Denver Spring 2017 Big Group

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“Going into RECESS, I had just come out of a season of darkness in my life. I had a 15-month-old and the postpartum depression had finally faded away. My life was still flipped on it’s head, though. I felt like everything wasn’t going according to MY plan. I knew this wasn’t a healthy state-of-mind. I wasn’t necessarily unhappy, I just knew that there was more to life and I wanted it. And I wanted a community to do it with. I didn’t know how to get there on my own. But then the RECESS opportunity presented itself, which was exactly the answer I had been looking and praying for.

Through this journey, God has truly changed me. I used to struggle with self-worth, but now I’m starting to see myself the way that God sees me. I know that I am a truly loved daughter of God. It’s not just something that I say, but it’s something that I can say in truth and genuinely accept for myself. As a result, I also don’t fear for my future like I used to. I’m not trying to make my own plan. I’m really okay with whatever He wants it to look like because I know I can trust Him.

These truths and revelations all came to me when I asked ​AND listened, rather than just asking and brushing off what He had to say. I decided to stop saying “no” to Him and allowed myself to go to deeper with Him — into the places in me and in Him I had never been before.

I’m now in a much healthier place and am excited to see where He takes me. I don’t know exactly what the future holds. I keep being told that I’m going to be a great leader, but I am not going to dwell on all of the “what ifs” of what that could mean. I am choosing to soak in Love and taking the time to rest and not live such a hurried, frantic, unfulfilling life. I’m living the life He gave me, according to His plan, and giving my all to simply loving and be loved by Him.” – Katie, 23

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“When RECESS started in January, I was in a place of desperation. I felt like this dark cloud full of inexplicable anger, depression and fear was surrounding me. For over a year, I had all of this anger and hatred towards myself. I had no idea why, but I could barely look myself in the mirror. The lies of the enemy were so loud that I had forgotten and stopped believing Truth.

Everyday I did my best to pretend I was okay. I didn’t want anybody to know what I was feeling, and I thought I could manage it by myself. I felt abandoned by God and if I’m being honest, I didn’t want to do RECESS because I knew it was going to be hard, painful and I knew God would show up.

The last five months have been a beautiful process of God softening my heart and gently asking me to let Him in. He worked daily to show me that I could trust him, that I needed Him. Halfway through RECESS, through His faithfulness and prayer, God delivered me from this anger, and I can honestly say that been living in freedom for several months now! He has continued to soften me and peel back my layers, revealing to me some of the deeper and more hidden parts of who I am to Him.

What I love about RECESS is that it’s given me the tools to continue to walk in freedom with God. It has been a vessel for his love to flow through and reach the deepest corners of my life, and for that, I am eternally grateful.” – Rachel, 22

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“I like to think that I found RECESS when I wasn’t looking and that somehow this ministry found me back. It was one night and a one-time scroll through the “explore” section on Instagram over a year and a half ago. That was it. Somehow, I stumbled upon a post of a girl sharing her testimony from RECESS, and it resonated with me. I could sense that God was in that story, and I was completely drawn in.

I hit follow, which at that time was rare considering I almost exclusively followed people I knew, but there was something about those stories, about the freedom that was echoing, about the love and the truth that were shining through. God works through testimony. Powerfully. I felt the Lord drawing me to Himself, back…closer. He wanted to be close and yet I felt and was afar off. So I commented once on a post without any expectation. And then to my surprise, a couple of the women from this group unexpectedly reached back to me. To me? Reached out from Texas to a complete stranger in Colorado? Meanwhile, God was doing a deep work in my heart, and I felt their support and love.

Fast forward two seasons to the present. I’ve just walked through RECESS for the first time with a group of women, and what comes to mind are these sweet things that God has done for me. He has brought greater freedom. He has shown and provided me with a close community of sisters. He has given me a desire to go deeper with Him — no holding back. I feel at home with Him, not striving, but entering more into His rest and provisions! I’m learning to trust Him more without reservation!

In my season before RECESS, He was redeeming and restoring and teaching me so much. He was teaching me things that RECESS actually expanded on and gave me the community to walk it out in! I’m so thankful to have tasted and seen His goodness and faithfulness to me through this experience. It was a risk worth taking…stretching and causing me to depend on Him, and deepening His work in my life!” – Bri, 37

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“When RECESS first started, I knew and believed that God had more for me in my life, but I didn’t know how to access it. I was a sad and bitter person. I wasn’t content with my life. I knew there was a deep well of life in me, but it was so weighed down and covered up with hard circumstances that I couldn’t spring open.

