Connecting With Others Even If Life Is Hard

Posted on May 29, 2022

Connecting With Others Even If Life Is Hard

After six weeks of prayer, planning, and preparation, the “cross-campus” core team behind IF: Chase Oaks 2021 welcomed more than 225 women to our Sloan Creek Campus for a very special break from their summer routines. These women gathered with a clear purpose: to connect deeply with one another and with God through powerful teaching, dynamic worship, heartfelt prayer, and honest conversations, even if life is hard.

The women were able to enjoy live prayer and worship, as well as digital highlights from this year’s IF:Gathering. The IF:Gathering is an annual conference inspired by the question, “If God is real, then what?” Launched in 2014 by bestselling author Jennie Allen, IF: has brought women together to learn more about God and to inspire them to live out their faith every day. The national conference features compelling stories of people who are pursuing a calling to change the world and disciple an entire generation.

Those gathered at the Sloan Creek Campus heard messages from featured speakers including Lysa Terkeurst, Rebekah Lyons, Mike Todd, Francis Chan, Jada Edwards, Christine Caine, and Bianca Olthoff, as well as live messages from two Chase Oaks women. All explored the theme “Even if…” as they pointed to the truth that no matter what happens, God is still moving and working in and around us, and He is still good.

And God did indeed move and work throughout the weekend. The two live speakers shared from the heart about seeing that God is good, no matter what our circumstances may be. One of the speakers bravely spoke about the devastating loss of her 3-month-old baby boy less than a year ago. Her pain, still fresh and raw, has led her to understand the profound comfort found in God’s loving presence, “even if...” her story now includes the most heartbreaking reality a parent could face.

The conference also gave the women special opportunities to pray for and with one another. One part of the time was dedicated to inviting God to work one another’s lives and specific challenges. The prayer “lead” for the conference asked women to stand if they were dealing with a particular issue, and all who were present prayed out loud, simultaneously, for those who were standing. The elders’ wives then offered a closing prayer for those women before the group focused on the next issue in prayer.

Women who have been struggling with loss and grief, marriage stress, mental health, financial stress, and more were able to hear others asking God to work on their behalf. At least one woman shared afterward that it was the first time she had ever prayed aloud. She stated that it was the most moving thing she has ever participated in.

Throughout the gathering, three women led the group in simple, authentic worship. They concluded the final portion with a voices-only version of “Holy, Holy, Holy” by candlelight—a beautiful, reverent declaration of faith in the God Who had brought all of these women together.

Each woman left the weekend spiritually renewed and recharged. And at least one person also took a major step forward in her spiritual journey: after attending the Legacy Campus for the past few months, she decided on Friday evening to become a follower of Christ. Like the other women present at IF:Chase Oaks this weekend, she now has a fresh vision to live out her faith and calling in her daily life.

Invite some friends to join you for IF:Chase Oaks 2022 on June 24-25! Find more info and register for this refreshing summer "reset" here.

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