I busily and excitedly prepared for my first Red Tent Dinner. Invitations, RSVPs, and reminder emails were behind us. I left work early to set the table, hand wash the dishes so they would sparkle, season the mushrooms just right (lemon pepper is key), pray over the evening and the ladies, light the candles and set the music.
As I was seasoning the above-mentioned mushrooms, I received a text from one of the ladies stating she would not be able to make it for the evening. Saddened but still hopeful I waited for the other three to arrive. And forgot to add the chicken in with the penne…
Another one of the women didn’t come. Two of my dear friends sat across and next to me. We acknowledged our disappointment but determined to carry on as planned. We bowed our heads and I prayed for our time together and the meal, and the evening unfolded into this beautiful chaotic mess of unexpected goodness. I relished in the Hope the night offered to the faces sitting around my table and to myself. Stories were shared that may have never been spoken and deserved to have mirrors of Truth offering beauty back to them.
The night after I choked back tears of disappointment mingled with a determination to land in God’s goodness. In prayer that evening I felt the Holy Spirit invite me to stay in the Divine present that evening: “Do you see my goodness? You have often prayed for ONE good friend and behold, I have given you TWO. You are richly blessed as they are to be connected in My bringing you together.”
Disappointment has a unique power to put us in touch with the lure of own depravity, and yet it also can fuel our desperate desire for the Divine.
Where will you choose to land?
I am grateful God found me where I was that evening. Disappointment brings me to my Father in its expanding of my heart when I truly allow myself to feel it. I’m reminded of my need for hope and the faith that is so intricately linked to the belief that His Word is true. In that, His goodness tastes so much sweeter. The Red Tent Dinner offered such a beautiful place for all of us to land with what we carried into it.
Will you allow yourself to let your fear of disappointment romance you to your Father and not to the ways you numb and scratch and scrape it away from your heart? Will you choose to honor it and move forward in faith and hope and love for the One who knows your heart better than yourself?
I hope you don’t let fear of an imperfect evening keep you from hosting a Red Tent Dinner of your own. Sometimes the dinner hits the fan. But it my experience, it will only season your life with stronger connection and a different perspective God is asking you to receive. Our evening was lovely in a way that all of my planning could have never put together. What could have been more appropriate for the theme “OMG…”, right? I am so looking forward to how the Lord will top Himself next time.
Anna Hull lives in San Antonio, TX. A graduate of Schreiner University with a B.A. in Religion & Political Science, Anna is passionate about finding Jesus in every day life. She enjoys unexpected adventure, making genuine connections with others, and finding beauty in chaos.