Hitting the ‘Reset’ Button

‘God, I don’t want to leave!..’

…‘What if you didn’t have to?’

Dedicated to Roman, for your 29th Birthday.

Sometimes we get to engage in moments that make us stop, wide eyed in wonder; moments that reset our souls and cause us to question, ‘how did I miss this?!’ These moments remind us of our true north and cause us to reflect on the meaning of life.

This happened for me in a field, with no light or noise pollution, in the middle of the night, with a treasured friend. We shared our hopes and dreams as we sat in wonder, admiring the Milky Way and enjoying the presence of complete silence.

That moment, was like hitting the reset button. I didn’t want to leave, and I told God that, but today I heard Him respond ‘What if you didn’t have to?’

I don’t think he means I should stay in the middle of that field by myself for the rest of my life – that wouldn’t be good for anyone.. (especially me). I believe He meant that space – a place of complete silence, peace of mind and soul, complete trust – having questions but being okay with not knowing the answers;  simply enjoying the wonder of His heart and knowing that He is, I AM. What if we could stay there?

When I was a child, I didn’t think about the things I think about today, like – if I don’t go to work, I don’t have finance to splash on others, or if I don’t do my washing, I won’t have anything clean to wear! Ew.. When I was a child, I didn’t have to think about those things because my parents had it all covered. So I could enjoy being a kid.

But somehow, there I was in the middle of a field astounded at the Milky Way and I wondered ‘how did I get here?’ See, we’ve adopted this mentality that when we ‘grow up’ we must be as productive as possible, have it all together, become a little more serious AND ALL THESE THINGS ARE GREAT… However if these things come at the expense of slowing down, resting, peace, joy, being childlike in our nature, appreciating moments, stopping for the sunset or laying in a field in the middle of no-where enjoying the silence and stars.. then I think we’ve missed it to some degree.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still watersHe restores my soul. Psalms 23:1-3

I don’t believe the Fathers best plan for us requires us to be SO busy doing ‘the things’ that we neglect the good Shepherd when He is wanting to love us by making us lie down in green pastures or leading us beside still waters to restore our souls.

So how’s your soul? Have you asked it how it’s doing lately?

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child and set him before them, and said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:1-3

I so admire the way a child can be unfairly treated, shed a couple tears then get right back in there and play with the same children. Maybe there’s more to being childlike than we think?

I’ve noticed they don’t give much attention to what others think of them, if they’re hungry – everyone knows. If they have something to say, they say it without fear of being rejected. If there’s music – they dance. They play in the grass in a world of wonder like it’s the most incredible thing EVER. They are fully present in the moment. They enjoy pulling faces and delight in the pleasure of their parents over them… Maybe instead of ‘growing up’ we should consider what it would mean to ‘grow down’?

I don’t mean we should be insensitive in our child-likeness though.. For example, I wouldn’t run to my Mum and yell ‘FEED ME’ in the middle of a church service. *LOL* Like Paul says in 1 Corinthians 9:19 –

For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.

I mean this in the best way possible, like ‘may we never lose our wonder’.

In today’s age, it’s impossible to be out of reach – social media giving the world a play-by-play of our highlight reels, we’re on call all the time, we carry mobile devices so we can be reached anywhere, but when does it end?

My phone is always on silent, I cant stand the obnoxious sounds it makes to pull on me for my attention. After being in the middle of that field I have decided to be intentionally present – to enjoy moments, to love deeply and forgive quickly, to trust the righteousness of my brothers and sisters – just like a child; to follow when he leads me to green pastures, to respond when he asks me to be still; to appreciate rest and to love the one in front of me, to be ‘out of reach’ and be ok with it.

‘I don’t want to leave here!’..

…’What if you didn’t have to?’

There’s so much ‘noise’ in our day to day lives, why not take some time out in a field, or by the ocean, or on a mountain to hit the ‘Reset’ button with the Father and enjoy the wonder of life again?

