I left the snow in Canada to find more in northern Arizona. The weekend of February 22-24, I headed to Prescott, AZ, to present the Satisfied…at Last! messages at the annual Tapestry Women’s Ministry Retreat, a ministry of the Royal Palm Baptist Church in Phoenix, AZ.
Something happened at this retreat that I’ve never had happen in 20 years of speaking at events.
I got sick.
Terribly, terribly sick. Let’s just say I was violently sick. Is that a sufficient clue as to the brand of sick I’m talking about? I hate to be too graphic while you’re drinking your coffee and munching on your biscotti and perusing the Internet. So I’ll leave it at that. But I felt terrible.
Still, the Lord was gracious enough (and more gracious to boot!) to see me through. You see I didn’t get sick until I had completed the new 2nd session of the conference, one I inserted during this retreat for the first time. In this session we looked together at a couple of evaluation tools that help you diagnose whether or not you are involved in either an addiction or codependent relationship. This is a pretty convicting and sobering session. It’s not the kind of session you want to end on. It could even be a bit of a downer.
So when I got ill Saturday afternoon, I just knew I couldn’t leave the ladies there. It’s important to recognize, confess and repent from our sinful ways. But, folks, it’s equally important to know there is hope! There’s redemption! There’s healing and recovery and victory in the balance!
So I prayed. And others prayed. We prayed that God would heal me and sustain me so I could deliver the final two hope-infused messages of Satisfied…at Last!
And He did. In my weakness, He was mighty, mighty strong! He enabled me to deliver the third message with more clarity and strength than I ever have before, I do believe.
And then I got sick again. Violently sick, mind you.
And I prayed. We prayed.
God was good. I stood up one final time to share with the ladies how their lives would undoubtedly be changed if they would indeed “Taste, and see that the Lord is good!” We ended on a powerful note…and God got all the glory!!
|Shirley Barker (their women’s ministry leader), me,
Mary Ann Collins and Myla Newcomb(retreat coordinator)