have an idea of what I have been dealing with all my Life. Two years ago this August I had to make a painful choice to have no more contact w/my Biological Mom due to her extreme abusive & harmful behavior and lack of remorse and desire to change. Then top that off with Financial Challenges, having no Health Insurance (huge Safety Net), and the possibility of losing my first and only home well now you have a better idea of where I stood before I went to the Retreat.

Christopher kept saying, Anissa you need to go to the Retreat, and I wasn't sure I needed to go. I thought at the very least I would have a relaxing time, catch up on some sleep, and get some very needed rest (I can just hear my Roomie Laurie LOL about all the rest I was planning to get). I thought this would be a chance to get away from it all and be around some Friendly People. As you can imagine & what the Lord knew, my needs went much MORE deeper than just that. I was not just in need of a Friendly Person, but a Friend, not just a temporary Friend, but one that I could build a deep relationship with. I not only found Friends, but I found Sisters. Loving Sisters to replace the hurtful ones. God gave me a Beautiful Miracle this weekend and filled a void in my Heart.

I had an Amazing Experience at the Sanctuary Retreat. This past weekend was about Revelation, Confirmation, and Conviction, and to think I could have missed out. The first time I heard about the Retreat I wanted to go and I prayed about it. The Great & Holy Spirit told me to go to the Retreat, and that it was going to be an Awesome BLESSING (Remember what Blessing meant? Anything that brings you closer to God.). I really wanted to go, but I didn't know if I should go. I am sure some of you understand, know and felt that way too. I had doubt, and of course when we have doubt the enemy tries his best to trip us up and make us fall by not following the Directions of God. I sometimes get frustrated at my Child when she does not follow direction, after I have repeatedly over and over and over and over AGAIN have told her something that is for her own Good and the Lord lovingly said, Go ahead and tell Me about it My Daughter. Anissa I completely understand and know what you mean. A Parent shouldn't have to repeat Him or Herself, and a Child should follow directions the first time. A Child should listen to her Loving Parent who only wants the very best for her. -- that was beyond an AHA Moment that was a WOW Moment! It was a gentle, yet powerful Conviction. And most importantly a time for Repentance for me. I desire my Daughter to automatically follow my word, but do I automatically follow my Holy Parent's Word? Yikes!

I thought do I really need to go to the Retreat? Lord I need more than just a weekend with the Ladies. I need something Very Powerful right now. And the Lord shall provide ALL our needs in ABUNDANCE. What the Lord placed in my Heart I could not contain. My Heart over ran and my Tears over flowed. I think I cried about 5 lbs of Tears this weekend. Well back to deciding IF I needed to go to the Retreat.

Christopher and I looked at our Bank account, and like many others we have Financial Struggles, we are going through a Modification on our Mortgage, and can't even afford Medical Insurance. I think Shelly called it the Miserable Middle. We just barely make too much for Public Assistance and not enough for Insurance. There is no room for anything extra. Nothing, but the Bare Necessities. I said God, you know my heart I would love to go to the Retreat, but it is just Impossible right now. And God said. . .  My Beautiful Precious & Beloved Child have I taught you nothing? What is impossible for you is VERY Possible for Me. Someday I will tell you about Carissa's Story. God taught me that the Impossible is Possible. When we see there is no way, God has made a way. 

Along this Way I had to battle a couple of familiar Giants that go by the name of Shame & Pride that tried to stop me by saying; You don't deserve A Scholarship, Aren't you embarrassed,  just stay home, someone else needs it more than you. I had a choice, listen to the Giants or listen to God. I listened to God. Talked to Robanne and she confirmed that God in fact did have a way. I got the Scholarship, then there was the challenge of figuring out Transportation, and God said, Don't worry I got that covered too. Of course last Friday it was a Challenge just to get ready in time in order to meet up with Donna, her Mom, and Amanda. I'll tell ya, the way to know for sure that God has a Gift waiting for you is that when you try to get there, all Hell comes against you to try and stop it. Some of you might have experienced the same sort of Challenge just to leave on time & make it to the Retreat.

