Fruit of an unsatisfied life

It is not often that you come to a place where you have to face facts: This life is just not turning out as you dreamed it to be. That hopeless feeling of just never catching a break, just never reaching that place in your business, just never being able to breathe and just be.

We have become a culture addicted to travel. Why? Because it helps us to escape. We have become wanderlusts.

Wanderlust is a strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.

All is good to go on holiday,but something seriously wrong if it is our means of escape from reality and responsibility.

I was THE wanderlust. Since a little child, I wanted to travel and explore. I am a number 7 on the Enneagram personality test. A 7 is scared that life will not be an adventure. So I chased adventure, whether it was to have a nice cup of coffee with my mac on my table, music in my ears and staring across the sea, or planning the next trip to somewhere.

I always say it is much easier to go and explore outside and than to sit still and look inside of yourself. When we minister we often ask people to talk to God about what we are ministering on, as soon as we ask them to be vulnerable and share, they start preaching. They tell us what they learned, not what they were feeling.

The first sign of living an unsatisfied life is not being able to be vulnerable.

What does it mean to be vulnerable? It means you open up the you that is the most difficult to defend. Scary right? Yet, we have become so accustomed to not share that one part of ourselves out of fear that we ourselves don’t even go there. Instead we wander and explore spiritually and physically, hoping that this experience will numb the numbness inside ourselves.

Second sign of an unsatisfied life and it goes hand in hand with being vulnerable is to be able to connect. Intimacy is starting to decline in this society due to us not being able to show ourselves. A great definition of intimacy is by Danny Silk: Into me you see. It is coming to that place where you show the true you to someone that you love and feel safe with and allowing that person to connect with you.

Third sign is anxiety. To me anxiety is a feeling of being out of control. It is that feeling of not being able to meet the standard. Yesterday I had to renew my license and part of the process is to do an eye test. I can see, I am a photographer,but still the word “test” made my hands sweat and I held my breath  as I did the test. Finally when the official said that I have past the test, I relaxed. You see, my brain registered that there is a standard that I need to fulfil and immediately I started to perform to reach that standard. {Look at me being vulnerable here}.

Being an anxious person means that you believe a lie that you are not enough. Or if you do show the true you, you are too much to handle. The key is here, you. You are not satisfied with yourself.

We have so many coping meganisms just to get through this life. Some smoke, drink lots of coffee or alcohol , do drugs, travel, exercise excessively, become spiritualists, even go to church often, all in the process to help us cope.

But here is the thing, we were not created to cope, we were created to thrive and rule and reign on this earth.

This is my story: I was very unsatisfied with myself. My father one day looked at me when I was just a teenager and said: Make peace with who you are. I tried. I took on so many persona’s just to be able to define myself. I became the traveller,the christian, the preacher, the prophet, the writer and the photographer.Later I became the wife and seven years later, the mother. With every journey I found a piece of me, but still there was a longing and a hardness in my heart that just did not settle.

I am married to one incredible man, who was on a similar journey earlier in his life and did find what he was looking for. One night, he asked me: What about this? And it hit me. I have been carrying a pain that happened so many years ago that I can’t even remember the details.. but when it happened, I started to believe that God doesn’t care about me. I looked into myself and saw the confusion and pain that this situation caused,and instead of hiding it again, I took it to the One who I believed have failed me.

And a wonderful thing happened. He cried. Pappa God cried over my pain. Not because He felt guilty that I had to experience it, no, because He never intended it to happen to me. He didn’t cause it to happen, yet it did and it defined my life. Finally, I came to Him for redemption. And I met an incredible,beautiful and loving Father.

I cannot describe what I have been going through since. I lost 12kg, I started running, I cook {miracle in itself}, I celebrate my two beautiful men and furballs, I started to have compassion on people. I stopped performing for work.Judgement stopped in my life and I started to thrive.

I found peace and became satisfied in this life!

When I dealt with that pain, my perspective changed. Previously I was focused on me and what I can get out of God, but now, I became a son of God. I see Him for who He is and fell in love all over again. My heart became that of a blessing and I want to celebrate and worship Him in all His glory. My trust was restored in Him and I can walk with my head held high, knowing that My Daddy got this.

Be blessed!

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More than ordinary

Today I want to share with you a testimony. Last week, we had the privilege to listen to one of my favourite leaders of Bethel, Paul Manwaring,speak here in my valley. I was surrounded by other Bethel students and great men and women of God,and I loved every second of it!

As you are reading this post, you most probably know that I am in an ongoing and victorious battle against TB. You may know that I am a wedding photographer, a job that I thoroughly love. You might have picked up that I am extremely happily married to a man that I would have never imagined would love me and now loves me past my wildest expectation. Lastly, you might just also know that I recently started to write a fiction story.

When I look at these last couple of months, I have to pinch myself. I have gone through extreme lows through my sickness and now I am experiencing a redemptive story with my own life. Where it will end, I do not know, but the One who is writing it, is skilful and so incredibly good. My life has been turned upside down and through each step, He was there and now I can feel He is about to show me something that is beyond my wildest dreams.

