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As I write this, I’m sitting in the Houston airport staring out at a row of planes and a cloudy sky above. Yesterday feels almost like a dream, such a pure and holy moment.
The task of distilling everything in my heart my right now–which is brimming–into a blog post seems almost impossible. But here are a few thoughts.
After challenging us to get back into the race on Day 1, Day 2 was all about the running. We heard from all sorts of women, some writers and speakers, some non-profit workers, some stay-at-home moms, all of whom shared what running after Christ looks like for them.
There was no cookie cutter formula for what running with perseverance looks like, and I loved that. We were challenged simply to take off after Him, in whatever sphere of influence we’ve been given.
Like my last post, I’ll share some of the highlights. But honestly, if you didn’t get to hear the talks you really should listen to them yourself. I was supposed to be live tweeting the talks but there were times I could hardly see the screen through the tears in my eyes.
God met us there. It was awesome.
Here are some of the things I’ll be pondering for awhile.
“Is Jesus useful, or is he beautiful?”
“God doesn’t just want to use you. He wants to be with you, because He loves you.”
“May we be the ones who do not despise the day of small things, but find you in obscurity.”
“I pray that when we feel small and ridiculous, that we’d remember you are our friend.”
“Throughout Scripture we see people who might have been stopped by the lies from their past. Moses was a murderer, Rahab a prostitute, Paul a terrorist. These people were somehow able to let go of their past to run the race.”
“You cannot look forward if you’re constantly looking back.”
“Your past doesn’t predetermine your present.”
“God has a purpose for you. There is hope in redemption. You are not done. If He did it for David, and Rahab and Paul, He will do it for us.”
“Every time the Enemy reminds me of my past, I’ll remind him of his future.”
“Though my enemies surround me, my God surrounds my enemies.”
“We will aim these truths as weapons of mass destruction at our Enemy.”
“Our potential is unlimited because the unlimited God lives in us.”
“While my husband and I were challenging everyone else to be salt and light in the world, we were in our Christian bubble living like hypocrites. So we decided to move to New York.”
“I thought I was going to New York looking for meaning. Instead I found surrender.”
“Stay in the freefall, for only there will you find rescue.”
“The root of anxiety is unfulfilled responsibility. You know you were made for more, and you’re not doing it.”
“Calling is when your talents and your burdens collide.”
“Many of us know our gifts, but not many of us know why we’re supposed to use them.”
“You can be in your calling, and still not be free, when you’re copying and competing and comparing.”
“The Fall may be around you but it is Christ who is in you.”
“May we reject the things that numb us to our captivity.”
“Our yes hangs in the balance of a lot of people’s futures.”
“What comes out of your mouth forms what you think about God.”
“You will not call us to something you will not do.”
“We are part of a world system that has always measured greatness in terms of power, but Jesus always measured greatness in terms of service.”
“If you think greatness is building a large conference, then your regular life can start feeling small.”
“If we love mercy for ourselves, then we have to love it for everyone else.”
“We can’t make the gospel real for people if we keep thinking of people outside our circles as enemies.”
“I see Christians take the gospel, which we love and treasure, and try to guard it so nobody can mess with our gospel. We have a defensive posture, guns blazing, daring people to come near it. Here’s the problem with that—Christ came to seek and save those who are lost. It’s not the healthy who need a doctor, it’s the sick. So if we had the eyes of our Savior, we would view them not as our enemies, but as future brothers and sisters in Christ.”
“A lot of people need the Bread and the Wine. Whole communities and countries and neighborhoods are looking and wondering if anyone will make it real to them, show them real hope, real mercy, real intervention, real love.”
“Discipleship hurts. Being broken and poured out has a cost. It will become our burden. But that’s where the joy is.”
“I knew that I was off-mission when I realized that my life was costing me nothing.”
“Jesus is either a crazy person or he’s the front door to a new life.”
“You just have to play your one note, and I will play mine, and together we’ll have a song that sounds like freedom fro the captive.”
“I believe God has given us fresh Mannah. We smell something different than we’ve ever smelled before. We don’t know all the ingredients.
” The definition of “Mannah” is “What is it?: Sometimes God does something among us that there are no words to describe the blessing.”
“Even so, Mannah is exactly what you need for the day that you’re in.”
“IF is a “what is it” blessing.”
“God is doing something in our midst. The smell has brought us together, and we will taste and see what He is doing.”
“God is calling us to get out of our individuality and functionality, and figure out how we are to work together for what He’s calling us to do, even when you don’t know all the details for tomorrow.”
“Do you trust Him today, even though you don’t know what He’s going to do tomorrow?”
“In order for us to do exactly what He’s calling us to do, we must work together.”
“In most instances, there’s more that we agree on than what we disagree on.”
“The more we draw near to God, the more we draw near to each other.”
IF doesn’t end here. Their next phase of the vision will focus on equipping women with the Word of God for the work of the gospel. Check back in at IFEquip.com for details to come.