Well, I make it to Donna's and after Christopher did a last minute suitcase exchange and repacking, I kissed & hugged Christopher & Carissa goodbye and the Ladies and I headed on our way. What a great bunch of Ladies I got to travel with to the Retreat. We get to the Retreat and I have no idea who I am rooming with for the weekend. When the ladies told me who I was rooming with I did not know who this Person was, but they prayed about it and God helped them pick a Great Roomie for me, in fact God knew Laurie and I needed to be Roommates this weekend. We had a fantastic time together staying up late laughing, learning, and sharing our Story with one another. What a Wonderful Woman of Worth. I am honored that she trusted me to Share her Heart and her Story. I never knew how easy it is to Love someone you have never met before. We are both Sanctuary Sisters & Friends. Laurie introduced me to her travel companion Virgina who also is a fantastic Woman of Worth with a Powerful Story & Testimony.

Upon arriving at the Retreat we were greeted by the Hospitality Ladies who made us feel welcomed. We each got to draw a name of a Person who would be our Secret Sister, and throughout the weekend we would pray for her and make heart-made Personal Notes of Encouragement to leave on the Poster Board, so that she could pick them up and read them during her Retreat. I drew a name of a Person I did not know. Laurie and I first met in our room and went to the dinning room to have dinner together, or did we first meet at Dinner? I can't recall. Side Effects from the Sleep Deprivation.  Laurie did not know who my Secret Sister was either. I kept looking on name tags trying to figure it out, but I didn't see her name. After dinner was done we went to the Meeting Room. Our Worship Team was Inspirational. It was so much fun to worship just with the Sanctuary Sisters in one Big Group. I heard it was about 100 Women. After Worship our Guest Speaker is introduced, Shelley Withem and as she stood up I got my first look at my Secret Sister, and the Blessings kept on pouring in that weekend.

Shelley's Message about Life is a Circus, What's Your Safety Net? was so very powerful. We talked about the things we depend upon and our fears. You know how people say they have AHA Moments, well I had many many WOW Moments. One WOW Experience after another. As I said before, this weekend was about Revelations, Confirmations, and Convictions for me. I want to capture this WOW Experience and Share It Forward with others. 

The Lord gave me a Vision before I went to the Retreat about starting a Group, and I would like to invite you to join our Group. It is called The WOW Group and WOW is the acronym for Women of Worth. Each Woman is God's Daughter, created with a Unique Purpose which gives her Intrinsic Value and makes her a Woman of Worth. Our Mission Statement is on our Blog, Women of Worth United to Inspire, Encourage, and Empower. It is for Woman to Connect with other Women. There are two ways in which we can meet & connect with one another. We are going to connect once a month in Person and using the internet tools through a thing you might have heard about, FaceBook & possibly w/Skype. Through Facebook & Skype we will be able to connect w/one another from the comforts of our own home. You can meet up with others when you can. I am not a FaceBook wiz, so I am going to need some help figuring all that out. I am so not a computer or internet tech. person, so I am going to need the help from other gifted people to help this Process go along, as well getting help from those Blog experts.

We have planned another WOW Event for Ladies to participate & enjoy. And I will be talking with Robanne about another. We are beginning our Summer BookClub. Whether you are an avid reader, or haven't picked up a book in years this is going to Bless you. Remember what Blessing meant! The book is called Warrior Women Arise by Amanda Goransson. She is an Amazing. We have been e-mailing and Skyped with one another and she is a Friend who I have nicknamed Amazing Amanda. Now I am double blessed with two Amazing Amandas in my Life. Amanda Garcia is the other one. Amanda Goransson's book, is a Powerful Explanation of how God sees the Attributes of His Daughters which is much different than the Word. We have our ideas of what a Warrior Woman might look like and act like and it is nothing like how God sees us. The World's Image is not God's. It is such an Amazing Book about how God Treasures His Daughters. This is a Blessing for every Woman. It will both Surprise you, Inspire, Encourage, and Empower you. Let me give you a little taste of what is in store for you in this powerful book.

