One week from today I’ll be waking up at Fort Caswell by the sea in North Carolina . I’m going to the Splendid by the Sea retreat with about 40 women who I call friends, but have never met. I’ve gotten to know a lot of them online in a very special “place” where we share our lives and our dreams, ask for advice and prayer, and just spend time together being silly, loving, and safe. It is my favorite “place” to go online; the #4500 group. There’s so much love, respect, understanding, and joy to be experienced in this “room” of Christian women – my friends.
This is not just any vacation for me. I’m so honored because I was invited to go. I could have never afforded the retreat and plane tickets, but on my birthday this year I got a call that made that dream come true. Truly, it was a gift straight from God. No doubt.
In July I made a new “List of Ten” which ended up being about 14 things, but I prayed over that list, and talked to God about this new list of seemingly impossible things I wanted for my life. Number seven on that list was “go to a Splendid retreat with the women of #the4500“. I didn’t tell anyone about my list, no one. On August 22, my birthday, I got the call that I was invited to Splendid by the Sea! This is an excerpt of my list written in July, one month before I was invited.
Since the invitation my life has been very difficult. Family health issues, a car accident, and other things tried to derail my chance to go. But in no way was I going to allow these setbacks to stop me from going to Splendid. I know this trip is in God’s plan for me. How did I handle all the stress life was throwing at me? Faith. I put all my faith in God, and I did not waiver. I knew God wanted me to go to Splendid, and if HE wanted me there, I would be there. Some how, some way. A whole lot of faith – daily, sometimes hourly, praying and giving thanks to God for His provision and protection in my life.
I have no idea what to expect at Splendid. I day dream about it a lot, wondering what will happen, and looking forward to meeting everyone. Some of these woman I have communicated with online for years. I’ve met one, and I’ve spoke to a couple of them on the phone. But they are all friends. All I know for sure is that I am wanted there, I am welcome there, and, as my friend “T.L.” told me: “Bree, there’s a seat waiting for you at the Splendid table. Your place has been set. Your arrival is anticipated. Your presence has been prepared for. You are worthy of pulling up to the table. Come to the table. Pull up your chair. Lean in. You belong there.” Wow. Amazing.
I am anticipated, prepared for, worthy, and I belong. That same friend told me, when I expressed concerns about leaving home for a few days, “HE has made a way for you to be there, so HE obviously wants you there. All you have to do is show up and let God be God.“
Let God be God. That’s exactly what I’m going to do. I cannot wait for my Splendid trip to the sea!