It was around 10PM on a Friday night. Not your typical Friday night because I had gone away to attend a streaming of a women’s conference in Winston-Salem and it was the first time my husband was alone with our children overnight. I feel the vibrations in my pocket and look at my phone to see that it is him calling. When I answer he says, “I have some good news and some bad news, which one do you want first?” The bad news was that our, then, 19 month old son had fallen at a restaurant and gashed his forehead open on the leg of a chair, this accident required an emergency room visit and glue to close the wound. Two things saved my husband’s life that night: the good news that God is good, and the fact that we had just ended the first night of IF: Local, the streaming of IF: Gathering held in Austin, Texas. I know there are now two questions in your mind, what is IF and how did it keep you from causing bodily harm to your spouse?
IF was founded by Jennie Allen to “gather, equip & unleash the next generation of women to live out their purpose.” IF encourages women to answer the question “IF God is real…then?” with their lives. The “live” IF:Gathering is a 2 day conference held in Austin, Texas but there are IF: Locals broadcasting the live simulcast around the world. This year Mercy Hill will be streaming the conference in the Edgefield location on February 5th and 6th! What I loved about IF was the diversity of women represented in the speakers. These were women who came with different backgrounds and strengths, gathering together to encourage other women to allow God to use their gifts and God given goals for His glory.
So, are we seriously asking you to give up an entire weekend? Asking you to trust your husband with the children, or your roommate with the dog, for an entire weekend? Yes, yes we are. We are asking you to come and be encouraged, be equipped and all the while, forming new relationships with women that you haven’t met and deeper ones with those that you already know.
My son was completely fine, and there is now only a faint scar where the wound was first inflicted. Praise God for the “good news” that He is good and in light of that we can face tough news or tough circumstance with grace and truth. In the midst of emergency room visits, exams, messy houses, and all of the other chaos that gets thrown our way in a world that seems to be rapidly degenerating, we can look to Jesus. We can look to His example of what it means to live as a reflection of His redemption and hope. In the words of Jennie Allen, “Rather than shrink back, it is time to love like Jesus loved, serve like Jesus served, pray like Jesus prayed, and pursue holiness like Jesus pursued it.”
Join us for live worship and to hear inspiring speakers as they teach and challenge us in our own Christian faith. Our hope is that we would be empowered to take our unique gifts back with us into our homes, jobs and communities and use them to be a reflection of Christ. If you would like more information or resources on IF:Gathering visit ifgathering.com.