IF: Nothing Changed yet Everything Changed

February 21, 2015



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It’s been 2 weeks and it feels no less of a dream.

The ground trembled and we saw God in ways I didn’t even know were possible.

I love IF. It is special. It is a gift and place for us to grow. It was glorious in so many ways, watching God move among us, bringing us to our knees in awe and surrender.

Then it ended, we all packed our bags, piled into the car, and went home.

And we opened our front doors to LIFE. Dirty, messy, scary, chaotic, beautiful life. Then the moment hits.

How do we take this new fire in our hearts, these faith declarations and MOVE when we are waist-deep in dishes, emails, people, bills?

Just so you don’t think I am too big for my britches and not coming home to all the same crazy you are, I need to paint you a picture of what I came home to…

Conner and several of his friends were dressed in medieval costumes- I had zero context and every room destroyed with props, furniture moved, teenagers eating cheese-its from one end of my house to the other.

Apparently they were making a medieval movie for school. No words really.

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It’s terrifying- tell me about it.


Cooper on the other hand, just wanted to cuddle and watch Big Hero 6 and go to Target to get “the real” Bemax. And you bet I said yes to that. He also is really into Benihana- he likes to replay every single move the chef made at the table- the flying shrimp, egg roll, and onion fire train. He has a new big dream.




The girls. They wanted to hear about IF:Gathering for all of 5 minutes. A year’s worth of blood, sweat, tears, and prayers and I got 5 minutes before they went back to their demanding schedules. And by “wanting to hear for 5 minutes”, I mean I forced them to sit and listen to me talk about it.

But I will say some of the IF:Terns and I took the girls to their first Ash Wednesday service this week.




And that brings me to the point.

I sat between my two girls in the most humble of church services with dark ash on our foreheads and heard deeply grounding words…

Dust to dust. No human is separate from this reality. 

We are all so terribly small. IF:Gathering potentially reached one million people but I want to be clear- it is so terribly small in light of the global church, in light of ISIS beheading 21 young Christian men, in light of generations of the church that have moved into multiple global revivals with no internet connecting them, in light of our enormous eternal God.

We’re back to earth. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

THIS is where God moves, choosing to move into the chaos of the everyday.

Choosing to love the chaos when all we want to do is control it.

Choosing to worship in Cheeze-it crumbs rather than just on the mountain-top with Melinda Doolittle singing “Break Every Chain.”

Choosing to pray when no one sees.

Choosing to build relationships rather than platforms.

Choosing to believe the everyday is the best part and choosing not to miss it.

This is where we obey. This is what FAITH looks like.

What is your step of Faith? How’s it going?

What’s your chaos?

35 Responses to “IF: Nothing Changed yet Everything Changed”

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  3. Dear Jennie,

    I participated in the recent IF Gathering by registering on-line and watching the feed. I thought it an exceptional and visionary event and really enjoyed the speakers, worship, the conversations, and the video segments. It was so encouraging to hear such outstanding women speakers and to be challenged. I am sure it will be thrilling to see how God continues to work in the lives of all the women involved.

    You mentioned that you wanted women to write you and share what the outcome of the weekend was for them. So I thought I would send you a note and let you know how deeply impacted I was by the weekend, and particularly by Christine Cain’s presentation and challenge. I am sending these comments to you, but would prefer it not become a public comment. It was just placed on my heart to communicate with you directly. And if you would like me to write a comment that you would publish as part of the comment/responses to your article I would be happy to do so.

    About 4 years it was placed on my heart to go back to university and take courses in Christian studies. But I kept dismissing the idea with a variety of excuses – such as thinking I was too old, uncertainty about I would use the degree, wondering if we could afford it, and concerns about the time it would take. And on the occasions I actually did consider the idea I would then try to figure out the easiest route. I investigated universities offering distance education courses thinking I could just do it from home, and programs where I could just take a year long diploma or certificate course so I could finish it quickly, and I even considered talking to the universities regarding the possibility of auditing courses so I would not have to write the papers.

