Friday, February 20, 2015

the if: gathering (preparation & unpacking)...

Unpacking is not my favorite thing.

Coming home, putting the toothbrush back in it’s holder, separating dirty laundry, sorting receipts, putting things back into their right spaces and places… It’s somewhat burdensome. I want to be able to come home, jump into my bed, and go about life as normal, forgetting that I can’t take a shower until all my things are out of my suitcase and in my bathroom.

I am finding out the same is true about the IF: Gathering.

Unpacking this thing is HARD; processing all of the words, the good things, the challenging things, ALL THE THINGS.

Over the two weeks (has it been that long already?), I have been re-reading my notes, recounting the conference over long coffee dates and phone calls, and struggling to bring myself to actual pen and paper. It’s intimidating, to process these huge things and dive deeper into the words spoken by these amazing women of faith. The next few days, I will be attempting to unpack everything; the good moments and the God moments.

(First off, if you don’t know the purpose of IF, it is to gather, equip, and unleash the women of the next generation (me, yay!) to live out their purpose. They do this through various facets, and I am so thankful for Jennie Allen, the woman who began it all. She is a breath of fresh air (as are all the headlining women of this movement) in the stagnant, recycled air that is currently women’s ministry. Please do yourself a favor and jump on this bandwagon. We will be studying our way through Hebrews beginning Monday and I cannot wait!)

Leading up to IF, I studied through the concept of faith and the life of Joshua through IF: Equip, studied through 1 & 2 Peter with She Reads Truth, and coincidentally our church happened to be in a ten week series called “Decide Today”, based on the life and leadership of Joshua. To say that God was tilling my heart in preparation for the IF: Gathering is a huge understatement. Roughly a week and a half before boarding the plane to Austin, TX, I was challenged with this idea: am I praying more for my desires, the things un-promised, than the promises of God? Is it foolish or faithful to pray for things not promised? Basically, I was all about His promises. And, that was a key theme to the conference this year. Do we believe, and IF we do, what does that mean for our lives? I am also currently in a period of learning stillness, watching God move letting God move. Mercy, my heart was ready for anticipated yet unexpected pruning.

After flights full of peanuts and free soda, checking out a rental car and in to our hotel, we (my friend Laura and I) finally arrived in Austin, TX and in less than 24 hours, we would be waking up to big cups of coffee and even bigger cups of grace…

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