Week 5 – A Cage Is Not A Home (Fear of God)

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Okay chaps, get ready.

This is the week where I possibly had THE biggest revelation on DTS, that has actually changed my whole perspective on how I’ve been living my life.
I’M SO EXCITED TO SHARE THIS WITH YOU!

For week 5 (Fear of God), we watched a series of preaches by an American pastor called Sy Rogers. Though honestly I don’t really feel his series covered much of the actual topic we were supposed to be studying, I loved his teaching so much and got hit hard with so many truth nuggets! Including my new favourite bike analogy:

If you fall off your bike, you don’t magically go back to the beginning of the ride and re-cycle the route! You get up, shake off the dust and get your butt back on and continue the journey! ”  (paraphrased)

Sometimes it’s easy to think when we fail or sin, that we lose all the progress we’ve made, but that’s such a big fat lie from our jealous acquaintance the devil, who is always rooting for us to fail.

We don’t lose the ground we’ve already made, and we’re not going back to the beginning when we have to go over something we’ve struggled with before – it’s simply a deeper revelation or another layer of what God is doing in us.

Sy also talked about renewing of the mind, and the biological process we have to go through to form new habits and patterns in our lives. I found it really useful to see how our body actually changes physically as we repeatedly make decisions to think a different way and alter our previously learned conventions.
It’s tedious and hard in the beginning – the brain learns by repetition and reinforcement, so we have to try and actively creating new thinking patterns many times before it actually makes a difference – but with perseverance, it is possible to restructure our brains and the way we live for good!
1013002-3_extralargeWith these things coming together in my mind throughout the week, on the last day we were asked to get into groups and pray for each other. I started talking with two other girls about overcoming bad thoughts and how sometimes when depression takes over, it can even seem too overwhelming to try to fight at all because we literally have no energy and nothing left to give. One of the girls gave an amazing analogy about how during these times, all that is required of us is to hand over or “shoot up” our thoughts/emotions to God and HE will deal with them – a bit like in clay pigeon shooting when the machine shoots up the target into the air, and then the shooter destroys it!

God is our gunman.
When we are wounded in battle and overwhelmed by the war, he fights on our behalf.
He is the lie destroyer, and what’s more, he always hits the target: every single time.

c931bc7e239b0e1dedc21503705a1579.jpgAfter chatting in our group for a bit, we started to pray for each other and the Holy Spirit met with me big time! He started to reveal to me that for a long time I have made depression and anxiety part of my identity and used it to define a part of myself; but that isn’t who I really am now. He brought back the picture I had a while ago of me in a cage – the door had already been opened, but I was still struggling to step into freedom. Every time the light shone on me, I ran straight back behind the bars and shut the door behind me! I started to hear the phrase: “A cage is not a home” over and over again, and I realised that I had been giving so much room for the enemy to work in my life by believing that depression and anxiety belonged to me and were part of me.

I can say with great certainty now that THEY ARE NOT. 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Now it was time for the hard bit. Having a new revelation about how I’d taken on lies as something to shape who I was, meant I had a decision to make: Was I going to come out of the cage for real and leave it all behind or was I going to carry on shivering behind bars?

It sounds like a no-brainer put this way, but the fact is the cage had actually BECOME my home for a while.
Home = familarity, safety, security.
A cage definitely is not a good place to live, but at that time I had no memory of what a house even looked like, and so that had become my reality of home during that season.

These next bits are still a little hard to share, but running back into into my cage when things got hard actually felt a lot more safe than becoming vulnerable enough to let people in to love me; if this ever did happen, I didn’t know how to fully receive it and always felt I had to immediately give something back to them.

Letting thoughts about my ugliness, worthlessness and never being good enough continue to wash over me, was a lot more comfortable than taking a stand against lies I had known since I was 7 years old.

Agreeing with what the world had spoken about how I looked and that how my body looks = my worth, felt a lot closer to me than the truth of what the Father speaks over me.

The fear of being a burden; being both too much and not enough at the same time made isolation the preferable option over potentially enticing an anxiety attack or even worse: someone choosing to leave me alone – one of my biggest fears.

The bars of selfishness and wallowing in sadness meant that it didn’t matter if other people cared about me or not because I was protected against them ever letting me down or hurting me again.

Entertaining thoughts of suicide and self-harm, then talking about them out loud now and again kept the “man up, stop being dramatic, get over it, you’re just tired” comments at bay. Reminding people of my pain was my guarantee that people would take me seriously instead of writing it off as “Holly’s being emotional again”.

“Depression”, “anxiety” and “mental health problems” put words to the deep feelings I could not describe. The labels justified my pain in a way that people could more easily understand than just simply saying: “I feel everything, all of the time” with the risk of them shunning me for the way I was created.

That old “nobody understands you” line seemed a lot more tangible and familiar than the possibility of somebody actually getting to know me fully and accepting me the way I was, without something having to change first.

My victim mentality relieved the responsibility of self-management and delayed the daunting process of stepping up and being the adult, leader and warrior I am actually made to be.

Sleeping in kept away the necessity of fighting and trying to make things better, then the nightmares reinforced the sleep pattern.

Self-hatred was the safety blanket that I used to tuck myself in at night and tears were the friends that never left me; the only acceptable expression of my inner anguish.

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I just want to clarify at this point, that I am in no way diminishing depression, anxiety or mental health issues. If anything I feel like I have huge understanding of it from the last few years of battling through many highs and lows. I believe that mental health constitutes as genuine illness – more than most people have awareness of in fact – but as I believe that God can and does heal people of physical disease, I also believe he sets people free from mental health problems too.

I am not writing this post as a formula for healing  or suggesting this is how everyone should go about it – everybody is unique and on different journeys – this is simply my personal testimony and story of how God is healing me, that I am sharing hopefully to encourage you and give you hope!
My feelings during this season were REAL.
The devil and his schemes against humanity are real.
Heck, the struggle was flipping real!

But my God is also real.

And so is my healing!
I believe the majority of mental health issues consist of a battlefield in the mind, and that day I decided to make a stand against the attacks against my headspace that had gone on far too long. This wasn’t about simply “willing myself” out of depression Peter Pan style, but it was through the power of God and his revelation about who I was made to be that set me free both instantly on that day, and started the deeper process of healing over time.

So how did this process begin? Simply put, I stepped out of the cage.

