Footprints of Faith On the Beach

I walked in faith believing that a weekend with these special women would be life-changing. It was. But it also came with a fight. A fight that later reveals the struggle is so worth it. If you've ever felt, thought or experienced any of the following before or during a women's retreat, well, girl - you fit right in.

I had a fight with my teenager right as I walked out the door. 
I fell and twisted my ankle.
I have a piercing headache. 
The traffic delays are awful. 
The stress of leaving a husband, house and kids behind is mind-boggling. 
My baby is sick at home. 
No extra cash to buy anything once I  get there..
Can't fit in the clothes I packed. 
The suitcase zipper broke. 
The gal I'm rooming with is not my first choice.
My sister begged me to come, so I gave in.
It's gonna rain all weekend.
I just lost my husband, and I don't know if I can do this.
I was just laid off from work.
My friend and I don't even go to this church.
The meeting room is either hot or cold.
And the coffee? What about the coffee? Where's the hot water for tea??
You can't believe what I had to accomplish before even getting here...
My daughter is diagnosed with a terminal disease.
I don't even DO women's events.
I prefer not to retreat with anyone but my husband, really.
Is this going to be another one of those cryin'/confessin'/exposin' retreats? I can't do that.
Why was this location selected?
I've never been to a retreat before.
I can't sleep in those hotel beds. 
I should have brought my own pillow.
I lost my wallet.
What is the speaker going to speak on anyway?
The Advil was left on the kitchen counter.
This food better be good.
My kids keep texting me.
Seems like there'll be quite a generation gap, with the widening ages of women coming...
The younger girls are planning it this year.
I'm sixty-eight, and wondering, "Do I fit in anymore?"
Probably the best time of the retreat (for me) will be the free time.
I hope they won't be making us do anything that's uncomfortable..
If the women had a clue of what's going on with me, I would SO not be accepted..

Then Jesus arrives. We have a room reserved for Him. It's called the ballroom. Our welcomed, somewhat unexpected guest makes His presence known. We prayed that He would come, but truthfully, we were too busy thinking of all the distractions, the pain, the guilt, the organization, the details, the anxieties, the comforts - to even realize - that once we felt His presence, nothing else would really matter.

I know many women who don't "do" women's retreats. It's just not in their bone marrow to desire a weekend away with unfinished, unmade, imperfect gals. I understand that. But I keep thinking, "If you knew, you would come." A sweet and salty sisterhood has a way of exposing our greatest strengths and our greatest weaknesses. All our differences actually make us the same. And all of our anxieties and imperfections encourage us to grab in desperation for the kraspedon (hem) of Jesus' garment.

We now know. It's in desperation we find healing in Christ. All our inhibitions and worries seem foolish right now. The sabbath we've been looking for has been with us all the time... Jesus IS the sabbath.

So, we walk, we run and we stand - for truth. And yes, we even sink our toes in the sand once more.


Anonymous said...

Good word, Sue! So important to remember these things even as we plan events....thinking of what ladies are coming with in their minds....and also remembering the most important thing is preparing the way for Him and to welcome Him as He's the One that makes the difference! Thanks for the reminder!

Sue Duffield said...

Good word too, my friend! Indeed. Prepare Ye the way of the Lord. No matter how you "prepare", prepare. :)