(Editor’s note:  We are blessed to welcome Ginger Plowman back as a guest blogger and it is our pleasure to introduce you, once again, to Ginger and Preparing the Way Ministries.)

by Ginger Plowman

I leave this afternoon for a Girls at Heart conference, which is a weekend event I present with my partner, Marlo Francis.

God is so much fun.  When it comes to my speaking, I am a planner to a fault, not spontaneous, and quite frankly, annoyed by those who are.  Jealousy, perhaps.  Marlo is the most fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants kind of gal I’ve ever known.

Typical Marlo: She called me yesterday and said, “I’ve decided to do a new talk at our conference this weekend and I’ve just emailed you a script for a drama that I need you to learn and perform with me before I give the presentation.  Oh, and don’t worry, I’m bringing your costume.”

Typical me:  I responded with, “You’re doing a new … you emailed … a costume … wait, you want us to do what? Marlo, the conference is TOMORROW! We haven’t practiced for a new drama!  Are you out of your mind!?  I’m hanging up now.”

I hung up and she emailed the script.

My reasoning says, “This is too sudden.  We’ll have no time to practice.” Marlo’s reasoning says, “God is so good!  He gave me this fabulous idea just in time!  We’ll have 45 whole minutes to practice in the car on the way to the church.”

So she’s completely relaxed and I’m in full panic mode.  What are friends for?

That’s exactly what I reflected on during my prayer time this morning.  I was reminded of the last time Marlo sprang something on me last minute.  We were backstage behind the curtain all decked out in costume for our opening drama, the one I demanded we rehearse until Marlo was ready to pull out her hair.  As the emcee was introducing us, Marlo said, “Oh my gosh! I just had a great idea for something we should add into this drama.”

She proceeded to explain the changes.  Again, this was while we were being introduced.  All the blood drained from my face as I replied, “Um … No.  We have already practiced it this way and this is the way we are going to do it.  We can add that next time.”  The argument broke out.  Back and forth we went, frantically arguing our points through screamed whispers and hands flailing in the air.  It became obvious that Marlo was not going to back down, so as the emcee said, “Please welcome …,” I gave in.  We were literally walking out from behind the curtain with me blurting, “Fine, we’ll do it your way!”  Ladies, it doesn’t get more last minute than this.

I had exactly two seconds to pray three words:  Lord, help us! Well, He did.  The addition to the drama was powerful and it touched lives.  I am calming down even as I write this, while waiting for my spontaneous friend to arrive … with my costume that I have never seen … to present a drama we have not rehearsed … at a conference we are leading tonight.

Lord, thank You for my friend Marlo, who You use in my life to stretch me.  Through our different personalities, You have moved me out of my comfort zone and taught me what it means to trust You in deeper ways.  When I am weak, You are strong.  When I am unprepared, You are more than prepared.  Through Marlo’s influence, I’ve had to let go of control, which has enabled me to see Your faithfulness more fully and experience You more intimately.

And that’s what friends are for.