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One of the greatest accomplishments made in life is that of taking the first step. Parents cheer watching their baby taking its wobbly first steps forward. We celebrate the first step of sobriety, forgiveness, the change of a career, a degree, the list goes on. One of the greatest steps taken is along the journey to healing. This step can change the course of one’s life from victim to victor, from oppressed to overcomer. It changes, I can’t to I will, and it is in the shifting of the mindset that endurance for the battle is found. I say battle, because it is not simply the thought of, ok I will be victorious, that sets us free, rather the forging forward in the trenches, fighting to keep going.

“We went through fire and through water; yet you have brought us out to a place of abundance.” 
Psalms 66:12 (Our theme verse for the Forge retreats)

Have you ever had to work your way through a raging river, or thick crashing waves? The power of water is a force to be reckoned with and it takes precision to make your way through it, as does working around the heat fire expels. Without the right mindset and a firm footing to move forward, one could easily be taken out by these elements. The difficulty of the first step forward in healing is actually what helps build the road to victory (abundance). It is in the hard things we find endurance and the courage to keep going.

We celebrate a lot of first steps with the attendees at our retreats. Our team treasures every application that comes through, and know these are the steps that will forever change them. The camaraderie and community built at the retreats we put on really do change lives. We get to help each other conjure up the strength to do the hard things, like overcoming the scary task of walking up stairs with a prosthetic leg, to the smile at the top, knowing what was just accomplished. We get to see those who have lost all their limbs cheer on the first steps of other quad amputees getting in the gym. The first wave caught by our attendees will get anyone smiling ear to ear with tear filled eyes.

Firsts can be hard, because change is hard, but it really does plant a seed within that waters the souls of others in the world around. One never knows how their first step will impact the lives of those around them. You just might be the courage someone is in need of to find theirs. Keep moving, and never underestimate the journey you are on that will lead to abundance. God does not waste our pain!

Applications are open for our upcoming Beautifully Flawed and Forge retreats for young women and men with limb difference! The two retreats will be held back to back, with each consisting of four days during October 22-30, 2024 in Del Mar, California. Specific dates for each retreat will be announced soon.

If you or someone you know who would benefit from attending one of these adaptive and healing retreats, we highly encourage you to prayerfully consider applying or sharing the retreat application. We’ve extended the application deadline by one week so make sure to get applications submitted before Friday, June 7th!

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Help further our mission and programs that support young people living with limb difference or those who’ve experienced traumatic limb loss by making a tax-deductible donation.