Some People know my BackStory and others do not. Here's the short version.  Some Children grow up with the zip code 90210, and others H E L L -- I was the child who grew up in Hell. At least Hell on Earth where I endured every type of abuse. You can imagine that growing up in Hell leaves a person with many Giants to Battle. There is a great chapter in this book called Facing Your Giants. One of my Goliaths goes by the name of Fear. In fact I have battled a variety of different kinds of this Giant. One of the Fear Giants goes by the name of Public Speaking. The Hell I grew up in I could not trust my own Parents, so how in the World am I suppose to trust anyone else? I learned in Hell that I had to solely rely on myself. And the Lord is teaching me it is time to let go of that Safety Net, because He came to set the Captives Free. I told the Lord this weekend, I have been Battling Fear all my Life and God said, you are my Beautiful Daughter I did not create you to Battle Fear I created you to Conquer it. These Giants were never meant to be my Life Long Companions. This Giant is so enormous and strong I can not take it down, and God said, Anissa you can't do it depending upon your strength, but you can do it in Mine. The Lord said, I will Conquer this Goliath with you and for you. So here I stand a Person stepping out in God's Strength to share my BackStory, my Journey and my Dream & Vision with Others. Are there any Giants in your Life? Anything holding you back from stepping forward into the destiny God has planned for you? Giants go by many names. Maybe you might recognize one,  Anxiety, Stress, Exhaustion, Neverousness, Confusion, Depression, Rejection, Abandonment, Worthlessness, Fear (many kinds), Self-Loathing, Low-Self Esteem, Addiction (many kinds, eating, shopping, working, alcohol, drugs) Despair, Pride, Pain (many kinds), The Void (lack of Passion & Purpose)?

Another Great Chapter in this Book is called The Weeping Warrior. This weekend I shed 5 lbs of Tears. They were Great Tears, Powerful Tears, Cleansing, Healing and even Tears of Joy. I grew up w/the message that Strong People don't cry and weep. Weeping is for the Weak. But these were all lies from Hell. This fantastic book shows how God views a Weeping Warrior. It might surprise you and it will definitely inspire, encourage, and empower you.  Amanda, author of Warrior Woman Arise writes,"Tears have a cleansing function, not only removing impurities by their actual presence, but also serving to purify our souls. The American poet John Vance Cheney wrote in his poem about tears: 'The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears.' I love this image, as it symbolizes the hope that can come after a time of weeping and how the faithfulness and beauty of God can arise out of great suffering. A God who is acquainted with suffering Himself could never despise this expression. God stores our tears as an outward symbol of their value to Him, and through that act, He affirms that the substance they represent is worthy of capturing." -- this is just a taste of what is in store for you in this powerful book.

Some might feel reluctant about the title and you don't envision yourself as a Warrior. This book has a great chapter on The Reluctant Warrior. The World's image and God's image of a Warrior Woman is not the same, God's imagine is Amazing. I was reluctant to go to the Retreat and I was very reluctant to lay my Safety Net down. However, when we lay our Safety Net down we walk away with Amazing Love. I love the Little Red Heart we were given at the Retreat. I have been holding on to it as I create the WOW Group & Blog to remind me that it is okay to step out of our Comfort Zone and do something we have never done before.

I was Blessed w/connecting with Amazing Women of Worth this weekend. Before we even left for the Retreat Donna blessed me w/encouragement. Virgina who I met through my connection w/my Roomie Lorrie blessed me by sharing her Story. All the Woman who shared their weekend Testimony were so powerful. Everyone who crossed my path. Jill our Very Talented Worship Angel also Inspired me through song and her love for the Young Ladies in her Youth Group. My own Secret Sister Margaret was such a blessing and also has a powerful Story of her own. I hope she does not mind me sharing the last Note of Encouragement she gave me. It says,
Dear Anissa,
I'm your Sister in the Lord who has prayed all weekend that the Holy Spirit would pour Himself out upon you and cause joy and confidence in Him to be given in Abundance.
Love in Jesus,

