Monday, February 10, 2014

So much to process...

IF:Gathering was nothing short of amazing.  So many times throughout the weekend, God kept connecting dots for me, mainly by speakers mentioning passages of Scripture that I have read or had fresh in my mind in the past several weeks.  I kept going, "Okay, you want me to pay attention to this thing with the Israelites being delivered out of Egypt," and, "Okay, clearly I need to revisit the whole concept of abiding with Christ," and, "Yep, we're all parts of one body with individual giftings, gotcha..."

But I think a part of me expected a major breakthrough, similar to my experience at the last women's retreat with my church.  A moment of total clarity and surrender and brokenness, that clear confirmation that, yes, I needed to be here for this.  And as the weekend went on, I felt like I was just waiting for some Big Thing God may want to say to me or deliver me from or...something.  Don't get me wrong: I learned SO much, and I know God was teaching me plenty, and I have no regrets about going to Austin.  I just haven't quite figured out what the Bigger Picture is (if there is one) for why he had me there.  I have a lot to process, I know that much.  I need to re-watch the main sessions and actually take notes.  (How did I manage to only take like four lines of notes the entire weekend?  Don't I know how bad I am at retaining anything without writing it down?  Gah.)

I definitely feel like one reason I was there was to make some connections to the Beth Moore study we just started.  (I mean, the study is called Breaking Free, and several speakers at IF talked about Galatians 5:1 - It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.)  So maybe I needed to be there so I can eventually offer some insight or encouragement to a girl from my Bible study small group in these next 10 weeks.

I guess I was selfishly wishing for an "aha" moment, where God would say, "Tabitha, here is my plan for you.  Follow these five steps and yada yada yada.  This is the race I want you to run for me."  And maybe that's just not what it was about.

So for now, I am just trying not to get bogged down with the day to day stuff of life but rather to be present with Christ, and I'm praying for guidance and clarity, and I'm trying to leave space for God to speak.  I am thankful, so thankful, for IF and all the resources they are already pouring out to help continue the conversations and lessons that began this past weekend.

Ah, the quest for presence and patience: story of my life.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Oh Jesus, You make all things new...

Tomorrow morning I'm hopping on a plane to Austin, Texas.  This will be my first time flying alone, and my first time in Texas in my remember-able life.  (In other words, I think I've been to Texas before, as a wee child, but I have no recollection of it.)

I'm going for a thing called If: Gathering -- a not-quite-conference for women of God to explore the question, "IF God is real… THEN what?"

Honestly, I'm not 100% sure what this thing is all about.  I heard about it through a couple of different Christian bloggers I follow, and was immediately intrigued because it was envisioned by Jennie Allen, who wrote a Bible study I did  (and loved) with a few ladies last year.  

And for some reason, within minutes of learning about this thing, I knew I needed to be there. 

I think partly, I've been wanting to explore what it is God is calling me to in this season of life.  I know there's something in the works, and I know I haven't been very faithful in being still before the Lord to hear what it is.  One thing I do know is that, in some way, my calling involves other women.  A month or so ago, I felt prompted to get more involved with the women's ministry at Reality (my church), and suddenly this past Monday, I found myself leading a small group for the Beth Moore Bible study we are beginning. 

So, I am incredibly excited about this weekend in Austin.

I'm also a bit anxious (for various and sundry reasons, like what if I didn't pack the right clothes for the weather? and what if I'm not as "cool" as everyone else, because obviously I'm still in 8th grade?)...and I'm a bit sad.  I'm sad to be away from Joe for four days, and sad I'll be experiencing this new place without him.

All this to say, your prayers would be so welcome and appreciated, for all the things I've mentioned and any I haven't that you may be able to deduce or divine from above.

And also, consider this post a big feather duster on the ol' bloggity blog.  I really wanna revive this thing, and what better time than when I'm about to meet (probably) a whole mess of awesome bloggers?

(If you're one of those If-goers who found me from our Facebook group, leave a comment so I can stalk get to know you a bit before Friday!)