The familiar words of a song we sang this weekend are fresh on my mind as I process so much.
And I’m wide awake, drawing close
Stirred by grace, and all my heart is yours
All fear removed, I breathe you in
I lean into your love
Oh your love.
I breathe you in, I lean into your love…
It’s the Monday after IF. This live stream 2 day gathering of women that I have been a part of for the last few years has been pivotal in my faith in Jesus and in the way I live out that faith in Him, like it has been for so many women around the world.
This weekend, I was also often reminded of how the Lord used an IF leadership conference last fall to speak loudly to me about planting my feet in this new place he had just moved my family to.
One of the things that we were given at that conference right before we left was a domino.
A random, simple domino. A representation of a ripple effect. This was mine. Five dots strategically placed on that blank slate.
I am a visual, symbol-type person and as soon as I saw it, I knew it perfectly represented me in the season I was in. The one dot was me. Feeling alone in this new place, but fully knowing and trusting there would be a group of women I was going to be coming into. My new tribe in my new place with my new people.
So, upon returning home I got off that plane, rolled up my sleeves, and just prayed, “Lord use me. Help me to be brave. One step at a time.”
And He was Faithful.
He brought some of the most incredible women into my life. Women that love other women something fierce! Me being one of those blessed recipients! Women the Lord used to teach me what it looks like to be His hands and feet! We all rolled our sleeves up, and got to work!
We prayed, planned, worked, and prayed some more over bringing IF:Gathering to Montgomery County, Texas the first weekend of February. And over the next several weeks, something beautiful started to happen. These women, most that had never even been a part of IF before, started creating something beautiful for the women of our area! A safe place. A place to rest. And a place to be restless.
Restless in the way of being able to say, “I have this longing for more. Not more stuff. But more…more depth to my relationships, more peace in my heart, more patience with my kids, more love for my husband.” We were all saying, “We wanted to love MORE LIKE JESUS!”, whether we knew it or not.
So, here we are. The week after the Gathering, and I wish I could fill up pages to tell the stories that are pouring in of the way that God is using this weekend for that very purpose! Answering those longings for MORE!
But for now, I will close with mine.
We received another “random” domino this weekend. Representing that same ripple effect. And this is not the only domino I received this weekend. One of the other leader’s husbands made some beautiful wooden dominoes for our Gathering as decorations, and they gave some as gifts!
These are my dominoes. Yes, they match!
I didn’t see ten dots. I didn’t even see the double five dots.
What I saw was 1 + 4.
My little dot (me) had moved over and been accepted into the group of four (which just happened to be the exact number of women on our IF:Montgomery County leadership team). But then, it was like God was saying don’t stop there.
And don’t forget…
Don’t forget what it felt like to be the outsider. The verses in Matthew 25 came immediately to mind ~ especially this part: I was a stranger and you invited me in.
I am listening Lord. I will not forget.
And now, another part of that song, still in my head and heart…
When I’m lost You pursue me
Lift my head to see Your glory
Lord of all
Lord, thank you for pursuing me and using the women around me to lift my head to keep my gaze on your glory! Help us all to be women used to lift other’s heads to see Your glory! Help to make me brave, removing all fear, to be intentional in inviting in the stranger. The one that is just waiting for her tribe, her people!
Let the dominoes fall and the ripples go out, all to see Your glory!