Happy Birthday Roman…

The Heart Journey: Land of Promise

When I was younger, my family and I lived in a caravan while we waited for our home in a different town to sell. My family used to make fun of me because other families would come to the caravan park on holiday, I’d make friends with the kids, then 3 days later when they had to leave – I’d bawl my eyes out. I loved so quickly and deeply it just didn’t make sense… But now it’s starting to..

A few days ago, the Father said to me ‘Chantelle, I give you permission to love wildly and deeply again.’ For those of you who know me, you might think HOW!? Mainly because the way I love is already pretty crazy. But this is the journey I’ve been on where it all started to come together.

Melissa Helser said ‘the Promised land is not the end destination,

it’s the moment the Father heals our eyes to see Him rightly’

In Numbers 13, Moses sends out 12 men to spy out the land God had promised to them. For 40 days and 40 nights they saw the same things, tasted the same food, walked the same roads.. Yet 10 spies brought back a bad report, and 2 spies brought back a report of hope, future restored, promise and freedom!

The report you believe will either empower you to possess the promise, or paralyze you with fear & keep you stuck in the wilderness.

Last year I was coasting along, and somehow it felt like this deep sadness pressed in on me everyday, everywhere I went. It was horrible. And no one would have known outside of my family because I believed the lie that ‘I’m a leader, a leader has to have it together.’ And so I shut down my heart and believed that being emotional was not allowed.

What I didn’t realise was that emotion, pain, was my hearts way of trying to tell me that something wasn’t quite right, something was hurting and there was in fact greater freedom I had access to but in shutting down my heart, and believing a detrimental lie, I was unable to possess that freedom.

REALLY long story short, Nate Johnson preached a word one night about heart healing and the Fathers love wanting to walk us through pain and not debilitating our hearts right to come alive any more. That was the very beginning of God pulling on what I call ‘the Golden Thread’ of my heart and bringing me into freedom.

A couple days after that, I flew out of the country of the trip of a lifetime and I desperately wanted to enjoy it but my heart was so hurting and in deep need of the Fathers love.

Fast forward. I’m in Germany attending one of my best friends wedding’s and I’m doing great. I haven’t cried – I shed a tear but I was holding it together. However I could feel something right beneath the surface that was ready to burst if something poked at it.

I’m in another country and I can’t speak German, so I’m already feeling a little isolated. And what I didn’t know was that Germans really, I mean REALLY celebrate weddings. They don’t see it as an event to get through and leave, they see it as a day to enjoy family, celebrate with close friends, have deep conversations, eat together and start all over again. A normal German wedding would last well past 5am the next day.

At the reception I’m sitting across from some of his German friends and I’m doing ok, it’s now 10pm and I’m like – I need to get alone with Jesus. However the people I’m sitting across from started asking me questions about my personal life and started speaking into some things I was feeling pretty sensitive about at the time. My heart was so hurting. And then it started. And I couldn’t stop it!

I started to cry, from deep in my belly, they prayed for me. I said thank you – really – thanks for that *sarcasm intended*. Then I went to the bathroom to collect myself, came back and some more people I love and respect checked in with me asking if I was ok. ‘I’m fine (insert fake smile).’ They poked the bear again.. I tried to collect myself, but I bumped into my friend that got married and he asked what was happening.. and that was it. I grabbed the keys to my friends car, excused myself and high tailed it out of there – locking myself in the car.

I wailed. I don’t mean politely shedding tears. I mean I wailed. The kind of gut wrenching grief that escapes when you least expect it. For 3 hours. I was due to fly out of the country the next day so that means I didn’t even say goodbye to anyone! (It’s pretty funny to lock back on, but at the time…)

 I sat in that car while I got it out, all the grief, disappointment, despair, hopelessness, and the father sat with me and comforted me, but He didn’t shut me down. He wanted me to get it out. And he just sat with me and loved me while I did!

