On the border

mb-blogheader-sm2-011

I feel like I’m on the border of something.

As I think about heading into Colour Conference this week I know the next two days are going to be crazy. I haven’t packed yet and I can’t see the space I’ll have time to pack in the next 48 hours.

I’ve been climbing a metaphorical mountain this year already. This past seven months I’ve jumped into a new job. There have been tears in the climb, there still are tears in the climb – but each step up, each tantrum, each snot bubble has brought new lessons, new blessings, new vulnerabilities and new trust.

You know that feeling when you’re pretty sure everyone else has learnt what you haven’t learnt about 10 years before you and it’s too late to ask? I get that a lot, but each step, each layer peeled back is revealing a new level of trust in me.

I didn’t realise how little of myself I trusted with people outside of my housegroup and family until recently – and how afraid I was that I would lose people if I shared.

This ridiculousness of feeling like a failure when I am most vulnerable is slowly being broken down,  and swept out of my life, piece by piece, it’s going to be a process – it is a process, but it’s happening.

Sweethearts, if I take anything from this it’s that, vulnerability is such a strength, and our words have power to both build up and destroy.

This month I attempted to brush off some words that hit my heart, I was discouraged and believed the negativity spoken over me. But i’ve also been reminded that, you don’t take to heart anything that your heavenly father doesn’t say about you.

You may believe you’re a failure – your heavenly father calls you beloved, redeemed, restored.

You may believe you can’t fight anymore – Your heavenly father gives you armour to put on each morning, he fights for you and let’s you shelter under his wings.

You may struggle to think you’re beautiful (another journey!) – Your father calls you his child, he had you in mind before you were even a heartbeat. He designed you, so perfectly, he calls you his daughter/son.

I feel like I’m on the edge of something new.

I’m totally in love with a worship song I heard recently that says this:

In the crushing, in the pressing, you are making – new wine.

In the soil I, now surrender, you are breaking – new ground.

So I yield to you and to your careful hands

When I trust you I don’t need to understand.

These past few weeks there have been times I’ve felt crushed and pressed beyond what I thought I could bear. But there have also been spectacular blessings, and I’ve been loved back to life by some incredible experiences, conversations and loving hands that have helped me to stand again and fight.

Through it all – God never abandoned me, didn’t leave me to fend for myself, never gave me more than I could stand.

In fact, when I look back a little his hand has been in and on and through it all – as it always is.

So in your pressing, in the stress, in the times you don’t know what to do – have courage, hold on and cry out. Get your nearest and dearest to pray for you, but go to God yourself too.

There is nothing too big, too impossible, too frightening for God – and nothing he won’t do to protect, grow and save his kids.

Just hang on in there.

I’m heading into Colour Conference expectant that something new will flourish in this season of new responsibility, challenge and pressing. Now is the time for me to yield more into his careful hands and trust more than I ever have before, even when I don’t understand and I can’t see the next step.

Father help me to trust you, without borders, without restrictions, when I don’t understand. Help me to have greater faith in you, to be even more grateful for each blessing and to truly cherish the people that speak your love and life into my heart.

#Brave

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Easter – Good Friday

It’s Friday but Sunday is coming…

Trust without borders

Today’s the day my Jesus traveled to the cross. Officials couldn’t find his guilt but the crowd called for his crucifixion, he was mocked and made fun of, stripped, beaten, whipped, disfigured and a crown of thorns was rammed on his head. He was barely recognisable by the time he reached Golgotha (the place of the skull, where criminals were crucified) and then he was nailed to the wood and raised to be displayed to the onlookers. And yet, he still loved them, he still loved me.

On that cross he took the punishment that should have been mine. He took all sin, past, present and future, onto himself. He became a sacrifice for me to restore my relationship with God. So that when I was born years later a gift was already in place that all I needed to do was accept, the gift is life. But he did…

View original post 116 more words

Always learning to be loved.

tears

How awesome is it that even in the darkest of times God shines like a lighthouse, a beacon of love, hope and trust in our darkest moments.

I used to wonder why they called good Friday ‘good’. I mean what could be good about Jesus dying right? What could be good about us nailing to the cross the saviour of the world? What could be good about that?

But out of darkness, potential hopelessness, out of the lost and hurting moments comes his love, his joy, his salvation, his forgiveness, shining ever brighter into an ever darkening world. Out of the moments we are pushed to the brink, come moments of amazing clarity, the miraculous. Moments when you can’t help but say – this is our God.

You see – our Fridays happen, but our Sundays always come. Good Friday for many would have looked hopelessly dark, for some a saviour they had believed in had seemingly abandoned them, while others clung to the hope that Sunday was coming. Thank God Sunday came. You see our God is a God of the miraculous, a God of love and a God who keeps his promises. He said he would rise again, he said he would return – and he did.

Oh how he loves us!

I love that verse in Psalm 56 that says he collects our tears in a bottle, not one of them is lost, he records them all in his book. It just makes me think of the Father, ever closer to us his children, sitting with us through the pain and the tears, so close to scoop up those tears as though they’re precious treasure.

There’s a great moment in the movie The Shack (spoiler alert) where the character playing the Holy Spirit takes out a bottle of collected tears and sprinkles it on the ground. Suddenly up spring flowers and trees of every colour and type, some bearing fruit others beautiful blossoms. It reminds me that out of tears and sorrow amazing and beautiful things can be born.

In the midst of some painful goodbyes the stress and the blessings I am constantly reminded, however tough the day, there’s never too much for God to handle.

I’ve seen so much this past fortnight that in loving others we feel more of his love for us. God told me this year that I would love but he would teach me also, how to be loved. He is a God that keeps his promises and the longer I am planted here the more I see that.

