As I sit out on the balcony, the coolness of the dry season has made it bearable to sit outside without sweating everywhere. I hear the gently music playing, the birds squawking and tweeting to each other in the trees that surround the house. Trying desperately to not get bitten by any mosquitos (which is very difficult). I am ambushed by the greenness of the plants and trees, everywhere I look there’s more shades of green- how incredible. My love for trees is ever so increasing, the beauty and uniqueness in every tree makes my heart leap out of amazement and in awe of how creative God is. As I sit here, I feel such peace, and I know that the peace of God is with me wherever I go. I sit here in thankfulness and in gratitude. Praise God for His faithfulness and His love. We are lacking nothing with Him.
I’ve re wrote this over and over, it’s taken me a few weeks to try and complete this and feel happy with the final product of this blog. I just really pray that this speaks to you, that the Lord speaks through my writing just to connect with you. I want to create a space where I don’t limit God, I just so desire for God to use my blogs for Him to reach people, to reach people through my writing.
So Lord, use this for Your glory, may You speak to every single person reading this right now and may each person know You Lord. May they know Your goodness, Your overflowing love and desire for them Lord, for them to know Your faithfulness, Your joy, Your freedom, Your peace. Oh Father, I thank You for Your peace that surpasses all understanding. that we are never in lack when we have You, that we are new creations in You Lord, free from sin, free from sickness, free from depression, anxiety, free from bondage, I praise You and I thank You Father that You absolutely love us, You love the person who is reading this now. Thank You Father.
There are so many hurting people across the world, there are people living in confusion, living in hurt, living in anger and frustration. As I scroll through my social media I see so many sad, shocking things happening across the world, things that should not be happening. I hear of deaths after deaths amongst friends pretty much everyday. I hear of people taking their own lives due to numerous of reasons. I see friend’s posts of how they’re hurting and struggling. I see friend’s sharing sad memes diminishing their value but covering it with humour. I see all these posts where people are creating a world of ‘happiness’ but behind closed doors they are hurting and no one sees them. Are we living in a world where we exist just to exist? To live for none but ourselves? To create our own happiness or fantasy? To escape reality by your choice of drug. I see all the hurt played out in my family, intermediate and extended and my friends.
In my down time and sick time (which has been more often than not) I have been watching Netflix, and God has given me a whole new lens on movies and TV shows. I’ve noticed so many things that I had never noticed before, I’m shocked, disgusted, saddened but hopeful that things will change. It is so sad how a lot of the Netflix films/shows and any new release movies which have “teenagers” in it, all act as if they’re adults. I know that there are so many young people watching Netflix and watch these shows and movies. They see this idea of teenagers going around having sex with people and think that it’s okay. Shows and movie are normalising having sex, taking drugs, getting drunk and taking advantage of people. There’s always a common denominator in movies and shows that I’ve been watching and it all points to normalising this culture of “do what you want to do”, “do what makes you feel good”, there are so many young children, girls and boys still going through puberty watching these things, having this “ideal” fantasy that they’re going to have sex with [enter number here] boys/girls to make themselves feel good and reach this “quota” that this new wave of culture has set for them and what they have set for themselves. It is completely sickening. I had just watched a movie- a new release Netflix film that have a few of my favourite actors in it, and I am so shocked in how the characters acted and especially these boys were portrayed. Freshly out of high-school, this one boy makes a list of all these girls that he wants to have sex with but every girl turned him down and they all ended up finding out about this list, and because he didn’t reach his goal – it made him have low self esteem. By the end of the movie he reveals to his friend that he’s actually a virgin and his friend is shocked and laughs at him and then gives him this opportunity to have sex with an older lady at the end. There shouldn’t be any shame being a virgin, none at all! I see on social media how girls are putting each other down and making fun of other girls for being a virgin, I can’t imagine how bad it would be in a group of boys, the thought of people putting each other down for simply being a virgin makes me so upset.
