When God places a dream in your heart, you never know how He will use it. You just have to follow Him step by step to what He has ahead.
I read this the other day and it completely spoke to the past several years of my life. “I’m learning that we don’t always have to know exactly what our harvest looks like before following the Lord’s leading. We simply walk each day in obedience and He leads us into our harvest, sometimes without us realizing that we’re fulfilling our purpose until we’re already there.”
Over the past 4 years, I have lead women’s retreats for our church. When we initially began planning the first one, a weekend for a little over 50 women, I had no idea where God would be leading in the years to come (and it was probably good, because I would have told God He was crazy!). I began with two of my friends, Lauren and Vera, and then after the second year Lauren moved on to being involved in another ministry and we asked our friend Amy to join us for the third year. Over the next two years, both Vera and Amy moved away. I wasn’t sure what the future looked like as I was going to have a new baby about the time that planning for the weekend usually begins. Yet, I wanted to follow His lead as He continued to guide.
The thought of not having a speaker for this year’s weekend was mentioned to me more than once before planning began, and when something is mentioned more than once, I pray. When I presented the idea to a couple of the women on the leadership team, I had no idea how they would respond. They were probably thinking that this is not what they had signed up for and I partly expected them to tell me I was crazy, because I kind o thought I was crazy for suggesting it. But they embraced the idea, and they knew that if He was guiding us in this direction, that we had to trust Him. And along with trusting Him and praying, we began to dream of what a weekend would look like without a speaker.
Faith frames what makes sense and makes it look absurd.
Olivia was about 2 months old when planning began, and the though of putting together a weekend like this didn’t make any sense, especially with a newborn. What was I thinking, was a thought in my mind more than once. However faith frames what makes sense and makes it look absurd. Let me say that again. Faith frames what makes sense, and makes it look absurd. As dreams for “A Place Called Home” took root, so did the awareness that God was already in every detail. As He took away what made sense, He also pretty much kept handing us all pretty little gift boxes filled with His plans.
Even as the weekend unfolded, those pretty little boxes kept getting handed over and handed out! As the weekend went on, God blew me away in moments that I will treasure in my heart forever. I remember just sitting in my last session, and feeling like my heart would burst because I was so overwhelmed with how He moved in so many women’s lives.
I expected the tears all weekend, and they didn’t come. That was until the final moments with over 170 women kneeling around a cross, and I broke. I can’t remember a word I said as I closed out the weekend in prayer, but what I do remember is that I was overwhelmed by the immensity of His vast love, His beauty, wonder, and power. I was consumed with His faithfulness, and keenly aware of His worthiness.
Indeed it is in His presence that is the place that I can call Home.
“God, what can’t you do?”
That is the question I am reflecting on. The question that comes with so many more thoughts and reflections than I could never put into words. The question that stemmed from months of questioning, uncertainty, and doubts. Yet in all of that there is a Truth that crushed all of that. The name of Jesus.
Indeed it is in His presence that is the place that I can call Home. His presence is the place where we can know our true identity, a place that is vulnerable with Him and each other, a place where we can live free from isolation, a place where we can laugh and cry, and a place where we can share our greatest joys and our deepest heartaches.
*photo credit: 1- Luanne Sliva, 3 and 4- Cynthia McArthur
What can’t He do with our small offering? The small offering that He doesn’t need in order to accomplish His will, yet the small offering of our obedience that He uses to draw others to know who He is.
How can you walk away from what God has for you, when in the end you can be on your knees saying “You are Lord, God Almighty”?
So, I was asked now that the weekend is done, what do I do? Rest, and also something that I don’t do as much as I would like. Read. My favorite author just happened to come out with a new book this week. I have been really excited to receive the book in the mail all week and I plan on diving into this new novel ASAP!