On that day, I died to my victim mentality.
I repented of my selfishness.
I asked God to show me who he thinks I am and to fill any gap I was trying to botch up with people’s affirmation.
I gave back God his job of keeping me safe.
I asked him to teach me how to be okay with my emotional personality, and how to manage it well.
I asked him to help me see myself through his eyes, and not how the world does.
I rebuked the enemy and all the schemes he had against me for so long, then gave back God his authority over my heart and mind.

I also felt convicted to declare my revelation out loud! After praying and sobbing for a while, I grabbed my one-on-one and one of our school leaders to explain it all.
I declared what God was doing in me in front of them and the truth about who I really am (thank you identity week for a reminder of those!)
It’s one of the hardest things I had to do on the school but that day I genuinely died to the hold depression and anxiety had on me.

I asked my leaders to pray, and honestly have never felt such a lightness as I did in that moment! Looking back I realise that was the beginning of the process God has been doing in me the last few weeks and I am so, so thankful for that day!

After praying, I chatted with my leaders a bit and they told me that in order to engage with the process rather than this being a one-time event, I had to continue to walk in the opposite spirit of what I knew whenever I felt like retreating back into the shadows.

When I felt like isolating myself, I had to make a conscious decision to find people to 4bc26fc1-3082-43f9-91ca-6aedd7241051hang out with.
When I had troubles waking up and facing the day, I had to get a friend to make sure I was okay and coming to class etc.

And so over the last 2 months, that’s what I’ve been trying to do! It definitely hasn’t been a smooth ride, especially in the beginning – moving house can be a hard process, but I can definitely say there is a huge difference in me since then.

My enemy tactics are a lot stronger – God’s truth about me is now plastered all over my wall and it’s become a habit for me to shun out bad thoughts quickly now and remind myself of my identity!

I flipping started JOGGING in the MORNING before lectures! If that doesn’t say something’s changed in me then I don’t know what does!

Also an AMAZING outcome of this is that I am totally free from the hold make up had on me, and the eczema on my face has completely healed!!

I’m not perfect, I still get sad and sometimes I’m still tempted to go wandering back to those old familiar bars once in a while, but there is no denying, God used Week 5 to shake up things in my life.

I am so much more secure in who I am and what my calling is now.
I am genuinely a lot more joyful and less easily irritated by small things!
I have a lot more grace for people and am starting to zoom out of my own problems enough to sync up with God’s heart for the world that is so much bigger than myself.

I am genuinely changed for the better.

God is good.

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Week 4 – Father Heart of God

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So in case you couldn’t tell, it’s been a crazy, crazy month or so here in Australia, and I’ve gotten severely behind on my blogging! It turns out lecture phase had a pretty insane schedule and there hasn’t really been loads of down time, so as I sit here taking in the fact we are in our last week before overseas outreach, I thought it would be a good idea to update now you as best I can! The plan is to give you the highlights and things that have impacted me the most over the last 8 weeks in the form of several a-bit-longer-than-usual blogs, so you can get an idea of where I’m at now, then hopefully squeeze in an update or two after outreach!

Yaaay!

First up in this post we have:

Week 4 – Father Heart of God.

Just before I dive into this though, I’ll give you some brief info about our outreach!

For those of you who aren’t aware, the second part of our DTS, (after the lecture phase) involves an overseas trip where we partner with organisations abroad – similar to the Tearfund trip I went on to South Africa a few years ago!

We had the choice of 4 different locations, and before I came here I was convinced I was going to Thailand; however, after some thinking and praying (v. important) I chose…

CAMBODIA!

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Cannot believe how quickly it’s come around but THIS SATURDAY I’ll be going with these lovely people to Battambang for 6 weeks! We’re hoping the majority of our time will be spent volunteering in a school called New Hope and an organisation that works with street children called Crossing Cambodia!

I’m really looking forward to going on outreach with such an amazing team and can’t wait to see what God has for us, even if the unknown can be a bit scary too!

I will hopefully update you about what’s going on whilst we’re there or when I return!

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Week 4 – Father Heart of God
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Goodness me, this seems so long ago now but I still remember that Father Heart of God was an important week of DTS for me as a reminder of God’s desires.

We had various people come to teach us this week including Eero who is part of an awesome family here on base! His testimony of being involved the music industry and teaching on how God’s heart is always for reaching people over being on a stage really inspired me! Two local pastors called William Curtis and Andrew also came to speak to us.

I expected to have this week pretty down to be honest – after my earthly dad passed away at 14, I always found it easier to relate to the Father more than Jesus and the Holy Spirit, and since then I’ve had 11 years to practice depending on Him to fill the gap my human dad leaves behind! I know there’s obviously still a few issues from him not being around anymore, and in some ways being reminded of what an important role a father plays in a family was hard to sit through, but overall I naively thought I wouldn’t have much to work on during this topic!

However, as the week unfolded, I realised I had a really simple but profound gap in my faith. As lectures went on, a question began to form in my mind:

How can this void that a physical, living, breathing father left REALLY be filled by a powerful yet essentially invisible God? 

551593_10150671942829001_566233115_nI genuinely love God with all my heart and as I get to know him more, the deeper I fall for him still. For years he has shown me so many aspects of a perfect father: provision, discipline, guidance, protection, comfort; but it’s that last one I really struggle with. God has never physically given me a big hug or sat me on his lap (I know I’m too old for this now but hey, I think we all want to feel safe and small from time to time!). I have experienced God in a physical way occasionally in the past – feeling God’s hand on my shoulder during worship, warmth when people have prayed for me etc. but there is still this desire in me to know a tangible father every day, as my human dad was.
Was I just not trusting in God enough to completely fulfil this longing in me, or was I missing something? I spent a bit of time thinking this over and on the last day decided to wait at the end of class to speak with the pastor and his son about it.

The funny thing about having a profound, simple question is that I got a profound, simple answer !

I relayed my question to Andrew and the first thing he asked me was:
“Have you got any people at home you can look to as parents?”

He went on to speak a little about how mentors are really valuable to have in your life and about how the church should be about the spirit of adoption etc. and it just hit me:
God can use people in my life to fill the gap my dad left.

I told you it’s simple, but there is definitely a difference between having head knowledge and another layer of heart revelation!
We are called to be Jesus’ hands and feet for a reason: there are so many people who are in need of parents and this really stirred up my heart for the church to rise up and become surrogate mums and dads – the world needs family!

