Just a quick note tonight to earnestly ask for your prayers for this weekend. This is the eve of the While We're Waiting Weekend, and my emotions are all over the place. I'm simultaneously feeling exhilarated, nervous, stoked, terrified, excited...but the overriding feeling may be that of inadequacy. And as I ponder that feeling, I've decided that maybe that's a good thing. 2 Corinthians 4:7 comes to mind..."But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." This weekend, Brad and I feel so honored to simply be jars of clay, with the opportunity to allow the power of God to shine through us.
Some specific prayer requests for this weekend:
--Please pray for each couple who is coming. I don't want to share any names, in the interest of confidentiality, but I fully believe that God has specifically ordained for each of these couples to be there. I know that coming to a retreat like this can be a very frightening thing (I know this because we've done it)! It's scary to even think about spending an entire weekend with total strangers, talking about the most painful part of your life. These are some brave folks! Please pray that their fears will be allayed, that they will be able to relax and feel at home within a few minutes of arriving, and that this will be a time of great encouragement and healing for each of them.
--Please pray for all the big and small details of the weekend...the meals, the sleeping arrangements, the schedule, and all those tiny little things that we may not have even thought of.
--Please pray for each "session" time of the weekend. We are going to have a time for each couple to share their story including a prayer time for each one after they share, a couple of sessions where we discuss issues that grieving parents face, and a structured time for couples to spend alone together (did that even make sense?). We'll close the weekend on Sunday morning with a session discussing how we can live well while we're waiting, along with a praise and worship time. And we're going to include some fun...we plan to take full advantage of the beautiful weather forecast and the outdoor activities available at Family Farm. And there's always the possibility that a spontaneous game of Pictionary or Minute to Win It could break out!
--Please pray for Brad and I as we facilitate these sessions. "Facilitate" is the key word...There are several couples coming who are much farther down the road of grief than we ourselves are. We plan to glean as much as we can from their wisdom and experience. However, someone has to sit in front and take a leadership role, and that will be us. Like I said, we are completely inadequate for the job...So, please pray that God would take our lack, and make much of it.
--Finally, and most importantly, pray that God would be glorified throughout the events of this weekend. That a group of people in pain could still find it in them to praise the Lord for His goodness. That He would take our shared grief and channel it into ministry. That He would teach all of us how to live while we're waiting for that glorious reunion one day.
Thank you for your prayers. They mean more than we can say!