Sitting around the kitchen table with six of my team members, our woman’s coordinator, and my best friend Janel explains why we are assembled in her kitchen. There are munchies on the table and coffee brewing. I can’t help thinking how much this scene reminds me of the recent Hobbit movie when all the dwarfs are assembling around the kitchen table with Gandalf. I can feel adventure brewing along with the coffee. Janel explains how to assemble the gifts we are putting together for our woman’s retreat. Then she holds up a name card, “This is not just a piece of paper, there is a name. This name belongs to a person with feelings, struggles, giftings, and desires. before you attach this name to their gift I want you to pray for that person and ask if God has something He wants to tell her. If so write it down. What if God’s not talking? What the heck am I supposed to do if I hear nothing? I then picture All these woman picking up their gifts, looking at their tags personally written by God and then crying and talking among themselves about what great gifts they just received, and then in walks the girls I got. turning over their cards and crying because it was blank, God chose not to speak to that girl, or worse yet I didn’t know how to listen. I could just see God yelling to me about how much He loved his daughter, and I couldn’t understand Him enough to write it down. Lost in my own fears our secretary adds to this brain teaser, “Why don’t we pray over each card before even looking at the names. Now I’m thinking if this trick works we could take this act to Vegas.
I pray over the first one I see a sunset, I see her with her husband holding hands watching the sunset and I hear God whisper to me, “Tell her she is going to enjoy the sweet romance like a sunset.” I turn over the card and it is a friend of mine that is moving to Daytona beach with her husband and daughter who God just recently restored their marriage. They are moving their to take care of his mother.
Crazy scenes and more words ran through my mind as I joined my friends in praying for over 90 woman that night, and not one of our cards were blank. God really did speak to each woman at our retreat this weekend.
We allowed time between speakers to ask if anyone wanted to share how the word they got ministered to them. Their was the leader of The woman’s homeless shelter that shared how for over ten years she had put her dreams of writing to the side to help lead the shelter and get it established. The word said, “Now is the time to rest and I will give you the desires of your heart. I am taking you on an adventure.”
Next I heard a precious lady who at the homeless shelter is referred to as Mom or Grandma by all the women that have no family. She read the card, oh great, it’s mine. “My love for your reaches through the galaxies, from heaven to you.” she begins then she explains, ” at first when I read this card I didn’t get it.” I cringe, Then she began to cry and say God reminded her of a prayer He answered for her back when she was fourteen years old (she is now 60). She begins crying and shaking, “This word was so beyond for me, let me explain. When I was a little girl my mother abandoned me and my younger siblings. My father would come home drunk each night and molest me. I tried to hide but he always found me. One night I was so damaged I begin hemorrhaging. I lost so much blood the hospital said I died. I heard God calling me to heaven I told him I had to take care of the children. I kept saying please let me take care of the children. He said yes. I then said but I don’t want my father to ever be able to touch me again. I came back alive, and for the rest of my life I was able to take care of not only my siblings but I spent the rest of my adult life taking care of homeless children, and my father never touched me again. so you see, (at this point we are all crying) God’s love was reaching through the galaxies to take me home and then answered my prayers.”
I then looked down at my card and word for word it said what I wrote in my last journal entry for the new year. God answered a question I had for Him that no one else new. Top that Vegas 😉
These are everyday woman inspiring everyday lives. As I’m eating lunch with another woman, who I consider my spiritual mom, I encourage her to tell the ladies at our table how she came to our church. Her and her husband ( His names Rick, but to me he’s dad) where at the end of themselves. Couldn’t find work, living in a small trailer in the woods at a dead end. Her husband was getting ready to blow down their trailer. He had turned on all the propane and was desperately trying to light matches to blow himself up. She was hanging on to the porch saying, “If you go I’m going with you!” she said he kept saying, “God help me,” as he kept trying to light a match. He went through all 3 match books and not one would light. God saved their lives that day. It was Thanksgiving and they had no food. They drove into town and saw our church was serving dinner to the homeless. They came in and after talking to some people their decided to give their lives to the Lord by asking Jesus into their hearts. That was over 20 years ago and since then they ended up taking over that ministry. I wish I could say they have had an easy life but honestly they have wrestled with severe health issues. They have not only raised their own kids, but are now raising their four grandchildren after their mother left them. I have watched this family fight for truth in the midst of unending storms for years. But at this moment she is laughing as her oldest granddaughter says, “Mom tell them what dad did to you yesterday.” She blushes and say , “I could have killed him. He calls me and says, you better come home quick the police are hear and I’m being arrested for an old charge that never got taken care of. I rush home and there’s no police, he just said he missed me and wanted a kiss!” then she tells me about what he did for her 40th birthday. “All day long I followed notes around town attached to gifts until finally it lead me back to our house where he had our pastor there to renew our wedding vows.” I was shocked this was a family that went from one hardship to another, and now I find out they are playing around enjoying life to the fullest in the midst of it. I asked her, “Did you ever want to give up?
Her answer back,” Rick and I gave up years ago when we asked Christ into our lives at the thanksgiving dinner. We gave up our old lives. We gave up our own will. Now it’s never an option to give up the will to live and fight. It’s Christ’s will that lives in us and gives us the joy and the strength through the good and bad. That’s life and we just enjoy every moment we have of it.”