Ever since I became a Christian, all kinds of doors have been opening up to me, and I’ve also been given a lot more clarity in the direction God has planned for me. Even if one door closes, another one always seems to open. I still have strong doubts about my faith, and I’m always praying for that to be strengthened–not only so I can help myself, but also so I can help others too. I’ve found that when I put my own will ahead of God’s, I always wind up with regrets, but whenever I’ve followed God and put aside my fears, that somehow it turns out to be the best thing I could have done.
Yesterday I received an email from a woman who reads this blog and has found it helpful. She is also a victim of narcissistic abuse and has found my articles have given her courage and hope. She also offered me a fantastic opportunity, one that initially I felt like I’d have to decline, but the more I think and pray about it, the more it seems to me that God is calling me to take up her offer.
Basically, it’s a three day Christian retreat in Chapel Hill, NC that trains people in not only increasing their faith through Jesus Christ, but also helps them learn to pray for others who are broken-hearted and need God’s grace and healing.
I’ve talked about this before, but for awhile now, my greatest desire has become to help others heal from abuse, C-PTSD, and even the personality disorders that abuse can cause in a person as they unconsciously rely on primitive defense mechanisms to cope. There are many people out there who are hurting and are lost, just as I was lost and hurting until I went No Contact with my abusers.
I’ve been somewhat frustrated because there is really no way I could, at my age, afford or find the time and energy to return to school to become a therapist. But I believe Jesus can also heal people who have suffered because of abuse. I already spend much time in prayer for these broken hearted people, but I feel like my faith is shaky and leaves a lot to be desired. I feel like my prayers could be so much more effective with the right sort of training and a supportive environment where I could put aside my day to day worries and just focus on God and prayer.
Getting back to the email I received, the woman who wrote to me has offered to pay my expenses for the hotel stay (3 nights) and lunches. It is being held very soon–November 13 – 16, which is in just two weeks. I can get there myself being that it’s only a 3-4 hour drive from where I live. But going would also mean that I’d lose 3 days of work pay since it’s being held during the week, and of course there is the matter of dinner, gas, and extraneous expenses that may come up. I would not be spending any money on luxuries or souvenirs. I am going to talk on the phone with her tonight. She has provided her phone number and I looked at the website link she sent me and it does seem legitimate. But this is the only opportunity I have to go until next summer, when they will have another prayer retreat.
Here is a short description on their About page of what they do. (I don’t know if I’m at liberty to name the organization at this point).
focuses on the primary mission statement of Christ to heal the brokenhearted (Luke 4:17-18a), whereby Christ gives us singleness of heart and action (Jer.32:39) to the end that we are then able to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. (Matt. 22:37) ___ does this by intentionally synchronizing the most core parts of our heart to the Lord in a short period of time.
I feel like this could be lifechanging for me, and help me to help others more effectively. I know God wants me to attend, otherwise I would not have received this offer. But since I live paycheck to paycheck and already have so much trouble keeping up with my bills, and have no savings, and cannot afford to take the time off work and lose pay (I have no more vacation days), I would need about $400 by November 10th or so to be able to make this dream a reality. Of course, I will share about my experience when I return.
$250.oo to make up for 3 days’ lost pay from work
$150 for gas and dinners for 3 nights
So I’m asking anyone who wishes to help me take this opportunity to help me grow closer to God and be able to more effectively help others heal through prayer, to please make a donation before November 10th (it takes a few days for PayPal donations to enter your bank).
For some reason, I’ve been unable to activate the PayPal donation button, but you can log onto PayPal and enter my email to send the money to. Any amount of help would be gratefully appreciated!
My email for making a donation is: firstname.lastname@example.org
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