The Road to IF and a Bigger Faith


January 28, 2014

I just wanted to say thank you. It’s been quite a month with Restless and IF:Gathering  launching and as you can imagine when you do anything important resistance is sure to come. And it has in various forms- but just as I get discouraged one of you will post something or tell me you are praying for us and it pulls us back. You are in so many ways fellow kindred runners.

I barely go a few hours without talking to one of our leadership team. We have become the dearest of friends not the kind built over coffee and giggles (although there has been a lot of that. Lots of that.)  But this is more the type of sisterhood forged over tears and fear and faith and hopes that seem too big to be real. We all held barely a mustard seed of faith… and now it’s growing into more of a force. Because behind all of the pretty things we have seen God move.  We are braver and bolder because of him.

Your stories have joined ours and we are in this together for God’s glory in our time.

I remember writing these words- now two years ago. IF didn’t have a name yet- it was just a hint of something. I knew God was stirring and yet I couldn’t quite tell what it would be. I just knew I was afraid and I wanted more and I was learning that I wasn’t alone.

DECEMBER 5, 2011

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Where are the next generation of women leaders?

We are passionately dreaming behind closed doors. But we are all terrified to stand up and lead. We are afraid of being hated and equally afraid of being liked and followed and we are trying to stay in love with Jesus enough to do it anyway. There are a few jumping up and down trying to get everyone’s attention, but most of us are sitting, dreading raising our hand because we’re scared what it means.

Where is the next Beth Moore or Kay Arthur?

With all the respect we have for these women, our mentors, it’s impossible to fill shoes like these. It seems there is a road in the wilderness but it is difficult to find.

We want something. It isn’t fame or platforms. We want a revolution and most of us wish someone else would start it.

We’re embarrassingly cynical and shoot leaders down for sport- so we’re all afraid to lead. But we need to be led.

I’m asking you to hold your fire.

Let some of us stand up and try. The stirrings of a revolution are in the works…. I am in the meetings and hear the whispers. God is gathering a force and change is coming and it comes from Him. But help our fears… we are afraid to lead. Because honestly we are afraid we will stand up and be wrong or even right but either way we are going to get stoned.

It’s going to be different… it won’t be a tweaked version of old dreams. These are new and scary and uncomfortable dreams but they are from God. He builds things like this… people don’t.

Together, if we all keep our heads down and follow our Jesus, something is going to happen. A generation of women who have quietly been reading and longing and dreaming and falling in love with God are about to wake up. We are about to let God run wild through us…. together.

I feel it. We live once and then we meet God. We want to live lives that matter for eternal things. We want to be a generation who followed with reckless abandonment a God who was real to us.

But we need each other.

Hold your fire and we will try to be brave.

******

Friends- it has happened- we are coming together. I see a generation rising… We have stepped up for God’s glory and the good of others and you have too. And I believe in full faith that He will move among us in new ways. Ways that expand our faith and courage even more. Keep praying. I can’t wait to do this together in days.

God is real and we can’t wait to see what He will do through his children together- wild and full of faith. 

What are you praying for IF:Gathering and for yourself and for our world?

 

IF

47 Responses to “The Road to IF and a Bigger Faith”

  1. I wonder how many women in churches with multigenerational members have wondered and prayed how we could bridge the gap between the ages. The Women’s Ministry team was primarily made up of more mature (aka: older) women and our events attracted some of the younger gals but not as many as we would wish for.

    We have prayed for God’s leading and direction.

    Then you stepped out in Faith… And in addition to the messages you will be bringing, you’ve built the foundation of a bridge. My Women’s Ministry team has doubled in size. I’m meeting dynamic and marvelous young women who exude passion for God and for our Church. I see leaders emerging and their energy is spilling over to women whose mantra was “been there, done that… Don’t have much left to offer”.

    So thank you for being brave, for building bridges and for igniting a huge refreshing spark all for the glory of God!!!

  2. Jennie:
    Over two years ago after going away with two dear friends and praying about what God was calling us to in our communities and beyond, these words came…”From Routine to Revial!” And I also remember thinking, “but that is too BIG Lord” for three pony-tail wearing moms from Arkansas. But it was and is the desire of our hearts and it is amazing that He is giving other women around the world in this generation at this exact same time the same desire of the heart. So to say, I’m beyond giddy about next weekend would be an understatement. I am grateful beyond words, and as you said before and I’ve been waiting and praying for, “Let’s Go!”

