IF: Gathering Guatemala - May 2017
Pictured above is just a few of us who attended IF: Gathering last year! It was an amazing time with some incredible ladies, all from different walks of life, different reasons for being there and to look around and see everyone was such a breath of fresh air. It was a phenomenal experience., I went home feeling empowered, confident and more in love with Jesus. There was a fire within me that needed to burst out. I had so many thoughts to process and never felt more free!
Now today I sit in my room, fresh from experiencing IF: Gathering 2017. This year I wasn't able to attend the local IF in Katy due to work obligations but I knew I would't miss what the Lord had for me this year. I knew He would meet me no matter the location. So in my p.j's I sat in my bed on Saturday night and logged in to live.ifgathering.com and was expectant. God surely showed up and now I sit typing away and not quite sure what to unload to you. It was beautiful and authentic and a wake up call. To hear all that was shared and poured out was truly therapeutic and amazing. It fueled more of the fire within and I'm besides myself.
You see it is simple, 'IF' all in a nutshell was about going back to basics. Going back to the early church when Jesus took in 12 men and did life with them. He loved, walked and taught them by being with them day in and day out. He showed them true love and sacrifice and when He left, He left them the gift of His word and Holy spirit. The 12 went on to change the world with what they had learned and what they had been given. They had all the tools, most importantly they said Yes to the call.
Jennie Allen, the Founder of IF:Gathering said this:
This impacted me because this is what I want! My hearts desire is that my children and those around me would know my love for who first loved and chose me. I want to love Jesus so much so that I point people to know His love for them. I believe that's why we were all created. I believe that He uses us in our weakness and messed up lives to show those who do not know Him that life with Him is much more rewarding, pure and purposeful.
God also spoke clearly through her statement in that He doesn't want our Yes to him to come with limitations or our own ideals or plans. He doesn't want us to limit how he has purposed to use us. Following Him is not glamours or means that all will be great without hurt, pain or sacrifice. Following Him comes with sacrifice of self and surrender daily. It comes with no platforms, grand followings or material richness. It's sometimes dirty and grimy and hard but oh so fulfilling. It comes with contentment over your uncontrollable situation, and complete trust that He has a purpose and plan for all things in your life.
Man that hit me in the gut! It was so good and I believe this will resonate with me till the end. I will pray that and I'm so thankful that I heard this. This should be our heart, our stance. This will change the lives around us, this will change the world.
It all begins with Yes, that simple. Another speaker that touch my heart was Jill Briscoe below is her portion at If
God used this woman and I just can't explain to you how incredible it was to listen to her words of wisdom. I mean hear for yourself. Thank you Jesus for using Jill to reach my heart.
So all this that I'm sharing with you is to say that I have said Yes. Couple months back, I was asked to join some incredible women in bringing If: Gathering to Guatemala in May of 2017. When I got the call, I have to be honest and say that my first thought was why me? Is this a joke? I stayed quiet and then responded that I needed to pray about it. I couldn't sleep that night, my thoughts were everywhere. Mostly battling off the enemy who so desperately was trying to convince me that this was not a good idea. That I would regret going if I chose to do so. I finally opened up His word and began seeking God for my answer. He reminded me that I have always been called and that this was my time to use all that I have walked through, all that I had pained through. This was the time to move.
So in May I will be joining these ladies with the tools that IF:Gathering will provide to us to bring God's goodness to women in Guatemala. I will lead worship and I can't express to you how incredibly honored and blessed I am to have been given this opportunity. I will of course keep you guys updated through blog posts here on itzmejuzlo and be sure to follow me on Instagram for photos.
So here is the thing, although If: Gathering is equipping us with the tools we are asking for help in raising money to help get us there. If God has pressed it in your heart to help us in any way with any amount you may do so by going to the If: Women's Mission Trip page and donate to this amazing trip. I believe God is going to impact these ladies in Guatemala the way He has so impacted my life. This is a way He has called what He has given me to give back.