Wrestling Alongside Each Other

I’ve really come to appreciate those who can wrestle things through.

Over the course of my last years I’ve moved in ways, made decisions, stepped into things that have been challenging on a number of different levels for those around me.

Now these things were challenging to myself as well but I did my wrestling and due diligence before the Lord in secret really, just between myself and God is where my wrestling took place, and long before the effects began to show on the surface of my life.

Continue reading Wrestling Alongside Each Other

Given Over

I’m at the start of month four of having no home of my own.

Not taken lightly and not entered into quickly, these past few months, and any number of years to come, is simultaneously challenging me and blessing me.

‘Home’ has boiled down to where I unpack my toothbrush and toothpaste and where I have a place to lay my head at night.

Thankfully my family has been stellar. My parents have given me a corner at their place and my extended family has ok’d me staying (i.e.:camping of sorts) at our family house on Mayne.

I’m a bit of a professional bum at the moment.

And so far, in the months since August I’ve not been any one place longer than 1.5 weeks at a time.

This giving my life over to the Lord’s compelling, vision, calling (whatever you want to call it) has come with its cost.

I’ve given over so many of my rights.

I’ve given over the right to have my own kitchen stuff at hand. Because it’s all packed away for the long haul I am always a guest in every kitchen I’m in. Using pans that are not my own, utensils not my own, cookware not my own… any woman will recognize the sacrifice this is.

I’ve given over the right to have my own children sit around my table. When will I ever have them over to my place again? I have no idea. Now I go to them and (bless them) they welcome me and extend their homes to me.

I’ve given over the right to decorate and arrange furniture just as I like. I’ve given over the right to have things just so and to make a space as I would really love to have it. I’ve given over the right to have my own pretty and familiar things at hand.

I’ve given over the right to privacy and that unique north american product of doing life with few watching. My life is now a communal experience with many ‘in on’ the logistics of where I lay my head each night.

I’ve given over the right to earn a decent wage. Living below the poverty line everything I am and make goes to the work of Capturing Courage Int’l. As anyone knows who has risked to begin a business, company, or organization, significant sacrifice is the modus operandi for some years; you would be shocked to know how little I am living on.

I’ve given over the right to financial privacy. I have those who know every single dime I spend and on what and when. In quest for transparency and integrity I am completely and totally financially naked.

I’ve given over the right to giving gifts. For the third Christmas in a row now (and for birthdays too) I’ve not bought one of my children or grandchildren one gift. Nothing. Zip. Zero. I’ve just not had the funds for it.

I’ve given over the right to comfort and ease. Most everything and everywhere I am and go asks of me inconvenience, some of it significant. My most prominent pleasure at the moment is simply keeping a few of my favourite mugs at my various ‘homes’.

I’ve given over the right to friendships. Many (I’ve lost about 20 friends this past year alone) cannot or will not move along with me as I enter into that which is bigger than me, and I’m not sure I will ever truly get over the sorrow of this.

I’ve given over the right to be understood. There are still those actively shunning me, there are those who gossip and assume the worst about me, there are those afraid of endorsing me, and there are those that don’t care enough to actually ask or get to know me or the work of CCI but rather simply pull back into the shadows… and are gone.

I’ve given over the right to my own bathroom. Most everywhere I go others know my bathroom habits. Overseas using a toilet or taking a shower is never a private affair, at my folks we must jostle and wrestle each other for bathroom time – well not quite. 🙂

I’ve given over the right to washing my clothes on my time. Except when I’m on Mayne my clothes must be washed in sync with others schedules and availability everywhere I go. This too is never private – I still feel an intruder in this way.

I’ve given over the right to a closet of clothes. The extent of my clothing could fit into one medium suitcase. I’ve learned to wear the same things over and over, to buy one pair of jeans and wear them till they die (before buying another), and to keep my tops to a system and uniform of sorts; clothing that works for both at home and abroad.

And finally, I’ve given over my right to independence. Everywhere I go, the places I settle into, require that I am okay with depending on others for their hospitality and generosity to me. Whether I am at ‘home’ ( the lower mainland, the gulf islands, in Alberta with my daughter and her family) or whether I am at ‘home’ overseas (with Daniel and his family in Mozambique, with Mamma Bosa or with Edith in Uganda – or any number of the smaller villages and homes which host me in various countries) I am dependant on others. Completely.

My main concern and query at this time is how to manage this for the long haul. What and how might I settle in my heart and mind so that I can sustain this kind of living? I am fairly certain there is an expiration date on such a style of life, but I am equally certain that for me that won’t be for significant time down the road.

I’m therefore working at setting routine into my days that remain the same no matter where I am. Habits of silence and contemplation, quiet time with the Lord, writing time to clear my mind, these things I can do anywhere thankfully.

When I was twenty I wanted nothing more than to sell everything and travel around north america random happenstance style for a years time. Now, nearly thirty years later, I’m getting to do this but on a much bigger scale – around the world happenstance style (well… certainly nimble) and for many years.

