Yesterday my sister and I took my niece and her friend to The Revolve Tour, which is the teenage-girl equivalent to a Women of Faith conference. Started as a ministry of Women of Faith, the purpose of Revolve is to encourage young ladies as they navigate the difficult years of junior high and high school.
This year the tour is entitled “This is Love” and the focus of its message is to tell teen girls that they are beautiful, unique and that the God of the universe loves them unconditionally just the way they are. Topics range from the awkwardness of trying to fit in, the confusion of fluctuating feelings, and the anxiety of peer pressure, to serious doubts about their self-worth, uncertainty about their purpose in life, or burdens of guilt and pain stemming from poor choices made by themselves or devastating choices made by others.
While it’s been a long time since I’ve been a teenage girl, I do recall that it wasn’t the easiest of times to live through. With all of the negative messages they are bombarded with today I can only imagine what it must be like for my niece and her friends. Occasionally, I will get an earful of the latest trauma and drama happening in my niece’s life, and it always makes me grateful that I am no longer a teenager!
While my sister Lori and I are seasoned Women of Faith attendees, this was the first year my niece was old enough to attend Revolve. As many teenagers seem a bit indifferent to nearly everything we adults consider important, Lori and I were praying that Katie would find it interesting and entertaining enough to have some of the message seep into her being. As she’s now in the boy-crazy stage, we were hoping to see the issue of relationships addressed at Revolve, and indeed it was in a powerful way!
Co-hosted by Tiffany Thurston and Kramer Rasmussen, The Revolve Tour started off with high-energy music, rotating colored spots and the introduction of the popular boy band Anthem Lights. Yes, that was pretty much when the high-pitched screaming started… and it only got louder as the day progressed…
It became amusingly hazardous for moms and aunts to walk the aisles when any of the musicians took the stage, as one was likely to be stampeded by two-hundred teenage girls running full-throttle toward it. So when Revolve opened with Anthem Lights, Katie and 200 of her newest best friends were fully engaged and ready to hear whatever any one of the dreamy young men would have to say.
To the Amen of many moms and aunts, they discussed relationship choices and the treasure of purity. Anthem Lights then performed a song called Hide Your Love Away which beautifully captured the value of remaining pure until marriage.
They also talked about passion, and how young people can lose themselves in their drive to pursue human love. Chasing after any passion, whether it be love, fame, music, money, sports, acceptance, etc, will leave them empty unless Jesus is their first passion. They encouraged the girls to seek him above all else and that all other passions would then fall into their proper places.
Guest speakers Andi Andrew and Christa Black really nailed the self image issue that so many teens struggle with. From an early age, many choose to believe lies about themselves rather than believing what God tells them in his Word. God is wild about them. He says that they are valued, adored and that he has a plan for each one of them. When they have doubts about their worth or self image, the Bible should be their source of information, not the fashion magazines.
Natalie Grant presented encouragement through both words and music. She shared similar examples of embracing negative messages over God’s truths.
Don’t let the lies spoken over your life to choke out the truth. God always has the last word. – Natalie Grant
In a new arrangement for the popular song The Real Me, she encouraged girls to understand that God knows them at the very deepest level; no masks; no pretenses; no make-up. And he loves them just the way they are.
Throughout the course of the day, God’s love was the focal point. The girls were reminded that they are not alone, that God meets them where they are, that God’s love for them is unconditional, that they are valued and that they are beautiful. Regardless of the emotions they feel, God is always with them, ready to extend mercy, grace, forgiveness and love. They have only to receive it.
People crave love and spend much of their lives in search of love or other stuff that can fill them. Unfortunately, attempts to use anything or anyone else to fill the God-shaped hole in our hearts, leaves us unfulfilled and lonely. Until we ask Jesus to take up residence, we are left searching. Real love can only come from Christ. This is Love.
On the journey toward Home,