Growth Challenge Weekend
By: Kelly Mouisset
How many times have you wished you could just run away for the weekend, shut everyone out, and just worry about your own wellbeing for a change? Well, that is what I did and it was the most amazing three days I have ever spent with 20 complete strangers. I was blessed to be a part of the fourth Growth Challenge Weekend through The Kitchen Table Counseling Services in January of this year. I had no idea what to expect, but I knew I wanted to grow spiritually and personally and this was the place to make that happen. I believed that it was time for me to begin living life differently, step outside my comfort zone and behind living the life God wanted me to live, not the one I believed I deserved. It gave all of us the opportunity to get to know who we really are down deep.
One of the first challenges was to answer the question, “Tell us who you are.” I can remember trying to decide who I was. What sounded good, made sense or didn’t make me look like I needed this weekend? I was so concerned about what complete strangers thought that a simple question made me stop in my tracks. Everything I thought about was intertwined and dependent on someone else. I was a mom, wife, sister, daughter, secretary and a friend. I remember sitting there and wondering where exactly did the “me” go? Where did I lose myself? How have I gone this long without realizing I had disappeared?
Somewhere along the way I lost who I was through my own decision to believe what the world believes. When I failed, I was a failure. When I lost, I was a loser. When I made poor choices, I deserved every consequence. When I was successful, I waited for the fall. I was not worthy of success, happiness or feeling God’s true peace. I believed if the world didn’t offer forgiveness freely certainly God couldn’t forgive my shortcomings either. So, all I could do was try harder, put up a wall and let people see what I wanted them to see. They saw the “me” who tries hard, pushes forward when she wants to quit, someone driven to perfection and trying to earn worthiness – always trying to make up for wrongs, lies, and hurts but never feeling like I was enough.
Somewhere along those three days I discovered that little freckled faced girl, with bouncing red curls, twirling around the living room, performing for whomever would watch. This girl knew she was loved and worthy of every blessing she received. She didn’t really care what other people thought. She was a girl full of life, love and joy; wanting to help everyone around but still being perfectly content playing all by herself. My identity was not tied to anything else, but who God made me to be.
Now, the weekend brought together different personalities, heartaches, emotions and traumas. There were words spoken into lives that seemed to cling to us and change the way we saw ourselves. We drifted away from the life God had planned and allowed what others believed to mold us into what we became.
If you struggle with anything there is a safe place to resolve those issues. You can choose to open up your heart and be healed, it is up to you, but attending a weekend growth challenge is something I will never regret. It started me on a journey to love myself where I am, in the midst of the craziness, despite my choices. I am a Real Worthy Woman of God who can show her weakness and still love herself. Maybe today is the day you do the same.
Kelly Mouisset is the director of One Minute Ministry, Oneminuteministry.net, which provides daily devotionals and family-friendly events. She is the loving wife of Chris and mother to three amazing boys!