This past weekend I was privileged and blessed to attend a women’s retreat with the theme of Seaside Escape.
Doesn’t that name instantly bring calming pictures of gentle blue-green water lapping gently on the shore under sunny skies?
Aah. Picture this. Some of you may recognize it. It's called Sandy Cove and it's on the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay .
While I was looking forward to getting away for spiritual refreshment, for some girl time--and, yes for sand, sun, and sea--I was apprehensive. On Friday, before leaving the house, I had some time to kill while waiting for my ride. I decided to write for five minutes on the topic that "just so happened" to be "BRAVE". Coincidence? I think not. I truly believe God had ordained for me to see that meme, and He gave me time to consider it, just enough time to quickly do some five-minute spiritual warfare in the process of writing.
Why? Because Satan, every Christian's enemy, was trying to scare me. His tactic? Lies. As always.
His biggest lie was that, since I am new to this church, I’m odd and I don’t fit in. He whispered things like, “They’ve got their cliques already. You might as well not try. It will be just like junior high with all the pretense and drama. They’ll be polite to your face but gossip behind your back. You’ll come home and won’t want to admit it was a big waste of time because you’ll feel guilty. Guilty for leaving your family for a whole weekend, ” blah, blah, blah.
Seriously! Those thoughts, like flaming arrows in my mind, threatened to choke out my desire to go at all.
Good thing I decided to obey God and put on His whole armor so that I could stand against those fiery darts. Nothing in the above paragraph proved true. Nothing.
Instead, I replaced those thoughts with these…
Chesapeake Bay, here I come! New friends, I am ready to meet you! Father in Heaven and Lover of My Soul, I need to draw near to You, away from the busyness of everyday life. I need to hear from You.
I set my bags on the front porch, sat on the swing, and waited with joy for my ride. Overpacked, but biblically--I was like Noah, took two of everything. Two warm outfits, two cool outfits,two necklaces, two sets of pajamas, two pairs of shoes in addition to the ones on my feet. You get the idea. The brown bag is a consignment shop bag I nabbed that has lots of pockets and a big zipper compartment. Great for toiletries to keep hairspray upright, and toothpaste far from the shampoo. Oh, how I love luggage,
but I digress....
My ride. It was going to be two women. One woman, Linda, I already knew. She had hosted a small group Bible study that my husband and I attended for a few weeks. She invited me to room with her on this retreat. She was really the only person I knew other than in passing. And that was because she was extending hospitality to strangers. The thing we’re all supposed to do. That’s all it takes, people, one friendly person being selfless, saying hello, taking a genuine interest in another person and putting them at ease.
The other person was Sharon. We rode off together...
(to be continued)