Today one our constituents called in a panic. She and her husband were hosting one of our Art of Marriage Events in about 2 weeks and had not done anything to prepare.
- Yes, they were the marriage ministry leaders for their church!
- Yes they specifically knew of several couples who would benefit from it’s content
- Yes, they bought the kit in April!
Of course, we’ve seen it all so I’ll admit, I almost got a little judgmental. Yep, I know that’s kind of wrong, but in my mind…I thought…
“You bought the kit in April and now you’re calling for help?”
Well, I guess she sensed how ill-prepared she’d sounded so she began to further explain her dilemma…
She went on to say that she and her husband tried to schedule their event back in April for October, but at the time was told that the calendar was closed. So she and her husband held onto the kit and did nothing further.
I guess you’re wondering why they didn’t just ask to be scheduled for the next open date? It’s easy to say that from the outside, but I can attest to the fact that when you’re already a little nervous about being put in the spotlight, sometimes you gladly accept any set back as a “get out of jail” free card and get on down instead of relying on God’s direction and pressing on.
So yes, they had the kit, the flyers, and posters (everything they needed), they sat idly by watching marriages fall apart holding on to that excuse that the calendar was full. Well, sometimes folks, God’s got another plan!
Well, usually God has another plan and because He grants us free will, He allows us to only go so far before we’re obligated to do things His way. Well super long story short…the couple found out about the event “they” were hosting the same way the rest of the congregation did…Sunday morning announcements.
Now if her church is as technologically savvy as most are these days, the announcement was displayed on some huge screen for all to see…And yep..that’s what happened.
Now I understood her panic and I was immediately able to reassure her that we can help her…I submitted an urgent request for one of our ministry advisers to contact her immediately and when I asked her when she would be available, her reply comforted and convicted me in succession.
“I’ve cleared my schedule for the next two weeks because we’ve got to get this together. I’m available anytime. Just call.”
The words she stated reminded me of the words I’d uttered not long ago to my Father. I’d embarked on a mission to complete my memoir several years ago…got with a publisher…paid…and yet sent nothing…I could say that it was writer’s block, but that’s a lie…it was fear…fear of the questions…fear of the answers…fear of rejection…fear of acceptance…fear of memories…fear of the need to forget…I understand now how I’ve allowed that fear cripple me.
A few months ago, a co-worker handed me a book that changed my life…I know that sounds so cliche…but it did nonetheless…I started writing again…I started remembering again…I cried tears that had been buried in a facade for over 3 decades, but even half way through that journey I stopped…overcome by the “what ifs.” But today, God not only allowed me to remember my vow this evening as I attempted to reassure that customer. But early this morning, he reminded me with a message from Joyce Meyer…the words…”It’s time” has been ringing in my head all day…I’ve had friends lined up for months to offer assistance to review my pain on paper, but shame preferred it be kept hidden…
But something else spectacular happened on that call…something God always has a knack of allowing in my life…He allowed me to minister to myself.
You see the past two days, I’ve been fighting a sinus infection and I’ve gotten pretty good at hitting my mute button just before that sneeze…I’d begun telling the young lady this: (mind you this isn’t verbatim-going by memory here)
After she mentioned that she and her husband prayed about it and she couldn’t back out because she felt like God’s hand was on it…I agreed with her and recalled the time when I’d been co-chair over Women’s Day at my church one year…how I’d made all these new plans and when I went to the planner and even to the pastor to offer my input, I was completely rejected.
All I could think of was, “Why in the world was I selected if they weren’t interested in anything I had to offer?” I was sick because my naivety had me so geeked that I’d called vendors and made all these plans to make the Women’s Fun Day a Spa Day…
Well of course I prayed…God reminded me of Nehemiah and the wall…how he was constantly met with opposition but how he was able to complete it anyway…not by his own effort, but by his faith in God’s power to help him finish the task…In the end, the pastor’s heart softened, but two days prior…every vendor cancelled at the last minute.
I arrived at the site on the day of distraught, but slowly as I tried to get things together by myself…one by one God provided people who had everything I needed.
By the end of that night, the ladies were given makeovers (Maybeline donated boo-koos), manicures were done by volunteers, massages were given, pictures were taken…all because I relied on God and refused to take the glory for myself…I smiled as I reminisced in that moment…
And I simply told her that it wouldn’t be a miracle if “you could get it together in 4 months.”
So with that, I’m no longer stressing about how I can get this and that together and what if this person says this or that…I’m going with what I’d decided before…to allow God arrange my calendar!
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