WOW Right! Talk about prayers being answered. I do not have a Basket Big Enough to carry all my Blessing, my cup runth over. And before I conclude I want to share with everyone how the Entire Group of Santucary Sister's Blessed me, especially Tiffany by teaching me a very important Lesson of Love. Growing up in Hell it is a matter of survival to be Unseen. I grew up feeling like my Presence was not Important. My Family of Origin couldn't care less about what happens to me. They are a bunch of users and abusers. God has taught me recently that Family is defined by Love not by Biology and thanks to my Sanctuary Sisters they gave me Confirmation that my Family of Origin is created in Heaven not on Earth. My Family is Larger than I ever knew. 

Saturday Night Laurie, Virgina, and I decided we would quickly get some dinner in town instead of meeting everyone in the Dinning room. It was more than just not wanting a Stuffed Potato for Dinner, it was a time to Share our Journey with one another. It did not cross our minds that anyone would worry if we were not there. We thought we would be back while People were still eating dinner, and no one would miss us if we were gone. We were SO wrong. We were missed -- very much. In fact some People were getting ready to send out a Search Party and go looking in town for us. We all have very Deep Regret & Remorse for worrying People. We did not mean to worry others and I can not speak for anyone else, only to say that all 3 of us have felt at sometime in our Life that we would not be missed.  Laurie and Virigina's Stories are their own to share in their own time, just know that we did not mean to worry or hurt anyone. I honestly felt like I would not be missed. It wasn't that I was thoughtless about others, it was that I thought less about myself. Like I had mentioned earlier, my Family of Origin has made me feel like an Unseen & Unimportant Person, especially due to some recent events. I made the Mistake that others would feel the same way, just go on without me, not giving me a second thought. Anissa not being here is No Big Deal. I got use to that. I am so Sorry for Worrying People. Thank You for showing me that there is some Old Baggage that needed to be handed over to Jesus. And I was able to do that this weekend at "The WOW Retreat" thanks to all my Sanctuary Sisters.

I want to invite every Woman to join our WOW Group. You do not have to buy the book in order to join the group. Details for the Book are below as well as more important info. on a Praise Report. There is some Blog challenges w/spacing. Sorry. Just keep reading. You can purchase the book below. Thanks.



(National Orders Only at this time. Price includes, book, tax, and s/h.)

This is one of the WOW events that we are planning for our group. We will soon announce our next WOW Event. Hope you will join us. God Bless your Life. I am praying for Spiritual Networking to take place, so please forward this to your Ladies in your Life and invite them to join with you. This is going to be so much FUN! Remember even if you can not meet in Person we are setting up our On-Line Group, so that you don't miss out on anything and can connect w/other Women of Worth around the World. Amanda the Author of Warrior Women Arise lives in Sweden, originally from Dublin, and she has joined our group and is looking forward to talking with other Women of Worth. Our WOW Group is Officially International! We need you to help get the word out through Spiritual Networking. Thank You for your help and support.
Love & Peace to you,

PS. PRAISE REPORT: Christopher told me last night that when he got home from dropping me off at Donna's there was a Large Envelope waiting for him. He read what the letter said, and the Mortgage Company is going to give us a 3 Month Trial Period for a Modified Mortgage. We had previously had a 10 Month Trial Mortgage at a higher amount and when we completed that Trial Period we expected to solidify the deal and were told that the Mortgage Company is not working with that group any longer and we had to resubmit all our paper work, so it is very interesting to see GOD work things out to our benefit. We were so upset that they did not solidify the first deal, but GOD is using it to Bless us. Yes, I am weeping happy tears right now! GOD is Great! No matter how this House deal goes GOD is directing our path and blessing it. Who needs Biological Parents when you have GOD watching over you. -- not a slam on Great Biological Parents, I just didn't have any. What this World can not provide GOD makes up in Abundance.