by Renee Scott

Let me start by sharing one word about my experience at A Beautiful Weekend…challenging. Probably not the word you expected to hear. Let’s face it, three days on the beach surrounded by Christian women should only be described as phenomenal. That wasn’t the case this year for me.

Believe it or not, this was only my 2nd year attending the Beautiful retreat.  Since I had to teach a breakout workshop last year, I didn’t know how this years’ experience would differ from last.  I knew that I would once again greet the time away with an expectation for God to:  1. Move 2. Move mightily 3. Move how and when He wants In the midst of junk food, jamming to Just Dance, and relaxing on the beach. I intentionally listened for the voice of God. Whether He would speak through a gentle whisper or a confirming word, I knew that He would give direction.  Opening my “Tiffany” box on the first night was the beginning of wonderful whispers from God.


That was my word and its meaning was revealed time and time again throughout the weekend.  Here’s my own word for the weekend.


After briefly sitting in two breakout sessions, I didn’t feel like I had the right workshop so I kept looking until I sat down in the workshop on surrender.  Vivian taught the class and shared her experiences of truly surrendering her ALL to Christ.  Even though I have a strong faith and great relationship with Christ, I can’t say that I’d surrendered everything to Him.  There were pieces of my past that I still needed to make peace with.  God began to reveal the areas at various points throughout the weekend.  This revelation caused me to feel broken on the last night of the retreat.  I surrendered my all that day and I was left feeling broken.  This was not what I envisioned my retreat experience to be.  There would be no brownies on the beach, no late night chat with friends that last evening because I had to place myself in a vulnerable state with God so that He could restore my pieces. I woke up the next morning with a headache and bags under my eye because of the tears from the night before.  I literally cried out to God in a way that I hadn’t in quite some time.

Since the retreat, I’ve decided to take a break from teaching on Monday nights to focus on my total healing.  Memories of the past necessitate counseling, prayer, and journaling through the healing process.  I end this post asking for prayer as I journey into places unknown so that God can heal my soul.  Whatever the process entails, I know that I’m EQUIPPED to conquer it!

Share your experiences below.  We want to know how you were challenged or blessed during a Beautiful weekend.

Renee ScottRenee Scott is co-founder of the popular blog, , where she shares encouragement and inspiration to men and women all over the world.  She’s been a member of Grace Family Church for four years. She loves to run and recently completed her first half marathon. She is a wife of over 14 years and mother of two children.

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