Often times in my life I have learned things the hard way.
Rather it be a stubborn will, or a lack of complete trust,
it's in the hard I learn.
My spiritual journey for most of my life has been one of
relying on God until things are good again.
I would get to a good place and I would basically think I
could now do this thing called life on my own.
All the while still believing in Him,
but as the song goes,
I did it my way.....which never worked.
When I rely on self or put my faith in others I am often disapointed.
When I rely on God,
It brings peace, full indescribable peace.
It wasn't until my late 40's that I was fully committed to
never walking away and relying on myself again.
It has been an incredible journey once I surrendered it
all to a God bigger than any issue I may have had.
My faith was recently tested in a very big way.
I am the retreat coordinator for our annual Women's Retreat.
Every year we contract a low number of how many we believe will attend
with the knowledge we can always add.
This has worked well for the last four years, at minimum we only pay for the number in
Two weeks prior I make the phone call to turn in our final count,
this year it was 84! Myself and the team that makes it all happen, worked
very hard and we were sure God would be doing great things on our weekend retreat
that would benefit the women of our church.
We were very excited about what God was going to do.
Little did we know......
I actually sent my contact at the retreat center our final count of 84 via text message.
I didn't hear back that day which was unusual, so I copied the text and emailed it the
I heard back right away...
" I'm afraid I have some bad news. This year we can only provide you the 60 beds that were in
the contract. We have never had a situation like this in the past, but a mega church
came in two days prior and bought every last bed on site and off site.
I am trying to figure something out and will be working on that until 11::00 P.M. tonight.
I can't even offer you one extra bed at this point."
To say I was shocked would be a complete understatement.
My heart immediately heavy, as I went into a very sureal state.
How do I tell 24 women they can't attend after all?
Oh and God, I have information on some that I know need this retreat more than ever,
the timing was so perfect for them!
I emailed three praying friends and asked them to start praying...
I made phone calls to local hotels and motels in the vacinity of where the conference center is.
Everyone, booked solid that weekend.
How do I attend and remain upbeat about the weekend?
Some would be told that someone they were counting on being there with them
will not be there at all....
Oh boy, it was heavy friends.
It was a very long 24 hours.
One P.M. the next day I called, I just needed to know now so I could notify the church and
begin the unfortunate task of notifying those that could not attend.
The voice on the phone tells me my contact is in a meeting, in fact the whole office is until 2 P.M.
I privately thought, perhaps they are all brainstorming trying to find away?
I wanted so badly to remain hopeful but that negative voice would remind me,
you are expecting 24 beds, pretty impossible.
I thought, I know I believe God can do anything but, perhaps a bed or two.
He could help them find one or two but 24? Well that would require a miracle of sorts!
As I wait for the hour to pass and the chest pains began...
my thoughts ranged from, how do I face anyone after this...as if I would wear the scarlett
letter to church every week so everyone would know....
the big R on my chest
It may be easier to change churches never to be heard from again!
I wish I were kidding, these are real thoughts I was having.
Crazy but real.....
My phone rings and I can see it's my contact from the conference center,
Upon hearing his voice I break, he says,
"you don't sound so good"
I of course replied, I'm not doing to good.
"Well, I can't explain how because last night and today I have looked over rooming charts
for all the churches attending 50 times if I did once!
I have some good news."
I pipe in, did you find us any beds?
How many? I asked....(knowing I'd still have the same problem even if he found a few.)
" I found you 24 beds, exactly the number you needed! "
As I totally break into tears of joy,
"are you kidding me?"
He assured me again unable to explain, yes 24 beds!
I could tell he was as relived as I, he has such a heart for what he does.
I immediately confess, I feel so badly that I doubted God.
But I did.
Really, 24 beds were just going to appear???
Why yes, all 24 of them.
Again I'm reminded I serve a God bigger than any issue that comes my way.
As I hung up I immediately text my prayer buddies and let them know the good news!
Then I went directly to Mark 9:24,
A father says to Jesus,
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"
This was me, I do believe, yet I had to overcome my unbelief.
After the 84 women were welcomed to the retreat,
you can bet I shared my story.
Barely able to speak as it was just so amazingly big!
I ended it with, if anyone has any complaints this weekend,
I will remind you,
You have a bed!
I'm so glad I choose to share my story of unbelief (doubt) with them, I trust many will remember it
at some point down the road when they experience something they believe may be
to big for God.
Many times throughout the weekend when something amazing was shared and women were
needing to hear just whatever it was, I would break into tears at the thought,
they may have missed this special time......but God!
As women left on our last day, many of them shared with me that
they will never forget the story of the 24 beds!
Praise God for that!!!!
My hope is you too might remember when things seem too big for hope,
its what echos from my heart today.