Those who pray for me tell me that my time is now and while I’ve been preparing for this for years I am quite aware that significant investment, significant results, require significant sacrifice. Something that is in fact an incredible honour to give.

The Gift of Dissatisfaction

Dissatisfaction is one of the best gifts we have ever been given. Nothing else can move us to change and renewal of our lives quite like dissatisfaction.

So this year, as you head into 2014, take hold of your dissatisfactions and harness them toward the way you truly want to be in the world and the kind of life you want to be living.

Don’t push away your dissatisfaction, don’t brush it off as though its meaningless, rather take it in hand and allow it to guide you and compel you to make the changes in your life that suit you best.

Enough Already

Lies are woven in and through everything we are and think.

Whispers laid down years ago have taken up firm roots in our inner being.

They made sense at the time.

Today we live by them.

So entrenched are they in our system of life that it appears that all depends on them.

But this simply isn’t so.

The only thing that depends on the lies are our less-than’s, our compromises, our self hatreds, our mediocrity, our fears, our dysfunctional relationships, and our coping skills.

And right here is the problem. For we’ve built our lives, in many cases, around these very things.

What would life be without these things?

We barely know.

The difficulty of uprooting the lies from our lives is that we then have to change the way we do life. The lies require one way of doing life, not another.

But the other, thats what we really long for.

And so we are caught in a catch-22 situation.

We don’t like the lies but we do like the comfortable life they’ve afforded us.

Change, on the other hand is always uncomfortable, scary, unsure, imprecise, wrought through with all sorts of risks and the unknown.

The lies are familiar and we can count on them.

Until we become dissatisfied.

Dissatisfaction is the best gift known to modern man. Only the power of dissatisfaction can compel us to give up our lies and go after something more congruent and truer for our souls and life.

Yet even here, we try to squelch dissatisfaction. We shame it and any who carry it. We push it away for its unpleasant side effects within our soul. Rather than asking, “What do I want?” we simply avoid any questioning whatsoever.

We keep pushing ourselves and each other into mediocrity and making do.

We live and die according to the lies.

Until provoked enough to make a change.

Until provoked enough to become dissatisfied.

Who or what is provoking you today?

Make sure to thank them.

Three Days Grace

Reading a Rick Joyner book years back I learned that pride blinds us for three days time. It was an interesting thing to read and about the only thing I remember from that book.

Since then I’ve had grand opportunity (i.e.: my own pride) to test this out, and I’ve found it to be completely accurate.

Blinded, literally, by our pride.

So I’ve learned to give some space and time for my thinking and responses. When I’ve been kicked in the gut by another (as I experienced yesterday) there is always an element of my pride that has been hit.

Yes, the other party was in violation to an agreement made, but the part of me that feels the violation is simply my pride. And when pride gets kicked up, like sand in a dust storm, we just can’t see so well for a few days.

Our discernment is foggy, wisdom is compromised, accuracy is at 50% or less. It is therefore imperative during this time to sit back and allow the dust to settle before addressing everything that went wrong.

Give it three days, regardless of the trouble three days space will allow new light to shine on the situation. Three days allows emotions to settle, disappointments to be reckoned, betrayal to be grieved. It’s a good investment.

Open Doors

The Lord really began telling me about the work I was to do in the year 2000. And as I slowly came to believe and trust that this was indeed from God I entered into a process of waiting. Way back in 2002 I have in a journal entry, ‘the time is now, pray that the way would be opened.’ In 2004 another journal entry records, ‘pray that the doors would be opened for all over the world do I choose to use you.’ In 2008, ‘pray that the doors would be opened.’

And so I entered into the longing and the waiting and the praying alongside these directions of the Holy Spirit. I spent my time investing in my own inner healing and wholeness, for I knew that if these prophecies and the accompanying visions were true I would need to be a clean vessel for the Lord. Come forward to 2010 and our Capturing Courage team prayer times recorded, ‘pray that the doors would be opened.’

Well, the doors are open. Internationally speaking its been just over two years since the doors opened and we couldn’t now shut them if we wanted. I have invitations to 11 countries on three continents. Most of those countries have multiple invitations representing hundreds of churches and a number of Bible Schools.

The doors are so open that we cannot go through all of them at once. Most invites are followed by about 2 years of long-distance communication and relationship building before I ever arrive at that particular place,  and every time I do travel the invites become multiplied to that country.

The doors are so open that we have now entered into more waiting. I recently wrote about the power of longing (which is closely tied with waiting, you can read it here), and yet I hardly have the words to speak of the incredible investment made in the wait. I feel I am barely poking at the significance each time I write about it.

When I was young I was a ‘I’d like it yesterday thank-you very much’ kind of person. I like to say I’m a recovered driver-personality. I am now a firm believer of waiting and I encourage leaders and would-be-leaders to enter into waiting whole-heartedly and with faithfulness.

