Dates & Waves

Dates. There’s always dates, moments – momentous spaces in history where significant hearts collide with existence on earth.

Waves, I’ve learned to ride them. Not with a surf board (although one day I will) but with tears that expose the great depths of love we have for another. They expose the impact one soul has had on another, the pain one feels with the absence and space that person once filled and the memories they’ve left behind. Memories that once brought immense joy, now hold with them a sting that reminds us we’re still here, we’re still breathing, we’re still alive.

We’re still alive.

And so is she. She is more alive than she’s ever been, more alive than we are right now. Alive in the arms of the one who created her and forever holds her heart and affection.

Some days.. most days I feel like Paul when he addressed the Philippians:

‘For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live..’ Philippians 1:21-24 NLT

And so I live.

My heart misses her, my bestie, my partner in crime, my Nutella eating, movie watching, adventure seeking, bike riding, Jesus dancing – everything buddy. And that’s ok. Why wouldn’t it be? She loved like Jesus, and that changed me. Watching up close how she forgave, pursued, surrendered, loved and enjoyed Jesus and the people around her first hand. She was the real deal.

Her life was a gift that collided in a moment with existence on earth. June 4th, the next set of waves.

I found myself saying ‘It hurts so much! I don’t want to feel disappointed but I’m SOOO disappointed!’ And all at once I felt the Father correct me saying ‘It’s ok to feel this way, you love Kimmy deeply and that kind of love looks like something. I’m a good Father and Ill sit here and hold you till you’re finished.’

I do know the truth, and that’s where I live my life, its where I’ve set up camp and anchored myself – the truth is SHE MADE IT. She’s forever safe, more alive than me! The truth is we don’t grieve as the world grieves (as those who have no hope – 1 Thessalonians 4:13) we have hope because we KNOW we’ll be gloriously reunited one day. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss her everyday, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, it DOES mean I will not use that as permission to stay prisoner somewhere Jesus died to set me free from! ‘Though I walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of DEATH I will fear NO evil!’ (Psalm 23).

This week I started wondering whether I was ‘too much,’ if the way I love is ‘too intense’ or ‘over the top’ but I found myself in John 15 where God reminded me that actually I just look like a really good reflection of Him!

“So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you. For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life for his friends… So this is my parting command: Love one another deeply!” John 15:12-13, 17 TPT

Love, that kind of love, always looks like something. It’s kindness in action, it’s always present and endlessly patient. If you were to ask me what Kim was like, I would tell you she looked like love.

She also looked like a whole heap of mischief, cheeky, authentic, deep, joyful, contagious fun. Kimberly, my tiny dancer – the colours of your life continue to dance through ours and into the next..

See you soon..

until then, we’re alive.

The Truth about Pain

About a week ago, I was spending time with the Lord, feeling completely defeated, messy, and in so much pain that my internal cry was ‘I don’t think I’ll ever be ok again.’ But in that moment, God’s response cut through all my anger and grief and hit me right in the heart. He said to me

‘Chantelle, you’re not broken. You’re not ‘not ok,’ you’re not a mess, you’re not alone. You are ok. You are strong. You are whole. You are wild. You are free. In fact, you are a hero in the faith!

You belong to me.’ 

Um, ok.
It snapped me out of a downward spiral that’s for sure. I felt encouraged and able to keep going, but I didn’t however understand the depth of what He had said to me. The past week being back in Brisbane, I’ve been able to sit with people who love me – every part no matter what it looks like, unafraid of the pain they’ve sat with me as I’ve sorted through the things I’ve been feeling and allowed me to piece together exactly what He meant when He told me – actually you ARE ok. 

Here’s what I’ve discovered..

Pain doesn’t mean we’re not ok. Pain means we’re alive. Fully engaging with our hearts in moments that are outwardly awful. Because they’re inwardly awful. But it doesn’t mean we’re not ok, in fact it means the opposite. Because we sit in those moments with the Father who so deeply desires to hold us when it does hurt, we allow our hearts to fully feel, and fully be held.

[‘You intend to stay.. with me’ Yaz Williams] 

I realised that for a little while, I had been resisting the Father. Because to come close, meant to fully feel, and fully feeling meant more pain than I believed I could bare. I couldn’t bare to feel that much, to feel as though my heart had been crushed beyond the point of recovery. But really, in those moments of resisting, I was not ok.

Maybe being ok is not appearing outwardly pleasant or happy all the time. Maybe being ok is really giving our hearts the room, the permission to speak, to be fully heard and expressed. To sit with our hearts in moments of deep grief or pain and allowing it to be free in those moments before our closest friend and brother – Jesus, to be wildly poured out over His feet, to be still long enough for Him to come close enough to be the one to comfort us when we think we may never be ok again.

Maybe THATS true freedom. Maybe that’s what it looks like to be really ok. Maybe that’s why He told me ‘You’re ok’ and maybe that’s why I believed Him.

We have been created in His image, with all the feels and all the emotions, from joy to sadness and EVERYTHING in between. So why wouldn’t we trust and allow our hearts to feel but in that process, in those moments, be fully held by Him?

“The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and he is always ready to restore the repentant one. Even when bad things happen to the good and godly ones, the Lord will save them and not let them be defeated by what they face.”

Psalms‬ ‭34:18-19‬ ‭TPT

He so desires to be involved, like an invested Father in His child’s life, although He is all knowing, he restrains Himself to engage with us on our level, a conversation, communion – ‘Please tell me about that, how are you?’ What a kind Father, to know, but choose to engage as though He knew nothing? He cares so deeply about our hearts and longs for us to ‘get’ that He intends to stay.

He intends to stay.

So would you let Him in?
Would you go there with Him?
Would you believe Him when He says ‘you’re ok’
Even if it doesn’t look like what you’ve believed ‘ok’ should be?
Would you give your heart permission to speak, to fully feel and engage with it in moments of pain?

Even as I’ve been penning my thoughts I’ve been sobbing and sitting with the Father in it. I miss Kim, my sister, my best friend – more than I can express in words.

Pain isn’t bad.
Pain doesn’t mean you’re not ok.
Pain is a gift.

Maybe it’s about our perspective.

Take some time to sit with the Father, explore places in your heart with Him that may have been shut down. Give your heart permission to fully feel and journal with the Holy Spirit about what you find.

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.’