"Use this space, God. This is your home. Please, just use this space as you need today."
I was so nervous about people coming over. I just wanted them to feel at home here. "Just let them feel at home here." I prayed.
I think my nerves came more from a place of humility than from a place of vanity. I wanted everyone here to meet with God...to hear a word from Him...taking away a feeling of being loved in community to tuck in her heart. I wanted the home to feel comfortable enough to not distract from that. I wanted "God's Beach House" to be more than a theme here. I was just a servant, offering a place to meet and a warm "cuppa" with a few cookies and twizzlers to share.
True retreat is needed for so many of us, even if only for a few hours.
Without thinking twice, I hugged each of my sisters as they came...so glad to see their faces...so ready for what God would stir up.
Some of the BIG tears shed were my own, overwhelmed by His goodness while deep in my heart, I was dealing with a very real and personal ache. My (in)RL meetup-eve was trying as the enemy was throwing all sorts of chaotic darts at me. His final attempt to break me down was just before the 9pm webcast I joined in on.
Even typing those words hurts deep and brings tears. But in all of God's faithfulness, my default to isolate disappeared and I RAN to community. I needed them and they were there...and they were praying for me. And the next day came with a longing for even more community so I didn't shut down. I didn't leave that community. I was faithful to the "yes" answer I gave God months before.
It was beautiful. All of it was beautiful. The listening, the smiling faces, the heads nodding "Yes" relating, the hearts open, the roars of laughter, the women bonded by the common thread of Christ in community.
And it was all perfectly imperfect as we sat in a home that is a work in progress, missing mouldings here and there, needing refinishing and TLC...aren't we all?
I'm changed by this day. My cup runneth over and I want to give more. I want to encourage more. I want to open the doors of my home more and connect with people face to face. God was here...He really hasn't left. He is here...
His presence in community, bringing the purest place to meet and lighting hearts to love in the purest way, is beyond extravagant.
I'm thankful He asked me to host and I'm happy I said "Yes". So very happy.