I can recall months ago, asking the Lord about the hurts of my past. I pondered the things that clouded my vision and influenced my decisions in my teens and early twenties. I wondered what the purpose was in all of it. I’m so grateful that the Lord has healed those places of my heart that were broken. But I still couldn’t see what the benefit was going to be for having endured those trials. I wanted to know how the Lord was going to redeem those days... And in my quiet moments, the Lord revealed to me that it all had a purpose. That what I had gone through, it was to help me to point the way for others. That He would bring beauty from the ashes of those long ago days.
I think that is why teen girls have such a special place in my heart. I’m well aware that the issues today’s youth face are drastically different than what you or I dealt with. (Shout out to the Class of ’94!) But at the heart of it all, when you drill down to the core issues, we are all the same – the teens of past generations and the youth of today. We all wonder if we are loved, if we are special, if we are seen/understood. I’ve often felt, if I could only share with teen girls what I had learned on my journey to adulthood, what the Lord has taught me; maybe it might help them right where they are now.
God placed the vision for the Priceless Conference in my heart about 10 months ago. And this past Saturday, He brought that vision to LIFE!
Our team of volunteers could not wait to get started on Saturday morning! We were welcomed into the beautifully decorated sanctuary. Our time together kicked off with live worship led by the awesome West Ridge Worship Team. Then I had the honor of giving the first message of the day.
For me, the opportunity of sharing God’s Word is not one I take lightly. I believe that the biggest thing the Lord wanted me to tell the girls was how deeply He loves them. So I shared a bit of my testimony but most of all I reminded the young ladies just how deep, wide, and amazing God’s love for them is. I also touched on the topics of how Jesus loves us and how we as ladies are to respond to that love. Caring for your body, what you wear, how you act, and even social media were all points I brought up.
At the end of each message, all of the speakers had different labels for the girls to come up to the altar and take. I told them that they could place the label on their phones, journals, etc. – basically anywhere they would be reminded of the messages from the day. The labels I had set out for everyone from my message said, “I am loved.” I have to say, it was such a beautiful moment to finish speaking and see all the girls come up to take their labels!
Small group discussion was also a part of the day. It is so vital for the tweens and teens to be able to process out loud their thoughts and “take-aways” from each session. Our conference was blessed to have a dynamic group of women to lead each small group. These leaders engaged their groups in meaningful conversations and helped the girls to review what they heard in the messages.
After small group time we took a break and broke for lunch. Next came our second session. Following more worship, we welcomed our next speaker of the day. Our second speaker, Nicole Yoder, began her message by having the girls write down on note cards adjectives that they would use to describe themselves. Nicole shared how the world sometimes sees us one way, but God sees us another way – as His masterpiece. She reminded us of the importance listening to God’s Voice, and how to tell the difference between what He says to us and what the world tries to say to us. Following the conclusion of Nicole’s message, she invited the girls to come up and take labels declaring, “I am a masterpiece.”
We broke then for another small group session. Following small groups, the girls were guided to the craft area. The young ladies were instructed that they were going to be making collages revealing who God says they are. It was so cool to see how each collage was unique! Everyone took their time in creating their beautiful works of art!
Once craft time was complete, it was time for dinner. We all enjoyed conversation and laughter over a delicious meal. Once our bellies were filled up, it was time to begin session three!
After our final worship set for the day, the Bloom Ministry’s Pastor, Jennifer Goebbel, shared with the young ladies the last message of the event. Jennifer shared with the girls that just as we get dressed with various items of clothing each morning, that there are spiritual things we need to remember to “wear” throughout the day as well. She encouraged the girls to be bold in loving others well, to share Jesus with other people, and to live a life that is set apart. She reminded the girls that if we as believers look like everyone else, how will anyone see Jesus? At the conclusion of her message, Jennifer invited the girls to come up for their final label of the event: “I am priceless.” But she also challenged the girls, asking them to stand revealing their desire to live life for Jesus!
We wrapped up the event with another round of small group discussion. Then it was time for dessert and parents to arrive!
I’m pretty sure I am not the only one who left the conference Saturday evening exhausted but so, so joyful. I witnessed girls worshipping our Lord, encouraging one another, and engaging in real and honest conversations. You guys, it is such a beautiful thing watching this next generation draw near to Jesus. But what brings me the most joy is knowing that God is going to use the Priceless Conference to transform all who were there. From the tweens and teens who attended to all the volunteers, I am confident that God will use the Priceless Conference to impact all of us for His Kingdom purposes!
Post by: Marcy Gates
I’d like to just give a shout out to each and every person who volunteered their time, talents, and efforts to the Priceless Conference in one way or another. What a blessing it was to have so many wonderful volunteers give up time on a Saturday to serve the Lord and the youth of our community. You all are awesome and have the Bloom Ministry’s deepest gratitude!
Enjoy some more photos from the Priceless Conference!
Enjoy some more photos from the Priceless Conference!