"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.". John 16:33

Monday, October 3, 2011

a message in the message

I remember sometime last year my mom saying to me... "Stace, I saw at church this Sunday a video for the Transitions retreat.  I really wish you could go.  It's for people in their twenties.  There is a zipline and water sports and it looks like so much fun."  I had to work the weekend of the retreat so it was out of the question for me.  The real truth is: it wasn't a priority at the time.  

Since that time last year, obviously, a lot has changed for me.  This year, my butt filling one of the seats on the bus to Lake Champion was one of my top priorities.  My reason for wanting to go, at least partially, was not what it should have been.  BTDance was going to be performing and I wanted to be on that stage.  I think I may have been holding off signing up for the retreat to make sure I would be able to dance first.  A little small voice inside of me was saying..."Wait and see if you're picked to dance and then pay.  If not, you won't HAVE to go."  WOW hi Satan.   When I reflect on that now it hurts me, literal pains in my gut.  

As the time drew closer and closer I began to think I wasn't going to be able to go.  I was in the middle of apartment hunting and after many failed attempts at finding the right place (even if I enumerated them here you wouldn't believe it) I was left with just enough money to eek out an existence.  Long story short, I had put down two deposits plus application fees and neither were going to work out because of problems with roommates, details details details.  In the midst of this, still thinking about the retreat, my focus shifted.  God spoke to me.  He told me the importance in this weekend was not about dancing.  It was about developing my relationship with Him.  He told me that even if I didn't get to dance, I needed to be there.  I needed this experience.  That my NUMBER ONE reason for going should be to commune with Him. 

It is so crazy how so many things only become clear in retrospect.  I didn't know at the time that dancing was my intention but it's only now that I acknowledge it that I also realize  that when I started listening to God's plan for the retreat things lined up, mountains moved, money flowed.   God made a way and WOW I was able to go.  

So I remember praying "God if it is your will that I go on this trip I need something to happen with my finances.  You know I just lost SO much money on this apartment nonsense and I literally can not afford it now."  The next day, I got a text from one of the brokers asking when I would like to come pick up my deposit.  For anyone that doesn't know....that does not happen, EVER.  If you pay a deposit on an apartment and then decide you don't want the apartment the broker does not have to give you the money back and they never do.  But by the grace of God Valentina was going to give me $500 back.  I took the money and paid for the retreat that very night.  

This is such a testament to the fact that when we let go of our selfish desires and begin to seek God's plan for our lives he will ALWAYS make a way.  He makes the impossible happen.  He will move heaven and earth for us, his children.  If we will just open our eyes, hearts, minds, souls to God's desires for our life, roadblocks will disappear, walls will fall down and chains will be broken. We can not seek what WE want for our life and expect God to make a way.  We must surrender to his plan and seek his glory in everything to receive his blessed assistance.  

I was planning to post about the retreat and my thoughts, reflections and highlights of the trip.  But I find myself in the same place I always end up when I begin writing and stay open to God's message pouring through the keyboard... He has just delivered a message through what I thought would be the "introduction".  I was going to, as briefly as possible, describe the background which got me to Lake Champion.  But God said "no little girl (that's what He calls me when I am being scolded) there is a message waiting for you in the part you are trying to rush through".  

Let's leave it where it is for now shall we? I was definitely return to write about the retreat and how God's presence was all up in that place.  But for now, I want to end on this verse that my mom always always always recites to me.  

Psalm 37:4  Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. 

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