  3. Lauren Enns

    Love you Jennie – so proud of you. Keep letting Him use you. We have nothing but love, admiration, support and prayers for you.

  4. I am so very grateful for you and the leadership of IF and the tipping point that it has seemed to be for so many. Praying hard and fast about the days ahead, that we allow God to get all the glory and empower us into obedience. Personally, I feel like God has already started something big in asking me to open my home and inviting women from over 14 different churches in our little corner of southeast Kansas. Excitement is building and I am praying with my whole heart that this will be the beginning of a breakdown of walls and a linking of arms that will impact our families and community. HE is working in and through his people It is already a beautiful, gloriously holy event. Let us all be brave.

    • Thank you for praying and fasting. This. Yes. That diverse table- that is what I pray for the world. Thank you Kelli for leading and obeying. Prayers.

  5. “Together, if we all keep our heads down and follow our Jesus, something is going to happen. A generation of women who have quietly been reading and longing and dreaming and falling in love with God are about to wake up. We are about to let God run wild through us…. together.”
    Yes! All of this! I can feel the ground swell rising even here – in my own spirit and in those around me. Before I discovered Restless and the IF: gathering, God was stirring in me that there must be something more. He was calling me to more and I couldn’t figure out what. His timing is perfect and your words and those of other women, like Jen Hatmaker, have been wrecking my heart and world. During the If:gathering I am praying that God would ignite a holy passion in us to see lives changed, for his glory, for his kingdom. That he would clarify for me in a greater way what my part is in that – that fear would fall away and boldness and courage would take it’s place. That I would be changed, that WE would be changed, and seek to bring change through the power of Christ. Keep running Jennie! We are running with you!
    ~Victoria
    Fearless Heart Ministries

  6. Praying that women will stand up in their name,which is BELOVED. And put their boots on and walk into their giftings with heads held high.

  7. Jennie, I’ve been praying for you. For the team, and all who are coming together to make IF happen. As someone who has been completely uninterested and put off by conferences, be it small scale through the church or large traveling women’s conferences in the past, something about IF has been a resounding YES in my soul since I heard about it.

    I’m praying for new dreams, and for women to stop comparing and see themselves as having unique, important and beautiful traits and gifts that God has put within them. Starting with me! I struggle with recognizing what I’m good at, and feeling like I’m enough. Whatever the enough is changes with seasons and the situation, but it’s always there. And I don’t think I’m alone in that.

    • Thank you Erika. That means so much to me.
      I have fought that same feeling- I guess now I just see how big and able my God is and I am starting to start to trust him and not in myself. Then it feels like I am dreaming too small usually!

  8. YES!! And AMEN!! Reading through Restless right now. Underlining. Journaling. Praying. Asking! Lord show me! I loved the part about sitting back and not wanting to be viewed arrogant or trying to just be humble and not lift my voice or my ideas. And even when my heart was pounding as I read it and knowing God has placed dreams in my heart I was getting excited. And then moments later had the thoughts like: who am I? No one will listen or think those are good ideas. No one really acts anymore. We say yeah! But no follow through… So I’m pushing forward. Trying to be brave and asking God to show me the way. I know that He so purposefully has me in a time of rest for a reason and that I’m reading Restless and it will collide with doing IF:Local in my hometown. Along with being a part of a new church plant and really seeking God. I’m thankful. Thankful for you and the leaders that are rising up and speaking truth and life and encouraging and spurring us women to be brave! Run! May our lives be for His glory. Much love Jennie!

    • Oh yes girl- it is brave. That little church plant needs your gifts- I am sure that is part of why God has led you there.

  9. I’m running.
    Ready, poised, and focused…but a blurred vision is my horizon line.
    Running with a steady speed into an unknown terrain, my head say’s be still but my heart pounds “Go” with every step. This blurred horizon line…blurred vision…it will pass? It will become clear?
    It doesn’t matter; I’ll follow the blurry into the promise. Trusting.

  10. Caitlyn Carlson

    Beautiful, Jennie. Makes me thankful for the women in my life who are facing the wilderness with me. I can’t make it to this If:Gathering but am hoping to be at the next one!

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