By, Leslie Vanderpool

Matthew 11:28-30 says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you restTake my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your soulsFor my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

On May 27, 2024, women from all over the U.S. arrived at Sky Rose Ranch in California eager for the week but hesitant on what to expect. There was a quietness to the group on the first day. It was a quietness that comes from heavy burdens being carried by each womanThe Women’s Legacy Program started with authenticity and vulnerability as some members of the leadership team openly shared testimoniesAs well, the ladies were presented with a challenge to be authentic and vulnerable during the week. They were also challenged with accepting the way God sees them according to scripture and to think about the question, “If what you are already doing isn’t working, why not try something new?

During the opening ice breaker, the participants each shared what brought them to the program and what they expected to get from the week, revealing a common theme that they are not alone in the struggles they are facing.  It was evident that many of them had tried several other ways/methods to heal, overcome, and lay their burdens down other than fully surrendering them to Jesus or to have a relationship with Him.  Some came with hope for the upcoming week while others came with fear that they were carrying things too heavy to heal.  

As each class was presented and each breakout session was held, the participants dug deep into the truth from the BibleThe quietness started to fade. Heavy burdens started to lift as women were able to open up and accept the truth that they are not broken but beautifully and intentionally created by God on purpose and for a purpose. Each day the quiet continued to fade and was replaced with the noise of laughter, encouragement, and deep conversation among the students and Mighty Oaks staff.   

Women arrived as strangers but left with new friendships and a new set of tools to ensure that they never have to fight aloneOn the last day, a graduation ceremony was heldIt was powerful to look around the room and witness the joy that was beaming from the same women who walked in so weighed down only a few days priorThe joy in the room was not just happiness and laughter, but true joy that can only come from the LordHealing was found, strength was renewed, hope was discovered, fear was extinguished, and legacies were changed


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