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

Endless Summer

Written by Kimberly Wilks

January 27, 2019

I close my eyes, and breathe in deep. As fresh oxygen fills my lungs, I sit in this pocket of bliss – taking in the raw tracks through wild country that lye before me. On my left, raging blue and green expanses of fierce uncharted waters. On my right, deep green melts into blues and vast hues of purple yellow and orange as the sun sets over mountain ranges which are covered in wild pine and oak trees. Before me – untamed, uncharted and uninhibited land. The greatest adventure yet. I hear my beloved’s whisper “Welcome to the Endless Summer”.

Hope fills and overwhelms every fibre of my being as I begin to ponder His whisper – this great adventure. The summer that never ends. Memories of summers past flood my mind and bring with them familiar feelings of the bliss I encountered in the midst of these adventures. Permission to play puts my heart at ease and releases tension I didn’t realise I was carrying. As I continue to ponder, I sense a deepening awareness that this summer is wildly different from all the rest. This adventure is not just a seasonal invitation for pockets of peace and moments of bliss – it’s an invitation to stay. It’s not merely a break from the stress and pressure of the world – but complete and utter freedom from it… forever.

This extravagant act of an invested lover reveals a deep kindness in his nature that melts my heart and draws me to engage with him. This invitation not only releases me from every kind of heaviness my soul has ever known, but it liberates my heart to begin to engage in the real adventure – the endless pursuit of a Lover King who has obliterated the power of everything that once separated my heart from his. This Lover King who did everything in his power to close the gap. Who saw that it wasn’t enough to simply be with me in the flesh –  he had to be closer than that. He had to make a home in my heart. To be close in every moment- and take care of me from the inside out. I begin to realise that nearness has always been his goal. Every move he’s ever made has been towards me. A fierce intentionality fills his every gesture. His motivation – simply to be near.

Finally, the fight is over. Peace is no longer a substance to obtain..or something I can loose. It’s not running away from me. He’s running towards me. No longer to do I need to fight to preserve my freedom, my rights, my joy or my peace. Once upon a time, my every effort was geared towards finding joy, bliss, peace and pleasure..and keeping it. Preserving it. Fear ruled my choices because the slightest change in my surroundings would threaten my internal experience of peace and joy. The gift of this kind lover – the Endless Summer – is the freedom from the fight. No longer am I motivated to preserve my peace – for it can no longer be threatened by surrounding circumstances. The gift of the Endless Summer is the gift He has fought for with His life. It’s the oasis of constant nearness to the one who loves me like no other. All the energy I once used to preserve my heart, is now free to simply engage in the beautiful one. The one who saw fit to gift my heart with this outrageous freedom – for freedoms sake. With no other motive in his heart, and no strings attached. Simply – enjoy the gift of being wildly and wonderfully free. Suddenly striving becomes a fickle idea as it’s exposed for what it really is – the subtle but deadly belief that the heart of Jesus is passive about me in some way. How could I add to what he has already done? Do I really believe that my desire to be free could outweigh the strength of his desire for me to be free? The war is over. He has created an eternal place of internal rest for a soul that only knew how to fight. A safe space of wild freedom that liberates every fibre of my being from every ounce of fight for me and turns my heart to fight for others.

I breathe in deep, and behold the last glimmer of golden sun as it sets over the last of the hills. My heart leaps within me as I contemplate the end of a life of working-to-rest, and the beginning of the Endless Summer. A life anchored in the depths of my lovers heart – free from the fight of all i’ve ever known. Free from fear. As I take one last glance at the setting sun, I feel the thrill of my Father as he ushers me into the dawn of the best day I’ve ever had. I hear his whisper once again..

“Welcome, my dear, to the Endless Summer…”

Darwin, a New Stake in the Ground

My parents couldn’t have kid’s, they were told by every leading specialist that it was in fact impossible. They were baby Christians at the time, so they held onto hope. One day, my Dad, Papa Wayne, heard the audible voice of God telling him it was time to move. It didn’t make sense in the natural – much like Noah building an ark for the coming flood due to rain.. Back then they had never seen water fall from the sky! Madness!

