May 2, 2024 | Brooke Gentzel

“When I first attended IF:Gathering at Kingsway in 2022 I was in a place in my spiritual journey where I knew I needed to do something uncomfortable and I knew I needed God. When I heard about IF:Gathering I signed up and planned on attending by myself.  I got an email a few days before saying they needed some volunteers. I ended up stepping into that. There, I worked alongside two women and got to know them a little better. I still attended IF:Gathering by myself but it was super nice to have at least two new faces I recognized.  During one of the worship sets, I started to pray for God to reveal himself to me. This isn't something I've ever prayed before but I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to praying that. In that moment I felt God saying to me, ‘Courtney, I love you. Courtney, I love you’. I was overcome with so much relief, love, and calmness. I ended up running into someone I knew after lunch and told her about this. She encouraged me to write it down in my journal so that I'd always be able to reflect on that. And I'm so thankful I did….My hope for you all is that you each open your hearts today for God to reveal himself to you, too.” This is how Courtney Carr (IF leader) welcomed the women attending IF: Gathering in early April. As she spoke, there was a sense of peace within the room. It was a pivotal step in setting up the day; for women to be prepared to step into what the Lord was calling them to.

Courtney stated, “Our prayer from the beginning was that women would experience Jesus. In order for this to happen I believe we have to be able to feel loved, and when you feel loved you can be vulnerable and when you offer vulnerability to God, you can experience him more.” This prayer for the event was evident as guests were welcomed in by smiling faces, delicious coffee, and the immediate opportunity for connection on the “FIND A FRIEND” wall. It was clear that IF:2024 was more than just a conference; it was a place for connection.

Emilee Mally, one of the event leaders, said, “Connection is so important because it shows us we are not alone! We need community of all kinds; deep connections and causal ones! Even after one day, my heart was lighter and I had more people to wave to at church the next day! I heard someone say, ‘When we share, our joys are multiplied and the things that weigh us down get divided’. I think this is so true; being in it together makes all the difference.” Courtney agreed by saying, “…we were created to be connected to one another and to God. It is so important to have relationships where you learn from, encourage, have accountability, and be challenged by each other. If I didn't have a connection with the women that I do, I would feel lonely in so many emotions: joy, shame, heartache, celebrations and so much more. When we have connection and can open up through vulnerability and honesty, we soon feel known and loved by each other. That kind of connection with other women has led me to understand the feeling of being known and loved by God.”

The women attending IF were given exactly that: a place to feel known. They were given the space to worship, learn from speakers, and connect in small groups. Emilee shared of her own group, “Twice during the day, we broke up into small groups to help connect and process the information given by the speakers. It was so cool to hear how 8 women who had never met before had all gone through the same experience (infertility) and how they can share hope and encourage each other while being in different stages of life…..I saw God show up for ladies with a message that was just what they needed to hear in that moment, with just the right people sitting by them to chat about it. There was a feeling in the room of peace, knowing that God was near and showing His love to His daughters gathering together!”

We want you to feel known, too. Join us at Gather: a monthly women’s meeting, on Wednesday, May 8. Register below to let us know you’ll be there, but anyone is welcome to drop in!



Sundays at 9:00 AM | 11:00 AM | ONLINE

Kingsway Christian Church
7981 E County Road 100 N | Avon, Indiana 46123