IF: Gathering

 

 If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you know that this past weekend I was blessed to attend a local IF: Gathering at my home church.  If you have never heard of IF: Gathering, you should definitely check it out! I unfortunately wasn’t able to be there for the first couple hours on both Friday and Saturday due to work and dance classes, but the sessions I was able to hear were so wonderful.

I thought that today I would share my favorite message with you.  The incredible thing is, it almost didn’t even happen.  Angie Smith wasn’t scheduled to speak, but after feeling the Lord convicting her that she was supposed to share and being encouraged by the founder of IF, Jennie Allen, she shared what ended up being my most favorite message.  I have literally been telling everyone to go to IF’s website and watch it before it is taken down.  If you didn’t have the opportunity to hear it, for Angie’s message alone it is worth the $35 to download it, though you will definitely be blessed by all of the other speakers as well.

Angie started out with talking about how at the very beginning of the Bible in Genesis there are two questions asked, one by Satan, “Are you sure God has your best in mind?”  and the next is by God, “Where are you?”  As Angie was quick to point out, God had not lost Adam, he was asking him, what is the posture of your heart towards me?

Then she went on to talk about Abraham and Isaac, when they were going up the mountain to offer sacrifices to God and Isaac was to be the sacrifice.  On the way up, Isaac asked Abraham, “Father, where is the sacrifice?” and Abraham replied, “God himself will provide the lamb.”  As Abraham was about to kill Isaac and sacrifice him, God sent an angel to stop him and provided a ram caught in a nearby thicket instead.  Abraham had passed the test.  He then went on to name the base of that mountain, “the place where God provided.”

Angie talked about how there are places in her life where her faith has been tested she struggles to call them the place where God provided, for instance when she goes to the cemetery to visit her daughter that died shortly after birth.  It was after on such visit though that she felt God leading her to read this story again, and after reading it several times over she realized something, God provided a ram in that moment, but on the way up, they had spoken of a lamb.  A few thousand years later, Jesus Christ, the lamb of God, would be sacrificed on that same mountain range, the lamb that God had provided.

So the next time that Satan asks you, “Are you sure?”  you can reply, I am not certain of the ram, but I am certain of the lamb.  And when you hear God asking, “Where are you,” be there ready to reply, “Here I am Lord, ready and willing.  Use me.”

I have not written this nearly as eloquently and Angie spoke it, but I hope you are as encouraged as I was by what God spoke through her.  We all have moments when our faith is tested and it is hard to see how God can have our best interests at heart, but we must remember that we can’t see the big picture that He does, and trust Him to carry us through. Even though I know Angie will never read this, I want to publicly thank her for having the courage to follow God and share at IF this past weekend, it was such a blessing to me and something I needed to be reminded of, so thank you so much from me and every other woman I know that has been so blessed by the message you spoke.

Blessings,

Leighton Michele

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Thankful Thursday: Dance

This Thursday I am thankful for the gift of dance.  Dancing is one of my biggest passions, when I dance I can feel that I am doing something that God made me to do and it is like I can feel Him smiling at me while I dance.  Dance is something I have loved nearly my whole life.  I took my first dance class when I was three years old and danced until I was nine.  I loved it and was devastated when I had to quit, but my dad was losing his job and my parents  couldn’t afford to put four girls in dance.  As the years slipped away I slowly accepted the fact that I wouldn’t ever get to dance again, but it made my heart hurt to think about it.  I wanted to dance so badly!  Finally, two and a half years ago I got a job that I could afford to pay for my own dance classes, the only problem was finding a studio in town that would accept an adult beginner.  After calling every studio in town that I knew about, I was driving home one day when I saw a studio I’d never seen before.  I decided to take a chance and call, but even as I was preparing myself to hear the words, sorry there’s no room for you, I was hearing yes, we’d love to have you come dance, in fact, why don’t you start this week?  I have been dancing ever since, I am now involved in nearly every subject, ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical and hip-hop and I love every moment of it.  So after losing it and finally receiving it back, I am so thankful for the gift of dance this Thursday!

Leighton Michele

*photo credit goes to Meggan Marie Photography, these pictures were taken by Meggan after finishing my first year of dance.

Thankful Thursday: Family

This week for Thankful Thursday I am so thankful for the gift of Family.  Below are some pictures my family had taken a little over a year ago, throughout the next few weeks, you’ll have the chance to get to know a few of them a little better through some special guest posts from a few of them.  🙂Family-1 Family-16 Family-35 Family-20 Family-45 Family-10I have been so blessed with a family that I am close to.  My parents have always been there for me to talk with and I truly consider them some of my best friends.  My dad and I are a lot alike, so whenever I need help thinking through something I know that I can always go to him to help me sort through my thoughts.  My mom is a wonderful listener and so much fun to hang out with.  The older I get the more thankful I am for the special gift I have in her.  My sisters are all so much fun, each of them are unique in their own ways, but the four of us truly are best friends and I can’t imagine my life without any of them.

What is something you are thankful for this week?

Leighton Michele

Thankful Thursday: Friendship

With November being the month of Thanksgiving I decided that each Thursday leading up to Thanksgiving I would share something I am Thankful for.  This Thursday, I am thankful for the gift of friendship.  Below are some pictures of some of the incredible friends I have been blessed with, the pictures are not the best quality like many others on the blog since they were taken spur of the moment with cellphones, but they capture a wonderful gift that I am so grateful for, friendship.

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I spent many years dreaming about and praying for a group of friends like the ones you read about in books, you know, the ones that are always there for you and you can call at any time of the night for anything.  However, they kept not showing up and I began to wonder if they even existed, but then, three years ago they suddenly showed up everywhere, God had finally answered my prayer and every single one of them was well worth the wait to call these special people my friends.

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Within the past several years we have been there for each other through the good and the bad, the fun and the scary (can we say haunted houses?) and on so many adventures.  My life has been changed for the better by these wonderful people who have shown me on a whole new level what it is like to be a part of the family of God, so for my first Thankful Thursday of this year, I am so thankful for the gift of these Forever Friends.

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Comment below something that you are thankful for, and if you are doing a Thankful Thursday post on your blog I would love to read it, please leave the link in the comments!

Leighton Michele