I sat in the darkened theater surrounded by 2,498 strangers. I knew only one person in the room—my friend, Rebecca, with whom I had traveled to Austin, TX.
I fidgeted in my seat, self-conscious and nervous as I always am in a large group of women (I have issues), waiting for the event to begin. Lights dimmed. Sparse stage. Heightened sense of anticipation.
The music began and 2,500 women rose to their feet in worship.
And suddenly I was among friends.
Twenty-five hundred friends all asking the same question: “If God is real, then what?”
In other words, what kind of difference can we make in our world if we truly believed that God is real, that He is FOR us, and that He has good work for us to do for Him?
Important questions in this day and age. Questions of life and death, really.
Over the past year I have thought often of the words I wrote down in my notebook last February.
“We are at war and the prize is faith, and we let Satan have it all. the. time.”
“The story is not about us. It is about a God who can do anything.”
“In every transition in life, Satan will bring a spirit of fear.”
“You cannot hold on to the past and take hold of the future. It’s time to move on.”
“Jesus is very precious about his church.”
“God has put purpose and potential within you, but it is all for His kingdom. You have to lay down your life.”
The IF:Gathering changed me. It challenged me. It caused me to look at things in my life in a new way and to be renewed in my calling to pursue Christ and the work He has for me.
When the weekend was over, Rebecca and I looked at each other and said, “We need to bring this home.” We returned to our little tree-lined neighborhood excited about IF and wanted to share that excitement with women right here in our own community.
Over the past several months I have prayed about what God would have me do with all of this. I’ve had conversations with my husband, with friends, with pastors. And I’ve prayed some more.
In the end, I’ve felt led to bring an IF:Local gathering here, to Wheaton. I’m taking small steps of faith and obedience in this every day. I have no idea how God is going to pull this off—it feels kind of big—but I know without a doubt that He will show up in a big way and that women who come to the event will leave changed.
A small group of amazing women who share this vision have come alongside me and we’re making strides and decisions and we’re dreaming big dreams for our community.
So if you’re in Wheaton, IL on February 5 and 6, 2016, you are more than welcome to join us. We’ll make sure we have plenty of room.
And if you’re in the area and interested in being involved, please let me know. (You can find my email address on my “About” page or you can just leave me a comment below.) Even better, if you attend an area church and want to help spread the word—everyone’s invited!—please let me know that as well.
This isn't about a church or a person or a movement. It's about women who want more--more of this abundant life that Jesus promises to us. More of HIM.
God has big plans for us, friends. I know this. He wants to be involved in our lives. He wants us to be brave. He wants us to live to the glory of His name.
Won’t you join me?
You can find out more about the IF:Gathering here. Registration for both the Austin and Local gatherings opens next week, so get ready!