Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
It was 3 years and 3 months ago today.
My sister and I had traveled to Nashville, TN, to pitch an idea to a publisher about creating retreats-in-a-box, kits with everything a church needs to have an in-house retreat. Our retreat was entitled YOU-nique: Embracing God’s Design for You. It’s purpose: to help believers realize that they were born ON purpose FOR a purpose so we need to live our lives WITH purpose.
On the morning of our meeting, my sister rose early and, thinking I was still asleep, took her Bible into the bathroom for a time of reading and meditation. A few minutes later, she came out running, shaking a piece of paper, and screaming, “It’s here! It’s here!” After scaring me half to death and then calming down, she explained.
A few months earlier, Cyndi and her daughter had attended a Mother-Daughter Weekend event in Houston, TX, hosted by Mercy Ministries of America and the singing group Point of Grace. They went to see Point of Grace; they returned talking about Mercy Ministries, a non-profit organization that helps young ladies overcome life-destroying habits, situations, or abuse (see post article “Mercy Has a Face,” dated 11-2-09). That morning Cyndi had pulled out of her Bible a brochure on the ministry and realized Mercy Ministries’ (MM’s) corporate headquarters was based right there in Nashville, TN. “We have to go and visit them!” So she called, set up an appointment, and got directions.
While meeting with the publisher, I shared with him my firm belief that, while women come in for a retreat, some type of ministry must flow out from it; therefore, each retreat needed to have a mission action project. “Take, Mercy Ministries, for example,” I said. “YOU-nique’s message tells us that we are God’s very own works of art, giving the learner a greater sense of self-worth. And because MM deals with girls who have very low self-esteem that results in acting out in dangerous ways, then doing a project for MM would be a great mission project.” The publisher liked our idea and promised to give it consideration.
We left the publishing house and headed out to find Mercy Ministries. Though MM did not do tours on this particular day of the week, they listened to Cyndi’s heartfelt plea and relented. We were blown away by all they do to help not only enrich lives but to literally save the lives of these beautiful young women.
Before leaving the campus, Cyndi and I looked at each other and said almost in unison, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to come back here and lead these girls through the YOU-nique retreat?” What an awesome dream!
Fast forward 3 years and 3 months. Here we are again, my sister and I. We are in Nashville, TN, scheduled to visit Mercy Ministries tomorrow. Though the retreat-in-a-box idea did not become a reality, the study book YOU-nique: Embracing God’s Design for You did get published by another company! And Cyndi and I are scheduled to lead 17 MM counselors and program directors through it tomorrow. They will serve as a jury, so to speak, to decide if YOU-nique is something they could use for their small group counseling sessions in all their homes, both here in the US and abroad!
Cyndi and I had a dream over 3 years ago; we did nothing to bring it about. God remembered our dream and He worked it out far better and far faster than we could have ever imagined. By a miraculous chain of events that could have only been orchestrated by God Himself, we had the opportunity to meet Nancy Alcorn, the founder and president of Mercy Ministries. Less than 3 weeks after meeting Nancy, here we are, only a few hours away from a “longing fulfilled.”
This God of ours: isn’t He something?!
Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.