words really do fail me to completely express to you the feeling and atmosphere at IF:Austin. 2,000 women gathered from all over the country in one room. it truly feels like one body…like the church, and we HAD church here last night as Melinda Dolittle led us in “break every chain”. The spirit was tangible, like we could reach out and feel the living God among us.
We are at war, and chains were beginning to fall last night. there is indeed an ARMY rising up, and it starts with us. with you, and with me.
“We are at war and the prize is faith.” –Jennie Allen
this is my personal biggest take away: faith is something I’ve struggled to understand this year. amidst hard things in my own life. what is my faith really in? what is faith? how do I get more faith? how do I make sure my faith is built on something real?
I’ve been trying to muster up enough faith to receive the promises of God.
I’ve had somewhat of a “crisis of faith” this year time and time again – waiting on the promises of God, believing and hoping IN HIM, but also in what he can give me. if I’m being honest.
Last night when Jen said “faith is not the formula to get the good stuff, it IS the good stuff” it wrecked me. FAITH IS THE PRIZE. Even if I go through this whole life journey and never reach the “other side” of healing or the things I’m believing for….HE IS ENOUGH. the journey to grow my faith IS ENOUGH. it’s worth it.
so faith, it “doesn’t demand that God explains himself”.
There have been times this weekend that we pause, turn to our neighbors and go through some great discussion questions. one of those questions for our little tribe last night was “what is faith mean to you” and as I was unpacking my friend Emily said something that also wrecked me. She asked, “so what happens if God does what you want him to, then what?”
quite honestly, I’ve thought through what happens if He doesn’t…He’s taken me on this journey the past 5+ years, but beyond thinking that He would get all the glory in my story, I hadn’t thought through what happens to my faith IF God decides to heal my body this side of heaven.
It makes me think about faith being the prize even more. It makes me want to know the character of God more. It makes me want HIM more, and not the “stuff” He can give me.
I’ve done a lot of confessing this weekend, and I know it was going on around the world last night with women dropping to our knees, raising our hands, and giving ourselves fully to the one who created us, the good father who loves us, and is sovereign over it all.
infertility may always be a part my story. I didn’t choose this path, and at times (like last night) I grieve it, and how it’s made my life look so different than I would have ever imagined. but God….BUT GOD! His plans for me are good, He is a good good father. my faith is becoming stronger, and that is my prize.
what about you? what is faith to you?
some other amazing nuggets I’ve taken away from this weekend:
“surround yourself with the people who speak what they see in you” – Bob Goff
“the broken place is also the breaking free place”- Ann Voskamp
“Somebody is looking at you – and someone needs to see you walk this journey of following God’s calling.”- Shauna Niequist
“Being faithful doesn’t mean you are fearless. It just means that your faith is greater than your fear.” – Christine Caine
“The call of God IS inconvenient” – Christine Caine
#ifgathering [follow the hashtag for more amazing nuggets]