I started to think over that God has already put specific people in my life to step into this seemingly unfillable void .

I have an AMAZING mum back in Wales who has basically done her best to fulfil role of both a mum AND a dad for my sister and I this whole time. She has shown me so much comfort and provision in all these years, and my definition of unconditional love comes from her and the compassion The Father has put in her.
In Bristol, I live in community where I’m the youngest adult (baby not included) and I have amazing examples of godly men surrounding me on a daily basis now! Two of my closest friends in Briz mentor me in music and are basically my own flesh and blood, my closest friends in Manchester who I actually refer to as my brothers and sisters, champion the heck out of my dreams and calling, the original brother of mine being Tony (Unc) who offers me countless wisdoms and encouragement even though we live on different sides of the country!

My revelation showed me that God has a heart for family, he knows that we need it and he also knows how to provide for it, even if it doesn’t look like you’re stereotypical, perfect, “nuclear” family anymore!

30118320_10155590519789001_715307784_nI think I am still going to take Andrew’s advice and ask God to show me a couple who can be mentors to me – there is an obvious benefit to being guided by an older, wiser man in that it mirrors the relationship I would have with my dad if he was here; but I’m also really learning God’s nature as a perfect father over earthly people.

As easy as it is to portray my dad as a superhero (in so many ways he was one!) there is also the simple truth that he was not perfect, and would still make mistakes and let me down if he was here today. The beautiful, wonderful thing I am learning about God is that he is SO steadfast and reliable, and whilst I still miss my dad most days, I know that my God meets all the things in me, I could never realistically expect my earthly dad to.

God never lies, he never leaves and he always loves.

I will probably talk about this a bit when I get to the relationships week as well, but a huge part of the work God is doing in me on DTS is showing me that he is the only one who can truly satisfy my desire for deep, real intimacy.

God made us for relationship and there obviously is a place for friendship, parents, marriage etc. but it seems funny how he’s teaching me how to trust people, then also remember he is the only perfect one simultaneously!

There will be a time where I meet God face-to-face and GOODNESS ME I cannot wait for that, but in the meantime, he has a desire for us to be in relationship with both people and himself!

Who would have thought it?!

Week 3 | Part 2 – Let Love Conquer Your Mind

So continuing from Part 1, Identity Week was a bit insane.

(Part 1 can be found here if you missed it:
https://dtstoowoomba.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/week-3-part-1-hope-begins-in-the-dark/ )

Joanne continued teaching us about identity and highlighting the lies that the media tries to sell us about ourselves in order to make us buy things we don’t need.

In one lecture, we wrote down the world’s expectations of what a man and woman “should” be like according to the media on a big whiteboard. It was really interesting to be reminded how ridiculous and unrealistic the images we are bombarded with every
HT_dove_commercial_jtm_140807_16x9_992day actually are – most of them even contradict themselves! The world says that women’s identity comes from their appearance. We need to have a thigh gap, toned stomach, big boobs, tiny waist and big bum whilst maintaining flawless skin, great hair, and a career and family?
Apparently men’s identity comes from how “manly” they are, which is dependent on what they can do and how many girls they can “do.” Men need to be brave, sensitive, confident (but not TOO confident) rich, successful, tall, handsome, muscular, charismatic, in the habit of sleeping around or being completely obsessed with their girlfriends/wives whilst not being able to cry or have any needs of their own?

THIS IS NOT THE TRUTH.

It makes me so sad the way the enemy twists the beautiful God things made just enough to make them ugly and destructive – without us even realising most of the time.

According to John and Stasi Eldregde’s books “Captivating” and “Wild At Heart”, both men and women carry questions deep within us we long to be answered.

For women it’s: “Am I captivating? Am I beautiful?”

For men: “Am I manly enough? Do I have what it takes?”

This exercise was really good at reminding me that if we let the world answer these questions for us then we’re going to develop a very twisty self-view.

As humans we were created to reflect different aspects of God.
Women were made to reveal God’s beauty and men were made to demonstrate God’s ability to come through for people.
These purposes are both different but equally important and easily manipulated by the world’s (cough the enemy’s) need to separate us from the truth of who we really are, and how God defines us.

I think knowing our identity in God is definitely not a quick fix – some lies we have believed since childhood – but this week has enlightened me to the active resistance we need to have against the voices that tell us who we are over God’s, even if it looks like shouting it at yourself every morning in the mirror!

During and after the lecture, I started to think about a lot of the lies that I’ve believed about myself vs. what God really says about me. That night I had a dream about the cross. In the dream, I wrote down all the lies I took on as part of my identity, then nailed them to the cross where Jesus defeated them, and they disappeared.
I woke up feeling like it would be really good to recreate this in person. I decided I would make some time on the weekend to draw a cross on paper/ make one on the wall of our room, then stick on all the things I believed on it as a symbolic gesture that I didn’t want to take on thoughts of the enemy anymore.

It just so happened that this was the EXACT activity we had planned for the next day, which we had no idea about! Was a little bit shocked when I found out that I’d basically had a prophetic dream!

Joanne asked us in lectures to write down 2 lists: one of all the lies we believed, then one of all the truths that counteracted it. Honestly it was a bit scary realising just how many untruths actually go round in my head on a daily basis, and painful to actually write them down, but eventually I finished my 6 pages of lies and truths.

During evening lectures, we spent some time with God before taking our lies to the wooden cross we have on base and leaving them there. I think this was one of the most powerful things I’ve done on the course so far. After praying, I physically tore up the lies and left them at the cross to die.

Coming back to my spot on the carpet, I realised I may have started with 3 pages of lies, but going back to meant I am left with nothing but 3 pages of truth over me! So awesome!

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In evening lectures, a lot more healing happened.

It’s quite a lot to write in this blog (especially as I’m finishing it off about 4 weeks later!) but I’ll try to give you the gist of it.

We sat in a circle separated the guys and girls, and decided to pray for each group in turn – starting with the guys. Joanne felt there was forgiveness that needed to happen in order to bring healing, so as a group of girls, we sat at the men’s feet and became a representation of all the women who had hurt them in their lives. One by one we apologised on behalf of those who had caused pain in the past – from mothers, sisters, girlfriends, friends etc. then the men had an opportunity to forgive them, followed by a lot of ministry and prayer as the guys worked through different things with God.

