The Journey to “COME AWAY”
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD (Isaiah 55:8).
The more breaths He allows me to take, the more appreciation I gain for this declaration!
Three years ago, I knew that God had put the desire in me to have a retreat for WITHIN Ministry. I saw it clear as day. My heart would beat faster whenever I would think about it. Ladies gathering for a weekend, seeking the Lord. Fellowshipping with one another. Hearts being transformed. Memories being made. I saw how it beautiful that would be! So I put it to prayer and put my hands to work.
Two attempts. Two different years. Two different approaches. None went through. I didn’t understand. Why wasn’t God giving me the go for the plans I had created that would allow close to 75 ladies to come together and grow in the Lord? Why would He continue growing this desire within me but thwart the plans I would create to execute it?
I began feeling like I wasn’t hearing Him anymore. I became discouraged and eventually tucked away the plans and tried to suppress the desire.
Then the weekend of November 15th 2014 happened. I was invited to speak at a young ladies’ “Sisterhood” Retreat in Texas. An intimate group of close to 25 ladies came together and encountered an amazing time in the Lord and with one another.
At one point, we were sitting on the floor going around sharing and laughing, when all of a sudden, it was like the eyes of my heart were opened! That moment, a clear understanding of this desire that God put in me illuminated. THIS is how the Lord wanted it. The word “INTIMATE” rang loud in my ears.
I slept that night with a revived passion for the WITHIN retreat because it felt like I finally heard God’s desire for the retreat. Not my understanding of how it should be.
Because truth be told…I thought it should have been 75 ladies. A large group. A lot of activities. A lot of structure.
I thought it should have been collaborated with other ministries.
I thought it should have been….
But God gently allowed blocks on the road from fulfilling those “should have beens” to what NEEDED be:
Intimate. Personal. Intentional.
And not because retreats can’t be a large group, but because that was not what God had desired for WITHIN Ministry.
And now I know why…
Three years later from when this desire was planted, “COME AWAY” retreat took place.
Words can’t and won’t adequately describe how the Lord met 20 ladies gathered in a lodge up in the Poconos Mountain the weekend of May 29-31st, but I will say this: We came, never anticipating what took place. We left, never to return the way we came.
His ways are truly higher than our ways. All weekend, I thanked God for loving these ladies SO much that He wouldn’t allow any other plan to go through because of the great plan He had prepared for them, since the foundation of this world! Mind blowing! How humbling to know that this ministry would be a part of each of these women of valor’s story!
God really does exceedingly and abundantly ALL that we could ever THINK or IMAGINE and I am forever grateful.
I pray that you are encouraged by this. Even the desires that God puts within you must be heeded to the way HE desires for them to be done through you. Trust that He will guide you as you put your hands to work. Just make sure you obey when He says NOT now. And NOT this way, because here is what I’ve learned: He knows what He’s doing;-)
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthian 2:9)
Here are some pictures from our “COME AWAY” retreat to give you a glimpse of what we experienced: