I was a brand new Christian, so when the ladies at ch2rch invited me to my first-ever women’s retreat, I accepted. Panic immediately set in. What was I going to do all weekend with a bunch of perfect women? I mean, they walked the walk, they knew all the songs, they knew how to find the books in the Bible. I knew nothing. And I was terrified.
Immediately, I memorized Psalm 23 since most Christians seemed to know it. I figured if there was a pop quiz, I’d be ready. And just what did perfect women wear to bed? Did they wake up singing like Cinderella with birds circling about?
As I pulled up to the retreat location, I remember praying: “God, I just want to know that you’re real. Show me this faith thing is worth it.” On some level, I really expected Jesus to appear at some point, sit across the table from me and welcome me into His family.
I don’t remember anything about the retreat except one thing: When the last song had been sung and the closing prayer was prayed, God never showed up. I was so angry. I snatched up my stuff, grabbed the Bible bookmark they were handing out as we exited, threw it in my Bible, got to my car, slammed the door and screamed, “GOD, WHERE WERE YOU?!?! WAS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?!?! DO I EVEN MATTER TO YOU?!?!”
I stewed in that toxic brew for two days. Finally, tired of being mad and hurt, I went to my shiny new Bible and opened it. I naively figured it would open to the perfect passage I needed. Instead, that Bible bookmark fell out that the ladies handed to me as we exited the retreat. I picked it up and read the inscription: “You walk by faith, not by sight. ~Hebrews 11:1″
God told me in that moment that He’d been there all along. Just because I couldn’t see Him didn’t mean He wasn’t there. Didn’t mean He didn’t care. Didn’t mean He didn’t die for me. God captured my heart that day. And I’m so thankful. This faith thing IS worth it. It’s been an amazing ride for 20 years now. And I can’t wait to see what He’ll do with the next 20.
**Come back every day this month for more stories of God’s faithfulness!