During this time, we washed the men’s feet as a symbolic gesture of reconciliation, then went round the room praying for different guys – that’s where chains really started to break. I won’t go into details to honour my class mates and staff, but goodness me, healing is so beautiful and messy.

After an hour or so of ministry, it was the girls’ turn.
Joanne told us to stand in the middle of the room, close our eyes and imagine the scene she was describing for us. She put on the song “We Dance” by Steffany Gretzinger and told us to imagine being in a ballroom, in a beautiful dress just with God.
Honestly at first, I found this quite cheesy and struggled to get into it.
As Joanne continued to describe the truth God was speaking over us, I randomly got a picture of Belle from Beauty in the Beast in her yellow dress, dancing in the castle’s ballroom. I suddenly remembered how in awe I was of the beauty and magic of the scene when I saw the live action version in the cinema, and this made it a lot easier to imagine me twirling around the dance floor, just with my father.

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After a while, the guys were released across the room to go and dance with the girls – representing God spinning us around the room.

I may or may not have lost it a bit at this point…

It feels so weird writing it now, but it’s amazing how even though at the time I knew I was dancing with different class mates, whenever I looked up into their eyes, I genuinely saw Jesus staring back at me.
(Being a bit vulnerable here), I know not having a father anymore often leaves me longing for attention or acceptance from men, so being able to look past a guy who was literally holding me in his arms, to see that God is holding onto me and not letting go, really hit the message home that Jesus is enough for me.

I had a hard-hitting revelation that no other man (or lack thereof) can ever come close to defining me or loving me the way he does.

Still on the journey from the head to the heart with this one, but thankfully God is a pretty awesome travelling companion!

This night definitely broke some things in me, as well making me seriously appreciate the absolutely incredible new brothers I have acquired on DTS! (Huge apologies for ruining a few shirts with the mascara bros!!)

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After completing this topic, honestly I’ve come away feeling like we kind of need to have an identity century, rather than identity week, but as well as the healing I’ve received in the last few days, I feel like I have some new tools to go away and work on with God in the weeks to come.
On the Friday, we spent a few hours in small groups with our pieces of paper with the truths on, and took it turns to stand up declare them in front of the group. This looked different for each person, but it was really powerful to actively replace lies with truth, even if we are still going through the process of believing our words.

After spending a few hours of reflection time in the prayer room on Saturday, I’ve decided I’m going to try and actively come against the lies of the devil by literally writing and sticking the truths God spoke over me all over my room! The Biblical principle and weapon of thought-capturing I’ve spoken about in previous posts is slowly becoming more familiar, and I also feel like I’ve been challenged not to wear make-up for a while!

Establishing a firm foundation of my identity is definitely a process that will be continuing outside of DTS, but I’m still excited to see what the next few weeks bring 🙂

Week 3 | Part 1 – Hope Begins In The Dark

**Warning. Post contains graphic images**

What. A. Week.

I came away from writing my last post thinking how intense Week 2 was as far as emotions go, but as I sit here melting at a desk upstairs, contemplating the rollercoaster few days we’ve had as a class, and how on earth I’m going to put it into words, it’s starting to look pretty tame!

Buckle up. This one’s a good one. (also split into 2 parts to make it easier to read).

Week 3 in our programme was the long-awaited Identity Week, and basically one of the main reasons I wanted to come on DTS in the first place! I really believe that everything we do is affected by who we think God is and what we think about ourselves in relation to that, so I was looking forward to seeing what God had to say through Joanne Blaik, our awesomeeee speaker for the week.

It started out pretty well. We watched a lot of videos talking about being loved and valuable just as we are, including The Greatest Showman’s “This Is Me” – what a cracker!

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We went back to the basis of creation in the Bible to emphasise how we were designed and created in love, and went through various material to illustrate exactly how unique we are as men, women, and individuals.

One thing that particularly stood out for me in lectures was reading a medical description of what Jesus went through on the cross.

I think sometimes it’s so easy for us to talk about the crucifixion flippantly – “I got my hair cut today, then I ate a sandwich, Jesus died on the cross for me blah blah blah.” We colour in nice little pictures of him in Sunday school as kids and show PowerPoints of a lovely, clear-skinned, western looking man wearing a loin cloth in church, but actually taking on the reality of the excruciating agony a real, blameless man went through to reunite mankind with their loving creator and father, added a whole new weight and understanding to the “gospel” for me.

christ_passion_movie_crossAs we kept reading, it hit home that Jesus chose to be mocked, abused and beaten until he was one whip away from death FOR ME.
The son of God did absolutely nothing wrong in his life, and he chose to go through the most brutal of all deaths in history to save ME.
The most compassionate, loving, king-become-servant’s skin was ripped from his back by whips beyond recognition, so that I would not have to suffer the consequences of the separation from God that I created. The son of heaven sweated blood in the garden of Gethsemane, then poured it out from every inch of his body FOR ME.
That cross was MINE, not his.
MY sin drove those nails into his hands and feet that he used to prop himself up on with the little strength he had left, just so he could gasp for breath.

He had the power to get down, but he didn’t.
He could have found another way, but he didn’t.
Not only did he choose not to save himself, but HE FORGAVE the people who put him there.
He forgave US.

Why?
Because of love.
Because God loves ME.
Because God loves YOU.

If that doesn’t say something about our worth then I don’t know what else does.

We were worth the sacrifice.

I think having the full weight of this revelation sitting on my heart at the beginning of the week had a huge impact on me emotionally, both in and out of class. As the days went on, some darkness started creeping in again and I began to find it increasingly hard to go to lectures. After watching a clip from The Butterfly Circus, we had to stand up and declare that we were “magnificent” out loud and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I don’t think I quite realised how hard the lectures were hitting until then, so when I heard everyone else shouting truth around me, it sent me into a bit of a spiral of “I’ve had self-worth issues for 10+ years, am I going to be broken forever?” kind of thoughts.

Word art with women and BibleTuesday afternoon worship was really tough as lies flooded my mind again – long story short, it ended with me having to leave and cry-scream over the mountains for a while, followed by a long chat and prayer-sesh with two of the leaders (who are absolute angels). This is super emo, but I think the numbness and inabilty to feel God I had that night, was actually worse than feeling really down beforehand. Thankfully the dude in Psalm 42 also gets where I was coming from:

I say to God, my rock: “Why have you forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a deadly wound in my bones, my adversaries taunt me, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?

