I recently went on a solo trip to Myrtle Beach. This trip was out of my comfort zone, as my very first solo trip. Leading up to the trip, I kept looking at resorts and backing out, finding reasons not to go, allowing fear to take hold of me. When I sat down to really think about it,I realized that I was afraid to go alone. So, in that moment of realization, I booked the trip scared. I allowed my fear to fuel me.
Now, this fuel did not come without a little spark. The day after I made my reservations, I received an email stating that my reservation was cancelled and I need not do anything else. Honestly, the way it was worded was weird and unlike any professional email I expected. The reason stated was an invalid credit card, mind you, when I checked my account the transaction posted to my account. At first, I felt like maybe it’s a sign for me not to go, but because the transaction posted, I proceeded to call the resort. When I contacted the resort, my reservation was in the system and confirmed. Had I not been diligent, I would have been out of money and mad. So, I was all set to spend Sun-Thurs at the resort.
This time away, proceeded an invitation extended to me as a speaking engagement at a retreat beginning that Thursday. As I prepared myself to go, I readied myself to write, pray, read and worship. I also had intentions of spending some time on the beach. I arrived on Sunday evening and the view from my room was breathtaking. I could hear the sound of the waves crashing against the shore clearly, the whole scenario appealed to all my senses. This is going to be good, I thought.
When the next morning dawned, I found myself awake quite early, which is unusual for me. This was out of my norm, I decided to go sit on the balcony to journal and pray. Suddenly, I had the urge to hit the beach instead, mind you it is still semi-dark outside as the sun had not yet risen. I proceeded to do just that. As I stood on the beach taking in the atmosphere and all of my surroundings I was in awe. I walked a little closer to the water just to test it out. To my surprise, the water was warm! I stepped completely into the water, when the water splashed against me, I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotions and my eyes began to sweat. (Ooookay, I cried!) In that moment, I was acutely aware of God’s presence and my obedience to step out of my comfort zone.
My first day was amazing, I had watched the sunrise on the beach, felt the presence of God, prayed and felt peaceful. Honestly, I do not recall having felt such a level of peace before. As day 2 rolled around, I found myself on the beach watching the sunrise yet again while in prayer. This day, I decided to purpose it to receive therapy. Massage and retail therapy would be my portions. My massage was heavenly, but of course, they never seem to be long enough. My retail therapy, consisted of procuring items to redo my bedroom, so that I can create my dream space. I also found two pair of really cute Timberlands...Did I mention I love shoes? Anyhow, I digress, the point is I shopped.
Prior to my arrival, I had a conversation with a friend and it was stated that my time away would be a time of refreshing and renewal. My first thought was, of course. I really purposed to be productive and get some much needed work done, as well as relax to prepare for the retreat. I grossly underestimated the fact that God had other plans for me. Sometimes we can make all of the plans we want, but ultimately what God says and wants will prevail.
Normally, I would get anxious about what I had not accomplished, but this particular time, I decided not to. In that space, I had no idea exactly why I needed to just “be.”
One of the other speakers for the retreat sent me a message and literally said to me “Purged to pour.” That simple, yet profound statement resonated in my spirit and gave me clarity of why I needed to just "be" while away.
When I really consider my life over the last ten years, I can see how God has orchestrated my life the last 2-4 years intentionally. This week would be no different. As I have said before, pouring from an empty cup is not always a good thing. We need to pour from the overflow. So, allowing me to just be, days before the retreat was already in His plan. I don't know exactly what will transpire during this retreat for those attending as well as the speakers ourselves; but what I do know is that my now has prepared me for my next.
*to be continued...