This past weekend has been one of the most amazing and inspiring weekends for me in a LONG TIME! There were so many small and large details that contributed to its overall success that I naturally had to share it with ya’ll to give you the same encouragement that it gave me! 🙂
It started with a bi-annual three-day retreat that my church (The Rock Churches) puts together every year called “The Encounter.” In summary, it is a retreat in which men and women come together to have a experience with God, address and conquer past issues/pain, and grow a closer relationship with Him. I have been going to this retreat for about four years, however this year was VERY different. The first day we learned about Jesus and the cross, including what each nail that he took meant for our healing both physically and spiritually. The second day, we learned about self-esteem (viewing yourself the way God views you), conquering forgiveness and overcoming spiritual attacks. Both of these days were equally amazing and gave me with so much guidance! However, the third day was what brought it all home and put the icing on the cake! I was able to witness one of my sisters (in Christ), Martina Calcagno, get ordained as a pastor and given leadership over our European church locations! 🙂 She moved to New York for dance and started coming to our church about three years ago. After attending the church for about six months she was determined to start/open a location in her home country of Italy! Not only did she start a church, she opened THREE LOCATIONS in Italy (all three are growing and flourishing daily!)
Martina is a young woman in her mid-twenties who’s a part of a traveling ballet dance company. She made time in her busy schedule to teach weekly bible studies to her family, and because of the continual growth the bible study became a church service. She eventually returned to her country to lead the service as she continued to start bible studies in other parts of Italy. They all yielded the same results! Her story and journey to becoming an ordained pastor is one that I have been fortunate to witness up-close and I could not be more inspired and motivated!
This weekend was an awesome lesson that no matter how busy your schedule may seem or how many excuses you may use as to why you aren’t walking in your full potential, YOU CAN DO IT! You don’t need more time, you just need to MAKE the time to do it! There are no acceptable excuses because God is with you and will always guide you into your victory! Our lives and everything that happens within them are not a surprise to God, he knows our capabilities and our weaknesses. If you trust in him he will lead you into a life that you couldn’t have imagined; a life that accomplishes goals, breaks barriers and lifts you to new heights!
Pictured below is Martina Calcagno at the Ordination Ceremony! She is the ray of sunshine sitting down with a huge smile on her face (per usual!)
Xoxo – Chrissy Joy