I love seeing God at work. I know He works in our lives every minute of every day, but its in those moments when you can SEE it that just blows me away.
This past weekend was the Sista Herd retreat. Sadly, I missed the one this past spring and I was missing the fall one too. I was scheduled to work. Last minute, God arranged it so that I was off from work. Finances fell into place and I was on my way.
For those of you who know me, I do not do 'solo' very well. I am not one to relish in the joy that is eating in a restaurant alone. HATE IT!!! Yet, I was making this trip through Chattahoochee National Forest on my own. I needed that down time. It was an opportunity to talk w/ God as I enjoyed the nature around me.
Only a handful of people knew that I was showing up. At one point, a dear friend even 'threatened' to kidnap me so I could go. Before I got to the retreat, I stopped for directions. There the enemy was.... talking so softly 'You're here alone. It's not like you have your friends here. You're just going to be the odd man out all weekend.' At that point, I wanted to turn around. What the heck was a I doing? Seriously - why would I do something like this without the security blanket of at least 1 friend from home. I was setting myself up for failure.
When I parked, instead of going right inside to say HI, I took out a book and started to read. Not sure why. It was my way of avoiding the inevitable. Just then, I saw Shellie. I decided to get out of the van & say hi. It was more than a HELLO!!! It was a giant hug of sunshine from a dear person. Shellie was HONESTLY happy to see me. I needed that hug... I needed that moment of want.
Jennie...... I've met Jennie once over a year and a half ago at my first retreat in Kure Beach, NC. We haven't seen each other since. When Jennie arrived on Friday, the 1st thing she did was stop what she was going, come over to me, give me a big hug and tell me how great it was to see me. This spoke to my broken in heart in such a way. I often wonder if people remember me. If they think about me the way I think about them. That moment in time confirmed it... I DO MATTER!!!
The weekend was about HOPE HAS A HEARTBEAT. It sure does. I went in to this weekend feeling hopeless about situations at home. God spoke to my heart, told me what I needed to hear and moved on. There was MORE I needed to hear. More that I wasn't planning on hearing. More that I didn't think I needed to hear.
I've always struggled with belonging. Having a place in this world. Having friends. That loss has been tremendous lately. Especially with life happening.
God used this weekend to show me that I do have friends. I do belong. I belong to a King... I am His princess. I am surrounded by other princesses who truly LOVE me.
This weekend, I went in thinking I was going to hear a message that would give me hope about my family. Instead, I got a message of love, friendship & hope. I am loved by an amazing group of SISTERS.... while time & miles may separate us, we pray for one another. Our lives are intertwined and God is using each of us.
Thank you my SISTAS!!! You touched my heart in ways that you will never know. Thank you God for arranging this weekend. For only YOU could have arranged it as perfectly as you did.