Just about six months ago my church women’s group began planning our fall retreat. We sat in a big circle and each prayed for guidance to assume a role. This part is always interesting. Women sign up for roles they never thought they’d take. They are always shocked when they speak up and Bam! The role is theirs.
When the Holy Spirit speaks, it’s so fun the see these little miracles popping up. For several retreats in the past, a few women encouraged me to be a Lay Director. That is the person who runs the retreat and has the microphone. As the title suggests, she directs the day. That role always scared me. With my scattered mind, I envisioned the havoc I might bring to the retreat. I’d have them eat lunch right after breakfast…because if I get nervous, we should all eat.
This time I prayed before the night of discernment. I asked the Holy Spirit if I was worthy of this role. I needed extra assurance that this was my time to volunteer for this big, big role. He assured me it was indeed my time. I still wasn’t sure.
The night of discernment came and my thoughts shifted. My previous doubt was morphed into “I’m going to fight for this role!” The Holy Spirit tapped me on the shoulder to remind me there is no fighting at church meetings. As the roles were scooped up, it was my turn in the circle.
I told them I was extremely brave and I would take the Lay Director role. The women erupted in applause and cheers. I felt like Sally Field at the Oscars. “They like me! They really like me!”
Since that night, I have been having morning chats with the Holy Spirit. I asked for advice on what stories I should tell them for my witness. Surprisingly, answers came to me. We had conversations every morning. I had no idea the Holy Spirit was so humorous. I laughed out loud on my patio as I sat alone. People walking their dogs stared at me. Several mornings I spoke out loud as I received messages. One morning I slapped my knee and almost spilled my coffee laughing. I think a few neighbors might be worried about my mental health now.
The retreat is next weekend Oct 29/30. Our group looks forward to the next retreat the moment the last one ends. When like-hearted women gather and the Holy Spirit holds the reigns, you never know what connections will be made. The new women are loved the moment they enter our doorway. There are no judgments. We come from all walks of life and in that room, we become one powerful group and share our life stories.
Oh, we laugh and sing and pray too. Many good friendships were born at our retreats. We are fed wonderful home-cooked meals. We are spoiled. Some women hate to leave. It’s such a special time.
When women gather and the Holy Spirit arrives, miracles happen.
I hope to see you there!
St John Vianney Church
Call Andrea 727-251-4760 to sign up.
Cost is a mere $35
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