 Psalm 42:9 – 11

Wednesday morning, I hit “rock bottom” and couldn’t face getting out of bed to attend Bible study – the thought of confronting so many people whilst also loathing myself completely for not being able to do something so simple was not amazingly fun. After deciding I was too much of a burden to be here and perhaps this wasn’t the best place for me to deal with my “stuff”, I started entertaining the idea of  leaving Australia.

As gloomy and personal as this stuff is, I feel at this point I should say I’m not just oversharing for the sake of it or to trying to throw a pity party, but actually to highlight the victory that comes next compared to where I was. The last half of Psalm 42:11 says:

“Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”

And that’s how the week ended – with hope in God and praise! There is glory in my story!

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Rainbow at The Point – Prince Henry Heights

As I started wondering what was left for me back in the UK, and working out whether I could switch my flight to an earlier one, I was reminded of a promise I didn’t even realise I had made in my heart when I first got here: I would complete the entire course no matter how hard it got.
This is the strongest I’ve ever felt like I was called to be somewhere so specifc by God, which means that even though the bugs are horrible, my eczema hates the heat, I have felt really alone, the schedule has been super overwhelming and I have been going stir crazy being in the same place all day every day, I still KNOW that there are good things to come for me here; even if it’s looked completely different to my expectations so far!

God does not lie. He has calls us places for a reason. He knows what he’s doing.

Though this was only one tiny good thought, apparently it was all God needed to turn my situation around! (mustard seed and mountains spring to mind).

During student-led worship on Wednesday afternoon I decided to speak and sing against the lies running through my head, even though honestly I really believed them at that moment.

At some point during this, one of the leaders came over to me, sat down, looked me in the eye and basically spoke straight into my soul! We haven’t really talked much before and yet everything he encouraged me with was completely on point, even though there was no way he could know – so weird and awesome! After feeling like I was alone and that nobody knew what I was going through, here was a man who not only had been through depression himself, but who had come out of the other side and had a really specific word from God about what I needed to do! God hears and answers our prayers guys.

We talked for a while about different things, and in particular about how some people get healed straight away whilst others, for whatever reason, have to continually fight for it – sometimes to set other people free later on.
(This is also the exact word my brother back home gave me in the past too ahh!)

Warrior Woman Silhouette

We concluded that God’s called me to be a fighter.
I realised I may not get instant healing and that there may be a lot more battles ahead.
I realised that God will fight with me, but I need to meet him halfway.

And for the first time, I was okay with that.

The leader kneeled down in front of me with his hands open in order to represent Jesus for me (intercession stylee). He told me that he saw me and that he would take away the things I was dealing with, but first I needed to actively surrender and give it to him.

It was painful, but slowly I gave him each thing I had been holding onto and after some more prayer, I genuinely felt a lot lighter. There was lots of crying, then I was filled with an absolute joy that was genuinely the opposite of how I felt a few hours ago.

I’m not saying I’m all better now and that everything is unicorns and rainbows, but something definitely was lifted from me that day that I can’t even put into words.

Sometimes actively giving God things can be really hard but I think that choice to even say “I can’t do this without you” enables us to gain a lot of ground in itself. Acknowledging and trusting God’s power cuts off the idea that we can do it in our own strength which is always the best position to fight a battle in!

Umber-newI had a revelation a while ago that’s been brought up again now: sitting in the middle of the battlefield crying about why you are in a war when the enemy is charging towards you, is not a good war strategy! The enemy is going to come whether you want to handle it or not, so when dealing with matters of warfare I’m finding it’s better to focus on the “how can I deal with this” rather than the “why is this happening to me” and “I didn’t sign up for this” kind of thought tracks. It also really helps to zoom out of the here and now for a minute and remember that even if we don’t understand it, these 80 years ish of suffering are only temporary – the battle may be raging now but the overall war has already been won and one day the fighting will cease.

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4

I don’t think I believe that God actively puts us in bad situations – he is a father filled with compassion, and it hurts him to see his children hurt – but I know through every time we walk out the hard situation with him, He brings growth and strengthening of character that just doesn’t happen when everything is easy all the time.

Hope begins in the dark.


Honestly, I could leave this as it is and it be an AMAZING victory story all on it’s own, yet this was still only the very beginning of the healing that happened in Identity Week! These last 2 weeks have been pretty crazy so I’m desperately trying to catch up with writing, but Part 2 is coming soon for those who want to know what happened next 🙂

Week 2 – Not Today Satan

So I’m gonna level with you guys right away in this post and say that I found the majority of this week REALLY FREAKING HARD.

Part of me wants to skip over this week’s blog post altogether instead of dwelling on it – the thought of people reading what a terrible time I’m having when they’ve supported me so much through this process makes me feel a bit icky; buut I also want to be real with you and for you to see the transformation I’m going through right alongside me – the good, the bad and the ugly!

I know this will get better. 

So why such a bad start to the week?27398866_10155397590379001_585979232_o.jpg
Unfortunately my good old friends anxiety and depression decided to pop up and say hello again for a few days, so trying to cope with that amongst 50+ people I don’t really know well has been pretty difficult. Going to lectures and concentrating has been hard, especially with nightmares thrown into the mix – honestly the majority of this week has just been spent wanting to curl up in a ball and sleep!

There is definitely a part of me that is really thankful for people to process with –  it’s a very different experience to dealing with this alone like I have in the past. I’m really starting to love the students and staff here now I’m feeling more myself, but it’s also quite hard during thought storms to believe that I fit in here and that I haven’t already ruined friendships with my intensity! Classic me. There isn’t a whole lot of space on base, so I’m also still working out what to do when I need to go and have a big, fat cry alone and there are people to see and hear you everywhereeeee!

The main thing I struggle with going through these phases is unwelcome thoughts in my head, but thankfully I have been through this before so I know how it works by now! I’ve been really focusing on the verse that says to take every thought captive and essentially shove any lies back out of my mind pronto – I’m wise enough to know by now a bit of God’s character, that these thoughts are not true and they definitely didn’t come from my father! I like to visualise it as having bouncers for your head space; you may not be able to control which thoughts start to queue up outside, but you have the authority to refuse entry and decide which thoughts have a right to come in for the party!

bouncers_1382986c_2918849b                                                     No shirt, no truth, no service.

