in August, i stepped waaaaayyy out of my comfort zone, and committed to something called IF. I told you about it here. i joined forces with a group of awesome ladies, whom i had never met before (that was the part that was uncomfortable) and started planning our local IF:Gathering. and so, this weekend was the big event.
i'm going to be honest for a few minutes...because, well, that's what i do here. i was really apprehensive about going this weekend, even though i had a small part in planning it for months. the whole experience stretched me deeply because i felt a bit like the lone ranger in that everyone in our planning group had someone they knew on the team, except me. please don't misunderstand, these ladies were lovely gems. it's my own issues of needing belonging and community that came into play here.
so, i invited all of my local friends multiple times to come to the gathering this weekend. and none of them came. and again, if i'm honest, i was pissed. i felt that God had so strongly led me to this group and to make an impact in my community, yet none of my community, my people were participating. most didn't even respond. and so i was disappointed and my feelings were hurt and i wanted to throw in the towel.
but i didn't. IF i believe god is who he says he is, THEN i believed that he had a reason. so i went, trusting him and believing that there was a reason i was there without any of my people.
and as only god can, he delivered. the conference itself was amazing, and emotional, and deeply spirit filled. so so so much that my heart still needs to unpack. and - i survived. the ladies at my table didn't know many people there either, and so it actually turned out so beautifully.
but let's get to the letting go part.
the underlying theme of the weekend was faith. seems simple, but it's such a deeply layered issue. it was about being strong and courageous and stepping our foot in the Jordan like Joshua did and taking the next step that god was calling us to do. and then there was this question: "what thing/dream do you have your fingers tightly gripped around and haven't let go of? what are you holding on to that is keeping you from living out God's plan for your life".
cue two hours of tears here.
my "thing", my "dream" is my hope of a someday baby. while i trust god completely with this thing, i also clench it oh so tightly. and lately there's been this theme in my life of "what if this is as good as it gets?" having that baby will never fill the empty void. and so, while i didn't give up hope of this dream, this weekend, i unclenched my fingers and left it laying on a rock for God. i let go of my dreams. and i'm frantically reaching for His.
as if that wasn't enough, God, in true fashion, had to keep revealing himself, which honestly was exactly what i needed.
for months now, i've been praying an odd prayer. i've been desperately praying for a "moment" where some random person would, i don't know, speak into my infertility. and that too, happened this weekend. the last few minutes of the gathering is when i took a step and let go. and as soon as i did, i felt the chains break to the floor. i think i've been chained to that dream for so long, i couldn't actually step forward into anything else. there was too much weight i was dragging behind me.
and as i was getting ready to leave, this beautiful soul, abbey, came up to me, grabbed my hands, and said "god's not going to let me leave unless i say this to you. this baby thing, it's going to be okay. i don't know what okay is, but it's going to be okay." she didn't know me. she didn't know my story. in one of the breakout conversation times, i mentioned we had been trying for years, but that was all the detail i gave.
cue ugly cry.
once i let go, he stepped in. for me, it was confirmation that he hears my prayers. he's working on my behalf. and all he ever wanted was for me to loosen my grip of my worldly thing and cling tightly to his hand.
my heart has been so deeply impacted by this weekend. and if i'm honest with myself, if "my people" had been there, would i have been so desperately in tune with what He was speaking to my heart? i went believing and expecting and he delivered.
and all my heart has been able to do is thank him. and know he is good.