This past weekend was our 3rd Passion for Orphans retreat.
We were at Aloft in Broomfield, near Boulder.
50 ladies joined us this time, with 10 of those ladies commuting for various parts of the weekend.

Our theme was Hope and Healing.
I loved this theme because I myself have experienced much healing …
and my hope is certain.

I gave the talk on Sunday morning and just wanted to recap some of what I shared.

I addressed the difficult topic of suffering.
With a room filled with adoptive and foster moms, they know, and have experienced much suffering.
Both personally, and through the kids they have brought home.

Suffering looks different for each person.
I think it’s important to identify some different types of suffering,
and determine what our personal suffering looks like.

Adamic suffering – the fall of Adam and Eve
Victim suffering – one who has been sinned against, sexually, physically and emotionally
Consequential suffering – reaped because of foolish decisions
Collective suffering – happens by virtue of being part of a people who are suffering
    .. those born into poverty, famine, hardship, war and conflict
Empathetic suffering – comes when someone we love is hurting
Preventative suffering – warns us of greater suffering that will happen if we don’t heed the warnings
Mysterious suffering – we simply do not know the details and God doesn’t reveal why

The suffering we endure often leads to a Shattering.
What once was is now unidentifiable because the pieces are shattered into tiny pieces.
Broken glass, where the pieces cannot be put back together again.

BUT we need to be reminded of Who’s in control of what often seems like chaos.
An offense can be taken up, but must not be.
We can not ask how or why this could happen to me …
but instead Surrender and Settle by letting go of our offenses and lay them at the foot of the cross.

It is through our suffering that God builds in us a Steadfastness.
I love what James says …
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Where there is Suffering – Shattering – Surrender – Steadfastness
   there is a great need for Healing – and Hope!

Our Creator is the one who, piece by piece, picks up the shattered glass.
He uses each piece for the larger picture.
We must have HOPE!

Hope requires that we are born again (1 Peter 1:3-9)
Suffering leads to hope (Romans 5:3-5)
Hope demands that we hold fast, without wavering (Hebrews 10:23-25)
Hope is coming!! (Romans 8:18-25)

One day, all will be made new!!!!

But while we wait … we must find Shelter.
Shelter in our Savior – ultimately, our hope and healing are ONLY found in Him.
Shelter in other Saints – God uses fallen, sinful people in our lives to help bring healing.

We must Share our story!
– For the goal of exposing darkness
– For our own healing
– For the encouragement of others
– For our good and His glory