The day came and the day went…God was present and He provided! In attempt to update anyone who is unaware - Rise and Shine is a women’s retreat that was held this past Saturday. I’ve been blessed, honored and humbled to be a part of the team that God has entrusted to be responsible for the event. This year we were thrilled to have Lysa TerKeurst as our guest speaker and God spoke through her in wonderful ways!!
So back to the day that was…actually I’m going to begin on Thursday night - about 7 PM my little Joy started to get sick and she was my priority through the night, especially from midnight to almost 4 AM. By Friday morning she was feeling a bit better as in a “sick” little voice she assured me, “I’ll be OK.” I knew she would, but still saying good-bye was hard. This was the beginning of the reminders that God is in control and He will provide, strengthen and make a way!!
And make a way, HE did! Friday, the 4 of us along with some fabulous volunteers spent the day prepping - everything from preparing retreat guides, nametags, decorating, last minute registrations… And it all went well! I missed this step last year, but all the others agreed it was much smoother and faster too. Again, it’s in God’s hands!
Then around 5 I received a call from Holly, Lysa’s assistant that they were near the church and looking to have supper prior to the practice and run-through. So we welcomed them to Iowa and they met real farmer’s wives and had a delightful conversation over supper. It truly was a joy to meet both Holly and Lysa! God is good and His people really are family!!
Everything that night went so well and ahead of schedule, that Rachel and I decided to make the hour and a half trip home to at least see our families even if that only meant while they were sleeping! I believe God truly provided that opportunity because it really put my heart at ease to have my healthy little Joy smile and send me off on Saturday morning! And I was blessed to start the day with my husband, who’s believed in me and Rise and Shine since day one!
And now I look back at the day and it was all so good, I wish each of you could have been there, but that’s not realistic so I’ll share some highlights - we started the day in the prayer room, which is where our hearts have been all along! This year we’ve made prayer a much bigger priority and God responded to that!! From there we moved to the volunteer meeting and it was on my heart to share 1 Corinthians 3:6,7 “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” Because really that’s what this was all about!!
The day began and before I knew it Lysa was finished with her testimony and closing in prayer. During this time she explained the difference between religion and a relationship with Christ in a beautiful way. It was then she invited women to accept Christ as their Savior or recommit their life to Him. With everyone’s eyes closed in a powerful time of prayer she asked these women to make eye contact with her in order to acknowledge their decision and as they did she “Praised God” with her mouth and I did with my heart.
This truly was the highlight of the day for me and has once again brought me to tears because it’s such a picture of answered prayer - hearts were touched and lives were changed. Seeds were planted and others watered, but God was doing the growing! As this session came to an end, I whispered to a fellow Rise and Shine team member, “The day could end right now and the retreat would have been wonderful.”
It didn’t end there, but this blog post will…until next time friends, I will share this - if God puts something on your heart - even if it seems crazy, beyond you, too hard, too much work, whatever the excuse, today I want to encourage you to say “YES!” Initially I didn’t want to, but I did and like Lysa says, “Our job is obedience…leave the results to GOD!!” He can do it!!