Attending the USG Member’s Retreat was such an impactful and intentional time of rest and refreshment. The retreat itself was beneficial in so many ways, however, its impact on me afterward was even greater. There were two big things regarding the retreat that impacted me greatly during the following weeks and months.
The first impact for me personally was the opportunity to hear from Christians who work in my sector of the sports industry. I found out later that it was not intentional, but I had the opportunity to hear from two individuals, Jason Romano and Carol Voronyak, who have both worked or still work in sports broadcasting and media. Having the opportunity to hear from them was such an uplifting and encouraging moment for me. So often in the field that I am in, it can become easy to get discouraged as I have encountered very few Christians in that sector of sports. However, hearing that Christians can not only survive, but thrive in this field was encouraging to say the least. Hearing their stories and the way that God protected them and guided them through their careers was a reminder that the same God that did that for them, is also the same God who will do that for me. It was a chance to realize that I was not alone in my faith in a field that so often neglects faith. This has encouraged me upon returning as a reminder that I’m not alone in my field and that since God has called me to this field, he is going to direct my steps as he leads.
The other thing that has impacted me was something that Jason Romano said during his talk. He brought up the idea of “blooming where you are planted”. This mindset has had a drastic impact on how I approach my time at work. Going into the retreat, I was frustrated with my current position due to some things outside of my control. It had left me exhausted and wanting to neglect my duties. However, the mindset set forth by Jason renewed my thought process and attitude. When I returned, I felt challenged to plug in and engage deeper with both my work and my coworkers. Whenever I have been faced with the same mindset that I had before the retreat, I remind myself that the Lord has me there for a reason and that I need to grow during this season. Flowers don’t bloom unless the rain comes. Though there are times when things become difficult, those moments provide opportunities to bloom and grow and display the love of Christ to those around us. By adopting the mindset to bloom where God has planted us, we are able to demonstrate the glory of God where we are at.
These were only a few of the ways that the retreat has impacted me. I did not have time to mention the relationships that were built and the physical and spiritual rest that was received. For anyone considering attending, do not miss out on this incredible weekend gathering. I guarantee you will leave inspired and encouraged.