This RECESS journey has allowed me to access the deep well despite the circumstances. As I’ve entered God’s presence, He has consumed me and made me whole. I know that nothing else can bring me the peace and joy I was seeking – just intimacy with Him and realization of His love for me. Presently, my circumstances are the same, but I am a totally different person. I feel the Lord carrying me as His daughter and giving me a light load for my heaviness. Everyday I feel so thankful for the depth of His love.

I feel like I have truly come to appreciate the name of this journey: RECESS. During the school day, recess is what you would look forward to. It’s the place where you could sit under the slide with your girlfriends and talk and laugh and dream. It’s where you could be free after being stifled with work and responsibility all day. It was a place of great depth and great joy! As an adult, I truly feel like I’m getting to experience ‘recess’ with the Lord! I’m finding great depth and joy in being with Him just as I did at recess as a child! At our last conference, I even found myself yelling out to God, ‘You are so fun!’, with a smile from ear to ear. The only thing missing is the slide 😉

I am so grateful for this season and the work God has done in me. I have my girlfriends ‘playing’ with me, and through Jesus, I have the depth, joy and freedom my soul has always longed for.” – Anne, 44

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“Wow! I immediately tear up when I think of all God has done in me through RECESS. When I started RECESS, I was in a place of wanting more of God. Deep down I’ve always felt like God had placed His promises, plans & dreams on my heart, but if I’m honest, I felt something was missing in my Christian walk. I remember thinking there has to be more, more than just survival … Jer 29:11, John 10:10, Eph 3:20 – those verses aren’t just thrown in the Bible for fun. They have to be true! Somehow I was missing the joy of my salvation.

At times, my Christian life felt so mundane. I craved excitement, but could reading my Bible actually do that? Could obediently living truly bring anything exciting? Could I really find abundance, life to the fullest, prosperous purpose & plans for my life? The answer is YES!!! That & so much more!

Through the 20 weeks of RECESS, there has been so much light shed on the fundamental truths of the gospel. I understand now in greater magnitudes the depths of His nature, love & the inheritance I have in Christ! I’ve grown in knowledge & experience of these things & many others. I’ve come to really know Him like Mary did – in His presence, at His feet.

I’ve surrendered my striving & put on His rest, & the fruit of it is this: peace, contentment, greater measures of faith & hope & trusting in Him! Delighting in Him, & Him in me! And the craziest excitement has been growing in the gifts of the Spirit! I’ve realized that spiritual gifts are just that – gifts! – that God has given us to share His heart with & for each other, & I honestly don’t think there is anything cooler than being used by God in that way!

While Satan is on the attack to steal, kill & destroy, the Holy Spirit keeps reminding me of things I’ve been learning & is continuing to grow me in true knowledge of Him. I’m so excited to keep pressing into Him & to guide others into knowing His love more.

If you’re hungry for more of Him, hear this: ask God for His presence, & then confidently believe that He will show Himself to you. He will start to reveal Himself, His plans & promises. Look for Him! He is up to something!” – Olivia, 32

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“Before RECESS, I was struggling with depression, anger, fear, control & health issues. I was reserved, afraid & exhausted from trying to fix all of my problems & continually failing. I was hungry for a deeper relationship with God & continued to ask Him how I could be closer to Him.

I then met a friend who invited me to RECESS. God has such a sense of humor! She was my wax lady. She asked if I wanted to do RECESS with her, a 20-week commitment, where we’d learn how to be intimate with God. At first, I was scared to commit for that long, but then I asked God for guidance. He clearly told me to do it.

In my first meeting with my RECESS group, I decided to open up about my dad’s recent suicide & how I have experienced vertigo & anxiety. I cried out about how stressed & tired I was: I couldn’t control my anger; I never felt like I was enough; I was angry with how I couldn’t seem to heal from my past. It was all too heavy for me, & I couldn’t carry it anymore. From that moment on, the women rallied around me. They prayed for me – for my heart and my health – & as the weeks went on, I was able to give these deep things (any many others) over to God.

Guys, I haven’t had a vertigo attack since the day my small group prayed for me about it! My migraines have gotten so much better; I’m learning to overcome sin through worship; my friends – even my husband – can notice a drastic change in me. But even more than that, I’m overjoyed to say that my relationship with God is better than it’s ever been before. I can say without a doubt that I am closer to God & that I know He loves me. I feel a freedom I have never felt. Sometimes I must remind myself that He loves me as much as He does, however, I no longer strive to do everything. And when I start to strive, I reach out to Him & continue to seek Him.

