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My RGI Experience

I didn’t know a soul; I didn’t even know how to get there, I was just counting on the sweet Lord and google maps. I was hoping to get there early and meet the girls in my condo, but of course not even two hours into my drive I got a flat tire and spent three long hours at a Walmart somewhere in Mississippi. I still don’t really know how that happened or where I even was. One thing I did know was that the Lord was going to get me to the Redeemed Girl’s Institute. I had never been so hungry for His truth; I had never felt so lost. That Sunday night in July goes down in the books as the start of one of the most impacting, memorable and beautiful weeks of my entire life.

So much had happened in the past two months. I had graduated college, started my first “big girl” job and moved into my first apartment. Everything was going just as planned, well at least the way I had it all planned in my head. I thought I had it all figured out. I got an amazing job offer a few weeks before graduation. Before that, I was so stressed about what I was going to do after graduating college. I just could NOT be that girl that majored in fashion merchandising, couldn’t find a job, and moved back home to live with her parents. All I was focused on was getting a job and getting it on my own. I wanted people to be proud of me; I wanted to be successful. As soon as I got the job offer I knew I was going to accept it, I just didn’t want to worry about my future anymore. I thought this job offer was going to take all my worries away.

Little did I know, the Lord had a very different plan for me. Less than a month after my first day at my new job, I had put my two weeks’ notice in, moved out of my apartment and moved back home with my parents. What I was working so hard against happening came and swept me off my feet faster than I could say “stop!” It all felt like a bad dream that I had no control over. How did this happen, why did this happen, and why did it happen to me? I was so prepared, I did everything right, or so thought.

Those next few months of having literally no plans, I spent a lot of time with God. I wish I could say I had a good attitude and chose to be patient and live in the moment, but that was not the case. I had never been more impatient; I was beginning to lose hope. I remember questioning God and wondering if He was even real. I thought if He was real maybe it wasn’t true that He had plans for everyone, or if He did mine was just put on hold. The enemy was whispering all kinds of crazy lies into my ear. I was so down and felt so lost that I didn’t even want to pick up my bible or talk to God anymore. Thank goodness God doesn’t give up on us as quickly as I was ready to give up on Him. He wasn’t done with me yet! 

I woke up one morning and had this overwhelming feeling that the Lord wanted to talk to me. I walked outside with my bible and notebook. I prayed that if this was God talking to me that He would direct me in what passage to read. When I opened my Bible, I looked down, and I was in Ephesians 6. The Lord had led me to the armor of God. He spoke to me that He was near, He was walking through this journey with me, but it was up to me to put my armor on and join the battle. Later that night I was scrolling through Instagram, and I saw that registration for RGI was still open. I didn’t even hesitate. I immediately registered and made plans to get there. I knew God was calling me.

A few weeks later, there I was on that Sunday night in July in a room full of girls that I had never met before. As I walked in, a little late due to my flat tire, everyone was worshiping. I found my table and quietly slipped in. Only one of the girls at the table saw me come in; I smiled and waved at her, and there was no response. I thought to myself, “Yikes, I hope I’m not sharing a room with her.” Well, I bet you can guess how my rooming situation turned out. We were not only sharing a room; we were sharing a bed!

I bonded with several girls right away. Since I had driven my car, some of the girls and I made coffee runs in the morning, ice cream runs in the afternoon and had dinner dates at night. Everyone knows you must eat well when you’re at the beach. I felt like I had gained new sisters in just a few short days. After each night, we had community group time, and it was truly amazing to see how God was working in each of our lives. Unbelievable things were happening each day and night. Hearts were softening, barriers were being torn down, and lives were being changed! I had never heard God’s voice the way I did that week. Each message that was shared, each testimony that was told and each new friendship made was all part of God’s strategic plan. He was filling me up with His wisdom, love, and truth. My cup was overflowing! I was finally so focused on God and His love for me that I wasn’t even worried about my future. I was so at peace just resting in the love and confidence of Jesus.

My roommate and I had a few conversations, but we weren’t bonding the way the other girls and I were. I honestly didn’t know hardly anything about her. She was quiet and kept mostly to herself. ...

It was Thursday night, and I had to leave that next morning to meet my family for our annual summer vacation. Each night God had revealed something different to me, and I knew He had something special for me on the last night. I decided to sit up front so I could stay focused and not have any distractions. Even though my cup was overflowing, all I wanted was more and more of God’s presence. I honestly hadn’t thought much about the worry and stress I had about my future, but that night it all came rushing back. After Marian had spoken, we began to worship. I was listening to the words and praying and lifting all my cares up to Jesus. I was praying for Him to show up and reveal His plan for my life to me. I was so tired of having a wavering faith. I told Him I would do whatever it took to stand firm and keep my hope in Him; I just needed clarity.

