IF: Gathering happened this weekend – live in Austin, Texas and via live stream to thousands of women around the world who gathered in their living rooms and churches to hear what God had to say. To see what this ‘IF’ thing was really all about. I registered out of curiosity, recognition of some of the big names who were involved, and the fact that I’m an early-adopter who hates to feel left out of anything that seems like the next big thing.
If I’m completely honest? I didn’t want to like it. I didn’t want to be drawn to the speakers, impressed by the worship, delighted by the behind the scenes interviews. I fought all week in my mind about whether I would even tune in because it was all happening the same week as another big conference announcement, and this girl with this small blog and a tiny little platform was struggling. God was calling me to write a post about not wanting to write a viral post, and yet my heart was very much still craving to be known.
To be seen.
To be invited.
To be asked to participate.
Even if I knew I was out of my league, comfort zone, or skill set.
You never really stop feeling like you want to be part of the “in” crowd – you just learn to celebrate them instead of envy them. Or that’s the desire of my heart, anyway. Because, the truth is? I’m probably never going to be on a stage doing what those amazing, brave, Jesus-loving, Truth-sharing, authentic women did this weekend. I’m probably never going to be on a best seller list or be paid to speak or ever have the insanely cute hair of Angie Smith. I’m likely never going to be invited to go on a blogger trip or be given an award or even post twice in a week without typos. There are only so many conferences/opportunities and entirely too many already amazing women to choose from.
The enemy tried to convince me to be jealous, to believe that I was somehow – because I write these few words now & then on this page – entitled or deserving of being…anything. And in the past that would have worked, and I would have refused to do anything about the messages I’d heard while cooking dinner or baking cookies or doing any of the 100 daily mom things I did while the live stream played in the background. But God is asking me to do something else.
Because my identity and security aren’t going to come from standing on a stage or being part of a team of women who do incredibly brave, public things for the Kingdom. It’s found in God. And if that means that He keeps me in this space, with this community, writing these words – I believe that His purpose for my life will be done. The enemy tries to tell me I’m nothing.
The King tells me I’m His daughter.
So I might never start a charity, raise thousands of dollars for a non-profit, write a book, speak from a large platform, or have that viral post I don’t want to have anyway. And that’s ok. Honestly, I don’t know if there is anything life changing or impactful that God has planned for me after this weekend. I’m at peace with this: at the end of it all, when I’m face to face with God, He can look at my life and know that I believed. That I did all I could with all I was given while I ran the race. That I made it about Him, and not me.
If you tuned into IF: Gathering and would like to keep your “local” community going, I’d love to invite you to join (in)courage for (in)RL in April. I have a little invitation for you over at the (in)courage blog today 🙂
Roni Delmonico says
I am reminded of a young shepherd boy named David. Small, probably scrawny, I’m guessing he didn’t have insanely cool hair. Played a harp. Tended sheep. Ordinary, boring, common? Later, even worse. He got caught with Bathsheba. He wasn’t always the best parent. He was a total mess by earthly standards, Crystal. And yet, somehow, God called him a man after HIS own heart. Don’t underestimate the ways He may choose to use little ordinary you. Wow… maybe I ought to try listening to my own advice. You’re not alone in your struggles.. hugs to you.
LeeAnn Taylor says
Thank you for sharing your heart! As a brand new blogger myself, just trying to figure out this new world of words, I have thought many of the same things you wrote about. For me, my writing is an act of obedience, as I believe God wants me to use the gift of encouragement he’s given me to share my story of struggling with fear, moving to faith, and walking in freedom with others. Sometimes it’s easy to start thinking about all the possibilities that blogging offers…dreaming, but not necessarily in a healthy way. I’m trying to maintain the perspective that God will use my writing how He sees fit, and that my job is to write and offer myself to others and not try to control the situation (so much easier said than done…).
I. So. Get. This. Thank you for opening your heart here. These words matter to me, an even smaller blogger. 🙂
Satin P says
um… have you been reading my mind? been a fly on the wall of my brain? 😉 wowsers, crystal! this was so for me. my one word for 2014 is believe… believing that God can do big things through me, even if i never see them. believing that God can use me. believing that my dreams really will come true-in God’s time… absolutely love this post! love how you write. love your heart… bless you for blessing me (and countless others!) ♥
I know how you are feeling, but remember it is the small ones who work beind the scenes who make just as big an impact as the large ones who are front and center. We are all a part of the body and the body would not function if it were not for all the parts working together. I applaud your honesty 🙂
Karrilee Aggett says
Love this… love your consistent honesty about it all too, friend! I tuned in with a living room full of sisters and we leaned in together, Yessing and Amening together. What I loved about If:Gathering is that it gathered… and it released. Every woman on that stage (while they were all amazing and gifted and gorgeous and OH MY GAH can we just have a moment for Angie Smiths’ hair?) – they all pointed us to our real right now lives and said Go… make a difference! Change the world… they each reminded us that we have something to give… that we ARE impacting and changing lives and when we put Him first and love others next… the Kingdom comes! …and really, what’s not to love about that? (And now I am cutting and pasting this comment into a blog post! LOL!)
Thank you for this, Crystal. Love you, sista!
Diane Bailey says
Excellent! Well done, Crystal!
NJ @ A Cookie Before Dinner says
The If Gathering blew my world this weekend. I’ve struggled with a lot of the same things you’re currently wrestling with. I just wrote “but I know I’ll never achieve them.” And then I erased it. Because maybe they will happen someday, for you and for me. But if they do, we both know that it will be because of the Lord and not because of our selves. As a kid, I was never the popular one. I was the one who was always picked on and made fun of. I know that is why I want to be part of the “in crowd” and be known. But I’m done with it all. All I want is Jesus and I want Him all of the time. I’m cool with standing in the shadows and cheering for others. I really am. I feel at peace about of this too!
Oh girl… you and I, this weekend took hold of a baton of faith. I’m right in this race with you girl, running straight to our God in the knowing we were made for a purpose – to believe in the victory of Christ of death to live a life free and that He has called us… we only need to be willing and available. Love you to pieces friend. To pieces!