Extraordinary

“You will never become extraordinary unless you are willing to do what the ordinary person is not willing to do.” – Lucinda Dooley

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For those of you that know me, I recently packed up my life in New Zealand and moved to Sydney, Australia. I was not seeking riches or fame or using it to escape anything back home. I simply felt called. I felt called to take a step into the great unknown. Theres a romantic, exciting, adventurous fragrance when God speaks to you, when you feel called. But walking out the call can feel a whole lot different.

Over the past month I have felt excitement, joy, peace, fear, sadness, anger, intimidation. I’ve felt loved and accepted and I’ve felt scared and alone. I’ve felt under qualified, out-of-my-depth and very very unimportant. One thing I have definitely not felt is ‘extraordinary’.

As I left New Zealand, I thought that getting on the plane and arriving here was my big “Step of Faith” and from then it was going to be smooth sailing (or flying) – I’d get a great job, I’d fit in straight away and everything would be peaches and roses. This was not the case. Four weeks on I still didn’t have a job, I was running out of money, I had applied for at LEAST a hundred jobs and been rejected over and over.

To many people what I am doing is not a big deal, plenty of people move countries and find it difficult at the beginning. Its no war or famine or violence or injustice crisis that I am in. But it is my walk.

I was stressed. I wasn’t sleeping well. I cried often. I was angry. I hid in my room so my cousins couldn’t see these emotions. I wanted to give up and get back on a plane and come home. I had let go of the promise of God that He would take care of all my needs. I had forgotten about his peace that led me here in the first place.

And then I stopped. I looked through my journal with notes from every sermon since I got here, I looked at the book my dad had given me, I looked at the card my nana had sent me, I remembered the theme of the night at connect group and they ALL were saying the same thing or wove together beautifully.

‘Just keep going’. 

This is where the real step of faith happens. It may not be a big physical step like getting on a plane but it is the step where you make a choice in the midst of pain or frustration or fear or depression to simply keep going and keep trusting Jesus.

When He calls and you go, despite what is happening around you or where He’s taking you (it may not be where you thought you were going).

When you trust him with your whole heart and keep your eyes fixed on Him.

When you re-align yourself with Him and re-learn what it means to dream in Him.

When you realise that ordinary people are only ordinary because they haven’t quite realised they are actually extraordinary yet.

THAT is when you begin to live an extraordinary life. The life you were born to live. And when you live an extraordinary life you radiate Jesus to others – He is the Hero, the Saviour, the One who deserves ALL the glory.

I don’t have it all together (obviously). I certainly don’t have all the answers. I have no IDEA what the rest of this year is going to look like. I may not even be making sense. But what I do know is that I just simply need to keep going. Keep leaning into Jesus and He will lead the way.

Guess what. When I stopped stressing and started trusting….I got a job. Duh!

‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.’ 1 Corinthians 2:9

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Proud to be a Kiwi

As I was sitting in the prayer room earlier this week, just soaking in the presence of God and listening to the worship play, the New Zealand national anthem came on. I have heard this anthem many times throughout my life, I mean its part of who I am as a Kiwi, of course I know it…..or so I thought. We all know the first verse in English and in Maori but have you heard all nine verses? Have you seen the translation of the Maori verses? Perhaps you do know all of this already, but for me my mind was officially blown. I already thought our National Anthem was awesome, but now…….WOW.

Statements like ‘Let our love for Thee increase, May Thy blessings never cease, Give us plenty, Give us peace, God defend our free land.’ Or ‘Guide us in the nations van, Preaching love and truth to man, working our Thy glorious plan, God defend New Zealand.’ WOW

The english verses are awesome…..and then there came the Maori verses. The verse we commonly sing (E Ihowa) says this:

‘O Lord, God of all people. Listen to us. Cherish us. May good flourish. May your blessings flow. Defend Aotearoa.’

‘Let all people red skin, white skin, Maori, Pakeha, gather before you. May all our wrongs, we pray be forgiven. So that we might say Long live Aotearoa.’

WOW WOW WOW….

The final verse in Maori translates to..

‘Let its good features endure. Let RIGHTEOUSNESS and HONESTY prevail among the people of God. Let it never be ashamed, but rather let its name be known. Thereby becoming a model to emulate. Aotearoa.’

I don’t know about you but all of these verses give me goosebumps. What an incredible declaration over our land. And most people sing it without even realising what they are saying. As we sing our anthem we are breathing life over our nation. His breath of LIFE is permeating through New Zealand. Papa is breathing into His kiwi kids!

As I have sat at the prayer house most mornings and started to learn about what it means to contend for something like New Zealand or this wonderful city of Tauranga or the people in my community of Gate Pa – I have come to realise its not about desperately trying to persuade God to be good and bless these places or people – but it is about taking the time to agree with heaven and releasing His kingdom and His goodness and God-given destinies on earth – releasing this over His kids who might not yet know Him or know His goodness. This anthem has basically got most of New Zealand contending for the country without even noticing.

Anyway…Im still learning. God is GOOD. Thanks Papa

‘Make her praises heard afar! God defend New Zealand.’

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