Even if waves of hopelessness still suck as much as they did before, and trying to act semi-normal when I have a constant stream of horrible pictures and words running through my mind will never be a fun experience, it feels good to know I am not starting again and that I have a war strategy.

 “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” Corinthians 10:4

During one prayer time this week, I feel like God said to me that if I gave him even just a little then he would meet me where I was and do the rest. I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced depression but when you are completely overwhelmed just by sitting next to another human at lunch, the very last thing you want to do is wage war against your own mind and fight! After a good chat with my one-to-one I realised that actually that sometimes in a strange way, our darkness can actually be more familiar and comforting than freedom. If you’ve believed lies for a long time, then choosing not to believe them anymore seems a bit strange and like you’re going against what feels natural!

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It’s a bit like being stuck in a cage for a long time, then the door finally being opened, and you not knowing whether to escape or not because it feels like you’re leaving the home you’ve lived in for so long. Praying to be reminded why freedom is actually a good thing, is definitely the weirdest prayer I’ve prayed so far on DTS but I think it has played a part in coming out of the darkness again the last few days!

It wasn’t an instant thing, but on Wednesday I finally decided to give God that inch he asked of me, and man did he give back a mile! With the previously mentioned lack of personal space issue, I decided to take a big stick down to the garden at the bottom of the cabins and basically act like a lunatic for a while. Screaming, shouting, singing, crying and beating up trees and the ground is apparently what thought war looks like in the flesh, and even though I looked like an absolute basket case to the lost people asking me for directions;

imagesdenouncing lies and declaring truth over the Australian valley below me with the Holy Spirit is honestly one of the most effective and healthy ways I’ve ever dealt with this! Going straight into evening worship afterwards was so flipping amazing too! There is simply nothing else like a victory dance over a conquered spiritual battle and a genuine experience of God’s goodness!

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:1

So even though this week has been really hard, I now genuinely have a strong sense that God is in this with me and he’s letting me in on how he’s constantly growing me and refining me. It’s good that I am choosing to fight, but I know that ultimately it’s the lion of Judah in all his power roaring from behind me, that is keeping the enemy away. Pretty sure that this isn’t the last spiritual battle I’m going to encounter in my life, so I think it’s important to view this as another opportunity to learn how to step out of victim mentality and perfect my sword wielding skills!


Hearing The Voice of God

I think it’s probably not a coincidence I’ve been dealing with rubbish thoughts the week that we learn about hearing God’s voice! One of the main points that Michael (our speaker for the week and YWAM Toowoomba Base Director) taught us is how

images (1)important it is to quiet the noise in order to hear what God is saying – that’s pretty tough to do if other voices are trying to be louder!

He made the point that the noise may also sometimes be caused by us. If we limit God to a box by only listening to him when he speaks in a specific way or in the timing we expect him to, then we could be waiting a while for the word we’re searching for! God doesn’t respond to ultimatums so I think hearing God’s voice is actually a trust exercise in itself. It’s hard but also really important to listen to and seek to be in relationship with God for who he is, rather than what he can do for us.

I was really challenged by asking myself how much of my quiet time is spent talking vs. listening – in normal relationships and conversations, there is a pretty equal amount of talking and listening most of the time, so I’m definitely mulling over whether I give the space for God to do the same in our prayers and one-on-one time with him.

I really love that God speaks in so many different ways – from dreams, pictures, words of knowledge, people, the Bible, creation, visions, angels to using an audible voice and even a “still small” one. God is so creative in the ways he communicates with his people!
I love even more that he knows us well enough to speak to us in ways that we will understand and will resonate with us the most!

One of the exercises we did this week was to pray for a word/picture/encouragement for somebody without knowing who it was, then we would pick out a name at random and tell them what the word was. God gave me this amazing picture of a bright pink lily that spoke of the person’s beauty, sweet fragrance that attracts people, how they stand out from others and a verse in Song of Solomon that says: “As a lily among brambles, so is my love among the young women.”

Honestly I was praying the whole time that the person I was praying for was a girl – might be slightly awks telling a guy that God thinks he’s a beautiful, pink, sweet-smelling flower!!

downloadWhen the name came though, and I opened it, I couldn’t flipping believe what it said:
I PICKED MY OWN NAME!
I cry every time I even think about it; it absolutely blows my mind that not only could God speak in such a specific way, but he knew exactly what I needed to hear and he thinks so much better things about me than any human has! I genuinely was praying with a heart for encouraging someone else, so the fact that God could feel the same way about me that I do other people has given me a lot of insight! One of the things I’m trying to work on here is learning to actually accept the love that both God and people show me, rather than just letting it wash over me like rain off an umbrella, so I’d say that’s a pretty flipping awesome set of ammo to start off with! Really hoping one of the arts and mercy students can paint this for me as a reminder! 🙂

A powerpoint slide that really stuck with me this week in lectures said:

“Thankfulness is the soil in which good character grows.”

I’ve known this to be so true this year – thankfulness is such a good way to combat hopelessness and shift your perspective! This is pretty cheesy, but in the continuation of stepping into a hope mentality, I just want to finish this post by naming some things I’m thankful for about this week.

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  1. I am thankful that it has been raining the last few days in Toowoomba! I’m definitely severely under prepared for Welsh-like weather in the middle of Australian summer, but it has been so nice not to melt in class and for my eczema to have a break from the heat!
  2.  I’m thankful I finished writing a song for the first time in a few months and that I have non-judgemental, encouraging people to bounce ideas off.
  3. I’m thankful that during the times I’ve had a clear head, I have seen through the lies of the enemy – I can say that I will develop friendships here and grow, even if I don’t feel it right now.
  4.  I’m thankful God gave me the courage to follow through with performing at karaoke night tonight, even if I was a shaky little wreck on the inside!
  5. I’m thankful for the amazing jam sessions I’ve had on the weekend and for having the opportunity to play 5 different instruments in one day!
  6. I am thankful for the battle I’ve been through this week because without it I wouldn’t have a reason to write a new war song (stay tuned!)
  7. I’m thankful I haven’t seen a spider or a snake in 2 days!
  8. I’m thankful for cups of tea, milkshakes from Moose and flowery shirts.
  9. I am thankful for the amount of ridiculous dancing opportunities I have had (and apparently taken) this week.
  10. I am thankful to have an opportunity to be able to share my story and inspire other people to keep fighting.

