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.

Mountain or Molehill

It’s hard to find purpose when we don’t understand the season, I haven’t understood the season God has had me in and I’d allowed it to steal my joy!

I’m such a visionary, a go getter, that I desire to see purpose, to put my hand to something that’s going to leave a lasting impact on the earth when I’m gone…

But what about today?

God once told me, ‘Chantelle it takes more faith to believe – that’s – who you are in THIS moment, when ‘nothing’s’ happening.’

Yeah cool, thanks for that Lord!

Ok. So what does it look like to remember, and believe – that I’m a Revivalist, a freedom fighter, a carrier of joy, a Holy Ghost terrorist right now? I can see that joy has become a foreign concept in the body of Christ.. yet 1/3 of the Kingdom is joy!? I believe the key to staying in hope, faith and freedom is remembering how to be joyful!

“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Romans 14:17 ESV

Sometimes we pay way too much attention to things that don’t bring joy and life, and the more attention we give it, the bigger and uglier it gets! It’s a JOY-KILLER!

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 ESV

A couple weeks ago, I was really down, I was thinking about things that aren’t lovely, pure, excellent or true! I’d allowed lies to impact my thought life – even hopelessness about losing my sister! But the truth is, she’s with Jesus! And I WILL see her again! She’s where she wants to be! Where WE want to be! That’s not hopeless! That’s HOPE-FILLED!

But I wasn’t successfully coming to that on my own, so I txt a couple of trusted friends and asked them to pray for me, for perspective and truth!.. One of my close girlfriends from Brisbane then FaceTimed me, and you know what? She didn’t pay it any attention. She wasn’t interested in hearing or talking about the sob story. In fact, we are ice cream together over FaceTime and talked about life, about ice cream flavours and stupid things that made us laugh. And that’s exactly what I needed. The next morning I woke up and I was completely fine.

I had been focusing on, making bigger, and empowering the wrong thing. I’d forgotten the goodness of God and allowed life to speak louder than the kindness of a Good Father.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Philippians 4:4 ESV

Paul wasn’t silly. He knew it was good for the Philippians to hear it over and over, and they knew for Paul to say something twice meant they needed to pay attention!

Re-joice and again re-joice! Choose joy, and practise being joyful! And keep on practising! It IS a choice! It’s a gift that needs to be in-wrapped again and again! God is ALWAYS full of joy.. and He is ALIVE on the inside of us! 

Why? Spoiler alert: WE WIN!

AT THE END OF THE BOOK – WE WIN!

Death has been defeated! We have unbroken undefiled communion with a kind Father! We get to tell all His kids! WE WIN!

That’s something to be happy about!

I love watching Steve Harvey clips ‘Ask Steve’ – HES SO FUNNY! The questions people ask him, and the responses he gives – I can’t help but laugh! Practise joy! It doesn’t have to seem spiritual!

My mum will often sing to me ‘I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart… where?!..’ and it makes me smile! Even when I don’t feel like it.. Because it’s true! God is in there! He hasn’t left! Sometimes I just forget how happy He is!

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies…

…For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10, 17-18 ESV

They were being persecuted – really persecuted within inches of life, yet they weren’t driven to despair! Why? Because they KNEW how thin the veil that separates us from eternity with God is! They understood – in LIFE – I WIN, in DEATH – I WIN! We can’t lose! They kept an eternal perspective!

Yesterday I played Godfrey Birtill’s song ‘R U Ready’ and my dad came into my room and started dancing, so I jumped up, and we danced the song out from start to finish! Twice! We re-peated joy! We re-joiced! And you know how we felt afterwards?.. HAPPY!

I dare you to try it! We don’t need to understand, we don’t have to know, we don’t need to be in control!

Look at the kids that dance around everyone out the front at Sunday church, do you think they care what everyone’s thinking of them? NO! Let’s be more like them! Let go!

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4

If you feel (feel because it’s not the truth) far from God, give thanks for all the good things He’s done and every time He’s come through for you! Write a list of 5 things everyday that you can be thankful for! 

Practise joy today!

Keep an eternal perspective!

Remember WE WIN!

HAVE THE BEST, JOY FILLED DAY!

                                                                               🌻

It’s a Choice – Life is Short.

How do I even start?

This week I received the devastating news that a good friend and co-worker had passed away.

Does my heart hurt? Yes.
Do I understand? No.

But what I do understand is this..
Life is short. So short in fact that we can be here one moment, and gone the next.

I know, I have been there, I’ve experienced it first hand.

It’s sobering, a wake up call. How much hurt and unnecessary pain do we hold onto? How many offences are we unwilling to cover with grace?

It’s actually not ok.

Once, I was in an incredibly painful position, I had been accused of something so wild that wasn’t even true, and it was even taken to my Pastors at the time, I could have had to say goodbye to everything I felt God call me to! Was I hurt? YOU BET, was I angry? You wouldn’t even know!

