I have a thing next weekend, and I’m looking forward to it, and it terrifies me.

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It’s a weekend thing – a few women getting together at a spa for a writing/planning/workshopping thing – and here’s where I’m at with it all.

I’m torn between loving the thought of it, and planning my escape. These are the excuses I’ve come up with so far.

My husband needs me to help him with some stuff around the farm.

My children need me to help them with some stuff around the farm.

The farm needs me to help it with … some stuff.

Or the classic, I’m not feeling very well. I think I’ll have to cancel.

Why does the thought of spending all those hours together in the company of women intimidate me so? It’s not like I haven’t done it before. It’s not like I hate women or I hate weekends at a spa or I hate talking with incredible people about amazing God things.

But a several hours drive and two nights sharing hotel rooms and an agenda that involves talking and smiling and more talking, and putting on a bathing suit, and then a “fun” trip together to a drive-in to watch a movie. To bond.

Oh my. The thought of it has me sweating insecurity all over the place.

Yet, inside, I want it. I need these women. I need to be connected and so I do this, over and over. I get on a plane or in a car or on a bus and I go with.

And I simply hope, when I’m quiet and the smile wavers and the words falter… I hope they understand how hard it is and how hard I’m trying. I hope they understand it’s me, not them. That it’s not aloofness or unhappiness or anything-ness.

It’s just one quiet-natured, self-conscious, insecure, mess-of-a-saved-by-grace woman, trying desperately to think of the next thing to say.

The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always. He provides me rest in rich, green fields beside streams of refreshing water. He soothes my fears; He makes me whole again, steering me off worn, hard paths to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.

Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness, I am not overcome by fear. Because You are with me in those dark moments, near with Your protection and guidance, I am comforted.

You spread out a table before me, provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies; You  care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil, filling my cup again and again with Your grace. 

Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me where I go, always, everywhere. 

I will always be with the Eternal, in Your house forever.

Psalm 23 (the Voice)

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