I'm not a planner
Yeah, just kidding.
This was going to be challenge. I find it exhausting to make decisions most of the time, and planning a big event is not within my comfort zone, but the Lord has been gently inching me into scary places in my life in order to meet me there.
It seemed to be going well at first! Our little planning team was having a lot of fun, but since we were planning all this from scratch, I quickly began to feel overwhelmed with questions and busy-work. We had trouble finding speakers, there were cancellations, and a couple weeks out from the retreat I still had the feeling that it wasn’t coming together. I knew that the fruitfulness of retreat wasn’t dependent on me. I knew that the Lord is the Master of the harvest, and yet my fear was that I wasn’t leaving enough space in the planning for the Holy Spirit to guide me. It felt like my whole job consisted of trying to catch up on finding speakers, delegating, and to-do lists; I was so frustrated.
In prayer, I felt the toll of the stress, and I kept begging the Lord to enlighten my mind so that His Will might be done in the retreat. The Holy Spirit was so merciful. One day in adoration, it occurred to me that of all the things I had scheduled in the retreat, the only thing missing was a substantial time for prayer. I couldn’t believe it! That was the missing thing: prayer.
After including prayer, I felt much more at peace and I could see the Lord blessing our efforts. As the day came closer, I decided that I would try to keep the mindset of an attendee rather than the mindset of someone who planned the retreat, and honestly that was such a blessing! There were some last minute hiccups, but by being more detached from the planning I was able to see how the Holy Spirit was moving through the retreat.
There were so many themes and coincidences that I could not have planned ahead of time, and it became clear to me that the Holy Spirit had been guiding me even when I didn’t know it. What a loving God He is!
Reflecting back on the retreat now, I’m blown away by how God works in my blindness and takes care of me. My life as a missionary makes it even easier to see how God loves his children and brings good out of every situation – even by bringing surprising plans out of a poor planner.
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