“For so long I had struggled with trying to find fulfillment on my own, trying to satisfy my desires. I became so full of myself, and yet I felt so empty. We meditated on the verse in Ephesians 2:22 which says, ‘In whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.’ God spoke so strongly to me in just showing me that He wanted me to be a ‘temple’ for Him. He wanted to break me of myself so that He could live inside of me. God did start breaking me. . . . It's just been amazing how God has been able to ‘empty’ me. In becoming empty of myself, dying to myself, and allowing Christ to be the only One living inside me, I have found so much fulfillment that I never thought I could have.”
This was just one of the testimonies from the last Young Ladies’ Journey of the year held at the Northwoods Conference Center. Thirty-four girls came, many with a willing heart to seek God, which gave an awesome start to the Journey. Throughout the week as girls shared with their teams what God was teaching them in their personal quiet times with Him, it was evident that the Holy Spirit was faithfully teaching and guiding each participant.
“I've always had trouble surrendering to God. When I came on the Journey, I was not very sure what to expect. I said, ‘God, before I come, I'm going to give You my expectations. I want You to do something in my life that I can't do on my own.’” After watching a message on bitterness vs. forgiveness, she realized she had let bitterness creep into her life, which caused many conflicts in her family. The video session closed with the girls kneeling in a time of prayer. This particular young lady commented that being on her knees was a sign for her of “total dependence upon [God] and humility.” After pouring her heart out to God, she called her parents and asked their forgiveness. Letting go of her bitterness and surrendering it to God really impacted her. “I’m just so thankful that God is so good to me.”
The week also included times of prayer, both in small groups and an individual hour of prayer. One young lady described how much she enjoyed the hour alone in prayer. “I spent half of the hour just praying for my family. There's many in my family, but I had never taken the time to slowly think about each sibling and realize what's going on in their lives and looking at [their] individual needs . . . I was able to take it slow and pray for what God has laid on my heart for them. It was beautiful! I was taking a walk; at one point I got on my knees and prayed for one of my brothers because I felt a burden for him. [The hour of prayer] was definitely a good experience.”
Besides video sessions and prayer times, the young ladies were encouraged in other areas of spiritual growth. One testimony given was about spending time with the Lord. “Before I came on the Journey, I had never really wanted to have a quiet time; it was like a chore. When I got here, my team leader said to spend forty-five minutes meditating on three verses. I thought, ‘What?!? How do you do that?’” Throughout the week God showed her that she could actually enjoy meditating on Scripture. During the remainder of the week, she discovered it became easier and easier to spend time with the Lord. When she gave her testimony, she shared how much she really enjoyed her time with Jesus.
As the young ladies spent time with God during the Journey, they experienced His love more and more and were drawn into a closer relationship with Him. Please pray for them as they return to their homes and families. Pray that they would allow Christ to live His life through them and that they would renew their minds and be transformed by His Word. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . (Romans 12:2a).”