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Lesson Learned

This past weekend I had the awesome privilege of serving alongside a godly group of ladies for our church's Fall Women's Retreat.

When my sweet friend called me several months back and asked me to take care of the decorations for the retreat, I immediately said, "yes."

And then when she called back and asked me to head up the breakout sessions instead of the decorations, I immediately said, "yes."

And then... she called again. By this time the flyers had already been sent out to the ladies indicating we would be offering breakout sessions, but God had other plans. This time instead of decorations and breakout sessions, she asked me to lead a prayer walk. Being the flexible person that I am, ready to serve in anyway that I can, I said, "sure, not a problem," and got to work.

I began digging into the Word studying through passages that talked about prayer. Soon I had a very detailed outline. And, not long after the ink had dried on my outline, I had seven pages of notes before me; three great points, all beginning with the letter "R", and a great title for the lesson. I was ready to stand before this group of women and share the message God had given me.

Or, so I thought...

Wondering how in the world I was ever going to cover seven pages of notes in the ten minute time frame I had been given, I sat patiently, (ok, maybe it wasn't patiently) at my table Saturday watching the clock as it ticked, ticked, away until I only had about an hour before I was to lead this group of ladies through the prayer walk after of course, I shared my lesson with them. Little did I know the kind of lesson I was about to learn myself.

A precious sister in the Lord was sharing her story of waiting on the Lord when it happened. God got a hold of me like He hasn't done in quite some time. As my sister shared, she spoke of setting our gaze on things above.

A cold chill ran through my body as I heard the Lord whisper to me, "this whole prayer walk thing that you are about to lead these women's not about your seven pages of has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you have three points and they all begin with the letter "R"...this prayer walk has nothing to do with you, it is all about Me and about YOU setting your gaze upon Me."

The cold chill left my body and was replaced with a burning in my heart. Tears began streaming down my face and I knew that I must get to the bathroom quick. The moment the door closed behind me it happened...the ugly cry. Ya know? The kind of cry that distorts your whole face and makes you feel like you can't catch your breath?

I stood in the bathroom and cried out to the Lord, "Oh, God, what am I doing? I am so sorry! This is not about me and my seven pages of notes! This IS about YOU! Set my eyes on You!! Oh, please, set my eyes on You!!!"

I regained my composure then made my way back to my seat. When the time came for me to stand before those women, I shared my heart with them. I shared with them that God had just done a work in me. I shared with them that God didn't care whether or not I had seven pages of notes or three points that all began with the letter "R".

What He cared about, what He cares about, is that they, no we, set our gaze upon Him. That we set our gaze on things above and not on the mess that might be going on around us. That we set our gaze on Him, the only one who knows our every need and the only one who knows how to best meet those needs. That we find our peace in the Great Prince of Peace. That we find our strength in the God who is strong enough to move mountains. That we find our home in the shelter of His wings. That in Him, we find true love and acceptance with no strings attached. That in Him, we experience mercy and grace. That in Him, we experience forgiveness and compassion. That...we find Him- period.

All along, with each change of our plans, God had the ultimate plan. And, His plan was for me to set my gaze upon Him. He humbled me and changed my heart this past weekend, and I am forever grateful.


2 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Victoria said...

Jenifer, I am so encouraged by your honesty and your human-encased heart for the Lord.

You remind me that I'm not the only woman who clogs the flow of Christ in her life.

You inspire me to get equipped for every good work.

You point me to the Heavenlies and today I need that like I need air.

I have to remember and I have to strive to see my continual need for a Savior and a Teacher. THE Savior and THE Teacher!

Love you!

lori said...

hey girl...where DID YOU get the girl!! That is great!!! She looks like you!!

VERY chic!