Sunday, January 1, 2017

Taking Back Ground

4 minutes. 
Sold Out. 
In under 4 minutes. 

IF:Austin 2016.
And I got a ticket!

I was blown away! 

IF:Gathering has been such an integral piece of my story over the last four years and I while I had hosted IF:Local for three years, I wanted to attend the live gathering in Austin, TX. God granted me a ticket! I was stoked! I wasn't sure how I'd make it work, but I was so thankful to have at least gotten a ticket. That's the hardest part! 

So I started praying for the way to be prepared for me. 

A flight from Charleston to Austin isn't cheap...neither are hotel rooms for 3 nights. It wasn't looking very hopeful!

Cue February when my husband's 18-month position at our church came to an end, he still (after 6 months of looking) didn't have a full time position, the church decided they didn't want to extend his position at all, 70 % of our income was cut out of our budget over-night, and we were asked to live off of our (meager) savings...with two small children and a third on the way...

I determined there was no way I could go. 
I contacted IF:Gathering administration and asked that they give my ticket to the next person on the waiting list. 

I knew it was what I had to do. What was best for my family. 
But it was hard! That once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was snatched from me. I believe that Satan did everything he could to keep me from going. And he succeeded. 

But God...
I once again hosted an IF:Local (pretty spur-of-the-moment) and more than 40 women from several different churches from around the area attended. God blessed that gathering of women immensely! 

September of 2016 when tickets to IF:Austin 2017 were to go on sale, I decided to try again for a ticket. 

2 minutes. 
This year they sold out in 2 minutes.

And AGAIN I got a ticket!

So that once-in-a-lifetime thing that the Enemy tried to steal?
God gave it back. 
He is restoring what the enemy attempted to destroy. 
He has stolen much from our family in the last year, but we are taking back that ground in the coming days, months, years.  
We aren't exactly sure what that looks like, but it definitely encompasses taking full advantage of this opportunity in front of me.
Hubs and I are convinced that we aren't letting anything keep me from going. 

Yesterday I purchased my airline ticket! 
I'm working on plans for a place to stay. 

It is happening. 
I'm beyond thrilled and thankful! 
I have no idea what God wants to do in my heart while I am there, but its obvious that He wants me there. I have no doubt there will be obstacles (like leaving my 9-month old super-clingy-to-momma baby...) but I know I am to push through. I know I am supposed to be there. 

So, will you pray with me? Will you pray for my family while I am away  next month? Will you pray for flights to go as planned and obstacles to be minimal? 

This will be a spiritual battle in the heavenlies and the only way to fight it will be with the spiritual weapon of prayer that we have been given. 

If you'd like to help me get there, I am putting all proceeds from my Etsy shop this month toward the cost of the trip. 


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