    NOT TODAY SATAN. 

 

Week 1 – Faith Like Potatoes

So despite the new creatures I’ve encountered since my last blog post, such as the toad, giant huntsman spider in the bathroom and persistent python who hangs out next to our room at night, I have managed to survive a whole week in Australia!

The schedule has been pretty full this week and it’s been really weird getting back into studying mode, but as my jet lag begins to fade and my sleep improves, I’m finding that my ability to engage in different things and take o n new experiences is steadily increasing. Also most importantly, my feet have now gone back down to a size that no longer requires my sandals to be on the last hole! Huzzah!

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The book we found on the shelf that inspired it all… #spudfaith

Definitely starting to feel a bit more at home now and spending every day with people means I finally learned everyone’s names and am starting to get to know a few peeps! Serious kudos to my awesome clean up team for chores this week – chopping around 1000 potatoes, boiling and baking them could definitely be considered a bonding experience… (I legit never want to see another spud again!) I’m so thankful for the diversity of my class and all the different personalities and cultures God has brought together here. Slightly concerned I’m going to come back with an American/Canadian accent rather than an Aussie one at this rate, but DMC’s until 2am will always be one of my favourite things! I’ve also never met people so appreciative of the British accent! If nothing else, I strongly feel that English Breakfast Tea is an integral and vital aspect I bring to this community. 

26907910_10155371749374001_6573559821515732108_nBeing in a class of different ages, abilities and skills has been really interesting musically too. Everyone has something different to bring and having the space to just jam and appreciate different musical tastes with people and no pressure has been really cool! I’m pretty sure I’ve played guitar and sung out loud in front of people more this week than the entire 3 months I was in Bristol! There is definitely a sense of freedom here I haven’t experienced before. I’m really looking forward to learning more from the people here as well as teaching some guitar and having some songwriting sessions together. I was so happy that part of our orientation was stage set-up and I’m already feeling the fear of failure/looking stupid on the technical side of things is starting to slip away.

Having chosen to study music and worship, before arriving in Australia I think I was unrealistically expecting to be instantly inspired and create 1000 songs as soon as I got here, because y’know, I’m on a music DTS so that means everything will be fixed with a magic wand right? That hasn’t really been the case but as the week has gone by, I’ve definitely found a growing need to write again, and it feels so good to say after a few solo sessions I’m really close to finishing a song called Summit that I started a long time ago!

Learning how God has created us to be creative is really fuelling my desire to pursue music, and some really specific encouragement from one of the staff this week is helping to confirm I have something of value to bring! It’s so strange to look back at the girl I was last year who cried on her bed every night believing there was no purpose for her life, compared to the person I am becoming now. God is so good.

An important part of our schedule is quiet time with God and 27484466_10155397678859001_400599188_ohonestly I’ve found it pretty hard to engage in it here. The fact it’s scheduled to be from 8-8:30am was never going to be in Morning Holly’s favour and sometimes it’s hard to find a spot where nobody will hear me singing, crying and ranting to God etc. buuuut after having some weird dreams  and dealing with things on the weekend, I had an insanely raw 2 hour time with God in my room which was genuinely beautiful and healing. It’s so easy to go to people first with our problems but I’m learning how to (literally) run past people to my room, straight into the arms of God in hard times and choose him first.

27496376_10155397675484001_281737332_nAnother part of this week was sharing testimonies which was really inspiring! We haven’t got around to everyone yet but hearing staff and student’s stories of how God has impacted their lives has encouraged my faith loads!
My view on what testimony is about has definitely shifted too – I’m realising it’s not about owning up to all the bad things that have happened/you’ve done but it’s actually about seeing how God’s goodness is woven into every situation and highlighting that in order to encourage other people. We don’t to need to disregard the bad things in our lives or play them down – some things we go through genuinely are awful and we may never have an explanation for them, but I’m realising the focus needs to be on seeing where God was in those times and acknowledging the fruit that has come out of it. (classic footprints in the sand analogy!)

God doesn’t lie when he says he is always with us.

“Never will I leave you. Never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5


The Character & Nature of God

The first week of lectures have been focusing on getting to know who God is and his different attributes. I definitely did a little happy dance when I found out this was going to be our first topic! What I’ve learned this week has really tied in with what God spoke to me about before I came here and given me a hunger to explore all the different parts of him I haven’t even considered before.

characteristics of godThe speaker who came to teach this is called Jason Solari and he is just such an awesome guy! Originally from Florida he now works in the film industry in Brisbane and I have been soooo inspired by how he’s working in the darkness and competitive field of the arts. He told us some crazy stories about God’s provision and how people came to know God’s love through his crew’s everyday jobs; it really inspired me to work towards reaching people in darkness just by doing what I love and am passionate about with my songwriting.

Jason taught us that when we know the different aspects of God’s personality and the contexts of them, we can relate to him in all seasons and situations. Sometimes it’s so easy to see God as a big blur up in the sky somewhere rather than knowing the multi-faceted, loving, powerful creator who longs for us to know him fully and deeply. Exploring God as a potter, king, shepherd, friend and father has made God a lot more real to me and reminded me how complex and unfathomable he really is.

c700x420The potter image we explored in the Bible particularly spoke to me – possibly because I flipping love ceramics, but mainly because I realised that God isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when he moulds and shapes us. Focusing on the fact that God has called us his masterpiece in staff-led Bible study gave me a flipping AWESOME new understanding of how intricately designed we are and that we are precious to God – he keeps us safe because he treasures his art. Sometimes we need to be broken and smacked down on the wheel to be reshaped but he can always, always redeem us from a little mushy blob of clay! Nothing that comes from God’s hands is bad workmanship.

“For we are his masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for the good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

I’ve really loved realising that I’m a child of God all over again this week and how good parts of God are reflected in me. We are his kids and we are made in his image, therefore we carry his genes! It’s like when someone says to a child: “You look so much like your dad! You have his eyes!”. Realising who we belong to and the parts of God we reflect, points the world to our father – just by being ourselves! His creativity is reflected in us which is why we have the desire to create, and when we do it speaks to the rest of the world about who our daddy is.

