To Read on the Journey

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Reserved Seating

There were 113 miles between us, and I needed to be with her.  A phone call wasn't going to cut it.  Thank God for Facetime.

In December I was asked by someone I didn't know from Adam, to speak at a women's retreat (that is a blog-worthy story).  As we sat before our computers It was the morning before the retreat, and she had volunteered to listen to the 4 talks I had prepared. 

We had both just rolled out of bed when we met. We were still in our p.j.'s,  sporting some gnarly bed-head, without make-up (actually, I was still wearing make-up from the previous day), and armed with full mugs of coffee.   We were ready to spend a couple of hours together via the internet. 

I began- 

Friday Evening~ 
"As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard"... that's why I share my story.  It's not a cleverly invented story, but my first hand account of how the Lord  has revealed Himself and given Life to me... And like Joseph each of our stories was intended for the saving of many lives.

Saturday morning~
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure" Hebrews 6:19.... The anchors we see (retreat theme) go down into water, not up into temples!  But our Anchor is set and secure in Heaven, where Jesus went through the veil of heaven, and served as our High Priest, who made atonement (at one ment) for our sins with HIMSELF!... Because of Jesus we are hooked to the Anchor- to God, and to the covenant promises of God.

Saturday evening~
"It's crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we have heard so that we do not drift away."  Hebrews 2:1...  What causes us to drift away? Idols.... We are to need nothing more than we need our true source of Life...  How can we keep from drifting? Being in the Word... The Bible brings our lives into alignment with God.

Sunday morning~

There are three parts to an anchoring system- the anchor, the rode (rope or chain), and the secure attachment... Jesus represents the Rode, He has attached us to the Anchor- to God.  Just as He secured us to God, He knew we'd also need Him to secure our end, too. We are fastened to him through the Secure Attachment; the Holy Spirit- the Advocate, who "will teach you all things and remind you of everything I [Jesus] have said to you."

She listened. 
Really listened.
For a couple hours. 
And after I'd poured out all the words the Lord had, over months, impressed on me to say, she spoke.   Spoke what she gained from the messages. She enthusiastically encouraged me.  She also thoughtfully directed me in a couple areas that needed to be honed in. 

And then she beamed, "I'm so excited for you!!"  
"I couldn't do this without you," I told her.
"One of us isn't more important than the other."
I may be "the speaker," the one up front, BUT you're part is just as valuable as mine.  I couldn't do my part without yours. 

I couldn't have done it without her, without her and the handful of others, who for months, as I've prepared, and this weekend, have been nudging and cheering me on in "reserved seating."

Reserved seating.  I've been thinking a lot about it. Thinking how vitally important it is to invite people to sit up close and personal, in the front rows of our lives. 

Last weekend I "stepped into the arena," and attempted something that terrifies and enlivens me. And here's the thing, I could not have done it without community; without the encouragement, cheering, wisdom, and prayers of the people who love me and want God to be made known through me- those in reserved seating. 

Community isn't optional. Community is necessary.  We are hard-wired to live in it.

In Genesis 1:26, in the very first book of the Bible, God says, "Let us make man in our image." 

Do you see that?! God. Is. Community. 

The Godhead- Father, Son, and Spirit- exist for each other, depend on the other, are effective together.

 If we're made in their image, aren't we to do the same? 

Aren't we to exist for that Mysterious Unity, depend on that unity, be effective because of that Unity. 


Aren't we to make that Mysterious Unity known, by the community we share with each other?   

"I couldn't do what I'm doing without you... One isn't more important than the other." 

I heard once that "we're better together than we are alone." 

I was  asked what I would take away from this experience- 
Yes, I'm more than blown away that God had me in mind, to share and teach 54 fantastic women at this women's retreat; that He chose Imperfect me to be a voice to glorify -make Him known.
But what I'm really taking away is how very blessed I am to have people to come alongside and encourage me, speak truth into me, cheer me on, and believe that that Mysterious Unity from which we are derived, is going to do something not just through me, but through us! 

I'm taking away how beautiful it is to exist for each other, depend on each other, to be  effective together.

 Live in Peace,

 P.S., I look forward to the opportunity to sit front and center in your "reserved seating"- to cheering you on, encouraging you, praying for you as you make the LORD our God known! Please invite me! 

P.P.S., To the many who prayed over the past two days for my dad's court case, for the outcome, and for my family- Thank you!  I am really so grateful for you. We really are "better together than we are alone." What a gift you are! 


Simply Sara said...

you know i love you.
i don't even know what else to say.
you make me better and i am blessed to be a part of your community.

so proud of you.

can.not.wait. to pull every single detail out of you about this past weekend! xoxox

Kelli said...

I love this post. It stirred up some emotions in me. I have been feeling the lack of "community" in my life right now. We have moved, my kids are getting older, life is buys, some friendships I thought were real friendships turned out not to be...the list could go on. This post really has me thinking...
Thank you for sharing!

Earen said...

Hi Denise!

Thank you for your comment on my blog. Yes, I've kinda been absent just due to life and how busy it has gotten. Yes, my kids are now 11, 9, almost 7, then we had another baby almost 2 years ago. 3 boys and now a girl! Never boring! I pray you're doing well too!