The Thrive Gathering at West Chester didn’t have to try hard to live up to its title. As Kalyn Vogelmann shared: “to thrive is to grow or develop vigorously; to flourish” from Colossians 1:27 “the secret (to thriving) is this, Christ in you, the hope of glory” – and these ladies weren’t going to let a simple oncoming January blizzard stop them.
Each person who filled the room that weekend achieved growth in their thriving relationship with Christ and with each other. The simple acts of listening to the speakers, praying for each other, and fellowshipping together over wonderful food always goes further than expected.
While Katie Beehn shared her testimony there was no doubt that the Holy Spirit dwells in her heart. You never know what God will do when you totally surrender to his Lordship. Her sold-out love for the Lord was so evident for all to see and hear. Katie’s story was inspiring and a few gals are already planning their own trips to Haiti to experience for themselves what happens when we “Rise up and let Christ shine on you!” Ephesians 5:14
The panel of guests words hit many of us right at home- Dovie Hudson’s words of wisdom- Don’t try to “sit on the back row and look dumb”. God could be leading you into the reciprocal blessing of mentoring dozens of young women looking for Him at critical times in their faith journey.
Lisa Van Nest and the Food2GO ministry – “God has shown me that He is always faithful. I was afraid…afraid of failure…afraid of inadequacy…afraid of disappointment. Despite those fears, God reminded me that He will provide what I need and all I need to do is trust Him for it. Those fears still creep in from time to time, but when I see the blessings that come from this ministry and hear of the impact it is having in the community, those fears are replaced with joy, satisfaction and excitement.”
Straight away the tables’ gorgeous centerpieces, which absolutely embodied the theme of thrive, also tied in with Saturday’s first speaker, Tami Conrad, and her lesson on the Parable of the Soils. She exuberantly shared the same story we’ve heard since children’s church but revived it such in a relatable way. Tami shared stories of the tendencies we all share of being a seed thrown onto beaten, rocky, and thorny soil when all we desire is to be the good plant in good soil. Whether we are guarding, or being led by emotion, or letting our to-do list strangle us, we must instead strive not just to hear the word of God, but to understand it.
Beautiful Things- Sand Art by one of our Thrive participants
Dara Laforest also spoke that morning, filling in for an out-of-state speaker who was unfortunately snowed in. She was originally going to speak for a few minutes and sing a song, but Dara not only filled in – she thrived. She went above and beyond, sharing her story, her sorrows, her struggles, and her continuing joys. She shared her proven knowledge of how the world may abandon you, but God won’t. God can be the love of your life, if you let him.
The amazing words of these speakers weren’t the only beautiful voices heard, as a talented band of three led worship – though they weren’t the only ones unafraid to sing. The entire gathering didn’t let a word go unsung, even overpowering the microphone at times with their music. These acts which spill joyfully over the line of expectancy is what made this gathering memorable, life-changing, and gives the best examples of thriving.
Remember…. Who’s your King? That’s my King!
Co- Written by Janae Kammer and Kalyn Vogelmann
Thank you, Janae!
Thank you for joining us for THRIVE 2016. You were a beautiful sight!
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