A Weekend in the Mountains — Part 4 (A Message for Me)

Last week, I wrote about the reasons we went to the mountains, the conversations on the road, and the new experiences that these guys from Allendale had.

But what I didn’t expect how much I personally would have gotten out of the weekend. Truth be told, I was excited just knowing how good the retreat experience would be for the guys I brought.

On Saturday morning, during my solitude time, I was directed to pray for myself. I asked God what He had for me that weekend. I expected him to speak to the guys, but perhaps He had something for me.

God answered my prayer in an unforgetful way.

A General Message of Love

The truth of God’s love was preached throughout the weekend, and was exactly what I needed to hear. Through the teaching and worship, the Spirit reminded me of where I was 20 years ago – lost and without hope. And He reminded me that despite my daily doubts and fears and sins, that He loves me without end.

He has made me a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). My favorite song lyric from the weekend:

“I am not the same

I will not be shaken

I am not the same anymore.”

A Specific Message of Encouragement

This general message of love would have been enough to lift me up. But God had more for me.

During the Saturday evening session, I was sitting in the row behind four of the guys from Allendale. As the teaching and singing went on, I watched them, and I could not help but be filled with questions.

Is this worth it? What are these guys getting out of this? Are we really having an impact in their lives? In fact, are we having a long-term impact in anyone’s life in Allendale? Is anything going to change for them?

I know we are doing some good things, but I am often left Wondering if we are really making a difference. I know I shouldn’t doubt, but I’m just being real with you.

I pondered these things and had a private conversation with God, but that’s where it ended.

Or so I thought. . . .

Later on, at the bonfire, a college student I know asked to talk with me. At best, we are good acquaintances. He’s been to Allendale, and I know enough about him to respect him.

This is what he had to say:

“Ok. This might sound weird. But I think God gave me a message for you during the worship session. I didn’t come over to you then, but I can’t help but tell you this now.”

I thought, Yeah, you’re right. It is starting to sound a little weird.

He continued:

“God wants you to know that He sees what you are doing. He sees all the little things that you are doing to help people.”

Immediately, my eyes filled with tears. In fact, they are filling up again just typing this out, just as with any of the 25 times that I’ve replayed this conversation in my head.

“God sees what you are doing in Allendale, and it is making a difference.”

I removed my glasses and wiped my eyes. When I composed myself, I thanked him. I explained to him all the doubts that flooded my mind that evening. I told him that he could have spoken no words that I needed to hear more.

He smiled and said, “Good. Because I really did think it was going to be weird.”

What an amazing God we serve! He not only reminds me of His general love, but He worked to bring me just the words I needed, through a faithful and humble young man.

I’ll hold these words forever, “God sees what you are doing.”

The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;

Psalm 33:13

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**image courtesy of marcos_bh via sxc.hu


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2 responses to “A Weekend in the Mountains — Part 4 (A Message for Me)”

  1. Susan says :

    I have tears in my eyes now! Wow! That’s amazing. And I KNOW God sees what you are doing and is pleased. Thank you and Joanna for all you do for our community.

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