Our Best Recovery Resource: The Warrior Heart Retreat

“I’ve always been a box checker and thought that I could earn my way into Heaven. Any time you try to earn your way to Heaven, you fall short and the shame and guilt come rushing in.” - Aaron

“I thought it was going to be a sharing or a therapy thing, but it wasn’t that way at all.” - Mike Blake

“My wife told me, ‘I love the man you become when you come home from retreat’. It is so worth it.” - Mike

“[Going up to the retreat] I learned that I am imprinting the image of God on [my wife and kids’] hearts from the way I am treating them.” - Sway

We have been extremely excited about promoting A Warrior Heart Boot Camp. What is it? You will have to listen to understand what it is and what it is not. If you want to know more about the accommodations and other questions you might have, please listen to this episode (click here) we did before. But before they get into the podcast, they have announced that an anonymous donor has donated a full free scholarship to the retreat (that’s $400)! To enter the giveaway you must: 1- Follow us on FaceBook and Instagram (@unashamedunafraid) 2-Tag 5 friends on the episode post 3- e-mail James@unashamedunafraid.com a brief e-mail about why you want to be considered. The podcast has four guests. Aaron, Mike “Blake”, Mike, and Sway. 

Aaron and Mike first heard about the retreat from their friend James who is a part of UnashamedUnafraid. James invited Aaron to come out to a “Band of Brothers (BoB)” meeting. BoB meetings are a continuation of the brotherhood at the retreat (click here). Aaron talks about what apprehensions he had about going to the retreat before he actually experienced it. It is not a therapy session.  It is a place where you are welcome. It is not a sales gimmick. It is a great place to get to know other men and feel like you are a part of something bigger than you. 

Aaron was also reminded of what he had learned while he was out in the mission field but quickly discredited what grace meant and felt like in his heart. He was reminded of the love that his Father in Heaven has for him. After the retreat, he has decided to work on being and feels like a better father, husband, brother, son, and friend. 

The next guest is “Mike Blake.” He has gone, as a participant to the retreat, three times. The first time he walked up the hill to register, he got one of the biggest hugs from an amazing guy named Chap. Mike “Blake” had a lot of anxiety or apprehension before he arrived at the retreat. Like Aaron discussed Mike “Blake” thought that he was going to be a loner and not really make any friends. “I thought it was going to be a sharing or a therapy thing, but it wasn’t that way at all.” He went to the retreat alone, but within the first few minutes he knew he was not alone at all.  He had an amazing experience at the retreat. He realized that God is so ready, willing and able to be there for him and everyone. He felt that he served an awesome mission that helped him “earn” his way to heaven. 

Mike has been James’ friend since they were kids. James kept asking him to come and Mike finally broke. Mike is different because he did not come from therapy and he was afraid that he was going to be lumped in with addicts. “I was kind of afraid that I was going to somehow be labeled with people that I didn’t belong with. Which was quickly dispelled. I wish I was as strong and as faithful as they are.”

Sway has been a recent guest on UnashamedUnafraid and he has been up to the retreat three times as well. Sway said, “My wife and I were separated at the time and it felt very selfish. In a way it was, but that is not a bad thing. Because those three days changed my life. It is now almost a requirement to go to the retreat.” Ultimately Sway was there for whatever adventure God wanted to take him on.

So what are the takeaways from the retreat for these four different men? Everyone echoed this takeaway. Getting validation from the people in your life and not from God is the wrong way to live life. Obviously, the people we associate with will validate us most of the time, but they can also invalidate us because none of us are perfect. But getting validation from God is exactly where we need to get it. Our wives, girlfriends, friends, brothers, sisters and parents will not fully give us the validation we so desperately need. And it is too big of a burden to have for anybody. Also, that God really does love each and every one of us and how much we need to rely on Him. 

Sway added one more when he said, “I am imprinting the image of God on [my wife and kids’] hearts from the way I am treating them.” This can be a very positive or detrimental experience. It all depends on the type of father (or mother) we had to form our version of reality. Bottom line, Aaron, Mike “Blake”, Mike, and Sway (and the members of UnashamedUnafraid) endorse “A Warrior Heart” retreat. This will change your life if you dare to let it. If you choose not to go, you will never know what you are missing. You might regret not learning the true heart of God. There are three cores of a man’s heart: a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. We invite you to come on the retreat and learn from God about these core desires of the heart.