A small group of women met on Saturday at the Beatrice YMCA for a retreat entitled “Bend without Breaking.”
Joni Bruhn, of Beatrice, organized the event. Credie Eubanks, of Overland Park, Kansas, led the group through the program she wrote.
“The world just pounds us with bad news” Eubanks said. “Today and always, God allows us to come together as we are. We need each other in this world.”
A picture of a tree with a strong trunk and leaves was handed to each participant with the instructions of filling in the leaves with concerns or things that they wanted to leave on the table at the end of the day. Health, insecurity, anxiety, family, stress and depression were some of the leaves on the poster board version of the tree. Eubanks assured the group that all of those concerns were normal.
“Remember who you are, unique and wonderfully made. Remember who made you,” Eubanks said. “Remember the many attributes of God. He knows where you are and what you need to be triumphant.”
“Bad things happen to good people and this side of heaven, we may never know why. God doesn’t cause it and we can’t control the outcomes,” Eubanks said.
Eubanks talked about the differences of living in an incubator or the wilderness.
“The incubator is a controlled environment with protection. The wilderness is not. And what do we do when we are in the wilderness? We whine and complain. Are you going to be a victim or victorious?
“We also need to know who our real friends are and the gifts that they might possess. Do not be afraid to call on those friends and their gifts when you feel like you are in the wilderness.” Eubanks said.
The participants spent time discussing prayer and how it needs to be on a list of “things to do” every day - a foundation, of sorts.
“Sometimes we tie God’s hands or limit what we ask for in our prayers. We are delighted when our children learn from us. God is delighted when we call on him,” Eubanks said.
Elaine Riley, a participant, offered the illustration of a grandmother making cookies.
“The grandchild wants to help and while grandma doesn’t need help, she is delighted to spend time with the child. God delights in us in the same way.”
Eubanks said success can be defined as:
S – Serving in the capacity God designed me for.
U – Understanding His plan for me.
C – Calling on Him to guide me.
C- Created for His glory.
E – Encouraging self and others.
S – Successful at keeping His Word.
S – Sacrifice and surrender self to Him.
“The power of God changes lives,” Eubanks said. “We are a beautiful tapestry, but we are not Wonder Woman. That is a myth. Remember that broken is not discarded. We are not designed to walk alone. Ask for help from friends that have gifts we need.”