This past weekend I had the incredible opportunity to go on a women’s retreat with my church. I am on the women’s ministry team, and this is something we have been planning for more than a year. It was great to have it finally come into fruition; it felt like we were planning it forever. We had the opportunity to have an outside speaker come in. Usually we would have women from our church do the speaking, but a few women heard this lady speak, and we knew that we had to have her at our retreat.

The speaker, Carole, calls herself “The Pottery Lady.” As you can imagine the foundation of her messages was that we are the clay and God is the master potter. However, she took a slightly different approach to the messages then we are used to hearing. While Carole spoke, she would sit at her wheel and make pottery. She would work with the clay and use her knowledge of pottery to make comparisons to God being our master potter.

There were so many things I took away from this weekend, but let me share two big takeaways with you. First, you cannot fill a vessel that is full; we need to be emptied of ourselves and filled with Him. It is important to be completely Christ-centered, and it is impossible to be Christ-centered if we are self-centered. We are called to be like Him, so how can we be like him if we are not emptied of ourselves first? Then we are caused to ask the question, what does it look like to be like Christ? There is one thing that we can be sure of: it will not be easy. Being like Christ means that we have to take up our cross daily.

The other takeaway from the weekend is that God will never take us to a place for which He has not prepared us. The trials that God puts us through are always for a reason, and there is always a purpose. God is sovereign and His plan will prevail. When He brings us to it, He will bring us through it.  He is always faithful to complete the work that He has begun in us.

This past weekend was amazing—a time of relaxation and retreat, rejuvenating me enough to finish out the last month in the semester strong.