How have we socially accepted this? How have we thought that this was completely okay? My heart literally breaks thinking about this. There is so much power in the things that we allow ourselves to watch, sometimes we don’t realise it but there are so many things that we watch that influence us and how we live our lives and what our morals are. We actually need to talk more about this, we actually need to do something about shifting this culture. There are more ways to fulfil ourselves rather than just partying, getting the next high, getting drunk, having sex, watching porn or getting the next big/new thing. There is no judgement coming out of me for the people who do that but I’ve seen what this lifestyle has done for my friends and for myself, it is soul destroying. It does not complete you or give you satisfaction…well not a long term satisfaction.
As I reflect over my life I see the power of the cross completely changing my entire existence. My plan was never to live, without God I would be dead or perhaps in jail. I used to undermine the power of the cross until recently. I see God’s hand over my life, saying yes to God has changed everything. I am so grateful that I am still alive and oh how I pray that God will use me and help me make a difference.
I remember as a child I had this picture bible that my beautiful Grandparents gave to me, I remember always going to the page where Jesus was hanging on the cross. It was my favourite story to turn to even though I had no idea what it meant or how important that sacrifice was to all of humanity. Jesus’ sacrifice was so great and because of His love for the Father He was able to lay down His life for us, to take all of our sin-past and present, upon Himself, so we could be forgiven, to be free of sin, to live holy and blameless, to be a child of God. How incredible is that?!
I have been on a rollercoaster of life and only now am I learning that our emotions don’t also have to fluctuate as much as life does. We can feel peace in the midst of a storm, we can feel joy in devastation, although I do have to say emotions aren’t bad, I’m also on a journey of learning that, which I will write about very shortly.
In the past few months, I feel personally think that there has just been more growth in me rather than seeing lots of cool things happen and having lots of testimonies to share. I must admit I have been pretty unhappy with myself by not having a lot of stories or testimonies to share although I defiantly know that inside things have shifted a lot and I’m having a lot of fun just doing life here in the NT. I’m absolutely loving what I’m doing with Youth For Christ and getting the chance to hang out with youth and be a positive role model and being able to chat about Jesus with people. I’ve also have had the chance to do some babysitting on the side to get some extra cash which has been such a blessing and incredibly helpful. I absolutely love and adore kids so it’s right up my ally.
I’ve also been heading up a program called Shine, it has taken me the first term to organise and read through what Shine is all about and then put together a run sheet for each week. Our beautiful Shine team consists of 4 people including myself and we have successfully ran one session out of 9! (now 3!!! 2 were without me). Shine is all about empowering young females about their worth, strength and purpose. I personally have found it encouraging as I’ve read through it and having to set it all up. The team has been so gracious to me as this is my first time ever having to do this and just letting me be free in how to structure the program.
I have absolutely loved loved loved going into Don Dale Detention Centre and hanging out with the boys in there. We have had so much fun and we’re building up positive relationships with them and the guards. I look forward to going in there every week, it’s one of my highlights of my week. I’m so excited for what else is to come, for the boys to know God and to live in the freedom that Christ offers. It is so encouraging to see the boys start to open up with how they’re feeling in numerous of ways, through rapping, through haiku poems, through just having a conversation and so on. Seeing them from when I first met them to how they are now, remembering my name, talking about God and just seeing them feel comfortable and knocking down their own exterior walls that they’ve put up. I wish I could explain how much I love going in there, it also has really challenged me in my own life.
I knew that this year there will be a lot of growth, strengthening, growing in faith and trust. Again, things lately have been a real test of faith and a whole lot of trusting God to provide for me. So when I first came to Darwin, I had a different plan on where I was going to live to what has actually happened. So by the grace of God I was staying in an apartment in the city for 2 and a bit months (as you may or may not have already known). I knew that it was only short term and had to keep looking for something long term. I hadn’t been able to find anything, I was searching and searching online for something in my budget (which is literally nothing) and somewhere close by in my community that I’m in. With time running out and stress was starting to impact me – I couldn’t find anything. I was confused and pretty dang stressed but in all the confusion and stress, deep down I knew that God would prepare a way and that He will open up a door for me, I just had to trust His timing and guidance. As the last few days I had left in the apartment with no idea where I was going to go next, I knew that wherever He wanted me to go would reveal itself very soon and by the power of God it did! He is such an incredible Father! I was staying at my friend’s house (it’s a group of girls that I’m friends with from my community), they kindly offered me a place to stay for a week and then the next place I’ll be going to which also by the power and grace of God came about in His perfect timing with the right people. Oh I am so excited for this and I will share more in my next blog, so stay tuned! God’s timing is so perfect and He cares so deeply about what we need, He knows and He tells us to not be anxious for these things (Luke 12:22-34).