Mainly it didn’t make sense because they were debt free at the time, and moving would require a loan. But. They did. 5 minutes down the road to be exact, but our kind Father was teaching them something..

Blessing for obedience.

The very first night they were in their new home, 5 minutes down the road from their old one, they fell pregnant with me. Praise the LORD! I’m so thankful they listened and obeyed as I’m sure many of you are – because you have ME! (I know, I know, you love me)..

Deuteronomy 28 says it well, ‘If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God…You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country… You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out…’

So from a very young age, I have valued obedience to the call and the voice of God, so when he says something, I put a stake in the ground and camp there until I hear Him say anything else. I’m stubborn like that (in a good way of course). I have seen first-hand the fruit that comes from obeying his voice which leads me to this, I have recently heard our Kind Father ask me if I would venture on the next leg in my journey with Him..

and I said yes.

In November last year, Holy Spirit started prompting conversations about Darwin, at the time I believed it was just to visit for a week or two to see what was happening in our Glory City campus and bring it back to Brisbane because I knew God had planted me and given me an assignment. However, when the New Year rolled over, I literally felt the a shift in the spirit, I felt like God had moved on without me and I was somewhere I should no longer be (I know God never leaves me but that’s the best way I can explain the feeling). I cried for 3 days because I didn’t understand at the time what was happening, it was the worst feeling ever! But during the course of the next few days, Father reminded me of the conversations I had shelved about Darwin and thus the conversation begun.

I’m the kind of person, I need to hear God for myself, I need to know it’s his best plan for me, not just Chantelle’s plan, or man’s plan, but God’s plan, God’s plan.. *sings* So I asked God for confirmation, I told Him I wouldn’t be leaving this place, this stake in the ground unless He confirmed to me that it was in-fact the right thing to do.

That night I had a dream, the dream was nothing parallel to a move to Darwin, but upon going through the dream dictionary and pulling apart the dream, He was clearly showing me it was the right thing to do. So I then brought this to my parents, my mentor’s and people who speak into my life – just to make sure I wasn’t crazy.. and what do you know? They all unanimously felt it was right.

It’s not easy for people like that to encourage me to obey, because we’re family – and not just by blood. So for them it means having to say goodbye, that’s hard! But at the same time it also means they get to see me fly. It’s not easy for me either! Over this past year, the Father has been teaching me about family, and what it means to really love and lay our lives down for one another. On this journey, I’ve found friends that have become family, people I know will be forever friends – I have to say goodbye to them too! That’s hard.

The biggest part of my family journey has been leading the Glory City Youth movement. It’s been such an honour and a privilege to have been able to watch each of you grow, learn, risk, receive and become more yourselves, and more like Jesus than ever before! Being able to do life with you guys has been the biggest blessing in my life, with you, I’ve learned to be vulnerable, that I don’t have to be ok all the time, that I can be real – but most of all (and best if you ask me) become more childlike. Let loose. Have fun and be a kid again. I’m so thankful for every single young person, leader and family that’s been a part of this journey to date!

I also know, that family doesn’t always mean we are in the same physical location, sometimes families live across different cities – even countries, but it doesn’t make us any less family. I will be calling, messaging, commenting and loving my family (extended) whenever I can, whenever I think of you. You have each buried yourselves deep in my heart and I’m also excited to see some of you step up into your own destinies with the new space you will have to dream new dreams!

I love each of you dearly, so I am sad but also excited. Excited to see what the next season will look like for me – and for you. To see how you too, will fly. I have no idea what lies ahead, what I will be doing, where I will live, but I trust the One who does. Because He’s kind.

I will be venturing on a big road trip on July 2nd! So let’s celebrate, love each other and take lots of photos to remember how good we looked in 2018.

So cheers, to putting a new stake in the ground, and giving you a reason to visit Darwin.

 

Hebrews 11: 8- By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 

Jesus, Jesus: Mother’s Day 2018

Mothers Day

Before I was even born,

You cried tears of desperate love as every month brought blood.

I couldn’t begin to imagine the Mother you would become,

Not just to me, and your little one – but every young heart needing love.

 

They say within a name is a world,

Describing the very nature of that person.

Well you my dear are light, peace, joy, understanding, mercy, safety and love.

