If you are regular visitor to my blog, you have heard about the “Rise and Shine Women‘s Retreat.” This event will be held Saturday - 4 days from today!! It is a complete honor and blessing to be part of the wonderful team that is organizing the retreat, but last night I was feeling the pressure.
Over a week ago a friend asked, “Are you feeling the pressure as crunch time hits?” At the time I had a two part answer - I really wasn’t stressed with the detail part of it all, but I was feeling the pressure of living out what Rise and Shine is all about. Rachel, one of our team members had said a bit about the team, the volunteers, everyone involved being the face of Rise and Shine and that really hit me.
So fast forward to this week…with plans to meet for our last team meeting today I’m feeling a little stress with all the details that need to be taken care of and loose ends that need to be tied, but still it’s the daily rising and shining that is the challenge.
You see, tomorrow we take our little man Jed in for an echo cardiogram because last week at his 12 month check the Dr. heard a heart murmur. She has assured me I don’t need to worry - according to every thing else he is a healthy little boy. But still we want to make sure. And really I have peace that his heart is in God’s hands and believe the results will be fine. My bigger fear is the sedation process…worry can set in when I think about that, but that’s when God whispers to my heart, “Jill rise and shine - trust me.”
Then there’s the financial side of things - I know this test will be costly. Just 6 months ago we changed insurance meaning more of the expense is ours… Again my mind can go, but He continues with the same message, “Jill, rise and shine - I will provide.”
I could go on, but you get the idea…you too have daily struggles - it doesn’t matter if it’s health, money, relationships…we all have difficult moments in our life. Whether they are big or small is irrelevant as well, regardless of what they are they can create pressure.
The other day as I talked with God about this, I was struggling with why rising and shining, basically living out my faith sometimes has to be so hard. And why does it have to feel like such pressure. It may sound crazy but He brought my basketball days to mind…
Back then I liked the pressure…yeah it could be nerve wracking, but yet I enjoyed the intense moments, felt like I’d accomplished something during victories when the game was tight and learned valuable lessons when I fell short.
God has used those memories to speak me - as a point guard I knew when the pressure was on and last night was reminded of three things my coach used to say to me in those moments. “Slow down!!” “Keep your head up!” “Look down the floor!”
Today as I gear up for some intense possibly pressure filled days ahead, I pray I will not only hear God say that to me, but will listen and obey! I pray things will go according to HIS time while I keep my eyes on HIM and focus on HIS eternal plan! And when things get too intense I pray I remember I still have the option to call a time-out - my heavenly coach is always available!!
Before I was able to post this, we were reading our daily devotions and as my husband read, these words touched my heart -
"We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers." 2 Corinthians 1:8-11a