I pulled into the parking lot at Fair Market in Austin, Texas last Tuesday night and took a deep breath to steady myself. I don’t recall the last time I was this nervous. My rational brain was telling me there was no need to be nervous, but I was just the same. I grabbed my camp chair and walked across the street to the front doors, where an adorable woman looked at me and said, “Are you here for IF: Gathering? You must be. You just look like an IF: Gathering person.”

I wish I could tell her how much those words changed my fear into faith and courage and allowed me to walk in the doors that night.

Since moving to Austin four years ago, when we enrolled my son at a Lutheran preschool, I’ve become more and more interested in the amazing church community that is here. I’ve steadily been learning more – following Christian thought leaders and music artists on social media, reading their books and blogs – and I’ve been so grateful for the insights I’ve received and the things I’ve learned. And even though I’ve yearned to reach out to these people, I’ve been really afraid for some reason. Then Multiply Goodness came along.

I’ve been involved with Emily behind the scenes here for about a month and a half now, and I really believe in what we are doing. I love the video and text at the top of the Who We Are page. And everyone who writes here, and everyone behind the scenes really fits this description – good people, with good intentions, who love Jesus, and have a passion for making a difference in the world. The women who lead IF: Gathering perfectly fit that description and are friends with Emily and know and love her, so I knew I was welcome in their space. They are good people, with good intentions, who love Jesus, and have a passion for making a difference in the world. I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t be part of a community who sought find common ground with others who love Jesus if I wasn’t willing to actually go out and do it myself. So, I shored up my courage and went in.

We sat on the floor on blankets and in chairs as Jennie Allen and Lindsey Nobles started the meeting. There was music – great music – from a worship band from another church in Austin. We went through the Savior’s intercessory prayer in John 17 section by section, and we prayed. We prayed to offer gratitude. We prayed for God’s church and His people.

I was feeling pretty comfortable until we were asked to pray in groups of two or three. A prayer of unity and love for all believers. We were asked to turn to the person next to us and pray aloud with them.

I think my heart stopped.

I’m happy to pray. Aloud or silently. But I’d never had this experience of taking turns praying aloud with another person before. Thankfully, Cassi, the sweet woman next to me turned to me and we just started praying aloud together. It was a sweet experience. We continued to pray together over the evening as we were asked to, and I was so grateful for this dear woman who was opening her heart and soul and for her willingness to pray with me and allow me to feel comfortable in a situation where I was feeling quite out of my comfort zone. As we prayed together, I was amazingly touched by the spirit. It was real and tangible in that room. It was humbling. That’s really the only word to describe it. And I’m so glad I went. Jennie Allen (who I was so honored to get a chance to speak to) and her team are doing outstanding things. I hope to continue to be part of their work going forward.

I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to do this. It’s been a week, and I’m still processing the whole thing. But I’m grateful I found the courage to do something that was outside of my comfort zone. Especially since it’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.

Is there something you need to do today, but you’re feeling fear that is holding you back? What will you do to step into courage? Amazing experiences might be waiting beyond that step.

Step into that courage today. You look like the kind of person who does courageous things.

 


 

If you’re interested in experiencing a bit of what I experienced that night, you can watch the webcast at the IF: Gathering website. I hope if you watch, you’ll pray along with us. And I hope you’ll be as humbled and amazed by these amazing women and their desire to do good in the world and spread the Gospel around the world as I am.

If you don’t have time to watch, here are some of my favorite moments:

God told us: You’re my Plan A. You. You go into the ends of the earth. You tell them that I love them. You tell them that I care. You tell them that their lives have purpose. That hope is theirs. @jenhatmaker

Erase the places where we feel different from one another and raise up the places where we are the same. @jenhatmaker

I feel like it’s crazy to want anything else on this earth but Him. But we do. We do, dadgummit. @jennieallen

Everybody’s going to know you by your love, Jesus said. That’s how they’re going to know your life. @jennieallen

As far as it concerns me, I do not want to live in jealousy and fear. I do not want to not believe God. I do not want to think that my life is small. I don’t want to think about myself. I want to think about Him and see what He could do. As far as it concerns me. @jennieallen

And the music! The music was outstanding. Most of the songs were familiar hymns, but my favorite song was one unfamiliar to me called Oceans. You need to read these lyrics. They’re amazing.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Macy Robison
Mom, photographer, web designer, speaker, performer and donut enthusiast from Austin, TX. Partial to Sonic crushed ice and having tickle fights with my kids. http://macyrobison.com
Macy Robison
Macy Robison

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