The Test of the Thought Pt. 1

Let’s take it back to last week.

Monday was terrible. I went to work and by 4:30 I was so stressed- I cried, hid in the bathroom and walked around aimlessly until 5:30 CLOCK OUT TIME!!!

Tuesday…. By 10:00 AM I was ready to walk out because I couldn’t handle the stress and the environment anymore. I’ve recently become someone who doesn’t tolerate anything that does not bless me or anything that takes my peace away. I spent way too many years submitting to people, environments, and habits that I couldn’t stand and in the end, was in deeper mess than if i would’ve had enough self-worth to walk away. And that’s what I did Tuesday. I went to lunch around 12 and never came back to work.I spent the day walking into salons and leaving my resume and now I have a new job, in the field that I love- beauty industry!

Then later that week, my name was involved in a “he said she said story” and words were placed in my mouth that I never said. It took away my peace. I’ve worked so hard these last few months to get rid of everything that did not bless my life and the enemy took advantage of it.  But I chose to stay silent and allow God himself to fight for me. I talked to God over and over, complained and cried because I am not one to stay quiet and allow disrespect, I am a fighter (lol)- and the only thing I heard back from the Lord was Exodus 14:14 “the Lord will fight for you: you need only be still.” And I had no defense back to this, I simply submitted and did as told.

This night I also went to a spanish church service on the other side of town and one thing that stood out to me was my thought process during this event. I was in the midst of it, singing spanish worship songs, listening to a pastor preach in spanish, surrounded by spanish speaking people and I suddenly missed my life a few years back- because there was no pressure to be better, to step out in faith and serve Him leaving everything behind. I thought I had my life together, planned from school to marriage to ministry and friendships. And this is when I knew something was wrong. Though the message and the pastor himself blessed me and confirmed something I had been praying earlier, the enemy was up to something because I wanted to go back to my old life, a time in which I had every detail of my life planned and I was the one in control, playing God.

Besides me, I knew a couple of people in our leadership were dealing with attacks as well. With finances, relationships, insecurities, thoughts, exhaustion, all sorts of things. I know that we don’t get spiritual enough these days to say”attacks” (which we should) but i will get spiritual today and just call the enemy out.

It’s not a coincidence that all of this happened in one week, especially the things in my life considering i’m on a “no drama” type of attitude and I am nipping things as soon as they happen.

But then came Sunday.

& setting up that morning felt different. And though we couldn’t grasp what God had in store a few hours later, we could smell Him cooking while we cleaned Numbers and got ready.

Service was set to start at 6:00 PM…. By 5:50, the front doors of the club were packed. It was awkwardly packed, people kept staring at me so I could open the doors and let them in. The atmosphere was alive and people we’re excited, though there was no room to stand – ready to worship God and celebrate Revive.

From the moment the doors opened, all 14 rows were packed. I put out an extra row “just in case” and went to sit at the front. 1 minute later, Pastor Eddie came over to me and told me there was no room to sit and all chairs needed to be put out. We ended up being so packed out with 140 chairs that we had to ask leaders and Dream Team Members to give up seats and sit on the side bleachers! How GOOD is GOD?!

The worship team was on fire- nothing more to say here. I have been led by each one into worship but last night was different. Each person was on another level and another realm. Alive and electric- dancing, singing, shouting, hands lifted and eyes on the King.

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Jabin Chavez at Revive!? Seriously?!!!! How in the world did we manage that? God did it. And I loved what one of my pastors said “it is God’s way of saying I got y’all.” He killed the word and messed us up, stirred up a hunger and a revival that WE are the church- when God sees a city, He sends His church. He saw Montrose & He sent Revive.

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So going back to the beginning, we all went through hell this past week and though we didn’t broadcast it, it was a very difficult week. & there was a moment in Jabin’s message that brought everything together. He explained how the devil does not know the plans God has for us but he knows the potential, and because of that potential, he attacks. Jabin does not know what our church has been through in its short year of life and neither do some of you, but he very specifically pointed out that through the attacks, through the haters, through the mess, through the Red Sea- God promised to be with us.

 

Last night, I saw dead spirits and souls coming back to life. I saw new faces in awe of a REAL God. I saw parents encouraged and proud, finally understanding why their child is ALL about Revive. I saw youth catch a vision, a hope for their future. And what impacted me the most, I saw my pastors and the team of leaders get a glimpse of the potential we have together and a picture of what God can do in Montrose. It gave life, hope, strength.

The tears have been worth it Revive. Crossing over and leaving a familiar land to an unknown and unwelcoming one. Losing people, losing loves, friends, family. Having to drive 40+ minutes to set up for 2 hours, worship, and tear down for 1 hour. Being criticized, forgotten, and undervalued.

ALL of this was worth it last night- because so many souls came alive, friendships and families were strengthened. We were injected with the vision to run for another year, to build His kingdom and love the broken.

 

Thank you to each one of you who celebrated with us. We love you dearly, we are honored, and we cannot wait for the next 100 years!