I was FUMING!
But one of my pastors said to me ‘oh Chantelle, looks like you have a bit of an attitude towards ______’

Oh really?! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Thanks for pointing out the obvious!?
I thought I had forgiven him, but there was still bitterness in my heart and an attitude towards him. My Pastor then told me I had no choice but to forgive. So, I wailed, not just the tears rolling down the cheeks kind of cry, but the ugly face kind of cry, then I would burst out laughing, then I’d cry / laugh at the same time, then I’d cry then laugh again.

Why?
My internal dialogue was this:

Me: I DONT WANT TO FORGIVE
Lord: But remember how much I’ve forgiven you of?
Me: BUT I DONT WANT TO
Lord: Do you want to be free?
Me: HE DOESNT DESERVE FORGIVENESS
Lord: Do you?
Me: BUT LORD WHAT HE DID WAS AWFUL
Lord: But do you remember how much I’ve forgiven you?..

This went on for at least an hour, my Pastor holding my hand – definitely thinking ‘what a weirdo!’ God won the argument (obviously).. (after an hour) and I forgave and chose my own freedom, and I genuinely love that person and even have a great relationship with them now!

Holding on to un-forgiveness and bitterness is like giving your freedom away to the other person. Joyce Meyer says,

‘Un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die’.

Is it easy? No, but it is a choice. Sometimes when I would see that person, I would feel a rage of emotion about to erupt like a volcano but my spiritual dad would say to me, ‘Chantelle, you have to remind yourself that you’ve already forgiven, and choose love.’

Around the start of this year, I hired a new young lady to work with me, she turned out to be a beautiful friend. I was blessed to be able to share the real Jesus with her and lead her into relationship with Him. She is now in paradise with Him. It was sudden and unexpected but I am so deeply thankful that God trusted me with His daughter, to share the truth and see her in eternal life with Him.

How many people are in your world right now that need a little light? Don’t wait till tomorrow to share the goodness of our Kind Father! Step out! Be courageous! Let go of your fear of rejection, THEY CANT REJECT YOU WHEN THE FATHER HAS ACCEPTED YOU! When I shared His love for my beautiful friend, she sobbed all day and was filled with joy!

We don’t know how many people’s salvation are on the other side of our ‘yes’. We are here, on earth for that very reason!

KEEP AN ETERNAL PERSPECTIVE!

Love and keep on loving! Share and keep on sharing! Shine and keep on shining! Forgive! And keep on forgiving! May our life’s story be ‘no matter what they did towards me, I never changed the way I loved them.’

THATS grace. THATS the gospel. THATS Jesus.

Unconditional love.
Without strings attached.
It’s KINDNESS that leads man to repentance. (Romans 2:4)

Forgiveness also allows us to see people for who they really are in the eyes of God, not for the mistake they made, or a season they’ve walked through, or the pain they once carried.

Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. 2 Corinthians 2:5-

How many people have left community because they’ve been overwhelmed with sorrow that their actions have caused pain? I’m not giving permission for poor behaviour, but what I am saying, is that ‘forgiveness restores the standard.’ (Danny Silk) AND to withhold forgiveness is to be outwitted by satan?!?! (vs 11).

Love is the mark of true maturity. (Colossians 3:14)
Are we truely mature?
Does this really matter? Is this eternal?
If the answer is ‘no’ then, LET IT GO!

13 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. 17 So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. James 4:13-17

Life is sometimes – most times, unexpected, short, BUT it’s also a gift. We can’t bank on tomorrow, we don’t know what tomorrow holds.

Do the people you love, know you love them? Have the people in your world heard the good news? Do they know there’s a Kind Father who loves them without condition?

Step out! Love someone today. Forgive someone today. Be a light somewhere today! Let God heal your heart and make a decision to ‘never change the way you love’ someone no matter what.

They might be here today, but what about tomorrow?..

Moments

Everything changed forever, the day everything changed.

In my journey with God, I’ve walked through many fires but through unconditional love, choosing quick forgiveness and the grace of a Kind Father, I’ve managed to walk through them all without even  smelling like smoke (Daniel 3:27). But nothing – nothing, could have prepared me for this.

The day started out as a great adventure, and ended in the back of a rescue chopper – without my sister, my best friend. We had a terrible accident on what should have been the trip of a life-time. That day, Kimmy graduated into the arms of Jesus, she walked through the incredibly thin veil that separates humanity from eternity and was welcomed into her ‘Endless summer.’

Blog link by Kimberly Jade Wilks:

https://wordpress.com/post/fromtheheart145938268.com/147

It was a shock, a rude awakening, an incredibly sobering moment that would change not only my life, but also my family’s life and everyone that’s been touched by her love in some way. I love her so much, we all do. She was my best friend, my partner in crime, my adventure – sunset chasing, bike riding, dumpling eating, series watching, hair dying, face-masking, bed making, dinner cooking, work buddy. We did everything together. I thought we always would.

