We are bringing in nationally known Christian author, Sharon Jaynes, to speak at our church on Saturday. Her message will be “A Christmas to Remember” and she will provide ways from A –Z to bring the Christ child back into the Christmas season. Jaynes is the author of ten books, including The Power of a Woman’s Words. When I first spoke to Jaynes about coming to our church, she asked how many people I expected to attend the event. Thinking that it would be about the same number we get for our women’s monthly luncheon, I replied, “About 120 or so.” There was a long silence on the other end of the line and she said, “Lisa, I usually speak to groups much larger than that.”
At that point, I decided to raise the bar for the event and I began to pray for 1000 women to attend, knowing God could draw that many people. However, we knew we had to promote the event, so we began that process, first sending out over 100 letters about “A Christmas to Remember” to area churches. In addition, I personally e-mailed Women’s Ministry leaders at area churches. I attend a Methodist church and the details of the event went out to all the churches in the North Texas Conference and from what I understand, the event details went beyond the North Texas Conference. We are on every Christian radio community calendar, area newspaper calendars and have advertised in a local magazine. Sharon Jaynes flyers are in local stores, and bookmarks were handed out at two Christian book stores. We are on a ticket website. I e-mailed 300 women who live in our neighborhood with details of the event. We belong to a 3500 member church and have advertised “A Christmas to Remember” in the services, on our website and in our church newspaper.
We also have a number of people praying specifically for every aspect of the Sharon Jaynes event, but as of today, there are only 71 people signed up. I find myself extremely disappointed. This is not the plan! I truly believed God could bring 1000 people to this event because I had seen him do it before with other events I had participated in. However, for some reason, God has different plans for “A Christmas to Remember,” and as hard as it is, I need to trust him. I must trust that the people who signed up are the exact ones who need to hear the message and that God will do big things with a small number. I have to remind myself of Isaiah 55:8,9 which says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways Higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
I remember once when I was seeking counsel from a friend about someone in my life who was not behaving the way I’d like, she replied, “Why don’t you just write a script (for that person)? Those words stung, but were so true. Rather than trust God with details of our life and our relationships, we write our own script and are so unhappy when things don’t follow our plan. Do you do that? I know I do, but as Christians, we must all realize that the final draft of the script belongs to God and when the scenes and players change, we must trust him with it. Proverbs 3:5,6 reminds us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
I don’t understand why it’s not going to be “standing room only” at the Sharon Jaynes event, but I must believe that whatever happens, it is a part of God’s ultimate plan. It is his “final draft.”