I Am Here

This week Henrieta, Lynne and I were working on our next Take Charge retreat. We were all sitting around a table and sharing our ideas on the sessions, food, setup, etc… It is so uplifting and amazing to spend creative time with other Christian women. I can not begin to tell you how energized I feel after one of our meetings. It is so evident that God is gracing us with his presence. For once, I am right where I am supposed to be listening and watching for His guidance on my journey. I am not taking the high road that I can sometimes try to take to control the whole ride. I have to say His way is more mysterious, but runs so much smoother! In our time together, each of us shared about the sessions that we are going to be leading for the retreat. Lynne was talking about her session which will focus on getting past barriers or blocks that keep us from moving forward in our lives. As I was listening to her I thought, “That is so cool, I really need that, I am so there!” Henrieta shared about her session, she is going to show people how to share their life stories, the importance of our stories, and how they can help us see where we are and where we should be --- and maybe where we might be stuck. As I was listening to her I thought, “That is so cool, I really need to do that, I am so there!” This was just a reminder to me that I am not alone in my struggles, challenges and road blocks. Others feel the same way. When I am going through tough times, I often feel so alone. I like to hold my own little pity party. Then I stop to take a breath and look around, and I see that I am not alone, that others are walking right there with me. God tells us over and over again that He is with us. In Isaiah 41:13 we read “I am the Lord your God. I am holding your right hand. And I tell you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I will help you.’” In the book of Matthew chapter 28 verse 20, Jesus said, “You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of the world.” Knowing this fills me with a peace and allows me to focus --- not on myself, but on my faith in an amazing God. I have to admit though, usually as I am feeling this peace, life intervenes. My husband can’t find his keys, or a child of mine needs to be fed, or the phone starts to ring and the peace that I was feeling leaves me like a puff of smoke into the air, hanging above me, just out of my reach. Then I remind myself of the most awesome thing about God. He is never beyond my reach. He is waiting for me to embrace Him and bring Him into my life. When I embrace Him, when I put Him before my family, myself, and my daily life, I am able to do more that I ever dreamed possible. Embracing God is the way the Take Charge retreat came to be, and it is also the reason that I came to be sitting around a table with two wonderful, loving, women, realizing (not for the first time) that I am not alone. Blessings and peace, Maryanne

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