What kind of Father is this?! That he would love us that much, he wasn’t disappointed that my hope had been misplaced; or make me take responsibility for the fact that my heart was in deep pain of my own doing. He just loved me.

That kind of love changes you! When you experience this kind of love, you can’t help but overflow with wilder love for the people around you!

Over the course of that holiday God showed me a picture of my heart, parts of it were alive and other parts were dead and black and needed his breath to breathe life into it again.

He showed me that I had believed a lie detrimental to my freedom that was so offensive I never would have said it out loud because I knew it wasn’t true. But the lie was this:

He left me.

This little lie had infected my belief systems and changed the way I viewed the world, people and ministry. And it was shutting down my heart. I was so disappointed that I was 28 years old and ‘this’ or ‘that’ hadn’t happened, that He had promised ‘this and that’ and it still hadn’t happened yet. That he said, his call over my life was ‘this’ and yet, here I am and nothing had changed.. I was absolutely gutted.

I was living from the belief system that my Father had left me.

Hebrews 13:5b) says “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!”

I had tried to ‘truth’ my way out of this deep grief, however I had missed part of His heart for me! See, the same Jesus that turned the tables in the temple, is the SAME Jesus who put Thomas’ hand in his side to pour water on the fire of his fear!

He’s such a good Dad – he’s made us in his image. We reflect his glory in every way! He is emotionally passionate, wildly free and fun, and recklessly loves us! We were created just like him! And when we shut down our hearts and invalidate our emotions, we’re shutting down a part of who he intended us to be!

In the old covenant, the spirit of God dwelt in the holy of holies in the temple. In the new covenant, the spirit of God dwells in the holy of holies – our heart – we have become the temple.

I’d like to propose that maybe in the new covenant, the promised land is not a destination, or the sum of his calling or certain things coming to pass in our lives, what if the promised land is us being able to walk in the fullness of freedom he died for us to possess he on the earth?

What if the promised land is – your – heart – you, being fully you, totally free, choosing to believe with everything you have that he is faithful, He is trust worthy and true to his word. Us being childlike and in humility receiving what we had no part in earning – being totally free here (heart) so we can be totally free here (with people) to love, to be Jesus on the earth, to need nothing in return, to owe no man anything except to love them? That He would receive the full reward of his suffering? That we would be free?

Melissa Helser said ‘the Promised land is not the end destination, it’s the moment the Father heals our eyes to see Him rightly’.

Father showed me that I had viewed his lack of answering as absence, when it was really his very active presence at work in my life, he healed my eyes to see him rightly when I stopped and listened to my heart!

See, he cares more about our hearts, what matters to us matters to him, and if our hearts are hurting, he’s not so worried about us ‘being effective and doing.’

In the midst of my heart pain, while I was Youth Pastor, the Father said to me, Chantelle, I care more about your heart, than about you running a youth ministry of hundreds. Come here, let me love you. That’s all that matters right now.

Numbers 13: 1-2 NKJV

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, Send men to spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the children of Israel; from each tribe of their fathers you shall send a man, every one a leader among them.”

Send: H7971 Let loose, stretch out, let go, set free.

Maybe the promised-land isn’t a destination, maybe its Jesus. Maybe it’s not a place, maybe the promised-land the Father wants you to possess is your heart. Maybe He’s not so worried about what you will achieve for Him, maybe he’s more concerned that you know just how deeply you’re loved, so that you can experientially and intimately know and live in the fullness of the freedom He paid such a high price for you to have?!

Maybe it’s not about ‘getting there’ maybe it’s about enjoying the journey. Daily being held by the hand that created you. Embracing the moments of joy, and the moments of pain – with Him. If it was just about getting there, we’d miss the intimacy and joy of truly knowing Him through it all!

Today I believe he’s shifting perspectives, He’s revealing lies that’s held us captive in the wilderness for too long. I believe he’s giving our hearts permission to come alive again and enjoy him daily.

