"Christina" . . . "Hannah" . . . "Charis" . . . "Tiffany" . . .
As we sat in silence, most eyes closed, and just about every head bowed to the earth, the girls began to name their friends names, one by one. Not just any friend but the instruction they were following was to name out lout, as a prayer to God, the names of their loved ones who needed to have heard the same message they had that weekend.
"Heather" . . . "Molly" . . . "Taylor" . . .
The Revealed Ministries team had been summoned to the Georgia woods for a weekend event. We stayed in cabins and had our quiet times on the edge of a hill that led to the camp lake. The cabin that our team stayed in was just about unbearably stuffy and humid and the chapel location that we held our big group sessions in was the smallest building around. It was still beautiful . . . Just more rugged than we had envisioned.
"Terri" . . . "Sarah" . . . "Beth . . . "Jessica" . . .
As our Revealed team sat in the almost silence, you could hear tears hit the unstained wood floor between each spoken name. The girls that were speaking, sometimes one at a time, sometimes unintentionally in unison, had experienced something that weekend that they had never expected coming in. Life-change. Life-change had happened in the first night when they were introduced to a love that they had practically never felt or known before. A hope they had almost lost, even at young ages. A passion that they never even realized they were allowed to possess.
"Valerie" . . . "Megan" . . .
Sometimes the names came quickly but hardly ever was there an extended pause. Shocking. Stirring. Wrenching. The names kept coming. The girls had awakened that Saturday morning to a beautiful and healthy spread. A breakfast of champions! After their first small group session, they began to get a grasp of what this weekend would hold for them, a chance to be real and not be judged for it. The mothers and youth leaders along for the chaperoning portion of the trip began to question the team about the rest of the weekend. They too had experienced something new the night before and because of the vulnerability displayed by a loving Revealed team, they were hesitant and yet curious as they moved forward in the day. People like status quo, even if they spend their whole life complaining about it.
"Theresa" . . . "Monique" . . . "Deanna" . . . "Erica" . . . "Stephanie" . . .
After some time the Revealed team began to look up, expecting the girls to be silenced and for the service to move forward, after all, we didn't have a lot of time to "minister" to these girls. We knew this wasn't a part of the "plan" and well, I think we all just came into the weekend with our own set of rules for how it should go. As we met eyes, teary, mascara stained eyes, the message among us was clear. We were unified. This sincere cry unto God . . . This intercession as it was, would last until the last name had been spoken. God was here. Here we would stay.
"Laura" . . . "Jenine" . . . "Jordan" . . . "Mia" . . .
The evening service on the second night followed a powerful day of fun mixed with what I like to call "Forever Lessons" . . . The kind that last and are applied. It was amazing to watch the girls and their leaders surprised at every turn by the ideas of the Bible that they had never seen as fresh, useful, challenging, interesting, and motivating, being applied to their everyday lives anew. Upon their arrival into that tiny space called our meeting place, they were amped to see what God would "teach" them next. So were we! By this time, all insecurities had left the woodland and we had grown to love each other in 24 hours like only the female gender can do! There was a particular girl in attendance that weekend that our team felt especially drawn to and spent specific time in prayer for . . . that night her life changed forever. She had been suffering greatly and came forward and gave that abused life over to the only One Who has the power to conquer and redeem it. The entire group celebrated alongside our new sister and the night that started in conviction and honesty was transformed into a big dance party for Jesus. Oh the joy!
"Becky" . . . "Tamara" . . . "Liz" . . .
It was actually the last service that led us to the prayer that changed everyone's lives forever. There was one point where my neck was so sore from the constant heaviness it felt for each of these lifted names, that while I attempted to stretch it out a little, I caught a glimpse of the church leader's and mom's faces as they sat in reverent shock. They were FILLED with anguish. The names that were being spoken were foreign in essence to the Revealed team but to these adult women, they represented their daughter's best friends. The friends and sisters that they approved the girls in this room to spend time with weekly and even daily. The women in this tiny building knew the mothers of the girls spoken about and even might have had the opportunity to minister to them and hadn’t. They also had never seen their daughters so real as they did in that service. It really wasn't a service anymore. It was . . . Life-change.
"April" . . ."Taylor" . . . "Jenny" . . . "Mary" . . . "Meg" . . .
About 45 minutes into this spontaneous act of grace, smiles began to break across the faces of all those who had spent so much time and energy planning this event. It wasn't an event on a calendar far off any longer; it was a moment that no one in the room would EVER forget. Why? Why was it such a big deal? The answer is simple, it was selfless and it was a reality check. The girls could have bypassed the opportunity to lift their girl friends up to their Creator but no, in those long and glorious moments, they LOVED. their friends as Christ had shown His LOVE. to them that weekend. Nothing mattered but sharing what they now knew. They believed the Word of God for themselves and they knew that others, like them, needed to believe it too. 1 John 4:9 was no longer a verse in a "Sword Drill" but a way of life. Mistakes will continue to be made by everyone that was present in the woods that day but that's the AWESOME thing about 1 John 4:9 and the rest of God's blessed Word, it's all about Him and not us. It's Who He is and what He has already accomplished for our sake.
"Cara" . . . "Lena" . . . "Kyndal" . . . "Jana" . . .
The names went on and on because the need goes on and on. As the last name was spoken and the pause, that by this time no one wanted to occur happened, the service was closed with a challenge and a time of praise to the One we all knew was worthy. The challenge was this, go and tell. Do it. Nothing in this world could stop one of us in the room from speaking to those we named about God's perfect love for them . . . Except fear. I can tell you as sure as I'm sitting at my laptop right now writing this that fear was NOT in that room. Satan held no dominion in any heart that day. Christ was center and He held the victory. Carrying that spirit of victory to those in our lives that need to experience it most, was the goal in every heart. The worship leaders played a chorus that I don't even remember, except that it was praise in its' purest form and a few more words were spoken to close out the weekend but NOTHING in that incredible time even compared to the selfless prayers of somewhere around 45 teenage girls that had left all of their frivolous every day drama behind on the side of a wooded hill in blessed Georgia.
Life-change can happen anywhere. Everything in me says, "Go and tell someone about this love you know" when I think about that morning in the tiny cabin. The LOVE. Of Jesus is so real . . . Tangible as Kim Walker would say! The greatest point being that it is unconditional. I don't have to earn it and I can never disappoint Him and make it lesson or go away. God's love is eternal. What in this world . . . Who in this world . . . Can provide a promise like that? Life-change can happen every day. Life-change can happen today! Does your life need to be changed by the power of God's love? Seek His love today. If you know it, tell someone about it. I'm sure you can think of a few names of people around you who need to hear . . .
"_________" . . . "_________" . . . "_________" . . .
If you would like more information about Revealed Ministries: http://www.facebook.com/#!/revealedministries
Find us on Twitter: @Revealed_LOVED
Or E-mail us: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Our website is currently under construction)
You may also watch the following videos to get just a tiny glimpse of what our events look like. These videos are all out of date because of how quickly God is growing this ministry so be sure to keep up to date with the above contact avenues! We are praying for the right person to come along that will create a new promo video for us ASAP!