In early February about 50 women assembled at Mission Point for IF:Gathering, a conference from Austin, TX simulcast around the world. The weekend’s theme was FAITH: How do we believe God for who He is, and how do we live in light of who He is? Our time together held different meaning for different women. For some, it was a chance to remain in God’s presence for an extended amount of time through worship, prayer and hearing His Word. For others, it was an opportunity to dig deeper into community with sisters in the Lord. And for others still, it was a venue God used to remind women afresh of truths or callings He had impressed upon them before, but that had become silenced or lost in the noise of daily life. The following are two accounts from two women of how the time impacted them and propelled them further into lives of faith.
I left our time at IF: impressed most to lean into faith and all its discomfort – to view faith not as the path to get good things, but as the prize, itself. I thought Jen Hatmaker unpacked obstacles to faith beautifully, saying that:
- We canNOT do the things He calls us to, because they are bigger than us and we need Him.
- We don’t understand what God is doing yet, because HE’S bigger than us (and that, frankly, if He wasn’t bigger, He’d be a terrible God).
- We fear He really isn’t good, because no one gets through life without suffering.
Jen said that though God uses the agony of captivity and the confusion of the wilderness, He is a PROMISELAND God. It’s WHO He is. And where He’s headed. I loved that and I think it brings a lot of quiet courage to the soul – I know it did to mine. To know that life is hard and that I am fragile, but that a Good God is with me through it all and is taking me into all He’s promised.
I found sitting around a table, confessing to my comrades in faith that I think life should be more comfortable than it is, was healing. And it was freeing to hear other ladies say, “You know what? Me too.” It’s a humbling thing to fight for faith and know we aren’t alone.
When I signed up for IF, I didn’t know anything about it. I just knew I wanted to support our leaders, so I signed up. Coming in unaware, I was surprised to leave with God impressing several new things on my heart. I am a high school teacher in my mid 20’s. AKA I spend my day with teenagers who ask me tons of questions ranging from “Where should I go to college?” to “Who should I take to prom?” In the midst of my daily trips back to high school, I have been wondering if this is what I should be doing with my life. Should I go to grad school? Should I look for a different job? Am I reaching my potential? Boom. IF hit me like a ton of bricks. At what point am I going to stop worrying about ME and actually chase after the One who created me? I don’t feel like I know what I’m doing with my life. But who does out there? And why am I in this rush to figure it all out? Every day I encounter hundreds of people who don’t know the Lord. Why am I ASKING what to do? The answer is in front of me; live out the love of Christ. In the week after IF, I witnessed students share several truths they’ve learned from my classes. I had a personal art project get destroyed, but these students showed compassion, empathy, and encouragement by quoting the phrases I have shared with them while being their teacher. Through this experience, God gave me a glimpse of how He is using me. I understand that there may come a time when I am no longer “cool” to these high schoolers. But right now, I want to spend my time pursuing Christ and embrace the chance to point students to Him. I trust that the burden He put on my heart is a special calling. Attending IF helped me remember two things: “Embrace your place,” and “get ready.” For the time being I am a high school teacher. I am embracing this while knowing that when God calls me to something else I don’t want to go get ready, I want to be ready right away. Instead of looking for my goal, I’m looking for God.
Do you hunger for deeper intimacy with God through His Word? Are you struggling to hear your calling or how you are to live on a daily basis? Do you long to connect with more women at Mission Point in meaningful ways? Our new women’s Bible study is a perfect place to intentionally know our Lord and one another better. Beth Moore’s study of 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Children of the Day, begins Thursday, March 12th at 7pm. To learn more, to sign up, or to even jump into the study a little late, please contact Emily Hoover: firstname.lastname@example.org