I took for granted that I would be an Aunty, that I would hold her kids, stand with her on her wedding day, that she would stand with me on mine – that she would know and approve of the man I would marry. I took for granted that she would chase my kids around on hot days with a hose; that she would teach them about adventure, joy, fun and the deep ways to the heart of God. That she would lead worship on world stages, prophetically dance and watch as people were set free through her courage. I thought we would do it together. I thought we would always walk with each other through all of life’s major milestones and events. I thought I knew how thin the veil is that separates us from forever – I didn’t.

Life is full of moments, moments that change us, moments that leave us inspired – wanting more, moments that cut us to the heart and cause us to say ‘I’ll never be the same.’ Moments are passing us by all the time, they are an invitation into something more. I feel the Father even now, inviting each of us to embrace this moment and choose to be forever changed by it.

In the arena of life I have learned not everything works out the way we hoped it would, circumstances change, we walk through miscarriages, we lose our dream job, we have to adjust to tremendous change, we have to relocate our entire family, the ones we love make terrible life decisions that hurt our hearts, we have an unexpected accident and we lose someone we love dearly. Life doesn’t always go to plan.

So what will we do when it doesn’t?

THESE are the moments that define us. How we respond to moments that could – or even should destroy us. Will we with our free-will, choose to love the Father and remain steadfast and grounded in the goodness of His nature? Or will we allow these storms to knock the wind from our sails and blame the one only one who never left and so desires to hold us when it hurts?

Will we choose to believe the Gospel when life gets real?

Through our faith, the mighty power of God constantly guards us until our full salvation is ready to be revealed in the last time. May the thought of this cause you to jump for joy, even though lately you’ve had to put up with the grief of many trials. But these only reveal the sterling core of your faith, which is far more valuable than gold that perishes, for even gold is refined by fire. Your authentic faith will result in even more praise, glory, and honor when Jesus the Anointed One is revealed.

1 Peter 1:5-7

Walking through the loss of my sister and best friend has been the hardest season of my life. There are places, spaces and songs that remind me of her friendship and the things we have walked through together. The ‘firsts’ of everything are hard. They’re painful. They’re also an invitation from a Kind Father to allow Him to draw close and hold me when no one else can, to heal the places no one else can reach.

I can choose one of two options in those moments:

  1. To withdraw and shut people out because the pain is too great to bare, and also believe the lie that ‘I’m all alone in this, no one else understands’
  2. OR to I can lean into love, allow Him in, to reach out and allow trusted friends and family into those moments of vulnerability and pain.

Vulnerability is courageous, it is strength on display, it is powerful to choose to allow people to see – really see us – see our hearts in moments of weakness and pain, and trust that they won’t judge us but will see us for who we really are in God and speak truth over us with unconditional love. The truth is, we don’t have to be ok all the time, and that’s ok.

We haven’t been ok 100% of the time. But in those moments what I believe makes it powerful is that we CHOOSE to worship our Kind Father even in the midst of immense pain, we choose to lay our hearts out before Him, even in pain, we allow Him into those moments, we allow family into those moments. That’s what makes us brave.

What a powerful thing for humanity to witness! That when we would have every right in the world’s eyes to be angry, depressed and blame God, instead we choose to remain steadfast about His goodness, immovable, walking in love and dare I even say – joy!?

Sometimes we get super comfortable as Christians. We go to church, sing the same songs so often we know the words, we read the bible and forget to allow it to transform us, we pray the prayers, go to the meetings – all the while remaining lukewarm. Then tragedy hits and we get on our faces and pour out hearts out in worship, we get stirred up in response to a circumstance but as time moves on, we forget again.

What if we didn’t rely on a circumstance to give it all?

What if our passion and fire never grew cold?

We get to see what we’re made of when the rubber hits the road and things get tough. What God has done on the inside of us in the secret place, is made very public when tragedy hits. So this is me, encouraging you to go deep, get lost in the Father, dig your roots deep into the assurance of His goodness and kindness towards you. Get on your face in the secret place. Allow Him to go deep in your heart, let His love into the spaces you’ve been afraid to go. Invite your family into hard places and let them speak truth over your heart. Get real, get raw, don’t despise the moment you’re in right now for the longing of a better one.

Embrace this moment, because THIS moment is pivotal for how you will walk through the next.

Thank God for today. Love the people around you. Put down your phone. Be present. Stay aware of how thin the veil is that separates us from eternity. Pour your WHOLE heart out in worship to the Father – every time, never settle into passivity. We never know which moment will be our last.

Choose Jesus today. Choose love now.

Bless you,

Yours in Christ, Chantelle.

My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can!  For you know that when your faith is tested, it stirs up power within you to endure all things.  And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.

James 1:2

 But you don’t have a clue what tomorrow may bring. For your fleeting life is but a warm breath of air that is visible in the cold only for a moment and then vanishes!

James 4:14