By Jamie Schmidt
Have you had moments in your life where you felt as if you were having an out of body experience? Not that “new age” stuff but where the life you are living can’t possibly be yours and what you are experiencing is nothing short of a bad dream? I have. In fact, as with many of us, unfortunately I have too many experiences to count. Here is a quick summary… grew up as a “PK” (aka Pastor’s Kid), lost my sister at age 9, rebellious teenager turned to drugs and drinking, pregnant at age 20, married shortly thereafter, workaholic on the fast track up the corporate ladder, divorced… Of course there are many great experiences mixed in but I can’t tell you how many times I thought to myself, “this is not how I pictured my life turning out.”
Maybe surprising to some, but the last one left the biggest scar, my divorce. Not just any divorce but one filled with fighting, fear, destruction, custody battle and so much pain. It left me embarrassed, angry, broken and at an all time low in my life. As I worked to rebuild the pieces of my wrecked life, the God I had given my heart to as a young child slowly came back into my life. Slowly of course, by my choice, not His. Then one day, as I was reading the scriptures it all became so clear. I was reading Hebrews 11:1- 6 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see… and without faith it is impossible to please God…” It was so simple, how could I have missed it for so long? It all came down to one word, faith. That was all God was asking of me, to have faith and everything else will follow. This new revelation gave me a sense of peace and understanding.
But I knew there was more and I longed to feel more connected in my relationship with Jesus. Well, God is good and soon answered my prayers. I attended Tres Dias #10.
The week leading up to Tres Dias, I prayed over and over again that I would take down my wall and have the courage to give everything to God. This has been my stumbling block my entire life. On opening night, as I was anxiously sitting and holding a strange, unfamiliar “Pilgrim’s Guide” I turned straight to page 10 and read “…Show me that in this new life You give, I no longer have to build walls of fear to protect myself from others.” My eyes filled with tears as I smiled and knew God had heard my prayers and was right there with me. At that moment, I realized this weekend was going to be an amazing experience.
And it was. On my second day, one of the people praying for me (I discovered I had many- thank you Jesus!) handed me a card. In her card she stated that during her prayers, she was given three pictures/impressions for me; 1) Healing of brokenness, 2) Sandy beach of refreshment, removal of hindrances, 3) A sunrise of hope and extravagant joy. Wow, how accurate these words were! These three pictures truly summarize my experience at Tres Dias. As one of my sisters in Christ said, “I was wrecked in a good way.” My wall was destroyed and all the pain and sin I brought to that weekend was left on the cross. I was completely healed from my past and the eyes of my heart were opened wide. On closing night, all I could do was smile and bathe in the peace and love that only the Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ can give.
Tres Dias was life changing. I no longer look at my life experiences with shame but instead with understanding that God is faithful and forgiving and never leaves our side. I will continue to make mistakes, we all will. But as I finally realized, it is as simple as believing and loving one another. God will take care of the rest.