My daughters and I attended the Revolve Tour this weekend with a group of 50 moms and daughters from our church community. Along with 4,000 others, we listened, laughed, danced, sang and worshipped. This event was produced by Women of Faith and was a celebration of all the beauty and promise that is a young woman in her teenage years. I loved everything about the weekend; spending time with my daughters, spending time with many of my very best friends and hearing from some incredibly talented young women and men who have devoted themselves to letting teenage girls know that God loves them...for real!
Truly, I enjoyed the entire production and I was so grateful that we had made the effort to get this many girls to the conference. The message, in my opinion, was something that every girl going through these tumultous years needs to hear...be real. Who you are right this minute, the unique individual that God made YOU to be, is just the person that the world needs now. Not a version of yourself that seeks to be like everyone else, not the version of yourself that blends in with the crowd, not the version of yourself that looks more like the magazine covers...but the REAL you, with all your quirks, your passions, your talents, your beauty.
All the performers were wonderful and reinforced the theme message of the weekend. The girls particularly enjoyed a young man named Chad Eastham who unraveled the mystery of what guys really think. The girls in my car spent the ride home reading excerpts of his book out loud; much laughter!! We are all inspired by a 14 year old young man named Austin Gutwein who showed them that even a kid can change the world. The Drama Team made us all laugh and think. The musical artists had us on our feet dancing and singing; Group 1 Crew, Stellar Kart, and Britt Nicole. We truly worshipped and made a seriously LOUD and joyful noise to the Lord!
My favorite speaker was Jenna Lucado, the daughter of author Max Lucado. Jenna's message struck home for me personally and is the one that I will continue to pray over my daughters. Jenna started on Friday night by showing us the various ways the world defines us and then making the suggestion that we won't know who WE really are until we understand who God really is. On Saturday, she expanded on that by relaying to the girls some really important points about who God is.
First, she suggested that we follow a God who really GETS us. She talked about the special kind of friends who really know us and love us anyway...who know our quirks, our passions, our talents and our weaknesses and love us for all of them! She said that God is that friend who gets us in ways that other people can't even begin to understand...in ways we can't even understand about ourselves! He created each of us in unique ways that fit perfectly with the plans that He has for us. Because of Jesus, He understands how hard life can be sometimes; what it feels like to hurt, what it feels like to be rejected, to be lonely, to be left out. to be disappointed. He is the God who really GETS us!
She also suggested that we follow a God who has GOT us. She shared a story with which many of us were familiar to illustrate this idea. She talked about being scared of the deep end of the pool when she was little and how her dad tried to help her with her fears. He would stand down in the deep end, hold out his arms to her and say "Jump! Don't be afraid; I've got you!" Our heavenly Father is the God who says to us "Don't be afraid! I've GOT you!" Scripture tells us over and over that He will never leave us or forsake us; that whatever we face in this life, we will never walk through it alone. He doesn't ever promise that life will be easy, but He does promise that He will be with us in all circumstances. This one brought me to tears as she spoke directly to those girls who perhaps did not feel that kind of safety net from their earthly fathers. This God is the Heavenly Father who's GOT us!
Finally, she suggested that we follow a God who wants to GIVE us a new name. She used the visual of big name tags with "names" we might give ourselves...names like "defeated," or "nobody" or "not loved." She shared with us specific scripture verses that refuted those names and gave us the truth about who we are to God. God names us "more than conquerors." God names us "daughters of the King." God names us each "Beloved." God names us "Forever." With the names that God gives us, we know who we really are and we begin to live with confidence from that reality.
Who are we? We are God's Beloved! What did we learn this weekend? God loves you, the REAL you...FOR REAL!!