An Adventure that Started with Tragedy

By Katie Goldsmith

In January of 2011, my beloved husband lost his battle with a rare liver disease and I found myself a thirty-eight-year-old widow with two young girls to raise. While I have been a Christ-follower since childhood and even work in vocational ministry, Jesus became more real to me in that place of pain and loss than I could have ever imagined.

I can honestly say that since that day I have never felt alone. The sovereignty of God, His love, and the indwelling presence of His Holy Spirit have become such a reality for me that I have discovered a passion and calling to gather and equip other women that they, too, might experience the joy, freedom, and unleashing that I have experienced.

So when Northshore Women’s Ministry was recruiting women to host IF:Northshore in their homes in 2015, I enthusiastically volunteered. This conference gives women a unique opportunity to participate in the Church globally with their sisters around the world, while coming together in community through the local church.

That Friday night the Holy Spirit brought forgiveness, healing, and freedom as I, too, confessed I am not enough, surrendered my need to prove that I am enough, and embraced that I am enough because Jesus is enough.

The worship, teaching, and small-group discussions with other like-minded women at the conference create space for God to continue to work in my heart, prompting me to respond in obedience to joining the Women’s Ministry Leadership Team at Northshore as the IF: coordinator.

In 2016 we gathered for IF: and again, in this time set aside for entering into His presence, God did a mighty work in my heart. The conference started with IF: founder, Jennie Allen, authentically confessing her own lifelong struggle with seeking the approval of others and striving to prove her value by who she was, what she did, and how hard she worked.

That Friday night the Holy Spirit brought forgiveness, healing, and freedom as I, too, confessed I am not enough, surrendered my need to prove that I am enough, and embraced that I am enough because Jesus is enough.

Over these years I have seen God’s redemptive work in my life in so many ways and, in the summer of 2012, through a ministry of Northshore, He brought another loving husband and a bonus daughter into my life.

The first stretch came last summer as I embarked on my first short-term missions trip by joining a group of women co-sponsored by Northshore and Helping Hands to serve women and children in Peru.

These last several years God has used IF:Gathering in a powerful way in my life and the lives of over a million women in 122 countries who have been challenged to live out each day believing the truth that Jesus and heaven are real.

God has used IF: and the community of women in my life to challenge me to be stretched and grow outside my comfort zone, a place of surrender where He can do the greatest work in and through us. The first stretch came last summer as I embarked on my first short-term missions trip by joining a group of women co-sponsored by Northshore and Helping Hands to serve women and children in Peru. Most recently I’ve responded in obedience to continue my growth through formal education, and in the fall I began pursuing another advanced degree by enrolling in seminary.

I do not know how God might use IF:Northshore 2017, but I am excited to find out and invite others to join me in the adventure. “If Jesus and heaven are real, how should we live?” is the simple yet convicting question at the heart of this year’s IF:Gathering. This global community of women who gather together in their local places to become equipped so that they can be unleashed for the glory of God and the good of others has had a significant impact on my life. I look forward to how it will impact other women, too.

Join us March 10 & 11 for the IF:Gathering Women’s Conference. Learn more and register today.


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