God is good! I was raised my entire life in church, however, issues during my upbringing and various life events caused my heart to be wounded, broken. Jesus wants to heal all sickness including the broken hearts.
Two years ago I experienced an extreme life change where after 19 years of marriage I moved suddenly with my kids aged 10 and 16, to a different city to be supported by family. My husband at the time was in a full blown drug psychosis and we had no other option but to leave. The plan was to leave only for a week, but it soon became apparent it would be permanent.
That was the start of a period of extreme depression, inability to work, or to even function on a daily basis. The kids also struggled as they were torn from everything that was familiar - their city, school, friends, house and their father.
However, God is good. He never left us and he provided the strength to deal with each situation as they arose. Within a year I was able to return to work, and the kids were getting accustomed to life in Oakville. However, life wasn’t easy and everything had changed, especially financially. It has been a constant struggle to find affordable housing.
In addition, I carried extreme shame and guilt on a daily basis for my failed marriage and the current state of my ex-husband. No matter how much I thought I gave the situation to God, I was mentally tormented on a daily basis.
Two weeks before the encounter I was getting desperate with God as we had been informed we were being evicted in a couple months. God told me I should go to the encounter, but I dismissed it. The Sunday before the encounter Lillian was a greeter at the door and I asked how I could register, although I still didn’t really want to go.
I had basically isolated myself from any type of relationship, outside my family, for the past 2 years. Initially it was due to the events I was going through and then later it was to avoid any possibility of being hurt. Thus the thought of spending 2 days, 24/7 with a group of women was scary, but I told God if he wanted to work on me, I would go.
By Wednesday that week there was a major blow up in the home, where I had uncontrollable anger directed verbally to my kids. I thought this is similar to how I was raised and that I said I would never do. In addition, the next 2 days I had shooting stomach on and off. Both situations caused me to doubt whether or not I should go. I realized then that the enemy was trying to sabotage me from going and experiencing freedom in all areas of my life.
It was an amazing weekend! First night after the session I went to my assigned cabin with 10 other ladies. We instantly bonded even though we were different ages, backgrounds and life experiences. We had a common thread of wanting more of God that weekend. Night 2, after the last session was done, we had a full out prayer meeting in our cabin as ladies made their specific prayer requests known and everyone agreed in prayer.
The weekend was chalked full of awesome worship, life giving teachings, followed by small group discussion, as well as impartation. Most importantly after each session there was a practical component to repent and experience freedom from life’s hurts, allowing daddy God to restore His life, peace, hope, joy and love.
I left the weekend feeling hopeful, rejuvenated, encouraged, with a renewed desire to memorize scriptures in order to take authority over all aspects of my life in Jesus’ name, hungry to spend more time with God on a daily basis and with an increase in faith knowing that even though there will be struggles, God is with me every step of the way.
I highly recommend an encounter weekend if you want freedom in any area of your life or simply to draw close to God. He will meet you where you are at and love on you.
It wasn’t until a couple days after the weekend was over, that I realized I wasn’t waking up or going through my day with anxiety, heaviness, or guilt about the current physical and mental state of my ex. Praise God I can leave my ex in God’s hands and be free from Satan’s daily torment! God wants us to live life abundantly and I’m thankful for the encounter weekend and a renewed peace and trust in God.
- Laura M., Toronto, Encounter Weekend 2019