Oct 12

Southside Ladies Retreat

I honestly don’t think I have enough space to write all that I’d like to. It’s very late right now, after midnight in fact.

I got home about an hour and a half ago. I spoke at a women’s retreat in Fredericksburg, VA all weekend long. It was emotional, draining, exhausting, wild, fun, and amazing. Seriously, I am in awe of what God did.

First, He showed up personally for the ladies there. I witnessed so many personal connections and it brings me to tears of joy. I witnessed obstacles and walls breaking down in women’s lives. I witnessed surrender. I witnessed revelations. All by God, for God. Yes, the ladies claimed freedom in Christ as we defeated the pirates in our lives and took hold of the treasure, God’s Truth. Words cannot describe how I feel right now. Just really thankful and I give the Lord every bit of credit. I was empty and exhausted. Seriously, if y’all knew the week I had prior to this retreat, you’d understand. I had NOTHING to give. But God did. And He did. I love Him so much.

Also, this retreat served as a HUGE confirmation for me. I was doubting my calling as a speaker. I’m not like many speakers. I’m really more of a sharer of faith. I love the Lord so much I can’t keep it in. Give me a weekend with a group of ladies and I explode with passion for giving your life to Christ and becoming His best friend, and relying on Him each and every day to walk with you and get your through life. I do believe it is all possible with God. I live it every day. Not always perfectly. In fact not anywhere near. But it is my relationship with the Lord that gives me the strength and desire to keep going despite my circumstances. I am nothing without Him. But I can be anything with Him. Because He does it for me. He did that this weekend in a super ultra big way.

Southside ladies, if you read this, THANK YOU for allowing God to speak to you this weekend. You all were open to hear from Him and you listened. I am seriously blown away by the stories you’ve shared with me how He met you this weekend. Lives were changed and I praise God for that.

Plus, the retreat was just fun. These ladies were wild and crazy. Yes, wild and crazy for Jesus! I’d tell you more about it, but what happens in Fredericksburg, stays in Fredericksburg, so if you want to find out, you’ll just have to attend next year’s retreat when Proverbs 31’s, Sharon Glasgow will be their speaker.

Blessings and Lots of Love,



  1. Praising the Lord with you and thanking Him for you. Thanks for making yourself available and willing to be used by Him. I loved how you wrote about the ladies claiming freedom in Christ, as the Lord defeated the pirates in their lives and they took hold of the treasure, God's Truth. Reminded me of Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "Treasure Island". Need to go sailing over there myself still today and dig up more truths from His Word.

    Love ya my friend. Always enjoy hearing how the Lord is working in your life.


  2. Melissa,

    You were just what I needed this weekend. From the moment you began speaking Friday evening, I was captivated. God gave you strength for us and I can't thank you enough for your honesty and authenticity.

    This was my first retreat and I didn't know what to expect. God worked through you for me. My burdens in exchange for God's treasure on Saturday night was almost more than my heart could stand. That verse was indeed meant for me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    God bless you and your continued ministry.

    Casey Higgins

  3. Lynn Cowell says:

    God is so incredibly good! I am so happy for the ladies at the retreat as well as for you and the confirmation you received this weekend!

  4. Amy Carroll says:

    I loved reading about your weekend. I'm praying for God to fill me up and the room up this weekend just like that in CA! As you know well,once you've experienced the bigness of God in that way, anything less is not enough!!

  5. Ooh. .I miss my retreat days!!! Going to have to head to one soon!! God Bless you!!

  6. Hey Cupcake says:

    Sounds like an amazing time—I followed your fight fun on Twitter…

    You are such a blessing to me so many miles away!

  7. Digging for Pearls says:

    Hi Melissa!
    How are you doing? You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that God will bless you in a special way today.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for all P31 does to encourage & share His love! ceddins965@yahoo.com

  9. Melissa:

    Great to read an update. I am sure those ladies had their socks blessed off :)

    The fact that you question your calling as a speaker simply means you're giving God all the glory. You're a vessel He can most surely use. I'll continue to pray for you to gain confidence in God's confidence in you as a willing servant.

  10. Melissa,
    It sound like you and the ladies from Southside had a great time. I am sure your messaged blessed each one of them.

  11. I love how God confrims that we are His and He is using us! Thank you for being His girl and allowing Him to use you in such a mighty way!!

    much love!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Hi Melissa!

    We are so blessed that God chose you to spend the weekend with us at the Southside Ladies Retreat.
    From beginning to end, getting to know you has been a joy. Your love for Christ and passion to show us how much He loves us is just contagious!
    You have 52 new, life long friends in Chesterfield, VA.
    I'm so honored to call you my friend. Missy Bingaman-Retreat Director

  13. How great is our God! Thanks for sharing Melissa.

  14. Wendy Blight says:

    Oh, Melissa, it is such a blessing to read this after praying for you and for this event. So thankful God used you in a mighty way to speak to His women!!!

    Love you,


  15. When you left for the retreat you may have felt you had nothing to give but I am sure God thought differently. Thank you for your sharing your words from your heart "… giving your life to Christ and becoming His best friend, and relying on Him each… every day to walk with you and to get you through life….it is my relationship with the Lord that gives me the strength and desire to keep going despite my circumstances. I am nothing without Him. I can be anything with Him." Those particular words spoke strongly to me and were a message I needed to hear tonight. Thank you – Kim

  16. Jackie Roth says:

    I love ladies retreats. Haven't been to one in awhile. I would love to go to one where the P31 ladies speak.
    anyone know of one close to Lincoln, NE?

