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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Overwhelmed

Sitting in the midst of 25,000+ people at Hillsong Conference, I am totally overwhelmed. Overwhelmed not by the fact that there is over 25,000 people there, or the fact that there are many phenomenal world renown preachers and teachers sitting a few metres away from me, or the fact that the worship band is incredible. But overwhelmed by Jesus. 

For so long I have been living life longing for the future, longing for what I don’t have but think I should have, always wanting to be at the next step of life because thats when Il feel content and really live it up. 

I haven’t really wanted to live in the now, because the now if full of regrets, shames, insecurities and unanswered questions. But if I am in the next step I would have sorted all of this stuff out by then….

But as I sit here I am completely overwhelmed as my precious Jesus takes hold of my regrets and shames and insecurities and unanswered questions that burden me and takes them to the cross. I am overwhelmed as he takes my life full of screw ups and ruins and puts his glorious stamp on it. Jesus didn’t owe me anything, He didn’t deserve to be crucified, those were my sins he got put to death for, He was the one who did nothing wrong. And yet He did it, He paid the price so I could be free. AND he doesn’t hold it against me. He doesn’t look at me with resentment for what He had to go through. He looks at me with eyes so full of love and longing for relationship with me. All of the things that I have held onto for so long that I thought were important look very insignificant next to Jesus. All of the things I have been longing for are worth nothing without Jesus.

My precious Jesus is more than enough.

Such a seemingly simple revelation – yet a revelation that transforms peoples lives. So many people don’t know. So many people need to hear this truth about Jesus. Jesus didn’t just die for this fancy preachers and teachers and pastors, he didn’t just die for the nice church congregations. He did it for every single one of us. Those that don’t know him at all, those that say his name in vain every 5 minutes, those that have turned their back on him, those that have messed up big time, those that are broken hearted. He died for every single one of them. Even those that will never call upon his name…he still loves them and died for them. 

‘Now my debt is paid, it is paid in full. By the precious blood that my Jesus spilled. Now the curse of sin has no hold on me. Who the Son sets free Oh is free indeed.’  – Man of Sorrows (Hillsong Live)

‘SEE THE STONE IS ROLLED AWAY, BEHOLD THE EMPTY TOMB. HALLELUJAH GOD BE PRAISED, HE’S RISEN FROM THE GRAVE.’ 

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Jesus. He is worthy of it all.

I have been reading the book of John for the last week or two and keep coming back to the story of Mary washing the feet of Jesus. There is something in this story that triggers this deep heart desire in me to intimately know Jesus.

Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, “That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial.You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

Mary seemed to know something that everyone else did not, something worth so much more than everything she had, something worth more than her reputation or popularity. Mary knew the incredible worth of Jesus. To her, Jesus was worthy of it all, and so much more. How is it that Jesus’ very own disciples, the people who were with him all the time, the people who Jesus shared incredible wisdom and kingdom secrets with, how was it that they did not understand this act of honour. And yet for Mary there wasn’t even a slight hesitation.

Could I sit at the feet of Jesus and pour out $30-$40,000 worth of perfume, possibly everything I had? Or is that just too much? Could I wash his feet with my hair? Or is that just too weird? Could I sit at the feet of Jesus when I was suppose to be serving him dinner with the other women? Or is it too scary to go against the norm or the ‘should be’s’?

After being a christian for about 20 years and knowing ABOUT Jesus, I feel like I am only now starting to get a glimpse and slight understanding of who he really is and what he did for me. And that glimpse is making me fall head over heels in love with him. That glimpse is starting to overwhelm my heart and want more of him. I want to sit be able to sit at the feet of Jesus and give everything I have. I want to carry the fragrance of Jesus, just like Mary would have after washing his feet with her hair. I want to know Jesus and despite what others think and say, be able to honour him with all I have.

Because He is worthy of it all. 

I pray that you (if you haven’t already) would get a glimpse of the incredible worth of Jesus. I pray that he would overwhelm your heart. I pray that others around you would breath in the fragrance of Jesus that you are carrying with you. And I pray that His name would be praised and be lifted up to its rightful place. 

He is worthy of it all.