It started on the Saturday of spring break…over breakfast burritos and ((COFFEE))…and conversation with a precious sister-girlfriend about work-and-marriage-and-kids-and-school-and-church-and-ministry-and-health-and-finances(thankyouDaveRamsey)-and-struggles-and…well, you get it.
And then I said it. “I’ve been wanting to get away for the weekend to just disconnect from the world for a moment and spend time with God.”
And then my friend said it. “Let’s do it.”
And we did.
A few computer clicks reserved us a cabin at a horse ranch/arena. A few invites provided early and last-minute commitments from four other women who serve in ministry at their church homes. A few preparations set the details in place. This was the easy part. This was the stuff I could do with little effort.
((COFFEE)) at the cabin
Then it was time to seek God on where He wanted our focus.
I kind of already knew where God was going to place His index finger, so this was the difficult part of the retreat preparation because it was going to require God-inspection and self-reflection. When I finally asked Him what He wanted to speak to us at this retreat, He didn’t give me the chance to breathe before He responded with “return to your First Love” and “intimacy.”
Here’s the truth. I am an active participant in worship. I am faithful to remain in a spirit of prayer. I am (mostly) disciplined at inductive Bible study and writing them. I have NOT and am NOT, however, active or faithful or disciplined in sustained, quiet, devotional time with my Abba. (sigh)
First Love Retreat, July 2015 …and the sister-gf who said, “Let’s do it.”
There it was. The thorn in my flesh, the two-hundred-thirty-eight-feet-tall oak tree in my eye (to me, not to God) was my failed attempt after failed attempt to develop the discipline of a daily devotional…intimate solitude with God to know His heart better and hear His voice clearer.
Fast forward to the weekend of our retreat, which was just this past weekend. On Saturday morning, we each took our copy of “A Place of Quiet Rest” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and found our individual places to practice meeting with God in a spirit of devotion. We then came together to share what resonated with each of us in the first chapter. Afterwards, we soaked in the presence of God through 45 minutes of worship and prayer. Then we lingered in His presence as He spoke some more.
Our Cabin…and another sister-girlfriend poses.
This is when He dropped the first of three pearls I was to receive before the end of that weekend. It was this…”You already have the fulfillment of what I have shown you…you just have to step into it.” Yes, sir. Received and noted.
The second pearl came as we were worshipping that night at Catch the Fire DFW. With hands raised and heart surrendered, God told me to position myself. I asked Him, “What does that look like? Position myself how? Where?” And He showed me His Word opened up before me. This meant that I need to be in His word like never before…to prepare for ministry like never before. Okay. Got it.
The third pearl came that Sunday during the message at Gateway Church. The speaker was sharing out of Jonah 3 & 4, and she stated how God could use a reluctant prophet or a donkey to deliver His message. The impression God put on my heart was this: “Tammy, you are sometimes reluctant and other times a donkey. And I want to use you to deliver My Word and do My Will.” There it was. God was calling me a reluctant donkey – which was no surprise to me and gave me a chuckle – but He, most importantly, was telling me that He wanted to use me. (Exhale.). Use…me.
Me…on a very normal, very long day. #nofilters #nomakeup #hairnotdid
Now, I’ve been knowing in my brain and heart and spirit for longer than a decade that God has a specific purpose and calling on my life, but my will has been periodically hanging out with fear and doubt for longer than that. And God has given me glimpses and opportunities over the years to confirm and encourage me in His direction. This time, though, was different. My will took notice. My will attended to what God spoke and was drawn in to the excitement and belief and surrender of my brain, heart, spirit.
So here I am…a recovering reluctant donkey who is growing in her intimacy with God…and meeting a sister-girlfriend at a local restaurant for breakfast burritos and ((COFFEE)) and transparent convo was the catalyst for where I am positioning myself today. Who’d-a-thunk-it? Not me. I say all that to say this…
Welcome to my blog. I invite you to subscribe, follow, and join me on this journey. Help to hold me accountable, as I will you. Grab a cup of ((COFFEE)) and your Bible and buckle up!
His Girl ~ Tammy Sinclair