We’d typed in the web address to his favorite site.
It was his turn
He’d earned it and had waited so patiently.
“Momma, why is THIS TAKING SO LONG?”
Around and around the spinny thing spun…
“When it stops spinning son the loading will be done.”
A “GAH!’ and a few deep sighs later
He threw up his hands and left with a
“Nevermind, momma, I’ll go do something else.”
As he went about his not-so-merry-way I couldn’t help but think of the parallels.
So many of us waiting for the proverbial “page to load”.
What’s my next step?
Recently the Lord graciously worked out another wild-and-crazy adventure allowing me to attend the IF:GATHERING in Austin, TX.
Back in fall of last year along with thousands of other women all across the world I waited for the tickets to go on sale. So many actually attempting to purchase at once the site crashed the day of tickets sales. Upon recovery a few hours later the gathering SOLD OUT in less than 12 minutes.
Not easily thwarted I followed my gut and immediately sent an email asking if they would need help or volunteers to help with the conference.
Much to my delight, a few days later, I received an email, a volunteer application and the rest as they say is history.
Now, as to what to say or share about the IF:GATHERING?
So much passion, TRUTH, goodness, diversity and unity all under the same roof as Jennie Allen, Jen Hatmaker, Christine Cain, Bob Goff, Ann Voscamp, Rebekah Lyons, sweet Debbie Eaton, Jo Saxton and many more who LOVE Jesus and LOVE people.
Seriously, I’m still processing..
The 3 timely truths that are still at the forefront for me & my people will hopefully be encouraging for you and yours as well:
#1 “If the horse is dead, dismount sweetheart. Dismount.”
There are many, many, many reasons why THIS quote was hands down my fav but mostly because Ann Voscamp is so eloquently spoken, sophisticated in appearance, married to a pig farmer and no doubt we’d have plenty to talk about over supper.
So when she said , “If the horse is dead, dismount sweetheart” my heart began to bleed.
She read of how Moses had died and Joshua was ready to lead the people into the Promise Land.
The people were grumbling, complaining, questioning.
When I began questioning myself, “What’s my dead horse Lord? What areas do I need to leave behind in order to move forward in faith? Show me Lord. Speak, for your servant is listening.”
“NOTHING WILL CHANGE UNLESS WE CHANGE SOMETHING.”
Cheering us on with the truth
“Once you’ve tasted conviction you can’t bear complacency.”
Pleading the promise of, “What looks impossible changes when we pray to a God WHO IS ABLE, He changes us into impossABLES.”
As her words flooded my soul I cried, prayed and then, I cried some more,
“Lord I believe. Help my unbelief. You ARE ABLE Lord. You are greater than my greatest mountain. You are greater than our greatest fear. You are bigger than my biggest mishaps. Lord YOU ARE ABLE. I want to be found more faithful than fearful.”
whew! (cue the tears!)
I was a snot slinging mess which made my job as a greeter even more AWESOME.
#2 tis truly better to GIVE than to receive
As volunteers we were not assured a seat at the conference. We were given t-shirts to serve as our id, fed well, lead well via our floor leads and told from the very beginning to let flexibility rule and reign. Our instructions were clear and concise. The IF: Interns were crazy organized and an absolute joy to work alongside.
I was there to serve not to be served.
I had never attended a conference with that mindset. It has always been about what can I get ? what do you have for me?
Me, my pathetically self-absorbed self and I.
So when Christine Cain and her petite, passionate self took the stage, prayed and spoke
I began to weep, again.
The woman doesn’t take a breath and barely let’s you catch yours.
She speaks with such a relentless passion about Jesus and the church.
“God is not the God of what was.”
He is the Great I AM.
Her words pounded against the very core of my being.
Reminding me, it’s not at all about me.
It’s all about Him.
The promise of eternal life and freedom from the bondage of sin because of His sacrifice.
The perfect, flawless sacrifice from the One who came to seek, save and serve.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 NIV
And then, as IF those two challenges weren’t enough, Jennie and Jen lead us into the grand finale with this question,
#3 IF God is REAL then what is MY NEXT STEP OF FAITH?
P-O-W-E-R-F-U-L and so grand was the finale as thousands of women wrote upon the stones they were given and spoke aloud their next step of faith.
Some fighting for their marriage others fighting cancer.
Some facing addiction others financial ruin.
Brave steps. Scary steps.
One step at a time.
As the end drew near and the lines grew shorter I was given a bag of stones that had been sent down from one of the upper layers.
The bag was soo heavy I could hardly carry it. As I walked it to the front of the stage to be place them in the box I felt as though the stones I was carrying were my own.
My soul so heavy wondering which step of faith is to be my next step.
Our next step as a family.
As business owners.
As a writer.
As a mom.
One step of faith leads to another and to another.
The steps of faith we have taken over the last few years present next steps of faith.
Which way do we go from here? When? Where? How?
We’re still seeking Him. More fervently than ever.
Some days, most days, I have more questions than answers and I’m learning that’s okay.
Because I am seeking the One who knows the answers to today’s questions and believing through faith he has the answers and He will reveal them to us,
one day, at a time.
Lots of love and prayers for you dear ones as you seek Him and your next step of faith,