“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.” – e. e. cummings

Last May I attended an all day women’s retreat at Lake Creek Camp. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I was waiting for someone to talk me out of going. It was the one day in May where temperatures were actually FREEZING and this was going to be an outside event.

I bundled up, got into my brand new car and headed off to what I didn’t know then, was the beginning of my life. Well, like about the 5th or 6th beginning, but it was the one I’ve been praying for!

Lake Creek Camp has been in existence for over 150 years. It started out as a church community whose members had to travel far enough that they built small one room cabins so they could stay overnight before and after worship.

One of the scheduled events was a prayer walk where we traveled at our own pace between these ancient cabins and focused on specific words signified in each hallowed space. When I arrived at the Joy Cabin, I read the scripture from James “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

As I contemplated on Joy I was suddenly aware of how hard I worked to keep joy out of my life. I didn’t believe I was worthy of feeling joy! I listened to those family members who tried to tell me I wasn’t worthy. Tears streamed down my face as I realized I deserved joy just as much as anyone else and I prayed that God would un-harden my heart against myself and let me feel worthy of being joyful.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31.

I left that day determined to convince myself that life does not have to be so serious! And that I AM WORTHY of JOY.

For the next month, tears would flow from nowhere and I was filled with the amazement of the world and the power of God.

Someone recently asked me what I would tell the broken Toby 10 years ago. I quickly answered that I would tell her she was enough. She was worthy.

I am worthy. I am enough! And so are you…