(The IF:Gathering-Inspired Discussion Series came about after I had the chance to attend the conference this past February. It was an incredible and amazing conference. Throughout the two days, they provided discussion questions to go over with people seated by you. After going over a handful of the questions, I knew this was something I wanted to dig deeper into, so that’s what this series will be about; me picking one of the questions, sharing some thoughts and inviting you to join! Because who wants to wrestle with faith questions all alone? You can read past entries here.)
Before I dive in, I wanted to share a bit about the actual IF:Gathering (as long promised).
It’s was amazing.
Just kidding. : ) I have more to say. There was powerful teaching (here’s looking at you Jen Hatmaker, Christine Caine, Bianca Juarez Olthoff and many others), incredible worship (um…Christy Nockels and Melinda Doolittle to just name a couple) and many hours of ministering to women’s souls in a profound way. What’s even more amazing is they all made it clear it was about Jesus, not them. Sounds simple right? But it’s something that can often be missed. I know that’s why it’s had such an impact (Like the amount of people streaming?? It was something like 60,000. I mean. Wow!) Being a woman isn’t always easy, but trusting in the Lord can make us unstoppable. : )
I cried a lot and often. When there’s a group of believers (men or women) worshipping Jesus together after hearing beautiful truth, how can you blame me? Like this y’all. This right here. I was fixin to hit the streets of downtown ATX and change the world after we sang that Friday night!
Another profound moment for me was the round table discussion of race and racial reconciliation in the church. With so much that has happened in the US this past year, I’m thankful that from it all, people have stepped up. I know it’s incredibly uncomfortable to talk about for many, but as a woman with roots (they run mad deep ; ) in more than one culture, I loved this. They also provided a great resource for opening up the conversation (you can find it here) and one of these days I’ll get my thoughts together about it. But this I know – We are loved by Jesus and that makes us family, so let’s be united.
Now onto the first question of discussion!
Where Are You With God Right Now?
In beginning of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, right after the four siblings meet Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, they hear Aslan is on the move. Soon things start to melt, hearts start to move and Aslan appears.
I feel like this describes things well for me right now (and also my seemingly unending obsession with C.S. Lewis). I don’t know what exactly God’s preparing me for, but He’s on the move in my life. It’s exciting and frustrating at the same time. As I seek Him, I’m encouraged to know He isn’t done with me.
“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (NIV)
Yet, I’m frustrated because I want to know…like right NOW!!
I’m such the picture of patience.
While I know this and am looking forward to what the rest of 2015 will hold, I don’t want to be so caught up in what’s coming that I miss out on the present. The relationships in my life right now. On the roles I have today. It’s so easy for me to think that way. “Let’s get excited about what’s coming!!! Forget about today!!” Have you been there too?
It’s a balance and one I work on and pray about every day.
“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father…” (Colossians 1:9-12 NIV)
I’m also going through an excellent bible study with my Community Group. It’s one of my favorite group studies I’ve done. It’s called Recovering Redemption (I reviewed the book last year here) by Matt Chandler and it’s fantastic. I look forward to the “homework” each week and it’s spurned on some awesome discussions. Plus I love my bible study group, so that helps. We’re three weeks in (of a 12 week study) and I’ve been reminded of the beauty of redemption and living in that truth (bye bye past!).
More than ever, I want to be reminded of these beautiful things. The truth of the Gospel. I want and need to know this world isn’t it. Watching the news for three minutes is enough to depress anyone, whether it’s a story highlighting abuse as a must-see romantic movie or the horrendous stories of believers beheaded for believing in the name of Jesus. This planet sucks sometimes. But I won’t give up on this place just yet – you know, because Aslan is on the move :).
I know it’s a big question, but where are you at?
Also, if there’s something you need prayer for, please feel free to share in the comments! If you can pray for friends of mine, Lesa and Brennan Brackbill. They’re sweet baby girl Tori was diagnosed with Krabbe’s Disease and she’s past the point of treatment. She’s six months old and once diagnosed, babies have a two year life expectancy. I cannot even imagine. You can read the story and updates on their blog here.