Before I knew it, I was on my knees crying out to Jesus. As I was praying, I felt this presence around me. My eyes were closed, but I saw a man kneel behind me and gently cover me with his arms. As this was happening a peace consumed me, I knew it was Jesus confirming that He was with me. I heard him say “Cheyenne, stop focusing on your silly plans not working out. I am with you, and I have a plan for you so great that your mind can’t even comprehend it. Don’t lose hope, I love you, and I am walking through this with you.” That was the moment I truly gave it all, all of myself, all my cares and all my desires over to the Lord.

I was about to get up and continue in worship, but once again, God had other plans. All I could hear was “Go pray over Naomi.” I stood up and was so confused. Naomi was my roommate that I knew little about. I asked God, “God, what are you saying? I don’t know anything about her, what could I possibly say?” His response was short, all He said was “Go.” I am convinced that the Holy Spirit must have jumped in my body, because I didn’t even know where Naomi was, and before I knew it I had walked to the back of the room and there she was, right in front of me. Her eyes were closed, and she looked like she was praying. I took a deep breath, placed my hands on her shoulders and started proclaiming things in Jesus name. I couldn’t tell you a word that was said because it wasn’t me. The Lord was using me as His instrument to speak truth to this beautiful soul. As I was praying she began sobbing, she grabbed me, wrapped her arms around me and gave me the biggest hug. God was molding her heart and tearing down all kinds of strongholds that had been built up over time. She was realizing in that moment, that God was real and He cared for her. He was fighting for her. It was the most amazing thing to experience.

If I had to describe my RGI experience in one word it would be discipleship. The Lord knew I needed to be there that week, He knew Naomi was going to be my roommate, He knew my cares and desires, and He was carrying me through all those experiences, teaching me along the way. He taught me how to obtain ultimate peace, how to stand firm in my faith and how to cast my cares onto Him. God is all in the details. RGI was two summers ago, and to this day I am still reminiscing on my experience, realizing different things that the Lord was showing and teaching me. I thought I was going there to figure out my life plan, but instead, God brought me there to rest in Him. Not only was He working on my heart and my life, but He was also working through it. He took one of the darkest times of my life and used me to speak life into one of his children. I felt worthless, invaluable and unloved. God took those lies and allowed me to see the truth through using me to speak that truth into Naomi. You can’t tell me that was a coincidence. God not only spoke to me and covered me with His arms; He used me. Through that, He showed me my worth.

I didn’t leave RGI with a golden ticket straight into my career path. I still had no idea what my future held, but I did know that my future was set and confirmed by the Lord Almighty. I knew that He was working out a plan for me, I just had to sit back, enjoy the ride and trust in Him. Not even six months later I got offered the job of a lifetime that I could use my fashion degree for. In the first month of my new job, I was meeting with CEO’s of retail stores, flying to LA for red carpet events and attending New York Fashion Week. I couldn’t imagine doing even one of these things in my wildest dreams. My silly plan for my life was microscopic compared to this great plan that God had for me.

God knew every single one of my desires and was fulfilling all of them in ways that I couldn’t even comprehend, just like He told me that night at RGI when I was on my knees praying to Him. God heard each and every one of my prayers, and He still does. He has never forsaken me; He was with me the whole time, and He will continue to be there the rest of my life. The same God that I am telling you about is the same God that knows the wants and desires of your heart. He knows your worries and fears, and He is with you. He loves you and is going to battle for you - every second of your life. I hope my RGI experience encourages you to keep up the good fight and to listen when he says “Go.” Don’t be consumed by the enemy’s lies. Your God is greater, and He is on your side. Fill your heart with His truth and join me in this journey of the abundant life that's offered through Him.

Cheyenne Little 

You can follow Cheyenne on Instagram @cheylittle 

If you desire to go deeper in Bible Study and are eager to get away for a week at the beach; then we want to invite you to attend Redeemed Girl Institute! We truly believe Jesus is inviting women from across the country, into an incredible journey of championing His name to the world. Join at #RGI2017 for a week of in-depth Bible teaching & worship on the beautiful beach of Pensacola, Florida.

redeemedgirlinstitute.com

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MARIAN JORDAN ELLIS
Founder of Redeemed Girl

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