Another women’s retreat in the books! We had a great time with 13 girls (from Campbell, Wake Tech main and north, and UNCP), 3 other staff women, and 1 faculty advisor. We laughed (a lot), we cried (a lot), we hugged, we ate (a lot), we shared, we loved, we played volleyball in the pool, and we toured Wilmington and UNCW (or some of it!).
Though it wasn’t the 40 we were praying for, the Lord orchestrated having just the right people at this retreat and honestly, I couldn’t have imagined it any other way. The theme of our weekend was “Restoration” and by having a small group, we were able to get to know each other well, share significant things, and have fun (you couldn’t play volleyball in a small indoor hotel pool with 40 women).
One girl said this weekend came at just the right time as she is a senior, just broke up with her boyfriend because he wasn’t a good influence in her spiritual life, and is facing pressure but yet is excited to go back to her home country to support her family and share Christ with them. Another shared how much they have been able to grow through Christian community since being involved with Cru. Another spent four hours on Saturday (during our free time none the less) worshipping the Lord and studying His Word. Another is wrestling with how to represent Christ and bear fruit to her non-Christian friends as she has just started walking in obedience to the Lord. The list could go on and on.
I was slated to speak on Sunday morning and I had spent time the previous week and weekend preparing for my talk on eternal perspective, time management, and boundaries. Then, on Sunday morning, I woke up and started playing worship music in our room as we were getting ready. The song “Oceans (where feet may fall)” by Hillsong came on and I found myself worshipping the Lord and crying, though I wasn’t sure why other than being overwhelmed by the Lord by how he has saved me, shaped me, and led me through this crazy thing called life. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord wanted me to share about this instead of what I had planned. Funny that the thing I have been struggling with the past year is letting go of control and giving it to God and 30 minutes before I was supposed to leave, he was changing what I would speak about. Seriously, God does work like that, right?
So, I did just that. I quit crying long enough to jot down Scripture to walk through and thoughts to share and prayed that the Lord would use it and clearly speak through me. And he did just that. The gist of my talk was that no matter what expectations we have or what we have planned, follow the Lord even if it doesn’t make sense because his plan is better. And boy is it! Reflecting on my life, I am by no means where I thought I would be in regards to career, pay, and even where I am living, but God’s plan for me was and is so much better and I am so thankful that he loves me and has it all under His control.
My prayer is exactly as the song says: “Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you will call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior.” That is my prayer for you as well.