Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
1 Corinthians 1:30

Cleansing stream was a time of new revelations in my walk with God.

I realized that I was spending more time striving for the acceptance of others than resting in God’s acceptance of me. I was relentlessly comparing myself with others instead of knowing that I’m loved the way I am by a Father who created me for a specific purpose. Past words that have been spoken to me had a much deeper effect than I thought and this destructive mindset was slowly tearing me apart.

It was during the Cleansing Stream retreat when I was praying with one of the leaders when I discovered that I had no idea how God really saw me. I couldn’t think of any adjectives to describe the way that God viewed me, his daughter. And that was the problem: I was defining myself by the world’s terms instead of by God’s truth. I was being filled with feelings of inadequacy and mediocrity—feelings that I would never be qualified for greatness.

So I prayed and asked God to reveal to me how HE sees me and what HE thinks of me. I wrote the words down, I spoke them out, and I instilled them in my heart, praying for a new lens in which to view myself.

The question I needed to ask myself was this: Natanya, who are you living for? I learned that trying to live up to the world’s standards will always result in feelings of inadequacy. Living in New York City has taught me especially that if we put our hope in people, we will most certainly be let down. It is only when we identify, reflect, and embrace the way God created us and views us, we really start to thrive. I still struggle with this, but I’m no longer oblivious to it.

Cleansing Stream reveals things. It revealed to me people I didn’t even know that I had to forgive, burdens that I needed to submit to God, and wounds that needed healing.

It gave me the opportunity to connect with leaders who challenged me; leaders who didn’t let me take the easy way out; leaders who encouraged me to ask myself the hard questions; leaders who took me out of my comfort zone and closer to my calling.

Most importantly, during Cleansing Stream, the Lord removed barriers that were standing in the way of a close, fulfilling relationship with Him.