No More


October 3, 2013

The previous weeks had contained so much conflict…. dozens of influential women were on their way to Austin because I had invited them. And who am I to do such a thing? I’ve felt fear ya’ll…. at least I thought I had. But this day…

The fear was so thick.

When some of the women you most respect on earth have paid their way and given up 3 days of their lives and aren’t really sure why they are coming and you, as their host, aren’t 100% sure why they are coming…. fear suffocates you. This was a diverse gathering of people who love Jesus, stuck together in a private retreat for 3 days. Leaders from every kind of background, denomination, race, theological bent … some enemies. Every woman strong, opinionated, tremendously gifted and successful.

Ann and a few other dear friends came in early and spent the night with me the night before, we thought because of flight schedules but actually it was because God knew I needed them.

Ann and I loaded the car to drive the hour to the place that I thought maybe (hoped desperately) God had summoned us all. The drive was… well she and I didn’t speak. We didn’t tell each other we weren’t going to speak. We just didn’t. Songs about Jesus fell into the silence and we wept and we sang and we lifted trembling hands at stoplights. Not one word was spoken but the name of Jesus.

And then we were there and then they were all there. As I greeted them I looked into their eyes. I could see the doubt they had in me, in this, and I didn’t blame them. In their eyes…

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Why are we here? There needs to be a good reason, Jennie, for us to pay so much in fear and time and money.

The tension was so thick.

They began to take their seats and I pulled away just before we began… Ann happened to be the only one there again. We didn’t speak again. We looked at each other in the eyes, the fear we both felt sat there in the quiet. I looked at my stupid notes, as if you can prepare for moments like this. My words were so flat. I closed my eyes. I felt no God.

I begged him one last time…

You had better show up. I brought them here because you told me to do it. If you don’t come…. you have to come.

I took my spot. And then….

He came. We all watched as He tore down the walls, the fears, the insecurities, the camps, the tensions, the hurts, the doubts, the ambitions, the agendas. He tore away our names and our bios and our accomplishments and our failures.We all felt unimaginably small and we all wanted God more than any other aspiration we may have previously held.

And He gave us Himself and He gave us each other and He gave us a dream.

He let us taste heaven- every knee bowed. One Name held high. Every heart that loves Him united.

And all of the sudden… all but God and forever felt stupid and tiny and like a possible waste of our lives.

And God was so thick it was difficult to breathe.

We took the cup and the bread… we washed each others’ hands and Ann and I looked in each others eyes from across the room, we shook our heads at our small faith, and I closed my eyes that night and swore to God, “no more…”

No more small faith.
No more small fights.
No more small prayers.
No more small dreams.
No more small God.

IF wasn’t my “idea.” I didn’t have big faith. I doubted He was real, that He could blow into a place, that He could issue visions, that He could move in massive ways that could change us, change the church, change the world.

IF God is real though… couldn’t He?

Couldn’t He call the very most unlikely to gather a generation, to unite his daughters, under His name, on His mission for our minute here.

Couldn’t He?

We are feeling brave enough to find out.

50 Responses to “No More”

  1. Jennifer Nguyen

    Whoa! Holy cow! So cool to see generations before me setting a platform for generations to come. I’m 21 years old and seeing you and women your age (with experience and wisdom ;)) abandon fully to God is so encouraging. Thank you thank you thank you.

  2. Danelle

    Love the picture you painted here of his power to fill hands and hearts. Heard you speak at WOF last year. Will be watching and praying for IF.

  3. Joyce Bierig

    Jeannie, thank you for sharing your heart….I am starting your “Chase” bible study tomorrow… the ladies that attended last spring for your “Stuck” bible study are so excited. I am 70 years old and have been leading these studies. As I read your blog I could think of no one but David and our Lord. Continue to be Brave, with Courage from God…..”The Lord is enough of a portion to fill our souls” Jennie these are your words that spoke so much into my life as I studied “Chase”…..God has given you a vision….March on, March on my dear sister! Praising God as David did! I am praying for your vision……..

    • Jennie Allen

      You can’t know what your words mean to me- I guess it is the weight of the words that come with age and wisdom. Thank you Joyce.

    • Becky Getter

      Yes, yes…………..Jennie, I too am praying for God to shower you with His love and guidance which will equip you to follow through with your vision. Love this post and all the other encouraging words. Keep on, keep on………one day at a time. Your willingness to share your true feelings is powerful. And then God shows up…………and it is even more powerful because then HE gets the glory! Praise God!

  4. Jennie, God is using you to point to areas where I make God little. To have my heart so pricked is so refreshing and scary and the same time

  5. Quite possibly my favorite post to read to date. From anyone. Thank you Jennie for being so transparent here. I’m encouraged. I’m truly hoping to come to IF in February, but more importantly, your vision with IF is already inspiring and stirring up something beautiful among a few friends and myself. God is already at work.

    Blessings sister,
    Fran Thomas
    Jackson, TN

  6. Doris Lynn Humplik

    Oh Jennie!!!!
    Tears flow when I read this … Oh can this restless call be God … Oh the doubt ..
    Oh I can run … I can hide… I can fall into sin … But the Call remains…

    Restless no more…

    Thank you Jesus someone to look up to with humility and authenticity …

    Bless her Lord

  7. Our God is greater than all our expectations and far more gracious than we deserve, as He draws us in our trembling fear and wraps us close to His heart. With you all the way, bless you, young “Esther”! You have been chosen for such a time as this and our Father will keep showing up and leading onward!

  8. Donna Lohr

    You make me cry all the time…heart so open….waiting and ready….

      • Jennie Allen

        Thankful- I love this passionate tribe assembled here.

  9. so very convicting. how small have I made God. oh, Lord, forgive us & show us your glory, your power, and your love.

  10. Ashley Flowers

    YES! Death to self and life to the Spirit. He is willing but the flesh is weak. May He continue to bless this mission and unite us like never before.

    • Oh my goodness! After reading your blog my heart is so full I don’t even know where to begin…so I won’t! I will put it in a nutshell! Here goes! Praying for unity among Christian women…heard Jan Greenwood speak about unity and revival at Gateway Pink Impact conferenc…felt confirmation…more praying…hosting IF: Local! God bless you Jennie! Praying for you and the team in Austin! Dee Gach

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