This duo of longing and waiting is in many, many ways the work. Really. Longing and waiting IS THE WORK. And I realize now when I travel and as I write and encourage and equip even over email and Facebook and phone calls that this is the harvest season for me. The multiplication of the waiting has already, and is still continuing, to take place.

All those years back then when I could hardly see my hand in front of my face for all the waiting on the Lord I was doing (many personal things as well as CCI), I never imagined that I was in fact and in that faithfulness doing the work. But I was. Today, we are simply reaping the harvest.

I’m so glad I didn’t go around the waiting. Thank-you Lord for keeping me faithful.

It’s interesting though that the ones closest in during those waiting years seem to have missed the significance of them. To them I was just going through difficulty and trial. Even the ones who knew of the visions and prophecies spoken over my life, even a few who did the prophesying, cannot believe it today.

And I think this is so true of all of us. We see waiting and we see the outward difficulties and we miss the work going on under the surface. We aren’t able to realize that faithfulness produces its own harvest. That staying the course alongside our Lord is an investment in great things to come. God looks at the heart after all, we on the other hand, seem to have trouble doing this.

Today, thought its a bit different, I am still waiting. Where will I go in 2014? I don’t know. I know my first trip will be back to Uganda, but when, what month? I don’t know. And I can’t know when I will know. What about the other places and people pressing in on my heart, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Kenya, Burundi, Northern Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana?

Names I’ve come to love: Timothy, Ravi, Ravindra, Esther, Alex, Charagh, Philip, Michael, Caliph, Walter, Daniel, Innocent, Patrick, Elizabeth, John, Irene, Edward, Praise, Evan, Joyce, Victor, Whisky, Edison, June, Annet, Grace, Moses, Joseph, Jacob, Mildred, Swen, Pascal, Lydia, Scholastic, Geoffrey, Nicholas, Mehtab, Anthony, Peterson, Kigozi, David, Alex, Mamma Bosa, Edith, Aaron, Nelson, Godwin, Bena, Elijah, Paul, Nabeel, Mathias, Honey, Jacob, Anniebel, Stephen, Isabel, Daniel, Camota, Vologa, Huda, John, Dombay, Paul, Isaiah, Lino, Rui, Armando, Oondo, (please forgive me if I missed you).

I’m waiting on the Lord. It’s really hard work. Every day I bear the load of it and invest of the longing alongside it. Yet gladly and with great privilege.

Not for myself any longer, but for those that the Lord chooses to touch and heal and make glad. My job is to show up. The Lord does the rest.

What has become very amazing is that I’m not waiting alone. Weekly I receive emails and phone calls reminding me that they are waiting for me. Hundreds of people in multiple communities are praying and praying and praying for me to travel to where they are. How many full days and services have been set aside over the past couple years for the express purpose of praying for me and my journeying I have no idea. I just keep hearing about them.

It’s an amazing thing. And I get it now. I’m not the only one waiting. Rather, we wait together. And in this I am convinced that the compounding investment of our communal waiting will bring about the Kingdom of God in mighty and powerful transformations of lives and leaders and churches within the body of Christ.

We wait on you Father. Together.

“The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:15

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27:14

“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3

Amen and amen.

Radical Movements

I am thoroughly enjoying the cool air of home. Today is overcast and rainy, chilly to the bone… I love it! The only thing I have trouble with in Africa is the heat. And during this past trip I bordered on serious heat and sun exhaustion a number of times. Note to self: when I go to India (cause I believe it is even hotter there), take an umbrella.

It was strange sitting in Heathrow Airport halfway home clueing into the Christmas decorations present, “Oh yeah… Christmas…” It was strange to read a comment on Facebook about Halloween and have my brain slowly trying to make sense of it, “Oh yeah… halloween… that happened while I was gone…”

Ever since I’ve begun international ministry I am pretty much out of sync with seasons, time of year, and generally where I am in the calendar year. It’s like perpetually living in another time zone.

Little things like rain don’t bother me whatsoever anymore. What are a few little drops? I’ve been to Africa and back by myself! What once made sense, doesn’t. What seemed so important, isn’t.

Cyndy bald

There is a freedom to life now that I never used to have. A strength and resilience that can only be found when we place ourselves in situations where things must come together, or fail miserably.

The day a few years back when I shaved my head for a friend was a profound moment. I’ve never been the same. There is something about radical movements of heart and soul and body that deeply change us from the inside out. Literally, nothing has been scary after shaving my head.

I’ve been home from Mozambique now for nearly a week and rambling away, but bottom line, I too am still asking myself, “Who do I want to be in this life?”

The answer to this, we go after that. Such query is a lifetime worth of work and it just keeps getting better the older we get. This I know.

What are you going after? What edges are you taking yourself to? What kind of person do you want to be in this life?

What radical movements of heart and soul and body might you make in the near future?