Spring 2017 Delight and Be Retreat
On Tuesday, I boarded a red eye flight and put my carryon bag underneath the seat in front of me. Nestling into my seat, I prepared to rest for the 6 hour flight through the night. I felt absolutely exhausted, and somehow distinctively joy-filled. Every ounce of me wanted to curl up into a ball and fall asleep, but my mind kept falling back on the previous five days at the 2017 Delight and Be Retreat….
Last week I spoke at the Spring 2017 Delight and Be retreat in Leavenworth, WA. You may have heard me mention the ministry of Delight and Be before. It’s one that’s near and dear to my heart in countless ways! Delight and Be is a community of young women, who commit themselves to serving each other and growing their relationships with the Lord. They do this through developing their gifts and talents to use them for His glory. The ministry’s mission is to inspire, to equip and to provide a place of authentic community for young women in the creative arts. Above all else, the heart behind this ministry is to inspire young women to discover the love of Jesus Christ. They do this through retreats, intensives, and an online community that extends all across the globe. How awesome is that?!
I first spoke at the Delight and Be Retreat two years ago in 2015 and ever since that first encounter, I have loved watching the Lord love on his children through this ministry. It’s a powerful thing to travel across the nation in order to clear out a space for God to fill. Each of the girls attending the retreat do exactly that. It is amazing to watch as each attendee comes with her own burdens, hopes and dreams and by the time each attendee leaves, they are a new, purposed person.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes all I need is a good reminder of truth, and a revelation of the Lord’s sovereignty (and hugs, lots of hugs).
In all of my years serving with this ministry, I’ve been blessed enough to watch the Lord reveal himself to the attendees each and every time. This year was no different. Only this year…. gosh golly, the Lord did such an incredible work through ME as well…
I don’t know if you’ve ever wanted to ask the Lord for something… for me, I have that desire all of the time. In all of my years walking with the Lord, I have come to better understand how the Lord’s will is always better than mine. He has a higher purpose for everything, and it’s all for His glory. In these most recent months, I’ve come to a place in my prayer life where I’ve deeply desired that the Lord’s will would be done, and that He would use me mightily, in the way in which he most sees fit. That prayer has become my life line, my hope. But I’ve noticed that I’ve stopped praying for what I want, in an attempt to better focus on what the Lord wants.
Though that sounds rather spiritual and holy, this constant thought process has made me quiet the voices of my own desires. I honestly can’t really tell you the last thing I deeply prayed for in desire to happen. Over the course of the retreat, through break-out sessions, time in the word, and time spent in fellowship, I noticed a continual theme being developed.
God wants to use my story for His glory, but he also wants me to color the picture that he is painting.
Over the course of this years 2017 Delight and Be retreat, I got this beautiful visual that God is the author of our story. He directs and dictates, he writes and redeems, and he often draws the lines of the pictures in our life. But God doesn’t want to control us, he doesn’t desire us to give our lives to him and then lose all sense of self or personality… no.
God wants to be the author of our story, but he also wants us to play the significant part of adding color to the pictures he is painting. Like a daddy watching his little one color in a coloring book, our Daddy God wants to watch as we put color on the pages of our lives. Each of us is incredibly unique, and so is our set of circumstances. We cannot always control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to it. We can control the color.
I think so many of us want God to tell us where to color, and what colors to put where. Though that’s admirable (and cute), it often robs us of the joy in the experience. Sometimes we get so focused on doing what God wants, that we do the wrong thing because of the pressure we’ve put on ourselves.
Sometimes God really does want us to tell him how much we love the color pink, and how we believe a hippo should be colored pink….
If you have little ones, you understand what I mean.
It’s a beautiful thing when a little one explains with joy about how they have specifically colored a picture based on their view and desires. I imagine it makes our Papa God so proud when we bring our personal desires to Him, and explain why we want them to come about a certain way. God isn’t annoyed by our hearts, he isn’t deterred by our desires. He wants us to trust Him, and what better way to trust Him than to be honest about what we want?
That’s the season I’m in. It’s humbling, and messy, but I’m learning to color again in the way that only I can. I’m learning that God deeply cares about what colors I choose, and he’s holding the coloring utensils in the palm of His hand. Our relationship is founded on trust, and held together by love. God trusts me, because His spirit is in me. Nothing I do can separate me from His love.
So, with my first week of being back home, I’m asking God for certain things and continuing to color the life he’s blessed me with.
I’m thankful that as a leader and speaker at the 2017 Delight and Be Retreat, I also was encouraged and poured in to. Our God is good <3 Here are a few fun photos of our time together last week! Photo Credit : Kristin Wall