I recently spoke for a women’s retreat in Alabama. I had been looking forward to the event for a long time. One of the reasons I was so excited about it was because of how God orchestrated the whole thing.
I was in Rising Fawn, Georgia at my favorite little writing hideaway working on my second book, No Limits. During my time there I was also doing a book-signing for my first book Beauty From Ashes at a local shop. It was a great weekend, and I loved visiting with the friends God had strategically placed in my life from prior writing trips in Rising Fawn.
The next weekend while at home, Sheila—the owner of the cabin—texted me and told me about a group of church ladies who were currently staying at the cabin. She said she had told them that I stayed at the cabin the previous weekend, and a few of the ladies recognized my name. She said, “You really need to call the cabin. They would be tickled to death if you did.” I thought she was nuts!
There was no way I was going to call and disturb these ladies during their getaway. Sheila insisted that I call and sent me the phone number. I went to bed that night with no intention of calling them. But, as soon as my feet hit the floor the next morning the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart that I should call them.
Reluctantly, I went downstairs to my office and called the cabin. The first time I got no answer, so I assumed I was off the hook. Nope! The Holy Spirit insisted I try again. This time I got an answer. I shared a short greeting with them, a bit of my testimony, and then I prayed for them. Little did I know that God was doing something miraculous behind the scenes!
Two weeks later Jeannie—the group leader from the cabin—called and asked me to speak for their women’s retreat. She didn’t know when, or where, or how, but God had planted it in her heart and she knew I was supposed to be a keynote speaker. I said, “Ok, sounds good.” I didn’t know if they even had a clue what all this was going to entail, but I went with it.
As we were talking about what the retreat would be called, she asked if I had a suggestion? I said, “How about No Limits? That is the name of the book that I was writing while I was at the cabin.” She loved it. And, from that moment on, it was called the No Limits Retreat!
A host of other speakers were invited, worship leaders, musicians, panelists, a production crew and finally the gorgeous venue was picked—Shocco Springs in Talladega, AL. The No Limits Retreat was coming together.
Living three hundred miles away I wasn’t privy to all the things going on behind the scenes, but these ladies were working! I still had no idea what to expect when I arrived, but I was about to have my socks blown off! When I arrived at the resort I immediately felt the presence of God. This event had been bathed in prayer, and the Holy Spirit was definitely preparing the atmosphere.
Jeannie came to me before I took the platform and asked me if I was nervous. I replied, “Not one bit!” I knew without a doubt this day, this event, this moment had been 100% ordained, and orchestrated by the Creator of the Universe. He was here FOR US. I wasn’t worried about what to say, because I was only the mouthpiece. His was the voice that would be heard.
Over the weekend, I was tremendously blessed by each and every speaker. Only the Holy Spirit can arrange an event where each story miraculously and seamlessly dove tails into the next. It was absolutely beautiful. The power and presence of the Holy Spirit was so thick it was almost tangible.
As we stood in awe at the end of the last service, where Dawn Mason had just spoken, I felt as if the presence of God physically pushed me to my knees in adoration of Him. I knelt at the altar with tears running down my cheeks breathing in the goodness of all HE accomplished over the weekend. Only God can breathe life into an event of this magnitude.
Many women are comparing it to a Women of Faith™ Conference. But, I don’t. There was something very special about this retreat. Something sets it completely apart from any event I have attended or spoken for. There is a longing in my heart for next year.
There was a sweet camaraderie between ladies of all denominations whose hearts came together and experienced Jesus together as one sisterhood. This must be what Heaven will be like! Just reflecting on the event gives me a sense of homesickness. I am so glad that God knit my heart together with each and every lady involved in the No Limits Retreat. I love my sisters! We are the No Limits Tribe! Make plans to join us for No Limits 2020.
Donna Sparks is an International Speaker and Evangelist. She is the Author of Beauty From Ashes: My Story of Grace, and, No Limits: Embracing the Miraculous.