In my last post, I admitted my anxieties over an upcoming retreat. It turned out to be an amazing weekend, where God did a lot of work on my heart—so much that I can’t possibly share it all in this follow-up. But there is one lesson that I must pass on.
The friend who invited me has known me for several years, so she is aware of my low vision. Even though we’ve spent enough time together for her to see that I get around fine without help once I know where I’m going, she also knew that the retreat grounds were hilly with a lot of unexpected dips and unfamiliar to me, so she let me know that she would be there to help me the entire time. And she kept her promise. If she needed to be somewhere else, she asked one of the other women to help me out.
After the first day, I started thinking I know my way around this place now. Everyone seems to be traveling in a group. I should tell her that I can just follow the pack from now on—that I’m okay on my own. But something in me said, “No. Let your friend help you.”
I argued, “But I can do it myself, God.”
“This weekend, you will let people take care of you.”
So I did.
As the retreat progressed, I knew God was trying to teach me something. The past few months have been extremely difficult. I sensed Him telling me, “I put it on your friend’s heart to do this. These women love you and want to be available to you, not because they think you can’t do it yourself, but because they want to support you. You’ve dealing with a lot right now, so for three days, you don’t need to worry about anything, including what might trip you up unexpectedly. Just relax.” I wondered if this might also be a living illustration of my need to quit thinking I need to do everything myself.
I decided then to accept it as a gift, and as I did, I felt God’s love flow through my precious friends. Then the retreat ended and I discovered another purpose behind this unusual outpouring of assistance. A woman wrote me a note, saying that watching me accept help from my friend and others reminded her of our dependence on Christ and the humility that He wants us to have as Christians.
I found myself fighting back tears, remembering how I’d resisted at first, as I so often resist help that might impact what people think of me. He didn’t just want to teach me something and show me his love through others; He also had something to say to one of my sisters in Christ. What an honor.
What a beautiful reminder this was that our struggles and life-lessons aren’t just about us—they are also for those who are watching us walk through them. When has this happened to you? When has God taught you something valuable while also speaking to one of your friends or family members?