Through RECESS, I found the most loving & selfless group of women, who are downright vulnerable & truly chasing after God, wanting to be in His presence & bring others into His freedom & peace. God is doing amazing things through this group of women, & I am blessed to know them & grow more intimately with God and with them.” – Tracy, 31

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“Before I started RECESS, I had struggled for 15 years with depression and anxiety and was at that time in the lowest, darkest depression of my life. I knew that the Lord loved His children and that I was one of them, but those truths felt distant from me. I was not in a place of recognizing or receiving His personal love for me.

At our first RECESS conference, the Lord moved on my behalf. He healed me from my depression and anxiety – specifically through the laying on of hands in prayer and the movement of His Spirit. My life was marked that day, and I am forever changed.

Throughout the course of RECESS, I saw, felt, and experienced the love God has for me. It made me fall deeper in love with Him. He grew my faith through worship, prayer, prophecy, and praise. I’ve desired Him more intimately than ever before in my life, after decades of following Him at a distance.

Now, I go to Him as my Daddy, as my Comforter and Friend. This was something I had never known how to do before. I came to RECESS desperate and defeated, but I finished beautifully surrendered to the work He wanted to do. And it’s completely changed my life.” – Emily, 27

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“At the beginning of RECESS, I was angry and disillusioned by my circumstances. I felt disconnected from the Lord and alone. I thought my family and I were on the altar for the Lord to be a sacrifice for Him, and I missed the entire relationship piece.

I felt defeated. My prayers were full of questions and demands, and after insisting on answers I wasn’t getting, I would question His faithfulness constantly. I felt unloved, even more so as I struggled to parent a child who came from trauma. The more mistakes I made and the more bitterness I let grow, the more that I felt like a big disappointment to the Lord.

Through RECESS, I met the Holy Spirit for the first time. Before, He was just a part of the Trinity on paper and I could quote a few verses about Him but I knew nothing beyond that. I encountered His deep love for me and even more startling, His deep, steadfast care for me. He broke the bondage of the lies I’d told myself and had planted in my home. His work in my heart and His constant wooing led me to walk in a freedom I’d never experienced before.

It wasn’t like my circumstances changed dramatically or there was a breakthrough healing in my home. No, we were still struggling but the Holy Spirit rushing in to respond to my willingness made the entire difference. I surrendered and committed my trust over to Him. I fired my husband and my kids from being the source of my joy, and I am starting to understand what it means to be cherished as God’s beloved. I’m not his martyr, I’m His love!

I walked into RECESS feeling heavy, weary and downright hopeless. I walk out now feeling like I was resurrected. I can worship Him with a heart that is able to love because He loves me so extravagantly. Through it all, God is good! My journey is so far from over. I’m learning to live in the present and I am eager to go deeper, seek Him and accept His love daily while learning to love Him more fully. To God be the glory, great things He has done!” – Ali, 36

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“When I started RECESS, I was unsure of myself in so many ways. I wanted to experience God, but I was just going through the motions. I was not really feeling alive. It was like there was just a little bit of life left in me. I was in such a dry and tired place. I had periodic encounters with the Holy Spirit, but I was wanting more and didn’t know how to get there.

Now, so much has changed. Through RECESS, God helped me recognize the lies I had allowed the enemy to sow into my heart – lies that I’m not worthy, that I’ve been passed by and forgotten about, that I’m doomed to just receive the leftovers. He showed me how believing those lies can truly destroy my life. He enabled me to call them out and to see them for what they are – lies! – which then freed me up to receive the truth of who I really am in Him. I AM worthy! I have been called His daughter! Believing these simple but profound truths has changed me.

I have become much more confident and am choosing to believe God’s truth rather than my circumstances. It’s still a process, but it’s okay because I know I can trust God is going to continue to speak and go deep in me to renew every part of me. He has increased my faith tremendously, and I am so grateful for this season of my life.” – Angie, 34

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“When I walked into RECESS, I was very comfortable with how I had created my relationship with the Lord to be – at an arm’s length and all about works. That first night of the conference, God was clear in showing me exactly how and why I was keeping Him at a distance: fear of intimacy.

