It’s only been two weeks since the holidays, but it feels like it has been months, or one at the very least. The reason? It has been rather difficult. Work has been nutty for one of my accounts that is in panic mode, my car decided it’d be a great time to breakdown, our heater broke while the temperatures were frigid, and I have been learning how much love hurts. Honestly, the latter of which has been the most difficult, and the one I do not feel is appropriate to discuss in this venue. Except to say that God has truly stretched and challenged me in many ways as I learn to love others until it hurts. Many tears have been shed, many prayers lifted, many hard conversations had, and many times of me opening my hands and allowing God to fill the void in my heart and in the knowledge that he loves in a greater way than me and has all of this in his hands. I know the road has only just begun, but I am confident that “he who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
I apologize for being vague, but I do not believe the details of the story are as important as the truth that God loves us all, in a huge way. He is our helper. And when I worry and fear particularly as I fall asleep, I remember that “He who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” Psalm 121:3-4
In the midst of the craziness, I’ve had two wonderful weekends out of Dallas. The first was a retreat with my precious small group girls. We were crazy impressed that we had ALL but one of our little girls! And she was in LA for the national championship (we won’t talk about that sad game…). It was a wonderful weekend as they loved each other, relaxed, played, learned, and were authentic. I wish I had taken pictures, but alas, I was a horrid picture taker. Then last week we officially added a new girl, Lilly, to our group, specifically my little group. It’s a long story, but we are very prayerful about adding new members due to the uniqueness of our set-up and the sheer number of girls we have (we now have 16, I have 6). However, Lilly was an answer to prayer as one of my precious ones has battled loneliness at her school which no one else in group attends. Lilly moved here this summer and I am ecstatic to have her in our group, and even more to see how our girls have responded thus far in having her join us. And for those who know me well, you know this is a great feat that I did not have a panic attack at the thought of adding someone! Especially given the other drama we have going on; but it’s in God’s hands, I know.
The second weekend was with a slew of other fabulous women who serve on the student ministry team. I always love this annual retreat, but this year was especially precious as I am in such a good place. I have learned so much over the past several years, am struggling well, am hopeful, and believe God’s truth. This is HUGE, people! J While I did start to feel not so fabulous Saturday night after we unsuccessfully started a fire that I later realized had cedar in it (I’m very allergic to cedar and even though I was taking allergy meds, the burning put me over the edge), I didn’t let that hold me back. I could write volumes on my thankfulness for having the opportunity to serve on this team, not only just for my heart for shepherding young, impressionable girls, but also for the women who know me and have become my very best friends, the women I do not know as well but am impacted by their stories, and the family that exists across the entire team.
Phew! We’ll see how this next week unfolds! I was going to be out of town again this next weekend, but felt convicted that I needed some alone-time and rest at home. I also have a slew of things that deserve some extended time in prayer over, and I have been given the gift of a plan-less weekend to devote significant time to.