Race Bravely

Faith, Life February 7, 2014

A few days ago I wrote about my hopes for the IF:Gathering. While I didn’t know what to expect as far as schedule, content, or anything else really, I had high hopes for the purpose of this gathering.

I sit here tonight with mascara-stained cheeks inspired, humbled, challenged, filled up, and happily wiped out.

I was looking for messy authenticity, and all around the music hall I found it. Women around me held nothing back as we dove deep into conversation, wrestling with questions like “What are you afraid of?” and “What is holding you back?”


This morning I met with women from across the country and I asked them what they hoped to find here at the IF:Gathering. Each one of them expressed a desire to take two days to strip away that which usually defines them, whether wife, mom, student, caregiver, ministry leader…and really get to the core of who they are. To find the whole of who God made them to be and in doing so find their purpose. These women are feeling what I’ve been feeling, restless. Ready to be brave, ready to be bold, ready to run the race Jesus has marked out for them.

Today we started that race. Through words of truth spoken by women of great faith, we were reminded to race bravely. To refuse to be divided by unnecessary things. To hold hands and jump out of our comfort zones.

We were reminded that if we believe God is real, then we should live like it.

That we should stop competing for a spot at the table and start championing each other.

That we should take time to slow down and create sacred space around the dinner table.

That we should choose to live as a generation of women who are known for how we shine acceptance, love, hope, and joy to the people around us.

And that now is the time to throw off the weight of perfectionism and run the messy race of authentic faith.


To find out more about the IF:Gathering, click here.

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  • Back To The Book Nutrition February 8, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Awesome….can’t wait to hear more!

    • InspiredRD February 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Did you get to watch any online?

      • Back To The Book Nutrition February 10, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        I didn’t – just did some hashtag stalking and heard great reports from some who gathered locally! Grateful to soak up some of the ripple effects 🙂

  • Angel Haynes February 8, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Yes! All of this happened in our local Tucson group, too. So powerful, rich, and good.

    • InspiredRD February 10, 2014 at 10:01 am

      I’m so glad your gathering went well!

  • Stephanie Sheaffer February 8, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    So many familiar faces in that photo!

    Please tell us more. I followed the IFGathering hashtag on twitter and it sounded powerful + inspiring!

    • InspiredRD February 10, 2014 at 10:00 am

      I’ll be posting more, I promise! Trying to process my thoughts (there are a lot of them). Did you watch online?

      • Stephanie Sheaffer February 10, 2014 at 8:38 pm

        Wish I could have! We have company at our house from out-of-town right now…plus a full calendar of homeschooling, hiking, baby-rocking, and writing. 😉

        I look forward to reading your thoughts, observations, and top takeaways.

  • Kelley Maranto Mathews February 9, 2014 at 6:03 am

    It was a privilege to sit with you and hear your story, Alysa—and to pray. “Authentic,” indeed!

    • InspiredRD February 10, 2014 at 10:00 am

      The privilege was mine. Thank you for letting me be vulnerable and authentic. You blessed my socks off!