 

Happy Birthday Revive!

Here’s to building a legacy with Kingdom Carriers, all for His glory!

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God of Miracles.

It’s been such a strange season for many of us at Revive. Our worship leaders Israel and Jeanette Belford were flooded with tough news about the pregnancy that had just begun only a few short weeks before. And what is for most a joyful experience turned into a battle, as they prayed and worshipped, choosing to believe in the God of Miracles. From the moment they found out to today… Revive and other Families have surrounded them and been with them in every step.

Today, 1:37 AM, I am sitting in a waiting room, with 2 sleeping, 8 awake but tired people, at the Texas Children’s Hospital in the Medical Center.

Although our faith is being tested, my heart is full in a strange way. 

I am astonished first at the perseverance of the Belford’s. Leading worship every Sunday, choosing to celebrate Baby Belford AND still raising their hands to glorify God. I sense the tiredness, I sense the fear, but what is more- the trust in our sweet sweet Jesus. They have truly shown what it means to fight and be still, to wait on the Lord and believe in His promises.

And then, the amount of people who have called in, left work early, stepped off the elevator and walked through these doors on the 9th floor. It is said that during the worst times of life, you will see the true colors of people who say they care for you. And I am oh so thankful that this generation is living what they believe. We are told to love one another, to lock arms and share in joy, to share in mourning. The world sees hypocrisy and jealousy and hatred and judges and let me just take a moment…. To breathe in this beauty.

We actually get to put into practice what we believe. The support that has been shown is indescribable. And although we won’t physically feel Jeanette’s pain, and maybe we can’t relate to how Israel feels as a new father, I am so full of gratitude to the God we serve. Only He can pull this off. Bring people from all types of walks, churches, histories, and bring them all together for ONE purpose- to see a miracle. To unite in faith and belief that He is still unstoppable, that He has the last word.


Regardless of the outcome by the end of our time here at Texas Children’s, God is still good and our position does not change-

To God be the glory  

Forever and ever

Amen

Sunday Morning

I love Sundays.

Sundays mean rest, family time, Revive.

Sundays also mean an end and a beginning. I made it through the week. Whether I conquered it or barely survived, I made it! And now, I get to try again, conquer this week.

A new week full of possibilities, full of people, meetings, goals. HOW EXCITING.

I dozed off into a deep sleep last night while pondering on my life (which I’m pretty sure I do every other night) but last night was different. I wasn’t reacting to what had happened during the week or to the season I am in. But instead, I was reflecting on what I’ve accomplished since my birthday and what I’ve realized.

I have been twenty-one for 3 months, two weeks, and one day.

I knew my birthday would be a turning point, that God was going to demand change, growth., maturity, did I mention change? I was in a season I don’t remember stepping into. I woke up one morning and my life was not my own. And I appreciate these last few months for different reasons, but I knew it had to change.

I came to myself, and I have learned so much about me and what I love…. also what I don’t love.

  1. I am a leader. This sounds extremely silly considering I have been a leader in youth ministry and church for 7 years. In 7 years I was told I was a leader, I never really believed it for myself, until now. I have the gifts and the knowledge to influence people around me, and to use that to bring LIFE to others. I have the natural ability to stand out and lead a crowd, to set the pace, to be an example…. and I LOVE IT. It is such a privilege and such an adventure.
  2. I love love love love all things business. There have recently been many changes and transitions at my job (I work at a salon and spa) and one of these changes gave me more responsibility. Along with this responsibility, I have begun a journey on a second job- which is also business related. And I woke up last week realizing how much I actually love what I do. I love learning how the business works, I love being a part of a business, I want to know everything. Busy schedules have been life to me.
    To do lists. Deadlines. Setting goals. Planning events. Encouraging staff.
    LET’S DO IT ALL.
  3. Friends are important crucial. 20 year old (and younger) Leslie avoided friendships and relationships. If we were friends, it was really because of the work YOU put into our relationship, not because I let my guard down and let you in. I realized at 21, that I need friends… I need people to be there no matter my mistakes and my choices, but also to be around when I am thriving and accomplishing my goals. Friends are SO important and rather than spending my time avoiding people or even choosing the wrong people, I am learning to be picky about who I let around me, who I lend my ear to…. and not picky so I don’t block everyone out. I can honestly say, 21 is looking pretty great because of the friends who have chosen to fight past my tall walls.
  4. I am hurting but I am not broken. It took me literally 21 years to realize this but I am so glad I am finally here! It feels like I was holding my breath for 20 years and as soon as 21 and some months came, I let out a big sigh and gulped in fresh air. I am not my mistakes, I am not what has happened, I am not my struggle. I am Leslie and I may have to face all those things but they do not define me. What defines me is joy, grace, kindness… ice cream 😉

I am confident that I will learn more about myself as I continue to dance once more with God, but I am so thankful to finally be here.

It will be okay, and it has been okay.

We’re doing just fine.

Dancing in His love