Leaving Room for the Unexpected

I have such a great story to share with you today! I don’t know the ending to it yet, but with the way everything has gone so far, I’m fairly confident the ending will be awesome!;)

As I’ve shared before, I’m speaking at a ladies’ retreat at the end of March. I’m so excited about doing it, because God’s been teaching me a ton, and I can’t wait to get out there, meet those great ladies, and share some of what God’s been doing in my life. But in the meantime, God’s been keeping me on my toes….

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a bunch of ladies at the Bible study I’m attending at my church, and I was telling them a story about something completely awesome and unexpected God had recently done in my life.

Suddenly, as I was talking about this unexpected thing, God spoke to me and said, “I want to do the same thing at the retreat.”

And I thought, “What?! You want to do something unexpected at the ladies’ retreat?”

Then it felt as though God said, “Leave room for what I’m going to do.”

I was chewing on that for a few days! I felt really excited, and a bit nervous, because I always like to have a plan! But basically, God was saying that He’s going to surprise me! I have no idea what to expect!


I was still thinking about it a few days later, when a friend came over, and we were talking about the retreat. She was asking me questions about what I was planning to speak about, and as I told her some of what God’s been teaching me, she got more and more excited. Being a very enthusiastic person, she finally burst out, “It sounds like God has such an awesome message for those ladies! I can’t wait to find out what He’s got in store for you all that weekend!”

And just as she said it, this picture flashed through my mind: I saw my friend on the retreat with me, and she was praying over women, and they were being freed from all kinds of pain and brokenness from the past, and it was huge and powerful, and completely amazing.

It took my breath away. And I thought, “What??!! Is she supposed to come with me??! I can’t just start inviting random people to come along! I don’t have the authority to do that!!”

But then I thought, “What if that vision was from God? What if He wants her there? What if something completely amazing will happen through her?”

I went back and forth in my mind, trying to figure out what to do with that picture, but suddenly I knew – if there’s something awesome that God has in mind for us that weekend, I do NOT want to miss it!!

So before I could think myself out of it, I quickly said, “Want to come with me, and do prayer ministry with the ladies that weekend?!”

My friend looked a bit surprised, but it took her only a second to recover, and she said, “YES!!! I would totally love to!!”

Of course, she had to find out if it even worked for her to come, and I needed to find out if I was even allowed to bring her, but we knew that if it was from God, everything would just fall into place.

And guess what? Of course it did! She’s coming, and I’m so excited.

What in the world are we in for??! I can’t wait to find out!

As usual, there is a part of me that’s a little hesitant. I don’t know what to expect. It’s out of my control. That makes me a little uncomfortable.

But as I’m starting to learn, that’s exactly when the best things happen! So we’re going to take a leap of faith, and we’re going to expect the unexpected, and I can’t wait to share the ending of this adventure with you all, in a couple of weeks!

Say Yes.

Well, today is the big day.

I’m packing my bags, and heading off to Camp Cedarwood to spend the weekend with the ladies of Ridgewood EMC.

tree branch

Many months ago, a lady from their retreat committee sent me an email, asking if I was “available, and capable of deep spiritual teaching”.

My word. It was the “capable” part which undid me. My stomach did some kind of weird lurching thing as I read that email, and my immediate reaction was something along the lines of, “Capable??! Nope!!!”

I fully intended to turn down the opportunity. I’ve spoken publicly many times before, but the words “deep spiritual teaching” were a bit too intimidating, and I could immediately think of a number of other women who could do a much better job.

I sent a polite email back, suggesting we talk on the phone the next day, but I intended to say no.

The next morning, I was reading my Bible, and stumbled across a verse which said,

“Do not fear disgrace…”

And I thought, “That’s EXACTLY what I fear!”

A few verses down, it said,

“You will not be disgraced.”

It was for me. I own it now. You know how that is? When the Holy Spirit just jumps off the page at you, and you know those words are meant for you?

And I wondered if it could really be true….No disgrace?

My phone call came, and I think I still kinda wanted to say no, but the Holy Spirit must have been speaking on the other end too, because this lady I had never met said everything I needed to hear, and I knew this was a God-thing.

I still don’t feel deep. Or capable.

But I feel like God is leading, and for some reason, He wants me to do this, so I will go with a “yes” in my heart.

Yet again, Bob Goff sums it up for me:

Am I the right guy? I don’t know, but I’m the guy being asked, and the last thing I want to do is miss an opportunity or make God mad, so I just keep saying yes. Maybe God is doing some inexplicable things in your life. Each of us gets to decide every time whether to lean in or step back – to say yes, ignore it, or tell God why He has the wrong person….We were all meant to save many lives. God is always trying to save lives, and it seems like He usually uses the least likely people to do it.

Have you ever felt unqualified? Afraid? Incapable?

Say yes! You don’t want to miss anything!!

(Ben and I talked about whether I should wait to post this after the weekend – first find out if I’ll be disgraced or not!! Then we decided that honesty and transparency is a good and beautiful thing, so I’m laying it all out there! I’ll let you know how it went on Monday!)