Words can never adequately describe these experiences. It has happened at the Simply Living for Him Retreats, and now this time after our women’s gathering in Wilson, NC. There simply aren’t words to give it justice, but I will try.
Going to Wilson, NC
I had the privilege of ministering to a group of women in lovely Wilson, NC this past weekend. It certainly was a weekend orchestrated by God, in every detail.
Many months ago I had been contacted to bring a SLFH event to the south by a lovely follower of the blog. She was confident that a SLFH event would be something women in her area would want to attend. Yet, when the details became a little murky, and we weren’t sure there would even be enough women to hold the event, she certainly persisted and was confident in the fact that it would be fruitful. Now, I am always willing to go wherever God takes me, but this time I just wasn’t sure.
Well, God showed me that all I need to do it obey the calling and He WILL take care of the details.
My friend, Jackie Foster, who has helped me with the past two SLFH Retreats planned to join me as a ministry helper and in delivering a (HOME RUN) session to the ladies! (more on that on a bit)
Well, the time came for the event and I was excited and prepared. All I needed to do was a get a decent amount of sleep Thursday night, to be up at 4 am Friday to catch an early flight with Jackie down to NC. I was tired Thursday night and thought it would be no problem to fall asleep…until I got into the bed.
Then the dreaded thoughts came, the “what if’s,” the tossing and turning. With every passing hour, the anxiety grew until it was shortly before 4:00 am and I began to erupt in full blown panic. When Steve woke up I explained I hadn’t slept one wink…not even a little bit…and I was terrified. How could I get on a plane, travel, and then be strong enough to begin the event THAT evening? There was no day in between the travel and the event. I needed to be ready that night!
Steve prayed over me at that moment. I was literally shaking and in my mind decided to call the whole event off. I was that scared and was beginning to question if God even wanted me to go to Wislon, NC. I rationalized that I would have to call it off because it just was too daunting at that moment.
After a few minutes of praying, I began to feel more peaceful. So, I started to get ready and shortly after my oldest son came in my room. He had seen my light on and came to check on me before I left. I explained to him how I hadn’t slept and how I had panicked and he said, “Mom, you always do this. It will be fine. By Sunday you will come home and say that you were SO glad you went. You will see that God will work.”
And off we went…no turning back!
We ended up getting on our flight and arriving in NC quite early. I didn’t sleep on the plane however, so here I was with still no sleep. I figured I would check in early at the hotel, and at least get a nap in the afternoon.
No room…no sleep.
We arrived at our hotel at 12:30 pm and they said we could not get into our room until 3pm. I felt tears well up in my eyes, as Jackie and I sat in the hotel lobby eating cheese and pepperoni from the gas station nearby. (Pretty glamorous huh?) We had nowhere to go and nowhere to sleep.
Jackie, who is always very wise, suggested we go to the rental car, lay back the seats, and try to get a rest. Well, for an hour and a half I lay in the sunshine in the car, comfy and warm, but still no sleeep.
We finally got into our room and I prepared for the event. Eventually, we headed out to the event, still no sleep for over 36 hours.
I would have expected to feel exhausted, nauseasu, dizzy, foggy…but no. I had a ton of energy. It was so surreal. It can ONLY be explained as supernatural energy. God was showing me that HE supplies all we need.
As each woman arrived, my heart was in great peace. I was exactly where I was supposed to be. God had ordained each detail, and he had handpicked each woman to be there. For such a time as this.
The entire weekend was beyond my dreams. The women of the south are beyond a delight. They were so shocked that I came all the way from NJ to their little church in Wilson, NC! But God…
There were so many confirmations along the way that we were supposed to be there. I could never explain it all, but trust me…God showed up!
I spoke about Jesus. I spoke out simplifying. We worshiped. We prayed. We had fellowship. We laughed. We hugged. Some of us cried. Glory tears. It was spectacular.
Jackie delivered a fabulous message about Noah. The women were so blessed by her words. She is an amazing partner in that she handles the Word of God so intentionally, humbly, and wisely. She also is an amazing assistant to think of the details I forget, and literally be my brain for 48 hours. I can’t express my gratitude enough.
The lessons are many, but let me leave with you just two very important ones:
First, when God is in it, you will complete it! If He calls you to a task, don’t even try to rely upon yourself (or sleep) but simply open your hands wide to His plans. (remember my prayers this year…PALMS UP!)
Second, Sisters in Christ are beautiful. No matter where you are in your walk, where you live, what you do…when you are with other women who love Jesus, you are in a sweet place. Masks come off. Struggles are shared. Joys are celebrated. It is beautiful. Women seeking Jesus. Together. It is one of my greatest joys.
I left a piece of my heart in Wilson, NC this weekend. But my prayer is that piece of me gets shared through the love of God that I hope to share wherever I go.
Thank you to Forest Hills Presbyterian Church in Wilson, NC for opening up your home to us! If you are ever in that area, look them up! What a blessing everyone from the church was! We are so grateful!
If you would like to bring a Simply Living for Him Women’s Event to your group, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org We will go wherever the Lord leads!