My church's Ladies' retreat last weekend almost didn't happen - for me, anyway. After sitting in a steamy bathroom with a coughing infant at 5am Friday morning, I was having some doubts. Fortunately, my sweet husband heard and put to rest most of my concerns, wrapping them all up with "If you need to come home, I'll come and get you." So, we packed up and headed out.
There was one concern I didn't share with him, though - one I wasn't even aware of myself, at first. It was this feeling we proud women have now and then, the one where we realize that if the reality of a thing doesn't match up with our vision, then we don't want to do it. In this case, it was a matter of not being free to talk to ladies and minister to them from a position of strength and comfort. Bringing along a poorly infant meant my attentions would be divided, that I would not be free to chat with women at my leisure, that my energy would be drained, that I wouldn't even be able to take part in all the sessions. And all these concerns were not only valid, they were realistic - I was tired, didn't talk to all those I wanted to, and missed out on some things.
However, I realize how kind God has been to give me some limitations this time around. I did get to talk to a few ladies, and was greatly blessed by their care for me and for Caleb. What a blessing to have these lovely women check on me, visit with me, and pray for both of us. It's more than likely that if things had gone my way, I would have run myself ragged, trying to minister to ladies in my own strength, and doing a lousy job. This time, I couldn't even kid myself that I had anything of note to offer - I was on the receiving end of the blessing. And though it's not the most comfortable place for me, I am thankful to be the receipient of the love and care of God, expressed through a body of faithful believers.