    After the IF Gathering, I was totally convicted that it was time to take the first step. So I have applied to do my Masters Degree in Christian Studies at a local university that has a Seminary program. I will know within a few weeks if I will be accepted to the program. I am very calm now about where this will lead. I am just going to start by taking the first step and see how things unfold.

    And while this may not seem particularly noteworthy, I just want to share that I turn 60 in June and that I last attended university 35 years ago, when I achieved my Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology and my Bachelor Degree in Education. Further, my family has had an extremely challenging last 6 years with major losses and challenges. Our winter season is now moving into spring.

    I am excited to begin studying in a deeper, more committed way that at the very least will enhance my relationship with God and deepen my understanding. I am eager to take these first steps, fully trusting God to direct my path. I also pray that younger women will see this as inspirational – seeing learning as a life long process, and that degrees focusing on Christian Studies and Theology are a viable choice for all women, of all ages.

    The second thing placed on my heart after the IF Gathering, was to share two thoughts particularly placed on my heart. It seemed that there were no women from the older generations either presenting or on the committees. It is on my heart that it would be so amazing and encouraging for women of all ages and generations to have older women involved in some capacity because they still have so much to offer. They have unique perspectives and wisdom gleaned from their years of experience. These women would have the capacity to both role model for and mentor the younger women and to make connections with the older women.

    I also wondered about creating a greater Canadian connection of some kind. In my enthusiasm about the weekend I spoke about it to many women in my church community. I found that they were unaware of the conference or what IF is about and trying to accomplish. It was clear to me that the word needs to be spread within Canadian communities. Not sure how to accomplish this, but it is just a germ of an idea.

    I would like to forward you my resume. It may be that if you were to take a look at it – you may see some role I might be able to play, or some need I could fill that only you or your committee would be aware of.

    Thank you for the courageous work you are doing for the kingdom of God. I am so excited to see where God leads you and IF.


    Anne Mackie Morelli

  4. Andrea Reynolds

    I did Chase a Year ago and it changed my life. A year later God has called me to do this study to a group of women he hand picked- no really- most of them called me and said your going to be doing a study and I want to be in it! This was before I was even ask by my pastor. See we just moved into town 4 months ago, new job ect. 2 years ago praying about my identity w a new baby- begging God to show me what wasn’t work here. Isaiah 61- I gave anointed you to bind up the broken hearted and set captives free. I know this is for * everyone, but in that moment- it was personal- just for me. I’ve been praying for Jesus to bring me his broken daughters so I can help bind them up, set them free and watch them (Isaiah 61:4) “build up their ancient ruins, the former devastations” in their lives! Jennie- I don’t want to seem like a crazed fan, I know a lot of people live and follow your words, but what you are doing- your books, IF- it’s changed me, I’ve grabbed a hold and I’m bringing it to everyone I know!!! Thank you for your faithfulness to Gods work and for little peeks into your *real life. Thank you for your heart! XOXO

  5. Ashlee Webb

    Hi Jennie,

    The If:Gathering was a revival in my heart. I am from ABQ and it is dry here in more ways than one:) Since the Gathering, I have been waking my boys up to “Break Every Chain”. I don’t know if they love it as much as I do….but it fills my soul these days.

    I took LaTasha Morrison’s encouragement and started asking my friends of color questions….I got lots of heated answers which I took as “the time is now”….and started one of her Bridge groups. I am excited and petrified and desire fully to be obedient to the LORD to “Break Every Chain” and try to bring some education on diversity and hopefully healing to my friends and aquaintences(sp?).

    I am FINALLY reading Ann Voskamp’s book 1,000 Gifts. It is radically changing me.

    But I continue to think about Lynn Hybels. I could not believe her testimony. As a pastor’s wife, I stopped attending church last summer. Broken hearted, I did not want to do church anymore. God has let me cry and question, but now I feel my soul being watered. Thank you for all your prayers and tears. I am a grateful recipient of God’s moving through the IF:Gathering.

  6. Will there be a way to watch the IF:Gathering conference? I was watching the first part and my internet went down due to a tree falling in our yard. By the time it was fixed, the streaming no longer worked. Thank you for any information you can provide.


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