By Becca Muilenburg
Full. If asked for one word to describe a typical week in our family, “full” is the one I would choose. With children, jobs, school, and all the other little errands and appointments which seem to multiply overnight, my husband and I are always searching for snippets of time when we can enjoy unhurried and uninterrupted time in Scripture and in prayer. The women’s retreat was a perfect chance to step away from this full schedule, if only for a couple days.
On my way to the retreat, I anticipated a time of rest and relaxation, connecting with friends and meeting new ones, and being encouraged with Biblical truths. Throughout the retreat, I was reminded of what is always true of me as an adopted child of God, redeemed through the precious blood of Christ. Two elements in particular have lingered with me since returning—my daily living is shaped by eternal realities and my truest identity is that I belong to Christ.
First, my story is shaped by the biggest story, a reality far too easy to lose sight of in the midst of daily life. The theme of the retreat was “Everyday Eternal: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Consummation.” I am created in the image of God, fallen in Adam, but redeemed by the precious blood of Christ, and longing for the day when faith will be made sight, eternally worshipping God around his throne with all the saints. Through the teaching and fellowship at the retreat, I was quite helped by the perspective that my everyday life, full as it may be, is shaped and transformed by the eternal realities seen in the Gospel.
Second, the most important thing about me is that I belong to Christ, my only comfort in life and in death. In trials, afflictions, grief and loss, it is unshakably true that I belong to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ. However, it is also true that I am tempted to find my identity and fullness of joy in good things like job stability, health and a comfortable place to live. Rather, Scripture shows my truest identity as a Christian—that I am loved by Jesus Christ, who gave himself for me, and that it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Gal 2:20). The retreat gave me a much-needed break from daily distractions, allowing me to meditate on who I am in Christ.