This weekend! Whew.... so it was a little bit, no scratch that, a lot out of my comfort zone. A women's retreat... yup. That's right, I went to one of those! Yes, I was that woman who signed up after the deadline just to say I tried and it was booked.... but guess what, I was placed on that waiting list crossing my fingers it wouldn't work out. But of course, it did. My two lovely mentors were not going to have any of that nonsense!
So I went.
Reluctant. Anxious. Unsteady.
But I went.
And it was worth it. God had a plan... Satan had no hold. Not even on Saturday night when he was screaming in my ear, "GO HOME!" and I did this back and forth of okay I'll head out tonight, no I really want to hear what Jen has to say tomorrow, no I need to go home there is so much to do, no I'll stay and just please everyone else. Blah! Frustrating. But God calmed my heart with the hug of a dear friend and the encouragement of another who claimed that it is worth staying.
Needless to say, the next morning God really called me out, gave me a chance to be courageous for him (something I have been praying for, craving) and I did, shaking, but I did, a nervous wreck, but he held me, he steadied me, and I pleased him as I stood in awe as he led me to be brave for his glory.
The thing about asking for something from God is that he provides a lot of opportunities once you start asking. I believe he says he will provide but it is us who has to take the step to doing what we asked.
Here is what I shared (the first time I stood up and felt God urging me to be brave), it is what I felt he was affirming in me this weekend... I trust that this is what he said to me:
"You need to seek me out, to know me. To look into my eyes by looking into my word Sealing it on your heart. Trusting. Loving, Praying.
Strengthen our bond on your end by abiding in me.
Find peace in knowing that I will provide for you are my friend, my bride, my child.
Find peace in knowing my love for you is overflowing, you just have to dive in!
Remind yourself by knowing me in intimacy, in moments where you seek me out, where you break down your walls, remove the lattice, go beyond the windows, where we will sit together and watch the breeze blow.
Find me in those moments!
When you're alone or too busy and weak to breathe deep, just look into my eyes!
You are swimming, treading, but I am calling you forth!
It's going to take time, to take moments where you emerse yourself in me. But you are safe here!
IN ME! In my shadow, in the gown I have set for you. There, there is where I find you to be beautiful.
Remember to seek me out and you will find me. To walk in this way because it is the path I have set for you.
Find me there. In that path. Run no longer, dodge no more hurdles.
I am here!"
As I reread this over and over again. I find what he wants from me, that he knows my heart. But I need to stop focusing on myself and my self-centeredness and learn more about him. To watch the "breeze blow" or the holy spirit move with him, to see his power and majesty in the midst of my weakness. To do all this in remembrance of him and to glorify and make him proud because that's what he deserves.
Nothing I can bring to the table is worthy enough for him. But he wants it anyway.
It makes me think of a child bringing a scribbled drawing to a parent. Not sure what the parent will think. Completely unworthy to be on the wall, it is no Monet or Picasso. But the parent looks at it and picks up the child to hang it on the fridge. Saying, "This my child is priceless."
God knows my heart. My intentions. He knows I give it all to him, because all to him I owe. He hangs my work on his fridge and says "well done!" but I am not satisfied, never am. I want to give more and I want more of him. It's never enough, because I want to feel him, see him. A "lovesick" relationship with the maker of the universe.
I heard it eloquently put this weekend... "I miss him when I'm with him and I even miss him when he's with me."
So when God speaks to me like this, through his writing, when he calls me to be courageous, all I can say is YES! I am not worthy at all, there were so many more women at this retreat who could have said it better but when I put it in his hands I knew I trusted his purpose even though I did not know nor understand it.