It wasn’t so many moons ago that my prayer late at night would just be for one friend who really understood, who cared for me, prayed for me and someone I could be completely honest with. I’m blessed to say I have many friends like this and I’m learning all the more that while I was looking for that friend it was actually me that had to change. You have to be willing to be open to find that kind of friendship and I know with many I’ve held back – afraid of… well afraid of who knows what.

The longer I live, the more I learn, that to be fearless in this life you have to be prepared to face the fear. Having courage never meant not being afraid. Having courage means to feel the fear and just stand your ground – let God do the fighting, just be prepared to move.

The beginning of this year has been event-filled already – good, bad and glorious. It’s in the challenges that I’m being reminded that whatever I face God has faced it already; whatever I’m afraid of he helps me to stand and faces things with me. He’s given me friends that remind me I’m never alone, that God always goes before me and that they’re praying for me.

I am overwhelmed, blessed and learning to be loved – I’m being rooted for, believed in and challenged to be the best and do the best I can, not in my own strength, but putting what I have into God’s hands and letting him take control.

Loved beyond reason, beyond measure, beyond understanding by the God of the universe who planned my life before I was a heartbeat.

psalm-56_3-4

Never alone.

I’ve had a recurring prayer on my heart over the past few months in a lot of things I’ve been taking on.

‘Father God, I can’t do this alone, I just can’t.’

I even prayed it today. There have been so many new things to learn and a lot of fresh beginnings since September.

New challenges have each brought their own set of doubts and that sneaky little inner voice that claims ‘you can’t do this, you’re not good enough, do they know you’re just pretending to know what you’re doing?’

I hate that voice. The doubt creeper – it robs joy and replaces it with anxiety and fear. But the quicker we learn this voice isn’t true the better.

‘Father God, I can’t do this alone, I just can’t’

I pray this in panic, in worry, in anxiety and the recurring answer is always the same – God’s loving whisper right into my core.

‘You’re not alone, you never have been.’

I’m in awe of God, how he allows my messes to be covered in his love and rolled out as his triumphs. Each new scary challenge that little stretch further, living in faith that He carries me through. The persistent and consistent message that he never leaves me.

‘You’re not alone, you never have been.’

I love how each day I discover beautiful opportunities, friendships and relationships that he destined for me from the very beginning. Designed them, just for me. I’m thankful He knows me and he designed this life for me to live.

His love, so intricately perfect, not mass produced for all creation but painstakingly designed to fill my heart and soul at the gentlest whisper.

You see I know that while that voice of doubt may strut around like it owns the place sometimes, my father God is so much bigger and where HE is, that’s where I want to be.

1-john-3-20

Image

Thankful for the team.

e5ebab19bdbcc7fe06a5b4f3f2be3762--stuff-stuff-walk-by-faith.jpgMy sleek hair had turned into a ginger frizz ball and I was sweating like a mad woman as I took part in the little known Olympic sport housed inside the Hillsong Conference team cloakroom.

In this hot box of belongings, I took on a triathlon of walking, squatting and number locating, and by the end of the night my entire body was complaining.  But you know something, I don’t think I stopped smiling.

I had the privilege of working on team to check in hundreds of bags belonging to incredible servant hearted people working their butts off to welcome home thousands of Christians from around the world.

It gives me joy to know that I was playing my part so they could do theirs.

I am in awe of what we get to do. I realised tonight as I sat to process that God just keeps pouring out the blessings, the more I receive the more I feel his heart of grace. Because this girl loves a blessing but she never did anything to deserve them!

Tonight was pretty special too. I got given a bible verse on the way out of conference. It was the same verse God gave me when I had convinced myself I was going to Nigeria and not coming home.

I’d been told that I’d be kidnapped or killed.

It was in a tent in a field where a girl who had never heard from God was given a verse to share with me. A verse that spoke to my heart completely and gave me courage and confirmation that God was not sending me to die. He was sending me to love and live.

That same verse was handed to me tonight as I walked out of the nose bleed section of the auditorium.

‘For I know the plans I have for you declares the lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ Jeremiah 29:11

I’ve just noticed it’s the same verse I’m wearing on my pyjama top.

You know the devil loves to plant seeds of doubt and fear into our lives. He’s not into encouragement he’s into disparagement, he talks down, belittles and lies to make you doubt your calling.

It’s in those moments when he’s pressing you down that you stand up tall, remember who is on your side and tell the devil ‘nope! not today!’

I know this verse in Jeremiah is my Father God encouraging me that he’s not done with me yet, there’s more to come and again I need to get out there, love and live. I’m glad he has the plan and he also has the strength and bravery I need to be obedient.

I want you to remember that serving God is not always pretty, convenient or safe. Living a life that honours Him means coming out of your comfort zone and getting your hands dirty. It’s not an easy road, it’s one that requires you to rely completely on God knowing the plan, trusting He is on your side, cheering you on, speaking life into the certainty of your future.

Living this life with Him means you get to do life with the most amazing bunch of beautiful, vibrant, servant hearted legends you will ever meet.

None of us perfect but all of us chosen to change the world for the better. I am so thankful that God loves this hot mess and has blessed me beyond measure with the friends I get to share it with.

So, a quick shout out to my lovely team!

I am so proud of you all, you make me want to be a better me and a more loving servant to our father God. You inspire, encourage and love me and I am baffled as to why but I love you guys for it!

I spent most of the night tonight pointing each one of you out to my friend saying ‘that’s my friend [insert name] they’re amazing!….’ Feeling emotional and proud that I have the privilege of calling you friends.

This girl is finally home.