When Donna asked me to go to the ladies retreat, I wanted to go, but as the time got closer I looked for reasons to get out of it, not because I didn’t want to go, but because I felt that I was not good enough. All my life I felt unworthy, rejected by my earthly Father, and my husband. Why would my Heavenly Father love me when I couldn’t love myself?

On the way to the retreat Donna and I spoke about forgiveness and other struggles, she said that I need to forgive but I just didn’t know how or if I really wanted to. God felt so far away, and I didn’t feel loved, how could anyone love me? I was harboring so much anger and pain. No one could ever love me.

During the second session, Stephanie was giving a word that she believed God put it on her heart to share. I raised my hand for prayer. The next thing I remember is ladies surrounding me praying for me. I remember one asked me what I needed prayer for. I told her forgiveness. Still standing with my arms crossed to keep everything in. I just let go. It felt as if God himself met me in that place and took away my pain, anger, and worthlessness. I was broken. My anger, hurt and worthlessness were gone. I felt love. A different kind of love, it surrounded me, embraced me.

I asked, what did I do now? How do I seek after God? I spoke to Rita and she told me that it is okay to have struggles, but it is how I handle them. I need to ask God for help, he knows my struggles and my weaknesses better than I do. He will sort through my emotions; he will heal me. He will get me through this. All I need to do is ask. She told me to read Psalm 119. I read it twice and found an overwhelming peace.

I can’t say that my struggle is over, or that I am completely healed, but I know that I have someone who loves me unconditionally, and I can go to him when I feel weak and afraid. I ask him for help daily to hide me and strengthen me constantly because I can’t do anything without his knowledge and love.