If I really believe God is who he says he is, then what does that mean? How does that affect the way I schedule my day, the way I interact with others, the way I raise my children, the way I prioritize, the way I dream, the way I live?
Almost a year ago, I began hearing whispers online from a new generation of leaders who were passionate about shedding religious cliches and embracing the incredible reality that God is big and that he has big plans for each of us. Amazing writers like Jennie Allen and Ann Voskamp and Jen Hatmaker started sharing about it. My favorite bloggers were posting about it. It seemed like God was doing something, and from my little corner of Iowa, I wanted to be a part of it.
When I learned that a bunch of world-changing women were coming together for the first-ever IF:Gathering in Austin, Texas in February 2014, I so desperately wished I could be a part of it. But I’m a busy mama of a three-year-old and a baby, and with my lack of time also comes lack of funds to jet-set across the country for a conference. And then something really cool happened.
It turns out that other women all across the country felt the same way. So the organizers of the event took away the ticket price, swinging open the doors and letting women pay what they could. The conference sold out in a day. Women, it seems, are thirsty. Thirsty for authenticity. Thirsty for community. Thirsty for God.
So many women showed an interest that the group of organizers decided to introduce IF:Local, where women can gather in churches and in living rooms to have a cup of coffee and livestream the speakers. Where women from all backgrounds and experiences can incorporate local worship, communion, and discussion into one weekend. Where they can wrestle with real life and real life questions with real life people. I’m so thrilled to share that I get to be a part of bringing that to our community.
The vision for the IF:Gathering is to “equip and unleash a generation of women to know God more deeply and to live out their purposes by using their God-given gifts. We want to see a generation of women who experience freedom, reconciliation, and healing within this great beautiful body we call the church.”
Really…it’s a question worth asking: IF God is real, THEN what? THEN…I can have the courage to be bold. To be brave. To be free. To be emboldened by the power of the Living God. To see life not only for what it is but for what it could be. It’s kind of amazing.If you live in our corner of the Midwest, hop on over to the registration page and join in. Our little local team (of really incredible women whom I really look up to!) can’t guarantee a smooth ride with no bumps, but we can promise a warm atmosphere with other women who are eager to welcome you, who will sit over a cup of coffee and wonder and dream with you. Who will embrace you with a warm hug, who will cover you with a genuine prayer, who will join you in a hearty laugh. What an awesome gift that we can gather as a community, coming together where there’s room for everyone at the table. If you’re not local, check out this map and join a group near you. Or, why not open your living room and invite a few friends over, and stream it in your home, on your laptops?
What if we’re meant for more? Let’s wrestle out tough questions. Let’s find how to live out the calling God has placed on each of our lives.
And let’s do it together.