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Another little wisdom nugget I’ve taken away from this topic is that it’s so important to know who God is first in order to know who we are. I definitely came here to work on my identity and it can be a bit frustrating feeling like I’ve been dealing with it the last 10 years, but getting to know who he really is and the love he has for his creation has been so, so good.
God reminded me of an image this week that he gave me in the past of a half empty cup. and then one overflowing with water. I feel like he said if we try to give love from a place of half emptiness then it will be really difficult to get it out and it will never fully soak people, therefore it’s okay to ask God to be filled with his love and Holy Spirit every single day if we need it – the cup needs to be full in order to overflow to those around us.

cup overflow

Thanks for reading 🙂

Looking forward to learning about Hearing God’s Voice in Week 2!

Give It Time

For those who are interested, I made it alive to Toowoomba.

Two days of travelling, many aeroplane meals, and a desperate quest for women’s deodorant later, I have arrived at YWAM base and started the first week of my Music and Worship Discipleship Training School! (DTS)

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Considering this is the longest journey I’ve done in my travelling life so far, I’m so thankful for how smoothly everything went! There was a moment where I thought it was turning for the worst at Dubai airport – opting to pay £6 to smell like “Dark Temptation” rather than odour de “I haven’t showered in two days” was a bit of a low point, however; this was quickly made up for and greatly superseded by the fact I was upgraded to business class on my second flight!!
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Honestly, I have never been so thankful for a new plane ticket in my whole life! Being able to sleep for 10 hours on a reclining bed-chair made my journey so much more manageable. I feel like the free champagne, toiletries, extra space and fancy meals also helped a lot! (they legitimately put a table cloth on for you at dinner time!)

Then on to the airport hotel at Brisbane. Managed to lock myself out of my room as soon as I got there (the first of many effects of my new friend jet lag) but after a sleep, a cooked breakfast and a mini bus journey the next day, I finally arrived in Toowoomba on Friday!


Camp Toowoomba

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The YWAM base (aka Camp Toowoomba) is my new home for the next few months. It’s situated on top of a big hill in Prince Henry Heights and you can see amazing views from “the loop” here and the base is surrounded by trees and wildlife! The sit isn’t too big so it’s pretty easy to navigate the winding paths between the main block and our cabins. We have a community room for lectures and general meetingy things and jamming, a main dining hall for meals together, as well as practice rooms and a recording studio. It’s honestly one of my favourite things to just wander round and hear people jamming and playing music wherever you go – it makes me smile so much every time! I have found more of my people!

The rooms in our cabins are pretty basic but now I’ve bought some bedding and we have a fan, I have all that I need and I really appreciate my lovely German roommate Luca so much! The bunk-bed in our room is pretty squeaky and I’m on the top bed so I especially appreciate her patience when I hobble down the ladder in the morning!!

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After our orientation weekend, we started the first week of lectures and after just a few days of getting into the schedule, it seems like we are going to have a busy first 3 months!

Honestly I found the first few days being here pretty hard going. My body is still not used to the different time zone, temperature, meal times and general lifestyle so I think it will still be a few days before I really feel myself again. I haven’t had a night where I haven’t woken up in the middle of it yet, but apparently it takes a day to adjust for every hour of time difference there is between where you are and where you came from – 3 days to go! There is hope!

As far as I’m aware there are 28 students on the January DTS, with the majority being American, Canadian and German, then 2 of us Brits sprinkled in with an Aussie, a Swiss and a Singaporean! Even though I’m half asleep most of the time at the moment, I am constantly in awe of how lovely everyone is and how quickly people are gelling even though we hardly know each other! Breakfast is at 7am so morning Holly does struggle a bit with the enthusiasm of most other students and I’m feeling a bit weird being one of the oldest on the course, but I think God is already shaking up my preconceptions of age here! Even though a lot of the leaders are younger than me, they are full of so much wisdom and a lightness I can’t even describe. I’m confident there is a place and a purpose for me here, even if I am granny!

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My new back garden

It’s funny how under all of my tiredness and insecurities, that I’m still really excited for what is to come! I honestly have never felt so called to be somewhere before and every day God is just confirming it over and over. I won’t go into what’s happening in lectures in this post as I want to save that for my weekend update (when I’ve finished the full week), but already God is changing my perspective on him and I’m getting to know him so deeply in a different way with every hour that passes!

I’ve cheesily named this post “give it time” because I feel like this week is a continuation of the learning I’ve done this year to keep going despite my emotions.
“Do it even though you don’t feel like it” became a bit of a mantra for me whilst I was at home and I’m definitely finding ways to apply it again here!

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There have been so many times when I could have had meltdowns or decided not to participate in things because of anxiety etc. The possums jumping on the roof every night and finding a python 2 nights in a row outside my room just before bed are making it really hard to sleep, the heat and bug bites have flared up my eczema so much and my legs and feet have swelled to the point where I can’t fit them into my Tom’s anymore! (yes you are allowed to laugh!) I honestly think a past version of myself would have started planning how to escape by now! However, I’m so thankful that I can say I am still focusing my eyes forwards and clinging on to the hope that good things are on the way: just need to get over the initial culture shock!

Australia is so, so beautiful and even just from going to Queen’s Park on our orientation I’m really excited to have enough energy to explore city of Toowoomba more. We had such a great afternoon barbecuing (I ate kangaroo steak ahh!), singing awesome acapella harmonies and dancing together. Even though I was falling asleep most of the afternoon, just lying under the trees, watching the sunlight dance amongst the leaves high above instilled a quiet hope within me that it’s going to be so good here.

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Queen’s Park, Toowoomba

I’m tired and emotional but I’m also encouraged that this is going to be a significant chunk of my life; that it will be a continuation of what I’ve been doing with God in the UK, as well as a foundation for what he has for me in the future.

Looking forward to reading this in a few months and laughing at how far I’ve come!


Thanks for reading this post if you made it this far! 🙂
This was just a little introductory commentary on my first experiences and impressions of Australia, but from now on I’m hoping to post a weekly update tying in with what I’ve learned in lectures during the week!

If you want to continue following, I’ll be aiming to post on the weekends, so keep an eye here and on my Facebook page!

Thank you so so much to all the people supporting me emotionally, prayerfully and financially back home – I appreciate you helping me live out my dream so much! I’m so excited for all the things I have to tell you in my next post ahh!

Lots of love, Holly xx