Tomorrow I get the privilege of leading a breakout session at a Jr./Sr. High Retreat at Pioneer Camp and Retreat Center. Now to be honest, between getting the programming started for the year and putting together our own fall retreat for the high schoolers from FT last weekend, and an orientation at the beginning of the week, I didn’t really start thinking about what I would present tomorrow until about Wednesday.
But as things finally came together tonight, I’m amazed at God’s hand in the process and how wonderfully the process and the “product” fit together.
First, on Wednesday, a college student texted me asking for a video we saw at Workcamp this summer. She is helping lead a (completely unrelated) high school girls retreat with some other girls from her college this weekend. As our conversation continued, I realized that even if I didn’t know what specifically I was supposed to talk about yet, it was supposed to be girls only. With a quick e-mail to the retreat organizer, it was confirmed. This got me even more excited than I already was because girls/women’s ministry has a special place in my heart. If I’m going to be doing something “extra” on the side of my job, it might as well be something I have a passion for, right!
So now that one aspect was settled, I set about putting together my 45 minute session. I thought about doing something along the lines of what the college student and I were talking about and I thought that sounded good, but as hard as I tried Wednesday evening, Thursday evening and for a while this afternoon a little to pull it together, it just didn’t seem right. There were good ideas popping up throughout the week, but none of it went together.
I headed home knowing that I had possibly had a long night ahead of me when I had an idea. At first I dismissed it, thinking that I would have needed to ask fir help weeks ago, but for some reason the idea wouldn’t leave. I thought, “What if I would have talked to the women in my Lifegroup and gotten some of them to come help me with the retreat?” At this point the farthest I got was maybe talking about how going “DEEP AND WIDE” in our relationships with godly women can help us go “DEEP AND WIDE” in our relationship with Jesus. Why not bring some of the women that help me do that along to help? ‘But no… it’s less than 24 hours until I present… I can’t ask people to come with me.’ But God wouldn’t let up so I figured it couldn’t hurt to send a message to a few of them and ask. I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE THE PRESENTATION FULLY PLANNED… but God didn’t care and I sent out the message.
As I got home, I began watching some movie clips trying to find a good one about girls hanging out with each other to use as a conversation starter. That didn’t work.
By this point I had heard back from two of my friends that said they were available and interested in coming… but still no finished presentation. They were wanting to know what they were going to be doing and I had no clue. I began to pray… some bold prayer like we learned about last week in Jason’s sermon. I was praying expectantly because I knew that if God worked it out that Megan and Kristina were going with me, he must have SOME kind of plan of how to use the three of us!!!
That’s when I was reminded of a song I sang a lot in high school. It’s a simple song. I love it not just because it’s powerful message, but because of where I learned it. As a junior and senior in high school I spent many Thursday afternoons singing this song with a group of neighborhood kids at an outreach my friend’s church did at a nearby apartment complex.
“Your love is deep
Your love is high
Your love is long
Your love is high”
Ephesians 3:17-18, the theme verse for this retreat, talks about how BIG God’s love is. The songs continues:
“Your love is deeper than my view of grace.
Higher than this worldly place.
Longer than this road I travel.
Wider than the gap you’ve filled.” ~ Jami Smith
Within moments, God pulled the rest of my presentation together using those four lines to outline our time together. Suddenly all the bits and pieces I had been thinking about this week came together and I am beyond excited to lead this session tomorrow.
Over the next few days, I’ll share bits and pieces of what I hope to share with the girls tomorrow at the retreat about God’s BIG love. But for tonight, may you rest knowing that nothing is too deep, too high, too long ,or too wide that God’s love isn’t bigger!