I love God. I do serve Him, but I serve Him through a response that was created in my heart when I started to accept His unconditional love in my life. He is beyond good. This God, this incredible Father truly LOVES us. I have learned through my walk with Him that He loves to hand out kisses. He makes me giggle and when I think of Him, my heart melts. He is GOOD in every fibre of His being. You will not find one trace of evil in Him. Why am I saying this?

This past week, I spend some time with a pastor from the Eastern Cape, Nigel Desmond. I have known him for awhile and he truly carries the joy of God. A couple of years ago, we went with him to Zimbabwe on a ministry trip. At that stage of my life, I was in ministry. I could sense in my heart that I wanted to do something else, but there was no voice that could have confirm that. I just thought I was being lazy and didn’t want to finish what I have started. Oh, how we doubt ourselves.

The last evening in Zimbabwe, Nigel prophesied over my life and said: “Linda, you are going to capture beauty with your camera.” This word was so far removed from my every day reality. I didn’t even have a camera on that trip! There was no way that he could have known that I was interested in photography.Back home,I had a camera but was at the same time surrounded by really talented people who LOVED photography. They were more into it and people recognised them. Not me with my old silly camera. At that stage I truly believed I do not have what it takes to become a photographer. I was just Linda, the difficult and insecure one. No talents. 🙂

This past week I looked at Nigel and realised , wow, his word came to pass in my life. I now am doing what he said I will do and I LOVE IT! It doesn’t end there. Stoffel and I decided back in 2010 to attend Bethel School of Ministry in Redding, California. It was a huge step of faith  for us. As we were entering the USA, I sat in the plane and looked over the landscape of the States. I asked God what he wanted me to do. He answered: “This is your year to come alive, I want you to attend the creative class.” I was baffled, me, Linda, with no talents, doing the creative class?

The first day in the creative class, I looked around at all the students. There were really talented people in the room and me. I had no background like them. I didn’t study any kind of graphic design or writing. I was just a campus minister. I decided to do the photography and creative writing course. As I was sitting in class, Theresa Dedmon, who was the head of this class, mentioned that we will do a project and we will have to present it to a panel. Oh no, no talent Linda is going to sink this ship! I was surrounded by top photographers and we were working hard to compile our book for this project. They took me under their wings and taught me the ins and outs of photography and portrait photography. I am lucky, I learned from the best, not only one, but 6 photographers!

One day, Theresa came to me. She loves South Africa and was drawn to my silly accent. She too, had a prophetic word: “Linda, you are going to write a story similar to Harry Potter but with the supernatural life of God being the centre. ” I was shocked! I just started to get the hang  of photography and now this woman is talking about writing.. writing a fantasy story?! 😉 Have she seen my spelling!! If you are afrikaans, have a look HERE.

To the end of the year, I received yet another prophetic word from a student friend of mine: ” Linda, I see governance on your shoulders, you are going to be strong voice in Africa.I see you standing on a bridge, bringing people together with your voice” I thought to myself,am I going to sing also? 🙂  This was the most confusing word, and I just could not see it. Until recently.

Back in South Africa, life went on as normal as could be for two people who are completely aware of the Kingdom of God and being Powerful people because of Jesus. I started my photography business and I have to say I am very fortunate to be were I am at today. It is a tough industry, yet I LOVE it. I learned so much and have grown so much this last year.

My one wobble was when I was diagnosed with TB. But this is were it all got interesting. God did not give me this sickness, He can’t cause He can’t give us what He doesn’t have.BUT In Romans 8: 28 Paul says: ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Yesterday I said to a friend that I am witnessing God making this Scripture true in my life. An illness that was stealing my life, He turned around into a platform for me to bring life. I am amazed. Because of my prophetic word from Nigel about photography, I was drawn to the creative class. In Creative class,Theresa then encouraged me in writing. When I got sick, I decided to write about TB. My blog has gone viral. I have countless people contacting me about my story and what they have learned. Today I saw that my story was published in a magazine. It is something small to some people, I know, but to me it is huge. If you would just know how far away I was from this life before. I would have never dreamed that I would be a full time creative!

In this past week I was contacted by an organisation who read my blog about TB. They asked me if I would consider advocacy for TB in South Africa. I am going for training next week to see what exactly this means. But imagine the possibilities!

You might be reading this and think, so what? This testimony to me, is extraordinary. I am beyond excited and humbled by what is happening now. I know me and know that I am not a super human. I know that I have fears and I struggle. Even now, I have to check into my thinking with regards to TB. Yet, God is above this. He is making me part of a plan so special and beautiful. A plan  that has been intimately designed for me to walk. He has been faithful by bringing people into my life, who tapped into the supernatural and released a destiny.

You are the same. No one was designed by mistake. You have capabilities and talents that are beyond any human understanding. You have a God with endless power and resources backing you. Take the step of faith and believe Him. Believe Him in what He says about you. Ask people to prophesy over your life. We South Africans see it as arrogance when we ask people to prophesy into our lives. I have learned that this is actually golden opportunities to alter lifestyles. We have been called to rule and reign in this world. We do this through the Holy Spirit and a Kingdom lifestyle. You never know who you might influence by following what God has called you into. We have not been called to live as victims but as victors. Step up and get hold of what Jesus died for us on the cross. Eternal Life. And this is Eternal life, that we may know Him. Knowing a Supernatural God is beyond powerful. Go for it!