I hope you will spend a few minutes reading about how God is moving through Natalie in Colorado.
IF: Who are you?
NT: I am a wife, mother of 2, daughter, sister, lover of books and learning.
IF: Where do you live?
NT: Broomfield, CO
IF: How have you used IF’s tools & resources to lead in your local contexts?
NT: The IF Tumblr page has been my saving grace…everything I need to host an IF:Local all in one place. It was so helpful leading last year as well as preparing for this year’s gathering. During my gathering last year having conversations card and my leader’s guide helped me to make sure the weekend ran smoothly. Also all the videos, IF:Pray materials and the visioncasts helped me in reaching out to others, sharing IF and helping me feel prepared to lead and share the vision of IF.
IF:Equip has become a huge part of my life, I have fallen in love with reading the word again. I am not a morning person but have found myself setting my alarm early, ready to start each day reading God’s word before anyone is stirring in my house and it changes the tone of my entire day. Several women I gathered with last year have been participating in IF:Equip and having us all studying the same thing has created unity. It has also been the biggest way I have encouraged women to get connected to IF. After sharing IF with someone, I invite them to participate in IF:Equip.
IF: What has been the scariest, most challenging aspect of leading for you?
NT: The hardest part is feeling so unqualified and that the task is too big. I often question if God has really called me to this but time and again I hear him remind me that yes this is what I am supposed to be doing. It has challenged my faith remembering it is not about how eloquent I am when I am sharing IF with others or how beautiful the events are or even the number of people that show up but it is all about what God is doing in my heart and those around me and my obedience to show up and say yes. I have to constantly remind myself to not over complicate it; love God, love others and keep it simple and pure and let God do the rest.
IF: How has God awakened you?
NT: There is a fire in me again for Jesus and his kingdom. I believe God has entrusted me with a small part of his kingdom and I have a responsibility to take care of my place and my people. I feel like I have a purpose in God’s plan and I am a part of something bigger then myself. I have learned that my small yes can have amazing ripples that extend farther then I can imagine. I have become passionate about women and gathering them. I believe women right now are so restless for more: more of God and a more abundant purposeful life. I believe this world can be changed through women coming together united in the name of Jesus and we are ready to be change makers. God has also awakened in me the power of his grace. I have lived most of my life with a law locked heart thinking my performance mattered most to God. I now hear God whispering to me “you are my daughter, I see you and you are enough.” There is such a beautiful freedom in living in grace and truth and offering that to everyone else in my life.
IF: How have your relationships with others deepened?
NT: IF has reminded me to be intentional with others. I know investing in other women, listening to them, allowing them to know they matter and their story matters is what every woman longs for. Everyone wants to be heard and IF has reminded me of how important authentic community is. Creating a safe place for stories to be shared, asking intentional questions are the things that create deep meaningful relationships. One of the biggest things IF has instilled in me is that we are for each other. Through the example of the leadership team and through IF:Local leaders I see women saying; we aren’t in competition, we are for each other. Throwing off the competition and comparing changes everything and is so counter cultural. Knowing one person’s success doesn’t equal my failure provides the freedom to truly cheer one another on in our marked races. Every women has unique gifts and a role to play and no gift or role is better or more important then the other. My job is to play my part the best I can and cheer on every other woman around me to live out her calling using the gifts uniquely give to her.
IF: How have you seen God show up in your life and the life of the women you are gathering, equipping, and unleashing?
NT: Last year as soon as the gathering was announced I was in. I convinced a couple of friends to come with me to Austin even though we really didn’t know much about IF, I just knew in my spirit this was for me. Registration day came and we logged on and tried and tried to get tickets. I got one and was elated but within minutes I realized I was the only one. I had no idea what to do. There were so many mixed emotions. When I finally quieted myself I asked the Lord to guide me and instantly I heard the words “stay home.” I started to have a pity party thinking IF Local wouldn’t be nearly as fun or meaningful and then I heard again ”if you don’t lead who will.” I was the one who was passionate about the gathering and I needed to lead my people. I passed my ticket on to another woman and I began planning my local gathering.
We rented a beautiful mountain home and 10 women came together and shared a powerful weekend. Women crushed by marriage struggles found hope, women who struggled with relationships with other women found hope, women who were struggling in their faith found hope. We shared meals and stories. We shared dreams and passions. It was a beautiful time on unity and growth and I knew I was right where God planned for me to be the whole time, he showed up and showed off. Now 3 of the women that came last year are planning their own local gatherings to reach the women in their lives. Just two weeks ago having coffee with one of the women she said “thank you for saying yes last year so I could say yes this year.”
We are a generation of women that believes God at His Word that He called us to our places and will use us for His glory and for the good of His people. We have seen God move in incredible ways already and believe it was only the beginning. We will come together around the world on February 6-7, 2015 in a spirit of humility and unity to pray that God will work in even greater ways.
We have chosen to forgo a set ticket price, and are asking you to partner with us, by making a donation to the vision of IF. We are half way to raising our event budget. If everyone gives at least $25, then we will be able to pay for the gathering in 2015.