Over a year ago I participated in an IF Table through my church. It was definitely a God thing as I was considering putting my name on the list to participate and when I called to discuss it, I was told I was ON the list and I had been assigned to a table.
What is an IF Table?
It’s 6 women of faith, coming together to share a meal and answer 4 questions about God and life. The questions are provided by the If Gathering website each month with a guide for how to facilitate the meals.
It was an incredible experience and I loved getting to know the women at my table. It was funny as I was the oldest woman at the table with the oldest children. That was a first. Over the course of our year together three of the women became pregnant and of those three, two had their babies. It was the first time I was the “older” mom in a group. I kind of had to do a reset of my mindset for this new experience.
When I attended the IF Gathering Conference this past February, we were guided to change the format of the ‘Table’ a bit. Jennie Allen prompted us to not only ask women of faith to participate in our tables but to ask our neighbors, our friend, anyone. She believes that opening the Table up to all women would allow the direction of Jesus and discipleship to be something tangible.
As I sat in my seat over the weekend at the If Conference I prayed about women and who I might ask to join my table should I decide to lead. Interestingly enough, over those 3 days a name would pop into my mind and I would write it down. I wasn’t filtering in any way and allowed God to be at work through me. On the last day I looked at my notebook and there were 5 names on the list.
I came home and told Matt about it and he thought it would be unlikely that all 5 women would participate but I mustered up the courage to ask them one by one. I called with a personal invitation to participate to be a part of my If Table for the year. Each woman listened and asked questions and in the end agreed. My heart was and is full from this experience.
We had our first ‘Table’ just over a week ago. It was pretty amazing how we all came together and shared a meal and a bit about our lives. Everyone knew me and some knew each other a bit and some met for the first time. We each answered the 4 questions, one by one, sharing, laughing and even crying at times from the authenticity everyone brought to the table.
We have committed to coming together once a month for a year. We know that we may not be able to attend all 12 meals but the intention is there and as long as two of us can make it, the Table will happen.
I feel deeply blessed to be on this journey with these women. I’m not quite sure what God has in store for me or for them but I know that this was bigger than me. There is something at work here. I can’t wait to raise a glass at the last table, a year from now, to see the changes in myself and the women around me.
If you’re interested in the concept of an If Table you can visit the IF Gathering website to learn more.