As I stepped forward for prayer during the first night of the Prayer Retreat in June 2008, I experienced such a sense of joy that it made me giddy. I was left filled with this joy and laughter for almost three weeks afterwards. Even now, from time to time, I giggle at the memory of that moment.
When a member of the Refuge Deliverance Center invited all those grappling with life-controlling issues to the altar, I watched as a few brave women headed to the front. When one of them stated that fear was her main struggle, I felt empowered to leave my seat and move to the front, as fear was dominating my life, too. As I proceeded to the altar, fear tried to hold me back. I felt that, as a leader, I was really putting my issues “out there” for others to see. I worried what people would think. Thankfully, I was able to push past these concerns, recognizing that only God could handle my needs and understanding that He was graciously giving me a divine opportunity to deal with this issue head on.
I desperately wanted God to birth a “new me,” and I didn’t care how long or how difficult the process would be. My loving sisters from the Refuge Deliverance Team were like midwives, assisting me during my time of labor. They were dutiful in helping me achieve my breakthrough. And when the work was done and peace came over me, it was like I was a newborn baby—clean and pure. The enemy’s attacks on my mind were over. The lifelong chipping away of my self-esteem had suddenly come to an end. I was free and I felt free! The scripture in John 8:36 that reads: “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed,” came to life for me that night.
I emerged from that session as a different woman. My desire for greater intimacy with God was stronger than it had ever been. And since that life-changing night of liberation, happiness and joy are now my constant companions. Guilt and condemnation are no longer in my shadow.
I now love who I am and I’m looking forward to experiencing all the good things God has in store for me. I am thankful for the women who worked with me in the healing and liberation processes. The love of Christ was reflected in their service to me that night and they have been a constant source of strength to me since that weekend. They are precious, precious people.
I continue to use the hand-out materials I received during the retreat even after the 40 day follow-up period. I use them along with my Bible study and devotional materials. I can’t thank God enough for the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, and for my deliverance through His love. My life has truly been transformed!”
– Annie Martin
“Before attending the Women’s Prayer Retreat, my self-esteem was at an all-time low. I didn’t feel like going to work some days. And I found myself withdrawing from people after church on Sundays. What I didn’t know was that the enemy was using issues in my past to hold me captive and preventing me from moving forward. But God heard my cry and delivered me at that retreat.
During my deliverance I let go of all the anger, bitterness, resentment, and frustration that I had built up after an abusive marriage. And, as part of my deliverance, I was set free from deception, pain, rejection, unforgiveness, and the constant feeling that I was allowing others to take advantage of me. I praise God because now I am free to live out my life’s purpose. God’s love is amazing and I praise Him for all that I am today.”
K. Johnson, Analyst, Microsoft Corporation
“Our emotions not only impact our own lives but also the lives of those we come in contact with every day. Knowing this, it is interesting how little training and analysis we’ve been given in this area. The Emotional Intelligence Assessment was eye-opening to me because it showed me key areas that I can leverage to be a better Christ-Follower, husband, father, employee, and grad student. It also highlighted areas that need continued development in order to reach my maximum potential. The assessment provided data to support the findings and Rupert provided guidance on how I can both interpret the results and use this to motivate change in my life. It was critical for me to have a fellow Believer in Christ conducting this assessment as I can trust that our worldview and perspectives are aligned, I cannot stress the importance of this aspect enough.”
– K. Johnson, Analyst,
Learning that others think you are a stone wall and emotionless isn’t something anyone wants to hear, but it opened my eyes to my behavior at work and at home. The natural defenses you have for a lifetime start to break down once you acquire the tools to identify your weak areas and take the steps to improve them.
At first, I didn’t feel (as I’m sure many people don’t) that I was doing anything wrong. Why is it wrong to not wear your feelings on your sleeve at work? Why is it wrong to be stern?
It really wasn’t until several months into the program did I even see I was changing, without trying. Being approachable in your life is easier than always being on guard. Listening to others and not being defensive is easier than attacking and putting up walls. Being friendly and smiling is easy. It takes more muscles to frown than to smile, so why not be a brighter spot in someone’s day?
Where I come from and who I align myself with has taken its toll on me, professionally and personally. Though at first I thought I wore two different masks, I came to see that wasn’t true. I just chose who got to see what and when, and keeping up that charade is tiring. I have feelings in me that I have suppressed around certain people, but for what reason? There is no need to be different things to different people, and this program has helped bring that out of me. I am taking a lot of what I am learning and trying to “pay it forward” to the negative influences I have in my life. I can see their push back, which makes me reflect on how I was behaving and how negative and frustrating it is to deal with that personality.
I have taken time to listen to people who I feel have great personalities and think about what makes them tick. How can a person raising two kids on her own be happy? How can people who have overcome devastating losses continue on with smiles on their faces? If they can do it, there is no reason why I can’t. I never take my luck or life for granted, but it does get pushed to the back sometimes and now I know to bring it forward. We get stuck in a cycle of negativity sometimes, and I want to break free and bring others with me. I have the skills to do that now.
I hope the differences I see in myself are evident to others. I don’t feel I lacked the skills, just the ability to emote them, and that is changing for the better.
12 months is a good start to this journey of change. It’s something I’ll have to continue to work on, but I want to thank you for this program and pulling out the Me we knew was there.
I have no suggestions to improve the program as a whole, but would like to know if you have any suggested readings so I can continue to improve and elevate myself.