God loves me so much! I experienced His presence on Saturday once more and it was when I least expected.
Last weekend was a CSOM retreat. To be honest, I was not prepared at all for attending the retreat. Because there were so many things to do, especially since I have been on my own preparing for our church’s Children’s Ministry without my co-worker. She had been sick with the flu. And I had to miss the first night of the retreat because I was leading a small group that night. After the small group, I was exhausted. My brian and my body were telling me that I should just rest at home on Saturday. So on Friday evening I decided that I would not attend the CSOM retreat.
But on Saturday morning I woke up at 7:00AM. And I couldn’t go back to sleep again. I was just wide awake. No matter how much I told myself to sleep, I just couldn’t. So, I prayed and did my devotions. God moved my heart to go to the CSOM retreat. So I obeyed. I took a shower, grabbed my car keys, and headed to Monrovia.
As soon as I walked into the retreat I felt right away that “I am glad to be here”. At the retreat Ed and Janet shared the way God moved in their heart, changed them, and shared the journey they had with Christ through Contemplative Prayer. Ed taught us the method of how he does Contemplative Prayer - to have Quiet Time with God. I have been to many retreats before and learned how to wait upon God. During my past waiting process, I always experienced that my mind wandered to various areas. My mind was jumping around. My heart was never able to completely quiet down. And sometimes I even fall asleep. I always feel very bad after I fell asleep. But Ed said it’s OK to fall asleep. God allows it and also indicates that my body needs it. He said we do not need to feel bad.
After Ed taught us the way to do the Contemplative Prayer, he gave a practice section. During the practice section my mind was so focused. I did not think of anything, I was in total peace. During these 15 minutes, I was very focused and was able to have 100% rest in Him. I did not fall asleep; I rested and felt very good. Even though I did not receive any images or words from God during the contemplative prayer time, this was the first time ever I experienced total stillness in Him - peace, quiet, and total rest. It was an amazing feeling.
At the end, Ed was prophesying over us. At the beginning I was not planning to go up, but then I felt the urge to receive prayer. As soon as Ed held my hands, I felt warm. I felt like I was floating on the peaceful water. During the prophesying Ed said that God loves me; God had closed a chapter and opened another chapter for me. My tears just fell. This short phrase meant a lot to me. Yes, no matter if I want to accept it or not, my personal life with my dear husband has ended; I can only treasure him in my memory now. In my life of service, I have entered a brand new chapter of serving at Vineyard of Harvest. Amazingly, God gave me confirmation once more about serving children. Ed told me that God wants to use my gift - the creative side of me to create a brand new children’s book. He said that I have arrays of creativity that God gave me, and God wants me to use it. Wow! As an IT major, I did not know that I had a creative side of me. But I am going to pray and receive the wisdom of God’s creativity and create a brand new children’s book. The book will not only use my experiences He has provided me in the past, but most importantly, the new children’s book will be with lots of God’s wisdom, vision and Holy Spirit in it. God is the painter and the creator; I am His servant. I will follow God’s will and God’s direction to create a brand new children’s book in Vineyard of Harvest with new hope and imagination.
Thank you Jesus for all you have done in my life. I am so grateful and I am so happy that even though my flesh is weak, you never forsake me. You still love me. Please hold my hands and be able to walk with you closely. Thank you Jesus for all you have done. Thank you. I love you Jesus!