    I found you from Lysa

    thanks for being used by God

  17. I agree with Jackie, I would so love to go the a retreat where some of the P31 ladies are. Ever coming to the NW Indiana/Chicago area?

    Thanks for your ministry!



  18. Renee Swope says:

    Just catching up on your blog today. I love you friend and I am thanking Jesus for confirming again that you are HIS and that you are called to speak of all that He is and all that He offers and believes for us as His beautiful daughters!

    I know the women at your retreat will never be the same after seeing Jesus in you!!


  19. Becky Langlois says:

    Your blog has been a blessing to me today. My father was sexually abusive with my big sister when I was growing up and tried a few things with me which left me in fear of being along with him all my years growing up as a teenager. I didn’t realize just how much it has affected my life and the failed relationships I have encountered in my life. I am now 57 years old and am just slowly learning that I can
    trust a father. My image of a father has been very distorted over the years.
    I too suffer from low self-esteem and I am looking to our heavenly Father to help me see the real beauty in myself as he sees me.
    God Bless you,


  20. reading your message today brought back memories that keep coming up. i guess i haven’t let them go. i haven’t forgive the people who hurt me or myself. i do need to let go so i can get on with my life. it is time to get to work. thank you


  21. Neves Silva says:

    You are right when you say that i didn;t expect to start my day this way! However, it has touched me profoundly and I beleived I was healed from it …I’m not…I think i just set it aside…but the way I feel about myself is exactly what you expressed “worthless” and I.m not and I’m not a young Chistian…15 years…of prayers, healing sessions, reading, Bible study…and still the feeling is there ruinning all that God ment me to be and impeding me of using my wondergul gifts…
    Thanks for your sharing…I would love for you to send me the 10 ways to feel worth…
    God Bless you and favour you highly

  22. Thank you for this devotion this morning. As you said, not the way I had planned on starting my day, but it was just as if God was speaking to me through your words in the devotion of Encouragement for Today. I was molested by a neighbor as well and those feelings of shame and feelings of just not being good enough have haunted me for years.Two abusive marriages, one I’m just now getting out of but I feel like God told me “enough is enough! In feeling this way, you negate what I did for you!”
    Thank you so much for being so honest and open about your past, it has brought tears this morning, but I also know in these tears there is healing!

  23. I love this soooo much. I too was a victim of sexual abuse early in my childhood, but have never told anyone. I have been a christian for many years now and truthfully never think about what happened, maybe out of shame or guilt. Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I thank GOD for your honesty and candor.

  24. Praise God that he is able to use you and turn your life around to live for him and glorify him through such a horrible tragedy. Thank you so much for sharing and giving hope to others including myself that we CAN be healed by his wounds. Those are some powerful words!
    Praying for you, and so happy that you have Jesus by your side.

    Reading through some of the comments above, I would absolutely LOVE it if a proverbs 31 ladies retreat ever came to Kentucky!
    Love you and thank you for sharing your devotion with all of us!

  25. Hi Melissa:
    Your article touched my heart in a special way. Not becuase I can identify with your particular issue, but I am trying to recover from a failed marriage and am dealing with all the attendant problems that come with this. Sometimes as a result of this, I find myself wondering if God even cares about me. Your strong declaration that one has to be an active participant in the healing process reached out and grabbed me. Intellectually, I know that the Lord loves me, but too often I am passive in the acceptance of that fact as I wait for the Holy Spirit to bring about some “feelings” in me in order to reassure me that God still cares for and loves me despite the issues. Thank you for sharing. Please enter me in the drawing.

  26. hi gud to listen from u always,keep sending us encouraging stuff,am from pakistan and 22 yearz old,looking to get marry,kindly goldly advise me in this perspective
    am expecting ur reply

  27. Words can’t express what I’m feeling at the moment…thank you so much for sharing so openly about your past. I can honestly say I’ve forgiven my abusers and can actually pray blessings over them, but it’s ‘me’ I can’t seem to totally and fully forgive. I’m going to study your website later when I have more time. A dear friend sent me this (I’d not been aware of you and your ministry before) and I’m truly thankful that she did. I would be honored to join in prayer with you. Thank you for the opportunity and thank you for affirming to everyone that God does indeed use our past hurts and heartaches to help mend the broken hearts of others. May He bless you abundantly for all you’re doing!

  28. I, too, feel dirty and stained. My own father abused me physically, emotionally and sexually. Although I am a christian and have forgiven my dad I can’t seem to totally forget. I am on medication for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and what he did to me is part of the trauma. Thank you for telling your story. I am sorry for what happened to you but glad to know that I am not the only one who feels this way.

  29. Linda Magsamen says:

    I have been reading Encouragement for a few months. The devotions have helped me feel more secure in what I am going through. Thank you for reminding me that we have to daily remind ourselves of what Christ has done for us. I love your whole devotional and the prayer at the end. Thank you for sharing your pain.

  30. Maye Jones says:

    Hi Melissa,
    You are a beautiful lady. Thank you for sharing the pain of your past with us. I normally don’t read the Encouragement for today each day. However, I felt the need for any encouragement today because of a crisis that I am facing right now. I love Jesus and my heart is to trust Him completely. The process is not easy but it’s worth it!
    Remember me in your prayers that i too will be able to share my pain as openly as you are sharing yours.
    Thank you,