You all are awesome. The outpouring of encouragement and support for my dear friend’s courage to share her story confirms what I know to be true about the power of words. Not only do our stories matter, they are written by God and are meant to be shared. (2 Timothy 1:8, 1 Peter 3:15)
While I attended GriefShare back in 2009 I learned from their vision, “Grief shared is grief diminished.”
I found healing through sharing as I wrote about our beauty from ashes story on my previous blog. However, sharing to different audiences through the Northwest Arkansas magazine, Peekaboo, and speaking to The Church of Arkansas women’s group started a spark within my spirit I never saw coming.
I let it smolder there for years as I felt unqualified, insecure, and just too darn busy to follow up on the glow I felt when sharing stories with ladies.
I’ve been a part of a bible study group for over eight years where our fire for God has been tended to, explored, and examined. I have experienced the heartache and joy that comes from being vulnerable together and entering into each others lives. One of my most valuable discoveries is the freedom we find when we share our messy sides. I believe Satan wants more than anything for us to feel isolated and alone in our struggles. I’ve found the moment I share with a wise friend, the chains of the stronghold are loosened enough so I can breathe. At times the entire struggle seems to evaporate as we relate to each other and point out how Jesus is working within our mess.
It was the coinciding launch of Jennie Allen’s “IF” vision and the crumbling of several of my friends’ lives when my spark that started years ago became a full fledged wildfire that could not be ignored any longer.
I am desperate for everyone to know the freedom found in Jesus Christ and the healing that comes from knowing Him. I believe this is the movement happening with Jennie Allen’s vision “IF.” It is not another “study” or book. It’s a vision of bringing believers together to not “do” more, but live in freedom as if God is REAL.
We say we are believers, but do we live like it?
Meshing my desire to share my friends’ amazing stories of courage and hope along with meeting the various needs of our NWA community is a lofty goal. Honestly, I do not have a clear A to B plan on how it will work, but I am obeying God and taking the first step by creating this space to share. And it’s a goal worth attempting.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Do you believe this for yourself?
I believe our stories are living proof of His Truth.
I would say many of us have a spark for God, a “what if” dream, or a “there’s got to be more to life than this” feeling. What I have gained from the “If” movement is fuel for that flame. It has created a sense of revival-like energy for those of us who have embraced the vision, and it is spreading so quickly and in such big ways it has surprised all of us, including the leadership team behind IF.
It can be difficult to explain “IF” because it isn’t a fixed curriculum or a well-defined ten step process. It’s an experience with the Holy Spirit which means the message is unique to each of us, but at the same time we all feel the same hunger and determination to live out our calling with courage.
Would you prayerfully consider joining ladies from around Northwest Arkansas on February 6th & 7th as we meet together for a two day gathering in Rogers, Arkansas? It will be an event to encourage us right where we are to seek Jesus wholeheartedly and a place to share resources to help meet the needs of our communities.
For more information and to register for this year’s event visit https://ifgathering.com/gatherings/5769/
Join the IF:NWA Facebook Group to receive up to date information
Visit ifgathering.com for more information about “IF”
***Enter by January 13th for a chance to win #bebox devotional materials!***
It’s not about a conference. It’s about following God’s Spirit among our generation and I hope to see you there February 6th!