My first experience with IF was the the IF: Gathering last February. I joined a local group of women for two days full of learning and asking "what would it look like IF we lived like Jesus?" It was a gift to gather with women of all ages to worship, listen to, and stand in awe of our God. During these two days I was moved, challenged, heard, encouraged, & believed in by these new and old friends.
One of the many important things I walked away with was knowing the importance of gathering around a table. They encouraged the IF: Table, an idea based on Acts 2:46, "They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts." I had recently started meeting every other week with a group of women who I would consider my people. The women who know me through & though, cheer me on, and point me to Truth. We met every other Tuesday to gather around one of our kitchen tables, share a meal, and share our lives.
Gathering around a table has taught me a lot about Jesus. And He has taught me that when we gather, as I prepare food, or share a meal with those who know me, that He does not only nourish my body, but my spirit as well. We can love others by serving them in our kitchen, but we can also love ourselves by taking a place at the table. At this place He feeds us & we choose to honor the fact that He has made us to need Him and others.
Here is a recent piece Neal created for the Cedar Valley's IF: Table. Our hope is that it moves more women to say YES to the table & the work God does there.