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“We want you to come with us to Florida.” and in that moment my emotions were like springs shooting from a frayed mattress. Excitement in one direction, fear in another, happiness rippling with  confident anticipation flying from an end, doubt catching it in mid air. There was no way to corral all those feelings springing out of joy at being asked, joy at having good friends, joy at being in the right place at the right time. Then I remembered.

Just that morning I had lamented to my husband that I might be overcommitted. My calendar has rare moments when one of the little squares stays blank. You know those 86,400 seconds in a day? Well, we all have them and we all use them. There is never a second leftover at the end of the day. Am I right? That’s a lot of potential. And that little word, potential, is what I wrestled with when trying to supply the correct response to, “We want you to come with us to Florida.” 

A quick glance at my planner told me, the answer. NO! A firm, non-negotiable no. I expressed my need to keep my mandated writing schedule and be disciplined about homework and study for the editing class I’m taking. I had to decline …. but quickly a chorus of voices objected. “That’s OK”, my friends said. “In fact, we will lock you in your room and not let you come out until you have written enough words.” 

Still, I teetered on the fence, but said a more emphatic NO! But it didn’t feel right. You should know that I’m not a sun worshipper. I don’t vacation well. I’m not a beach lover. None of the reasons for going to Florida fit my mold. Yet, when I said no, those springs that shot out of me like confetti lay lifeless as raveled yarn. Just as I was reviewing my commitments again, my friend called and asked me for my final answer. I couldn’t choke it out. So instead, I asked for 90 minutes to pray about it. At that moment I was driving to meet with my accountability partner to ask her to pray with me. We prayed.

The springs didn’t come back like confetti. I felt no excitement, fear, happiness, anticipation, or doubt. In that moment, I felt a strong approval from God, that I should change my no to yes, and see this trip as an open door to potential for refreshing my soul and getting to know my friends better. This is the first time I have been invited to an event like this, but I know the itinerary includes growing closer to the Lord through our shared scripture memorization, and reading God’s word together. 

The word that touched my heart and made the choice for me was ‘potential’. After we prayed, my accountability partner and heart sister told me that if I went on this retreat with these women, the potential for inspiration for my writing was almost a guarantee. Se said the spiritual blessings and soul feeding would result in stories I could write to pour into other women. Well, there’s that.

I’m going to Florida. The potential is too promising to pass up.

 “Only be strong and very courageous, faithfully doing everything in the teachings that my servant Moses commanded you. Don’t turn away from them. Then you will succeed wherever you go. “I have commanded you, ‘Be strong and courageous! Don’t tremble or be terrified, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’” Joshua 1:7 & 9

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