They came from all over the nation.
Some drove. Many flew. Some carpooled. When the arrived, we started our Come With Me journey together.
I was surprised when I met some in person. All I had to go on was the small picture beside their name on Facebook or in some other online community. One woman was supposed to be short, or at least that’s how I imagined her. When she stepped out of the car I was surprised to see that she towered over me.
She was beautiful!
What I loved best about this weekend retreat is how real we all were. Moms. Single women. Grandmas. Wives. Working women. Writers. Speakers. Teachers. It was all over the map.
I taught, wearing jeans and Sketchers, as we sat beside a lake. We sat in the grass. We listened to the Word. We prayed and laughed and grew together.
We roasted marshmallows and ate S’mores. We rode horses. We kayaked. We even zip lined! It was glorious.
I wonder if the disciples felt the way we did that weekend. Seeking Jesus. Listening for His direction. Encouraging each other. Sometimes holding hands and weeping over the hard parts of life, and cheering each other on in the good.
By the end of the weekend, pretty deep friendship were formed that continue on today.
In Chapter Eight of Come With Me it seems like we are exploring what it means to be the “chair guy” in ministry (unseen, behind-the scenes), but can I share something with you?
It’s not about that at all.
It’s discovering the power of standing shoulder to shoulder with each other and changing the world. It’s understanding that when we go out two by two, or in a crowd, we become a massive, powerful movement of women that leaves an impact.
Maybe you’ve struggled with trying to do this by yourself.
Maybe you think that there’s no one like you — and that’s true.
We all play a part in this thing called ministry.
Maybe today is the day that you allow the Holy Spirit to open your heart to other women. It won’t be perfect. There’ll be messy moments. Yet, as one of my pastors said this past week, “There is no Plan B. Community is the only plan.”
There’s no plan B. Community is messy because it involves people, but it’s the only plan. It’s a great plan. #ComeWithMe @suzanneeller
Maybe that community will be online.
Maybe it’s a Bible study.
Maybe it’s praying for your church or a ministry, and stepping in as an encourager.
I don’t know what it will look like, but this once-loner has discovered a little later in life that friendships and a band of brave girls can conquer the world, one small act of faith at a time.
If you struggle with this, may I pray with you today?
Lord, community can be scary. It’s made up of ordinary people with all kinds of quirks and flaws, but Lord may I admit that I also have quirks and flaws? Let us look for the good in others. If someone has hurt one of the women reading this today, may she open her heart one more time. Take her into the deep of community, with a heart open to connection. Lord, these people will not meet our needs, because only you can do that. Yet we know that you work with us, two by two, in crowds and in gatherings, and behind-the-scenes as we love and encourage each other to follow you.
Thank you for that. In Jesus’ name, amen.
We gave away swag boxes at the April event and one of the giveaways was a candle from 4Fosters Candle Company.
It smelled so good!
Check out 4Fosters Candle.
Lorri Foster and her family work behind the scenes in this faith-based company to reach people in a unique way with candles and the Gospel.