Wednesday, April 9, 2014

God Uses Ordinary People

So how exactly did I become the speaker at the annual Ladies Retreat? Well, a group of four ladies, (Susette, Margaret, Karen and I) were part of the planning committee and a week and half ago all the details of the retreat had been finalized. Our speaker for the retreat was a lady named Cathy and she would be flying in from the United Sates.

Then on March 26 things changed. Susette sent the rest of this email.

Ladies I just got word that Roger, Cathy's husband suffered a stroke today. The doctors also have found a problem with his heart that will require immediate surgery. She can't come to Haiti. This has been an interesting retreat thus far. I can only suspect that the Lord has great plans unbeknownst to us at the moment.

Below is our email dialogue:

Margaret: OK..praying about this and then we need to talk about what to do. PS...don't panic! God's got this.

Me: Hi Ladies, I've been praying ever since I heard the news and feel like God is laying it on my heart to step up and do the speaking. Will you all pray please for further direction?
(Over the last few weeks, I had continued to pray, “Lord what will you have me do?” And once again I had received an unexpected answer.)

Susette: There is someone visiting us at the moment who is leading the team. She is a woman's Bible leader, gifted in speaking, and has an amazing, redemptive testimony. I have known her for four years. Last night she asked if there was space at the retreat for her to extend her stay, and attend. I told her I would ask :-) I don't know if she would do it, but I do know she will seek The Lord and pursue His will if she believes He is asking her to deliver the message. Like all of you now, seeking guidance and His answer. With all that said, Wilhelmina, I am praying for The Lord to reveal His will to us all and am open to what the Holy Spirit directs us to do. I like you, am willing to do whatever He asks. Thank you for your willingness to step up. Let me know your thoughts and if you'd maybe be interested in meeting the gal that is here. Praying.

Karen: Wow, it seems like it`s been a morning already! Prayers for Cathy and her husband and her family during this time. May the peace that passes understanding surround them and may the Lord give the doctors wisdom in treating her husband. As for the retreat speaker, it looks like we don`t need to be worried about it, let`s take the day to be in prayer about it.

Margaret: I agree to pray about this today and then talk about what to do. Seems God has given us options. Let's seek His will.

Susette: Amen, sounds good. And thank you for praying for the Dreger family.

Next day, March 27

Karen: Morning Ladies, Hope you are having a blessed morning! For the speaker for the women's retreat here is my thought... what if we split up the sessions. Will, would you be interested in doing one of the sessions and we ask Ahmes to do the other two? That would give you both some time to do prep without feeling overwhelmed. Thoughts?

Susette: Sounds fine to me. Also, I spoke to ‘Aahmes’ yesterday and she is willing to do it if we want her to..

Margaret: My thoughts after praying - 1. God knows what He's doing. 2. I believe Wilhelmina is capable and willing to teach and I appreciate her offering herself at the last minute. 3. God had already put it in Aahmes heart to attend the retreat. He already has her in place. He is obviously at work here. 4. Perhaps God has send Aahmes for 'such a time as this'. His timing is always perfect. So, I'm thinking we should incorporate Aahmes in the teaching, either splitting it with Wilhelmina, as Karen suggested, or having her do it all.

Susette: I agree with your thoughts, Margaret. Let's pray about coming to a consensus soon so the speaker(s) can prepare.

Me: Hi Ladies! If Aahmes is willing to do it that would be great! ( Thinking to myself; phew, what a relief, I’m off the hook!)

Margaret: So, Will, are you saying to have her do all of it?

Me: Yes, if she could do all the sessions that would be great.

Margaret: Looks like the consensus is to let Aahmes do all the sessions.

The next day… March 28
Me: Good Morning Ladies! Although I've come up with a hundred excuses why I shouldn't be involved with the sessions, (too young, no experience, 7 months pregnant, tired, etc) I still feel God wants me to play a part in it. So I was thinking maybe I could meet with the speaker and work a little alongside her? What do you ladies think? If yes, Susette do you know if she is available some time tomorrow? Please let me know your thoughts! Thanks!

