The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever – do not abandon the works of your hands.
A week ago today, I came home from a writing retreat. I cried most of the way home. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to come home. It was more that I didn’t want to leave the wonder of that creative and sacred experience. I didn’t want to come down off ‘the mountain top’, where I had found inspiration and renewal.
I’ve hugged the memories close and savored them, sharing with the few who would truly understand how dear the experience was for me. This isn’t my story. It’s God’s story. I’m just the flawed writer He chose to bless.
With a deadline looming, Old Roady was okay with me taking some of our timeshare points and getting away to write. With the winter weather, I’d hoped to be close to home, as in, just down Route 1 a few miles. But on such short notice, there was nothing available in Rhode Island. We found a studio with a partial kitchenette for six days in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Then Nemo – The Blizzard of 2013 – blew across the region on February 8th.
Four days later I received a phone call. The resort in Falmouth was unable to accommodate the reservations for folks checking in.
Wish I could say I was calm about this. I wasn’t. The lovely woman from the timeshare clearinghouse was kind enough to help me look for an alternative. But throughout all of RI, CT and MA, she found only one other place. It, too, was in Falmouth and for only three nights. She would call to see if they were taking ‘inbounds’.
At this point, I prayed – finally. And the prayer was pretty sketchy. Mostly disconnected thoughts flung heavenward. But God is good. No. God is AMAZING. Because even when I’m not at my best, He remains faithful and continues to work out HIS PLAN for me.
The lovely lady (I wish I could remember her name.) called me back. The other place in Falmouth was available. Would I like it? That’s when I told her what I needed – a quiet place away from daily duties and distractions so I could concentrate on writing.
She giggled and then said, “Oh. Wait. Something just popped up! Is Rhode Island okay?”
“Yes.” I held my breath, because there are no coincidences. Only God-incidences.
“Long Wharf in Newport. Sunday to Sunday. Would that be alright?”
I barely heard her over the pounding of my heart. “Yes. How many nights?”
“Sunday to Sunday.”
“The whole week?” One more day than I would have had in Falmouth.
“Yes. It’s a one bedroom condo with a full kitchen. And since it’s a swap, you get it for the same number of points as Falmouth. It’s usually twice as many.”
I think God loves surprises because every step of the way, the trip only got better.
On check-in, I found out the Inn was going through renovations. Only the fifth floor was open and I was the first to use the completely renovated condo.
Within hours of checking in, God painted the sky for me.
I emptied my schedule and let go of all that fights for my attention. I made room for God to come in and fill the empty space.
I was needy and my heart was willing.
How often am I unwilling? How often do I fill my time with everything but what God desires for me?
I was on Holy ground. My writing, an offering.
God blessed me abundantly with time and words.
The empty computer screen filled, line after line. How many times in the past have I been afraid the words wouldn’t come? Why can’t I trust like this every day?
Will I remember?
On the days that nothing comes easy, will I open up and be uncomfortably empty so He can fill me?
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them –
the Lord, who remains faithful forever.