To possess and walk in the fullness of freedom he paid for us to freely receive – so we can freely give!

Hello Heart, Part 1

Dear heart, I’m so sorry. For shutting you down, for quieting your voice and for being so hard on you.

The Heart.

Human beings are phenomenal creatures, we have the ability to understand logic, to feel, to reason and respond. When I was working in my first clothing retail job, a young girl had stolen over $200 worth of clothing which had security tags still attached. When she went through the front doors, the alarm went off and something different… superhuman may I say… came over me! I LEGGED it after this girl! Kicked off my shoes and RAN! I chased her through the whole center at full speed until she went out and jumped over the guard rail at the other side of the car park! I was so close to catching her however, when I stopped I realised she also had friends with her, and I had no idea what I would have done had I caught her! She could have dropped me in a second if she wanted to! Sometimes we do crazy things without even really understanding the ‘why’ behind it.

In Jeremiah 17:9 it says

‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’

I used to live with this mindset, never understanding the reality of the cross and what was accomplished there. I never would have said it because I knew it sounded ridiculous, however I believed there was still some dark corner of my heart that Jesus hadn’t reached yet, I believed there was still something wrong with me, there was always something to repent of and I desperately needed Jesus to save me from myself.

Imagine this: You’re taking a casual stroll round the neighborhood and turn a corner to find a woman – mid-twenties, verbally abusing a young child ‘How could you do this to me!? You should know better than that! You’re already 7 years old! You’re not a good leader! You’re never going to make it. You should give up now! You are a waste of my resources, all you ever do is take!’  

What would you do? Most of us would run to the child’s defense, we would make sure the child was safe and wasn’t in a dangerous or abusive situation!.. However what we don’t realise is, we do this to our own inner child! If we’re not careful, our self-talk can be this damaging! Yet we don’t rush in to defend or protect our hearts?!

‘The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?’

I didn’t realise just how destructive this belief system was.. until my heart tried to reach out and tell me something was wrong, something wasn’t lining up with what I knew to be true, and it was time I listened.

In June of 2017 I was about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. I had been accepted into Bethel’s 2 week worship school, I was going to visit some good friends in Germany, attend ‘Awakening Europe’ and surprise my family and friends in Jakarta Indonesia on my way home. However my heart was not as excited as I knew it should have been.

Until May last year, whenever I would go through a struggle or trial, I often didn’t want it to be fixed with logic straight away (as men are wired to do), so I’d go straight to my mum without even thinking. I had no idea how this made my dad feel or how it had affected his heart.

At church one night in June of 2017, we had the recognized Prophet Nate Johnson ministering who carries an uncanny anointing for dealing with the heart and bringing healing and freedom, restoring families and relationships along with it.

He spoke. I listened. My heart responded. I was a mess. I began to recognise – I deeply needed my dad, I was longing for significant relationship with my earthly father and didn’t even know it. For me I am blessed that this is possible, an easy fix due to us both being lovers of God!

Mark Greenwood says,

‘If it sounds ridiculous coming out of the mouth of Jesus, it should sound equally ridiculous coming out of yours.’

(If you haven’t yet, I HIGHLY recommend reading his book ‘Awake to Righteousness’ it will challenge the way you think and believe about yourself and the goodness of the Father).

While it’s not true for everyone, I’ve often found that my relationship with my earthly dad – directly reflects my relationship with my Heavenly Dad. Therefore, I was subconsciously operating from the belief system that there was distance in my connection with my Heavenly dad. I felt like He had abandoned me, that He had forgotten about me and that His promises for my life were far out of reach. I KNEW this wasn’t truth though so I had never said it out loud, and didn’t even realise I was believing it!

