This weekend, I attended the If:Gathering at Hill County Bible Church in Pflugerville, Texas.
I was blown away when Jennie Allen, Author and Founder of If:Gathering, announced the theme of the If:Gathering 2015 was Joshua. Now, she could have started at Joshua Chapter 1, but she didn’t. She started reading from Numbers 13-14, the passage where the Israelites b-l-e-w it big time.
That was the 3rd time I heard a message on Numbers 13-14 since I moved to Austin, TX.
Um, God—are you trying to tell me something, BECAUSE I CERTAINLY THINK SO!
- I heard a lecture at BSF about how to determine when we’re ready for a do over. The places of our former defeats can become a great victory even when every natural instinct of the heart is to work against failure.
- I read a verse in my quiet time that showed me that it’s okay to be scared. I want to let you know that it’s okay to feel scared, because one thing I know for sure is that God has already gone before me.
- I watched as Jennie at If:Gathering shared 3 questions to stop asking immediately: Am I enough? Are we going to be safe? What is it going to cost me?
I love it when God speaks in 3’s, don’t you?
The first time I heard the message—I was super excited. The last time I lived in Texas over ten years ago—I thought I failed at serving God. I didn’t finish my nine and a half month long discipleship training school. I lost the skin off my hands due to severe eczema. I had to move back home to California, and spent the next three years recovering.
Lesson #1: Don’t waste the wanderings in your wilderness. God will move you forward!
The second time I heard the message—I was kind of curious. How had I missed the two-part promise in Joshua? Was God really here with me in Texas the second time, even though I have no clue as to why Austin and why now?
Lesson #2: We can be bold and courageous because God goes with us.
The third time I heard the message—I was deeply humbled. Was I measuring myself, and the ministry God gave me against the giants in the land? Instead of asking the 3 questions that kept me in bondage, I needed to confess and repent of my sins.
Lesson #3: I want my life to ask better questions.
Jennie shared from Numbers 13:33 that says,
“We saw the Nephilim there (the descendants of Anak come from the Nephilim). We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them.”
That word stood out to me because that’s how I feel right now.
It’s not about putting faith in my feelings–it’s about trusting and waiting.
I just got the rights back to Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me. I now own the rights to a-l-l of my books. I don’t want to miss this full circle moment. God brought me back to Texas—the land I thought I had failed at serving God. I spent the last ten years of my life trying to explain to the world why I thought I failed. It took two publishers, and four revisions until Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me was published.
And now? God is saying enough. Kill the story. I am asking the wrong questions. Stop! Not so that I’ll look like a grasshopper like everyone else. God doesn’t want me to look like anyone else, but the woman He created. Me.
Maybe I spent the last ten years learning how to forgive myself for measuring up to others expectations.
WHAA? said the Minion.
Let me say that again. Maybe I spent the last ten years forgiving myself for not becoming someone I wasn’t born to be. Because I wasn’t. God created me to be passionate AND peaceful. Broken AND beautiful.
I loved this quote from Jennie,
It isn’t about our measurable faith, but about our immeasurable God.
At the end of the conference, Esther Havens shared that several people had shared a similar vision of her not taking the last step before jumping off the cliff while she was at YWAM (similar to the DTS program I didn’t complete). Then, Jennie asked us what was stopping us from taking the next last step. She told us to write it on a rock and remember (Joshua 4:19-24).
So I did.
I wrote: stop measuring myself.
And did I mention the rock is in the shape of a heart—my #oneword365 for 2015?