"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Galatians 5:1)
Freedom is something we talk a lot about in our nation. America is the "land of the free." We boast and brag about it, but we often forget that freedom actually isn't free. Flipping through any world history book, one begins to add up the cost of freedom for different peoples and nations. In every case, attaining freedom is a painful process, but worth it.
As Christians, our freedom from Satan's "yoke of slavery," sin and death, has been bought with a price–that being the very life of God's own son, Jesus Christ; and we need to respond to that sacrifice in order to claim its fruits.
On a warm weekend in November, 16 men and 16 women had the opportunity to experience the freedom of Christ in a real and profound way. The Steps to Freedom Retreat, which is the capstone of the Dangerous Men (for men) and Unveiled (for women) book studies, is a 7-step process that helps men and women attain freedom through powerful reflection on and prayer into their past.
The men's Steps to Freedom retreat was a three-day camping trip at Follett's Ranch in Buda, TX. Each participant paired up with a healing partner to tackle each step alongside. Knowing they were all going through the same healing process together encouraged them each to open up more, both to each other and to Lord and how He wanted to work in them. They left the retreat as a unified army of warriors ready to fight against evil as one!
The women's Steps to Freedom was a day retreat at the Oblate Renewal Center in San Antonio, TX. The grounds provided a beautiful, sheltered environment in which the women could feel safe to dive into their past with one another and find healing. Having allowed the Lord to open their eyes to wounds that had yet to be closed, having proclaimed forgiveness and implored divine assistance, each woman left joyfully made new.
The hope is to do this retreat again next semester, both for continued healing in the returning participants and for those who have never ventured into this kind of process.