 

You believe in the one whom has your attention,

You see Jesus in the eyes of the face you’re beholding.

You gently comfort the heart of the one who is hurting,

You call out gold as you partner with the Lord who is molding.

 

When I was young, I was afraid of the poking and prodding

But you held my head in your hands and told me to cry out ‘Jesus, Jesus’

Even back then, you built a foundation for me in the hard times,

Fast forward 20 years and I would draw on that foundation for strength –

In times of loneliness, heartbreak, distress, anger and injustice.

‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…’

 

When I was young and misunderstood,

You taught me that ‘it’s better to be a good friend than to have one.

Back then, you were teaching me unconditional love –

love like Jesus, without strings attached, without needing it back.

 

In my life today, the world can see the evidence of your love.

In the way – I – love people, the way I comfort, the way I smile.

People feel safe with you. People feel safe with me too.

People leave you running to the arms of the Father,

Because you are such a good Mother.

 

I had to learn how to share you. I didn’t like it at first.

Or second or third or fourth.

But I started to see how selfish of me it would be, to keep you to myself.

See dear, you have worlds inside of you, and the world needs what’s inside of you.

 

They too need to know that no matter what, you won’t change the way you love them.

You will still see the Jesus when they don’t feel so lovely.

You will hold their head in your hands and teach them to cry out ‘Jesus, Jesus.’

Knowing one day, they won’t need you, but they will always need Him.

 

Your love, a mothers comfort, has held me through so many moments,

Through heart break & through victory and I want you to know this.

It meant the world to me when you saw how deeply I was hurting,

Yet you wanted me to be happy so you let me keep on going.

And when my heart finally broke, each time due to my own decision,

You sat quietly with me and let me sob, moan and grieve.

I know in those moments, it was you that cried out ‘Jesus, Jesus’ for me.

 

There are times I look back on and see,

Just how deep is your love for me.

When I left for Jarkarta ‘Mum, that’s where the Lord needs me to be!’

And you let me go.

Breathe in, breathe out. ‘Jesus, Jesus.’

 

 

In your day to day, you’ve showed me how to choose connection,

To choose love and give up my need to be right, my need to fight.

You taught me to keep my heart right, to quickly forgive for the sake of my own heart,

Even when the injustice done towards me, caused your own heart to hurt.

‘We won’t pray until you’re ready to forgive..’

‘Jesus.. Jesus.’

Back then, and even now at times its hard,

but I find it gets quicker and shorter in-between my moments of pain and freedom.

You taught me that it’s my privilege to love no matter how I am treated,

And at the end of my life I know people will be able to say

‘She never changed the way she loved me.’

Not everyone will know, but those who know you will say it’s true,

That a big part of this in me, is because of you.

 

You are so patient and kind.

You nurture – everyone.

You are generous beyond compare.

You love and keep on loving.

You pursue.

You bring joy where there’s been deep sorrow.

You allow people to be raw.

You are creative.

You are bold.

You are strong.

You are fire.

You are passion.

You are teacher.

You hear the voice of the Father.

You bring hope to dry places.

You bring light and life.

You add colour.

You are righteous.

You are Holy.

You are peace.

You are wisdom.

You are fun.

You never change your mind about people.

You are constant.

You are steady.

You are wild.

You are free.

You are everything the Father hoped you would be.

You make people feel safe with you.

You look just like the Father, which is why we all come to you.

 

Sharon is large and incredibly patient. Sharon is gentle and consistently kind to all. She refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Sharon does not brag about her achievements or inflate her own importance. Sharon doesn’t traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek her own honor. Sharon is not easily irritated or quick to take offense. Sharon joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Sharon is a safe place of shelter for she never stops believing the best for others. Sharon never takes failure as defeat, for she never gives up. Sharon never stops loving.

2 Corinthians 13:4-8

You, have done very well, you have become love. I believe at the end of our lives, the Father will ask us if we learned to love – and you have not only learned how to, but you’ve demonstrated and taught the world around you how to love as well. There is so much more I could say about you, but if the world catches wind, Ill have no time with you!

I love you so much Mum. You are one of a kind. My best friend.

Happy Mother’s Day.