I received a message from a friend in my inbox last week.
“This weekend is a ladies retreat at my mountain house and a spot has opened up.
I’ve been praying about who to ask and your name keeps popping up everywhere… literally…just saw you on FB. HA! ”
She sent me a bio of the speaker and told me a bit about the weekend.
I didn’t even finish the email.
I wrote her back quickly.
“I haven’t even read the bio. I don’t have to.
I know that I would love to go. I’d especially love to go on Thursday, so I can help you prepare. “
I will tell you that one of my first thoughts when I received the invitation was, “I was not a ‘first choice’.”
Where does this originate? Is this something we were taught?
Is this something we have heard along the way?
Are these thoughts from the enemy?
I’m not sure …. but just.as.quickly as that thought slithered into my brain,
God replaced it with this one,
” This is a special gift just for you. You weren’t an afterthought,
I opened up a spot just.for.you. I want you there.”
Maybe the person that couldn’t make it … just needed to know they were invited.
Maybe that was the point of the invitation. That was all that was needed right now.
But, I was now invited and I could go!
So the only mystery to unravel
was “Where does God want Joy to stay while He takes me aside to work on my heart?”
As I dialed the numbers to ask two of my closest friends here in Augusta if they thought they might be able to help,
I spoke these words out loud to God,
“Lord, I’m accepting this trip as a gift from you. If you want me to go, then please help me with arrangements.”
Within ten minutes, I had spoken to both friends. Both families are large with several teens. Translate: both families have children going in opposite directions all.the.time. And both friends said, “SURE! I would love to have her!” One even said, “This weekend would be a good weekend for her to join us because she would fit right in.” Within twenty minutes of the dialing of the first number, I was able to tell the hostess, “Yes! I can come! God worked out the details before I even asked.”
And so I tied up loose ends at home, typed out a schedule for where Joy would be throughout the weekend (two days with one family, next two days with the other) with phone numbers and times so there would be no confusion. I shared the info with my big kids, as a back up. I washed laundry and packed and made sure that the pets were handled.
We pulled onto the property as the sun was sinking below the ridgeline. We watched the last rays of light gently caress the hills and
then the shadows envelop the homestead where we would stay, sup and fellowship for the next few days.
Joy spent time at school, enjoyed an after school sports event, frolicked Saturday at a fabulous Fall Festival, went to church and saw a live performance of the ballet Peter Pan which included several of her friends dancing, dub-stepping and acting on the stage. She even told me how much she enjoyed singing show tunes in the van with one of the families! I’m still amazed by that one.
All the while, I lived in “pinch me” mode as I tried to soak in every moment. I haven’t traveled much in 2012. I only drive as far as my towing plan will allow so that I know that I am “covered.” I have never, ever, ever had trouble on the road with my van. Every time I crank it I thank God for it. Yet, it’s been a still, quiet year.
And I have pined for the mountains.
Not only did God take me to the mountains,
He took me to the mountains at a price I could afford,
He let me ride in someone else’s car,
and He surrounded me with gorgeous women who love Him dearly.