The day after Nate Johnson spoke at church, I was very aware that the kindness of God was still unraveling my heart as I was on my way to a breakfast date with my dad. My heart was still feeling quite raw yet I was determined not to let that spoil the morning. I was going to enjoy breakfast with dad… However, I can’t even remember what happened but all of a sudden I started to cry. Not just the normal tear rolling down the cheek cry, but the deep, heaving, ugly cry. Right there in the middle of the café, with lots of people around. It started to come out, and I couldn’t stop it.

That moment with my dad marked the start of a journey that would bring healing to both our hearts, connect us with our Heavenly Father in a much deeper way, and bring us both into truth. As we shared our hearts with each other, we began to realise how we had unintentionally disconnected from each other and how that had affected our relationship. But for me – that was just the beginning.

The Holiday.

In June of 2017 I ventured on a trip around the world, solo – but meeting people along the way. Thrilling, I know. The first part of my trip landed me in Germany where I was to spend some time with an old friend celebrating his marriage! I usually cry at weddings because I understand the Heavenly gravity of the covenant being made, I am a softy. However in light of current events I was believing for God to help me not to cry at all – for fear of not being able to stop if I started.

The entire wedding was beautiful. Jake Hamilton himself led the ceremony with a deep teaching on the sanctity of marriage. I was doing so well. Shed a couple of tears – as you would, nothing major. We made it to the reception. I hardly knew anyone there being in the middle of Europe and all, but I was good. I was grounded in the Fathers love, or so I thought.

It turned out to be the longest wedding I had ever attended. See, Germans believe in celebrating with family, taking their time. Having lengthy conversations, eating, doing ‘family’ and then starting all over again. I quickly learned that on average most German weddings will go well into the night, some finishing as late as 5am the next morning.

At one point during the night, some prophetic people I was sitting across from began asking me questions about my life and future, and then it came… that wave of emotion, disappointment, and grief that I couldn’t quite get a lid on. They prayed for me regarding some things the Lord showed them. I went to the bathroom trying to compose myself. I came back out, ran into some more prophetic people who had clued on to what I was going through in the deep of my heart, loved on me, and there I went again. It was like the plug had been pulled and the deepest depths of my heart was crying out for help.

Due to fly out of the country the next day, but unable to pull it together, I grabbed the keys to my friends’ car and locked myself in, wailing, the ugly cry. There was no going back. I still don’t understand why it had to happen there, but I do know that my Heavenly Father was most concerned about the freedom of my heart and was waiting for me to realise he wasn’t afraid of the pain, and wanted more than anything for me to allow him in, to love me in the pain, in the process – unconditionally.

I cried for 3 hours in the back of that car, letting out the grief and disappointment I had no idea was hiding itself just beneath the surface. I learned that disappointment is a silent –but deadly thief, and if undetected – has the ability to rob us of hope, joy and expectation for the future. I was so disappointed that I wasn’t where I thought I would be and hadn’t accomplished the things I believed I would even as a little girl by that stage of my life. I felt like God had abandoned me and wasn’t playing an active role in my life even though I knew that was a lie. I struggled to understand why some things had turned out the way they had, and why at 28 I was still facing battles I thought I had conquered years ago.

I was disappointed.

Those 3 hours in the back of my friends’ car in Germany showed me just how close the Father really is, and how concerned and passionate he is for the freedom of our hearts.

The next day I trekked on to Redding California, meeting strangers and hitching rides that would lead to even more healing than I realised. During the course of the worship school, Father showed me a vision of my heart, parts of it were black (where I had allowed hurt and disappointment to hide) and needed His healing breath of life. I gave Him access to all areas and gradually the vision changed and my entire heart was healthy, healed and full of light.

God revealed to me that what I saw as His absence, was actually his very present activity in my life. That sometimes withholding something we think we want, is not His absence but the evidence of His very active presence.

He was there the whole time.

He’d never left.

This changed everything.

 

To be continued...


For those of you needing extra keys for managing your heart health, check out this message by Steffany Gretzinger called ‘The Unfiltered Life.’