After losing important people in my life and walking through different tragedies and trials, I decided that safety was in living an independent, adventurous life. I did not want anything to hold me back or keep me from “living life to the fullest.” I created a religion that was about me serving Him ABOVE receiving His love for me. It felt more comfortable to give His love than to be vulnerable and grow deeper in my intimacy with Him.

I had seen life as a boxing ring. I had the biggest gloves on and was willing to fight for myself and those around me, but the reality was, I was weary of fighting. And with each battle, it was getting harder and harder to recover, which led me even more to making decisions to avoid any risk of pain and being hurt.

But then God moved. Over the last 20 weeks in RECESS, He began to faithfully break down my walls and pursued me with a love I had never experienced before. He asked me to take those boxing gloves off. He told me that He wants to fight for me. I realized that I am victorious not because of my strength but because of His promise to fight for me.

Now, I simply “fight” to be faithful, to trust Him in the trenches and to believe that He is good. At the final conference, I felt the power to lay down my boxing gloves and worship Him with all that I am, and I can honestly say that there is freedom when you allow Him to fight your battles. I’m not scared anymore to walk through the fire. I’m not scared to feel and let Love in. And I will praise Him with all that I have. My life is Yours, God. May You be glorified!” – Aubren, 33

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“Before RECESS, I had been consumed by the spirit of sexual perversion. It had taken over every aspect of my life. It told me things like “you’re a sex slave”, “you’re a slave to porn,” “you must find someone to please”, “that’s all you’re made for, that’s all you’re worth.” It was so audible & clear that I started to believe it.

I became addicted to porn and gave up the things I wanted in life as a result. I was in so much pain, but nothing helped. Every time I tried to worship, I would just go into tears. That spirit would tell me, “Why are you trying to worship? You’re not worthy of that.” So I stopped listening to worship music. I stopped going to church. I became depressed, cynical, jealous, & consumed by this darkness.

All the while, my younger sister kept talking about this ministry called RECESS. I was hesitant to sign up but decided to give it a try. Thank God! A few weeks later was the first conference. On the first day, I saw this blonde girl across the room & said to myself, “If that girl realizes what I am going through, then I will discuss it.” Fast forward two days. We were praying in small groups, & guess who ends up being in my group: the blonde girl! Out of nowhere, she says to the group, “I’m sensing that someone here is in bondage to a spirit of perversion.” I raised my hand & began to weep. I couldn’t believe she just said that!

I told them about my battle with perversion. They laid hands on me & prayed. The blonde girl said to me, “You can tell that spirit to go in the name of Jesus.” So I did. “Spirit of perversion, leave me in the the name of Jesus!” As soon as I said that, I kid you not, I literally felt the spirit lift from the pit of my stomach & out of my body. I could hardly believe it!! The spirit was gone! I was FREE indeed!

Since then, it’s been a wild & beautiful journey. I genuinely feel new – like a walking garden, full of life, joy & light. Of course the lies still come, but I know now how to resist them. I know that I serve a powerful God who has already defeated all powers of darkness. And I know that in Him, I, too, am made to overcome. Hallelujah! What a powerful name it is!!” – Vanessa, 26

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“The last 5 months have been springtime to my soul. I entered a [5 month long] “process” called RECESS with some of my nearest and dearest and some who have become my my nearest and dearest. I was hesitant to jump in (hello, time commitment) but if you would have told me then what I know now, there would have been zero hesitation.

God has very literally come alive in my life. Prior to RECESS, I had this burning question from deep within asking, “If the Holy Spirit is alive and active, then what?” I knew it should change how I live and how my people live. But I didn’t know how yet … The pinnacle moment of change came for me in RECESS when I learned I could abide in the Spirit in any moment simply through remembering “I am holy, and He is here”. This understanding gave me permission to ask God to speak and to not have fear about how or what that looked like.

God then started downloading information and revelation to me, specifically in visions. At first, I was fearful that it wasn’t Him I was hearing. I asked Him for confirmation, and time and time again, He showed me I was in fact hearing Him and this is indeed real. As I continued to step out in what He was showing and speaking to me, with the support of my RECESS family, the fruit became evident. My confidence grew. And y’all, IT CHANGED EVERYTHING.

Regarding my ongoing question, “If this is all real, then I should walk away new, right” Well, I have! Completely new. Every encounter is now filtered through the lens of the Holy Spirit, and I am SO thirsty and eager for more.” – Kelsey, 29