Updated: Aug 21, 2019
“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 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
“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 I've 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
“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 He was far 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
“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
“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
“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 (and 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
“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
“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
“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