Letting God Be God
by IF:Local Coach, Kelly Bosch
December 5, 2013 was a day that changed my life. It was the day my mom, Susan, was diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. We, which included my dad, had been waiting for the results since August. Well, to be honest, we’d been waiting for confirmation since my mom first starting showing symptoms that something was wrong. My mom’s sister died 7 years earlier from ALS and we knew what was coming. We were as prepared as one could be for what was to come. I was at peace.
You see, I trusted God. Completely actually. I knew He would take care of my mom. I knew He would use the time to draw us close and stir my parents’ hearts toward Jesus. There was no fear. There was no anger. There was sadness, but only for a goodbye that would ultimately come earlier than desired. There was no unhappiness with God for I trusted His plan.
It’s always been that way for me. The big stuff was easy to give to God. Our amazing God would make all things perfect in His time. This isn’t a mantra for me. It’s my honest belief. It’s freeing in many ways. However, it wasn’t enough. Because although I trusted God with the big stuff, I could never really give him the smaller details. It was never more apparent than when IF came tumbling into my lap last year.
Lisa Adams, our church’s Director of Missions, could no longer lead our IF experience due to another project. She asked if I could take the reins. Sure I said. No big deal I said. I took over with confidence. Then, I started think about it.
What about the details? How would we promote this? Would people register? What about food? Are they going to tell us anything in advance? What in the world have I gotten myself into?
I’m a planner…and a perfectionist. A terrible combination when you can’t trust God to handle the details. I began to panic. I thought the weight of the entire IF:Local was on my shoulders. How was I going to do it? Then God stepped in.
A partner appeared. Erin Kerschner would be by my side to help me pull it off. And she doesn’t worry. At. All. Then Karen Bernard stepped up. Followed by Sarah Aldrich and Becky Dvorak. I was surrounded by amazing women who wanted to help carry the load. Eventually the team would grow to include more women God was using to make IF what HE wanted it to be.
Then God started to speak. Or maybe I just started to listen. Deep in my soul I felt a stirring. If I could trust God with something as big as my mom’s life why couldn’t I trust Him with a gathering of women? Why did it have to be my way? Why did every little detail need to be planned out? Was I trying to please God or was it my extreme fear of failure taking over? During a sleepless night I finally raised my hands and said, “Alright God. This is yours. Take it. Lead it. I will simply follow.” It was the biggest challenge I’d faced in my job. And it was the best decision I’ve ever made.
Of course there were packets to create, information to distribute, snacks to buy, and decorations to work out. But there was no stress. Okay, there wasn’t that much stress. When the IF livestream started on February 7th, I got to sit down. I actually was able to listen. To participate. To be moved. Which if I’m being honest, I never would have experienced if I continued to chase the idea of a perfect IF experience.
IF:Gathering 2014 changed my life. It redefined my purpose. IF showed me that while I was busy in the details and searching for a calling, I was already running my race. When I finally let God be God, He showed me who I was meant to be. No more chasing. No more uncertainty. No more fear. My God is big enough to take care of it all.
Some days are still a challenge. I will forever be a work in progress. But I can honestly say I have been changed.
I would never say details aren’t important. I would never say planning is overrated. I haven’t changed that much. I will say that leaving room for God to do what only He can do will get you a whole lot further. It may even change your life.
So as you prepare for what’s ahead, don’t ask yourself what you need to do. Instead, ask whether you’re letting God be big enough to take care of it all. At the end of the day, He’s going to do it anyway.
How do you get involved?
If you want to attend an IF:Local in your area, you can search here.
If you feel led to host an IF:Local, register here and we will send you resources to guide you every step of the way. Here is the hub to get equipped.
If you’d like to learn more about the vision for IF:Local and the 2-day gathering this February, watch the vision cast hosted by Jennie Allen and a few friends.