What in the World is this “IF” Thing?

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What a great question! In fact I am so glad you asked (yes, I realize I really asked myself, but let’s not get caught up in semantics). And really I am 1 of only 2 people in our little community that can answer this question, because I had the amazing opportunity of attending the IF:Gathering in Austin last year (so I have somewhat of an idea of what is going to happen during this very vaguely detailed event that you keep getting invited to). And because of that, the IF: Richmond/Katy leadership team asked me to try and convince you to register and take 1 of the last 15 spots left for this incredible event.

So as I began thinking about what I could say to convince you to be one of the last 15 people to register, I of course started to remember the reasons why I registered last year– the things that pushed me over the edge.

My Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Register for IF: Richmond/Katy

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1. You have felt guilty for the fact that enough is not enough. 

Around the time of IF last year I often found myself wondering, “Is this all there is? Raising kids, being a wife, finding a great job, living the American Dream – surely this can’t be all there is?” And, I didn’t feel that way because I didn’t have enough to do – quite the opposite! This wasn’t a lack of a to-do list problem; this was a lack of fulfillment problem. I would then immediately feel guilty for being ungrateful for the many blessings God has given me. Because the reality is I have a great husband, great kids and a job that I absolutely love. So then why did I feel like that wasn’t enough? The root question behind the IF movement is to ask the question IF God is real, then what does that mean for us? When I finally was able to open up my heart and my mind to that question, to read the Bible through the lens of answering that question, I realized there is only ONE person that will ever be enough – and that person was not my husband, my kids, my job or even my title of pastor – the one person was Jesus. Why was enough never really enough? Because sometimes we are too blessed to say yes to Jesus and to what He has for us, and we need an event like IF to realign us with our real purpose of loving and glorifying God.

2. You can relate to the phrase, “I feel alone in a crowded room.”

We were never intended to live life alone. We were built for community. Why didn’t God stop with Adam? Because Adam needed support, he needed community, and he needed a woman – but that’s another post for another time! I am not going to tell you to come so that you can meet people, because the reality is you probably don’t need anymore superficial, surface relationships in your life. You are probably surrounded by the casual “Hi, how are you” and small talk about weather and YMCA sport teams. What you need is a group of women who will encourage you, call you out on your junk and push you past your comfort zone – Women who make your want to be brave! Women who will not let you be “alone in a crowded room” because they are true friends who will never settle for any other version of you than the vibrant woman God called you to be! You need to come to IF because you need friends like the women that will be there, and guess what? They need you!

3. You haven’t had time to go to the bathroom by yourself, much less contemplate what God may be doing in your life.

I wrote this literally after sitting in the bathroom listening to my children call my name while asking each other where I could be. And, did I answer them? No. Afterall, no one was screaming, nothing smelt like it was on fire and I could hear 3 individual voices – so by golly I was going to actually make it through an entire bathroom trip by myself! But this is our life sometimes. The only quiet moments we seem to get in a day is a few moments in the bathroom. And if that is the case, then how are we supposed to hear the gentle voice of God calling to us? Especially when at times the only voices we can hear are more like little elf voices yelling “MOM, MOM, MOM, MOM!” But think about what the Lord could tell you with 24 hours of uninterrupted time? Or maybe think about the things you need to tell the Lord. The conversations that have been brewing or have been started, but have yet to be developed.

4. You have never seen a group of women preach, teach and lead like IF women.

I saved this one for last, because it is a little embarrassing – like admitting I had all the New Kids on the Block dolls embarrassing – but here we go! The main reason I signed up for IF last year is because I have an unhealthy Taylor Swift/One Direction like obsession with many of the women that were scheduled to speak. And, after you register for IF and hear these women you will know exactly what I am talking about. THESE WOMEN BRING IT EVERYTIME! And God speaks through them in ways you have never experienced before! Trust me, if you have a chance to hear these women and you don’t, you are missing out!

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There are so many other reasons I could list, but those are 4 pretty great ones! In fact I believe so strongly that you should be there, I will make you a money back guarantee. If you register and attend IF: Richmond/Katy and you don’t experience God is a fresh new way or feel like it was worth your time, I will personally reimburse your registration fee. I believe you need to be there – now go register!

Last year, I wrote a blog post on my personal site about what God taught me through the IF: Gathering. You can check it out here. 

 

jenny

Jenny Day Jones is a woman who is also a  pastor – in the south (yes, we are a rare bunch, but we do exist). She is a wife and mother to 3 kids with 1 on the way via adoption from China! You can follow Jenny and support their adoption Journey on Jenny’s Blog.  Be sure to follow Jenny on twitter, too!