IF: LocalWhile the fire blazes in the fireplace in front of me and a glass of Pinot Noir sits beside me, I sit in awe of our God.

In awe of His love for me.
In awe of His love for you.

He is doing great things in our day, and I feel privileged just to have captured a glimpse of it.

I remember, fourteen years ago, sitting with a small group of girls from our college group at church. At the time, I was in a season of restoration. Having a broken, bruised, and battered soul, I was trying to put myself back together piece by piece. But even though I sat among Christian women in a Christian small group that day, I felt alone. I felt unseen.

And I had no idea what to do.

So, eventually I did what anyone else would do if they were in my position. I changed things. Because if no one is doing what you think should be done, ya might as well do it yourself, right?!

Fast forward about a year later where I sat in a different city, at a different college, with my own small group of college girls. I was twenty-one years old and felt called to full-time ministry. In the church.

Being a woman, I didn’t know what that could look like for me. I couldn’t find a path for a woman pursuing ministry in my church, and I didn’t know other women ahead of me with similar desires or aspirations. I felt very alone in my dreams and passions.
But I was determined to do something.

So I started with what was in front of me. That day, with a small group of girls, I started sharing the things I dreamed of.

  • I dreamed of a day where Christian women would unite together.
  • When they would stop comparing themselves and start cheering for each other.
  • When they weren’t gripped by jealousy but moved by their deep love for one another.
  • When they didn’t allow fear to control them but take initiative to change.

In every women’s small groups I’ve led over the last fourteen years, I’ve shared this dream. Semester after semester, year after year.

But I got tired.
I became weary.

Getting women to stop being insecure, stop comparing themselves, stop being jealous of each other, and to stop gossiping is not as easy as I thought. It’s hard work. 

Not to mention, on top of that vision, I was battling my own insecurities and comparison issues. I guess I just thought that by confessing and sharing this dream, other women would be inspired. And maybe they were. And maybe for those women, things did change.

But I wasn’t content. I wanted more.
What I really wanted was for the reputation of Christian women at large to change.
Completely and utterly change.

And fourteen years later, I think it might finally be happening.
I saw something this weekend that breathed a fresh flame on an old dream.
I have hope once again.

I saw thousands of women gathering across the world because of an event called IF:Gathering. Twelve hundred women gathered in Austin, TX, but thousands more gathered across the globe. Some in churches, some in living rooms, and together, they came and they sought Jesus.

If: Gathering was a beautiful coming together of women across the world who love Jesus. Women who want the Gospel to change everything about them and the world they live in.

The women who led the event were colorful in every way. Artists, mothers, preachers, musicians, single women, teachers, poets, leaders, foodies, celebrities, writers, singers, bloggers and the list could go on and on. But as different as everyone there was, there were two things in common- they were all women and they all loved Jesus.

It was a beautiful thing. And I believe it’s just the beginning of something God wants to do among women for such a time as this. I can’t wait to see what will come of it and to see the name of Jesus be lifted High among women in our generation.

Mandy Sig

 

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