When living in the apartment by myself, I had so much fun, so much independence and I learnt a lot about “adulting”, there were so many things that I grew in and having to actually cook at first I did very simple and easy things but by the end of my time at the apartment I went on the Keto diet, which meant no more pasta which is what I was living off, I had to be more creative in what I ate and I ate things that I wouldn’t normally eat and now I think that I am going to incorporate it into my lifestyle. There was a rooftop pool which was super fun, I watched lightning storms from the rooftop, I had some people over for a little farewell to on of my beautiful friends that I dearly miss and we had a BBQ and swam. There was a lot of fun times there but also not so fun times there. As mentioned in my previous blog, my migraines have come back and I’ve had some weird and intense anxiety. Praise God that the anxiety has weened off so much but then I’ve had more attacks of the feeling of numbness and nothingness. I had lies speaking to me that I was all alone, that I had no purpose here, that no one likes me – the typical thoughts. They would usually come when I was feeling a bit sick and/or tired where I had no capacity to actually take captive of every thought and line it up with what God says about me, I kinda just listened to it and would argue a bit but then I would start to believe it which kicked in the anxiety. The vicious cycle of it all hey? Since my last blog which was March and it is now May, I have had a headache pretty much every single day with a day or a few days of a bad migraine. Another thing to add to the list, my knee. There has just been this constant ongoing attacks from the enemy but I refuse to let him win. God is so much greater and He will deliver me from this. There have been a few key people that I have been able to chat with and that have been so loving and kind to me. That will constantly remind me of my identity in Christ, pray for me, teach me and listen to me. It has been such a relief and such a blessing. God has brought me such a beautiful and loving family around me to support me and cheer me on, on this incredible walk with the Lord.
I have had deep revelations about how much God loves, how great He is, how powerful He is and I am so passionate about sharing the goodness of Him. No matter what happens, God is still good and worthy to be praised. God doesn’t produce the bad, He doesn’t sprinkle crap into people’s lives and that’s what so many people need to know and really believe. His plans for us are good, His plans for us is to have a future, plans not to harm us (Jeremiah 29:11). I promise that He is love, He has good good plans for you and His plans aren’t for bad. I’ve now been in Melbourne surprise visiting my family and friends and I’ve been able to just share about this, share about God’s goodness and living in the righteousness of God and fully living 100% for the Kingdom. We cannot sit on the fence, we cannot just have a toe in the world and a toe in God, we have to be fully in – dead to self, or nothing at all. There is no time to live two lives, and as much as I love Hannah Montana – we can’t have the best of both worlds, we cannot live a secret life. The minute I gave up control over my life and committed my life to God, I have not been disappointed. He has continued to show me His glory through so many things and I have been so blessed by Him. We need to be salt and light, people need to see Jesus in us, people need to see that we are different. We cannot be people of this world. We need to be living in the fullness that Jesus paid for and that is only through having a real relationship with Him, by spending time with Him. Like with any relationship, the only way of getting to know each other more is spending quality time with each other. Part of my journey with God is letting Him correct my ways, discipline me (and He does this so so kindly) and it has honestly been so incredible and humbling. My whole life is a testimony that God is real and He redeems. My life is a testimony of even when there are absolutely crap happening, God is still good and faithful. I should NOT be alive, I should NOT be here today but by the grace of God I am, and I cannot let a day go to waste, I cannot be silent about this because He is so real and He gives life, He restores, He heals and He is so flipping good (and heaps of fun).
As part of my role in Youth For Christ, it is all volunteer work and I dedicate majority of my time to my role. I absolutely love it, but I do need more financial support. My aim is to get about $1000 a month and I’m sitting on less than $250 a month. If I could get around 50 people to even support me $10 a week that would be amazing. Or 100 people to give $10 a month. Anything is greatly appreciated, also if you are keen to receive my quarterly newsletters and Youth For Christ’s updates, feel free to email me or send me a message.