a little problem

Things are finally settling back to normal around here. And I wanted to take the time to recall the little excitement we had just before the retreat a couple weeks ago.

We had been preparing all the week before, Heather had written a new story for the retreat, and we were very eager since it was our first retreat this summer. It genuinely felt like an opportunity again to have a group come out. And it had taken so long for us to come up with a date that worked for them, we were just grateful that they were finally coming.

The staff in Chicago had done a good job of arranging it on their end. The guys were signed up, even an extra in case someone dropped out at the last minute (as often happens). They had planned a lunch together, an extra incentive to show up, and would leave right after with plenty of time to get started before rush hour traffic. A good plan.

But at around 12:30 we got a phone call. A little problem. None of the guys had shown up for lunch.

The staff had managed to reach a couple of they guys who had signed up. One was in Indiana. But he thought he could get back in time for them to pick him up on the way here. One or two others had decided not to go. The others couldn't be reached. They would try to find a few others to come, but if they couldn't find at least three they would have to cancel the trip. They just wanted to let us know they might not be able to make it.

A big disappointment pressed in on us. Heather suggested that they would probably try again later if it fell through this time, but I wasn't so sure. We did some hard praying. I just couldn't believe it would be cancelled. A few weeks before, I had gotten to the point of begging God for a sign to keep up hope, and that same day they confirmed their date and then another woman called and asked to come for a personal retreat. I couldn't believe it would end up being a false hope. So we kept up with our final preparations and prayed.

It was a long hour and a half.

Then the phone rang again. I picked it up and was told that it looked like they had found enough guys to come. "God provides," he told me.

We actually ended up with a full retreat group, one of the best groups we've had. They had fun together and there was lots of music and laughing and everyone engaged and shared and made our time together good. Two of the guys had been with us before, it was great to see them again. And they all seemed eager to come again. We hope they do, soon.

Though maybe with a bit less pre-retreat drama next time.