For every excuse I had God, had directed me to scripture.

Me: I’m too young, I’ll probably be one of the youngest ladies at the retreat!
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

Me: I’m so busy already and being 7 month pregnant I just don’t have the energy to do it.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil 4:13

Me: I’m tired and weak.
For when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10b

Me: I’m really tired and just don't have the energy to speak for hours!
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 2 Corinthians 12:10b

Me: I ‘m shy and afraid of speaking in public.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7

Margaret: For every reason you have for not being involved there is a reason for you to BE involved. What better way for someone to START a speaking career than to work under an experienced speaker. I think if Aahmes is willing that it would be a good idea. I was thinking of asking if Aahmes would be available tomorrow too, since I'm coming across town, I'd love to meet her & pray with her. Wilhelmina, perhaps we could go together? Karen would you be free too? How about 11AM or about then?

Susette: Sounds good to me! I will let Aahmes know and plan on me being there as well :-)

Karen: It would be splendid to spend some time in prayer together with the speaker! I'm available as well tomorrow morning. Looking forward to our time together tomorrow morning!

The next morning. March 29 I’m wide awake at 4:30 a.m.. My mind keeps whirling with scripture verses that go along with our theme, Col 3:2 Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth. I finally get out of bed and get behind my computer. Within an hour and a half I have 14 pages of notes typed up. Why do I have to do this? I wonder. I’m only helping out the speaker, not speaking!

A few hours later I had my answer.

Susette: And yet another interesting turn of events. I find it interesting that Margaret had mentioned Aahmes having arisen "for such a time as this." --Esther. I too, had had the same phrase in my mind when things unfolded last week. As you read on, you will see what I mean. Wilhelmina, I think you're up :-)

Aahmes: Up cant' sleep… As God ministered to the girls and I tonight during our devotion time, on the book of ESTHER I said to the girls "Esther fasted and prayed… she waited on the Lord before she moved ahead, she waited on His plan, not hers…" and something dropped in my Spirit that was familiar "conviction" and I knew He and I would be up late… As I prayed I heard the name David.. I went to 2 Samuel 7… and I saw my heart wanting to stay here in Haiti and wanting to serve God at the conference, but it is not me, I am not the "Esther "that He will raise up at this conference it will be another… And it's not a permanent no, it's a no for now… I don't know why, but I know it's His will for me to return to the states. I asked If I could stay for the retreat :) but not speak… still no… I am so sorry.. The Lord has shifted me to pray for this "Esther He is rising up" and I have already begun praying for her, and for everyone to know by the Spirit of the Living GOD who she is. I didn't want to not respond to Him immediately and be tempted to stay anyway… or the women to pray for me when they should be praying for her… I am so sorry I moved ahead without Word confirmation for myself-- please forgive me.

I cried when I read it. God’s ways are not our ways; so although I was 7 months pregnant, young, shy, weak, and unqualified, I knew what I had to do.

And you know what the great thing was? It was such a blessing to be part of the women’s retreat and share the words God had given me to share! God took away all my fear and nervousness and refreshed me as His word refreshed the ladies there. Although I never would have done something like that on my own, it was so exciting to follow God’s leading and step out in faith.  Through this experience I learned that I serve a God whose ways are not our ways and whose thoughts are not our thoughts, but whose ways are much greater and better than ours could ever be. Jesus said in John 10:10 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The morning after the retreat I read this in my daily devotional:
It was called: ‘God uses ordinary people,’ and said, "If you have faith in God and are willing to do what He asks then God can do incredible things through you. God is not looking for ability but availability. He can give you ability in time. If you make yourself available to be used by God, just watch what He will do!"

How timely and how true!

1 comment:

  1. beautiful! and so honest. God opens doors and gives us the ability. blessings flow when relying on Him. thrilled for you :)