I really had very few expectations for this weekend for myself.
I knew God was going to show up.
I knew he was going to bring down walls.
I knew these things, because IF: Gathering awakened me last year and propelled me forward in ways I never imagined and I knew it would do the same for many who wanted the same for their own lives.
My greatest desire and prayer was that women, my friends, my people, in my place, would be inspired, awakened and set free. That was what I prayed for…nothing more.
Little did I know that my tiny, meek step of obedience would inspire over 130 women to gather together.
I believed that lives would be changed. I had to believe that. My life has never been the same since that weekend in February a year earlier and I knew that around the world so many would experience the freedom and the fire I experienced.
But, little did I know that this weekend would push me over a cliff of faith and would empower me outside of myself in ways I never knew possible or imagined.
I went into this weekend without much of a plan as to what would be spoken throughout. In fact, I felt the Lord did not allow me to plan anything. We decided I would MC the event, give a few announcements and just share a tiny bit.
Little did I know that the Lord was going to shake me out of my seat to tell my story.
Little did I know that the freedom I experienced last year would be consumed over with a fire that stirred within me on Saturday afternoon that could not be kept quiet.
I simply wanted to be available.
I wasn’t looking to speak, but my story was shared.
I wasn’t looking for a platform, yet He placed me on one and all of a sudden as I stood in front of 100 plus amazing, beautiful women, I was fearless.
I wasn’t shaking. I wasn’t scared.
I was brave. I was vulnerable.
I did not recognize the woman on that stage. In fact, I can say without a doubt that the Holy Spirit in his great power took over every part of me. And to be honest, I vaguely remember what I said.
This weekend at our IF: Local, I wasn’t broken or set free.
This weekend I was purified.
I was set apart.
I was consecrated to God’s will for my life.
“Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you.'” Joshua 3:5
This weekend my tiny step of obedience broke down the chains of insecurity and doubt and fear that has held me back for far too long.
I don’t know who that woman was who took on that stage this weekend, but I can’t deny her or shrink back from who she is and the plans God has for her. I have no idea what those plans are and I sort of do not want to know, because for the first time in my life I finally have figured out that my plans are completely limited and insignificant to His plans.
My plans bring more fear, whereas His plans make me brave.
His plans push me forward. His plans lead me.
His plans take me where my plans would never allow me to even think of going because of my own limits.
His plans do not limit me, He simply empowers me.
IF He says Go, I move and I go, no plan needed, because He goes before me.
To be completely honest and vulnerable, I have had more accolades and praise this weekend than ever before. And I can see how pride can come before me and take over the glory. But please hear me, please, I am desperate for you, but mostly for myself and for my Redeemer and Lord to hear me…
Oh My God, that wasn’t me Jesus. It wasn’t me. It was you in me. It was you in me. I am not awesome. You are. I am not amazing. You are. I don’t deserve any thanks. I’m simply a broken, selfish, sinful woman who was and is desperate for you and was set free and who wanted to serve and free others. And my yes was a whispered of a yes. It was not bold or certain or brave or anything. I am nothing. In fact if it were up to me still, I would choose a small group in my house, not a gathering in my church! I simply believed. I believed you could do for others what you did in me. And I am sorry for the pride that entered my heart with every red notification on Facebook. I am still such a work in progress. I’m still such a mess most of the time. But Oh Lord, Oh my God when those women, those brave women placed their rocks on that stage, when they stepped out and believed you, Oh God, why did you choose me to say yes? It is ridiculous. Really, really crazy. That sight was one of the most beautiful of my life and why you chose me to lead is incredulous. I’m so unworthy Lord, only you know how unworthy. And again I am a mess of tears, but this time I’m not crying over my own chains and brokenness, this time, I’m crying over their broken chains and courage and their walks and faith.
When all is said and done, I come home and it’s just me and God and my loves and the memory of being used and stretched and brave for the kingdom of God on this one, amazing weekend in February. And I finally get to sit and rest and laugh at all He has done in me.
I laugh at where He has brought me to. I laugh at my unbelief and my doubts and insecurities. I laugh at my ridiculous, crazy faith. I laugh at my past and the present and my future. I laugh.
And I sit on my couch and my baby crawls into my lap, having missed her mamma for the last few days, and my husband puts his head in my lap, having filled in for me so I could go serve and use gifts for the kingdom and when all is said and done, no accolades, no platforms, no praises will ever measure up to my ordinary, everyday calling of being wife and mama.
He pours me out so I can be filled up again and again. My life of serving my family and my people can not compare to anything else.
Last year I sat on my bed with the baby in my arms and I was broken and a slave to my own fears and what if’s…this year I sit on my couch with the baby in my arms and I am free. Free to live my life fully and with purpose. Free to serve and free to believe the what IF:’s.