Ok. So today is a bit different than I thought it would be.
I'm supposed to be in my office, glued to my laptop, putting together the materials for the women's retreat I'm leading this weekend at Chad's mom's church in Reading, PA. Let's just say that, while I am still working on those materials, I'm definitely not doing it in my office.
Where am I, you ask?
Sitting in an Immediate Care office about 3 miles from my house waiting for them to do an ultrasound on my leg to rule out a blood clot. [Oh wait; that actually just changed. Now I'm in a wheelchair being wheeled across a parking lot to go from Immediate Care to the radiology center. Oh how fun. I feel like I'm in my very own parade.]
In some respects, I'm angry about this; I mean, really, who the heck wants to be sitting in an exam room for an hour waiting to see if you've got a major problem or not? But as I'm stepping back from my anger and frustration, I can't help but admit that it's actually, in a way, a fitting place for me to be right now.
You see, the topic of this weekend's retreat is "Living Authentically Unoffended by God." What I hope to have the women explore with me is this: How can we live so that nothing God does or says (or doesn't do or say) offends us? So that nothing we don't understand (or don't like or don't agree with) hinders us from moving forward following hard after Him? How in the world – especially when we face difficult relationships or circumstances – can we authentically, honestly, transparently live without letting those things cause us to begin to distrust or desert the One whom we ought to trust and obey?
Hmmm. Think about that for a second.
Doesn't it, then, sound like sitting in an exam room, waiting to hear some potentially yucky news might just be exactly the place from which I should be typing out this message?
Sounds like it'll keep me honest about what it means to Live Unoffended, doesn't it?
Like it'll keep me from not glossing over or minimizing the depths of some of the hard things that we face in life, right?
But, at the same time this room highlights that fact that life can be hard, this room (or this wheelchair and, actually now, laying on this table just minutes away from getting ultrasound jelly smeared all over my leg) also gives me the privilege of testing out His promises. The privilege of testing out the multitude of promises He makes all throughout Scripture that point to His faithfulness and His trustworthiness, to His grace, to His presence and to His hope. The privilege of testing them out and being able to say this:
Even in this, His promises still hold true.
An exam room. A wheelchair joyride across a parking lot. A gurney with an ultrasound machine next to it.
Not exactly how I planned to prepare for this weekend's retreat.
Yet, how come I know that a retreat without having lived through this day would have been so much less than the retreat we'll have after living this out? A bit more harried and rushed in the planning of it for sure. But a far richer weekend as a result, I have no doubt.
Ah…just another day in the life Kristie…
P.S. Just found out I don't have a clot. Cool. Mom & Dad – you can relax now and continue to enjoy your River Cruise! :)