STAR Retreat 2013 Part 3: An Empty Grave

So what was this heaviness pushing me further into the corner of my couch, weighing deeply on my heart? Do I really believe what I said? That grace doesn’t just save me, but that grace keeps me? When I collide with the impossible, do I really believe that grace keeps me from falling over the edge and breaking all apart?

God was at the steering wheel of the retreat from day one, and every time I started to doubt, I would remember how He was leading us and I would chide myself for my faltering faith. Yet there I was, curled in the corner of the couch trembling, a couple days before we would leave.

The weather forecast was predicting snow. Lots of snow. And wind, thirty miles per hour wind.

One of our speakers had a chronic fatigue breakdown and couldn’t come. Who would fill her session on such short notice?

The student we thought would undoubtedly come was grounded. We were down from six girls to five, and with the weather, would any of our club girls come?

My sister, a workshop leader, was very sick and told me she didn’t think she could make it after all. That would leave me to lead a workshop with very little mental preparation.

Jesus, how much do you think I can take?


When you’re there where I was, curled in the corner of the couch trembling, He is with you. God is always Emanuel. He doesn’t leave when the going gets tough and the heart rends. He is with you, even in the corner of a couch. We’re standing outside an empty grave. Our Redeemer lives and He is within us, within our messy, weak, faltering lives…He lives.


In faith, we packed our van that snowy morning in the middle of heavy gusts of wind and we picked up all five girls that had signed up (oh me of little faith), and we drove down the highway and out of the snow thirty minutes down the road.

Rosemary asked an older woman of faith to take the empty spot where we desperately needed a session. That lady said yes…with three days to prepare.

You know what?

He lives! He lives within our humanity and He guides and He transforms and He takes our weak efforts and He gives grace, above and beyond and always, always sufficient.

The grave is empty, the victory is won, and the battle belongs to Him, the Great I Am.

We just have to say yes. Open up our hands and declare our allegiance. He always takes care of the rest.

It’s why retreats planned by mortals in the middle of winter can ever take place.

Saying yes to Jesus is never easy, but it is always an adventure.


3 thoughts on “STAR Retreat 2013 Part 3: An Empty Grave

  1. Praise to our God, the Almighty the King of Creation.Oh my soul praise Him for He is thine help and salvation……..
    I look forward to the day when these blogs are in published book form entitled Beautiful Captivation. What an inspiration to many.
    Keep writing,
    I love you,

  2. “It’s why retreats planned by mortals in the middle of winter can ever take place.”
    ~What a funny thought that we would choose the middle of winter… It was the weekend before Valentine’s Day, and hoped that we could inspire the girls to live beyond a fantasy into Reality… Life in Christ! Praise the Lord for leaving all the evidences of His Awesome ways behind for us to enjoy! We truly were all blessed.~
    ~Rosemary Hurst~

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