How would you describe your relationship with God?
I’d describe it as very open and flexible which sounds funny. But what I mean by that is over the last 15 years I’ve been walking with the Lord I’ve changed a lot and my understanding with him has changed a lot.. He hasn’t changed but in our relationship, I feel so much freedom for us to both be ourselves.. I feel like that sounds silly! But there’s so much freedom for me to process with Him and ask Him the hard questions or weird questions and explore different aspects of theology. There’s such a mutual understanding, and I never expect to know what He’s doing to do, or how he’s going to answer my prayers this time. I love being surprised by God, being caught off guard by him. How I relate to Him always changes. So it’s very open.
Can you share any stories where God has captured your wild heart?
There are so many sweet moments where Holy Spirit has taught me about His love for the wild ones it’s so hard to choose one so I will share a couple. First I’d say I’ve always felt very known and seen by the Father. I grew up in church, very traditional and conservative circles and it was quite confusing, I didn’t really understand it. And one night in college I came home very drunk and laid out on my floor and just said to God, ‘hey if you’re real I really want to know you’ and I think that being the first time I spoke and met with God set a tone for me just coming to him as myself and he would always just meet me. I always felt so known by Him even when I felt so misunderstood by everyone else around me. He doesn’t shame me and tut at me when I ask inappropriate questions.
Another story that comes to mind was a time when I was in China and I was in a brothel with one of my madam friends and she took out some meds and I asked her what it was for and she said she had herpes in her mouth and that she had it for a couple of years and she had a lot of pain, she couldn’t even eat and I said in very simple language “well did you know that Jesus is a healer? He can heal you, do you want to pray?” and she said “well I don’t believe in Jesus” and I said “that’s okay, you don’t have to believe! He can heal you anyway. Do you wanna pray?” and she was like “sure!” so we said a simple prayer and she was healed! That for me was so monumental for me. It makes me emotional even now. Just understanding the simplicity of the gospel. If God can meet a madam in her brothel and heal her of STD’s how endless is his kindness! How endless is his compassion and love towards us.
Another time in a bar someone came up to me and said: “someone told me you were a christian, is that f*****g true?” I was like.. Yeah.. what’s up?! *giggles* and she said “I want to know God, how do I know him?” so we went outside to a quiet spot and I just said “it’s so simple, put your hands out and say father, I want to know you” and she said “what else?!” and I said “he’s going to come to you.. Just wait.
And the next time I saw her she came to me and said “I was in the taxi home and I was really drunk, but I felt God tell me that he loved me and I already knew him!.. Is that true is that true? Can he really talk to me that way?! And I said “yeah!”
So there have been so many times in my life I have just seen God in compassion and in love and purity. Not in any way that’s complicated! The simple way He has met me and the wild ones. He has just honoured tender hearts as they pursue Him in really honest and messy messy situations and that just always teaches me His love for us and how it knows no bounds and in all of her intensity and intentionally the Church just gets it wrong. The Holy Spirit is not cageable or boxable and so that makes things messy and the church wants things a little neater and controlled and it creates these cultures that try to say if you want holiness here’s 5 steps to holiness. God is so relational. Being in and out of churches the last 15 years there’s been a lot of friction for me because I have questions and I don’t want to cage God in. I’ve had a lot of leaders tell me I’m wrong or that God doesn’t talk that way but God continues to assure me that I know His voice, one of my life verses is about Jesus as the good shepherd talking about how His sheep know his voice. And God says to me “don’t doubt me, don’t doubt that you hear me.. That’s their own question, that’s their own doubt, you don’t have to take on that doubt” He just promises me that we do know His voice.
Have you ever wanted to give up faith? How did you get through it?
There have been times I’ve tried to give up faith, well actually there’s never actually been a time I’ve wanted to walk away from God but there have been seasons I’ve wanted to walk away from church and I’m in a season where I’m not in church and it’s just what I need right now. I’ve just had too many experiences with him to deny Him even when things are really hard. There have been times I’ve walked away from ministry to get away from the religion. In times I’ve wanted to give up I’ve given myself so much grace to be honest with the Lord. I know I’m in His hands and I will never fall from His grace. So if I need a break from praying every day or worship or going to church, or I just need a break when I’m overwhelmed I just trust that the Lord has got me and He’s never going to forsake me. When you believe that there is no room for fear.. And when you’re in seasons of doubt even if I put my book down I trust that he’s still going to be there and that He will not let me lose my way. Taking God at His word, so when He says He won’t leave, that we know Him, that He knows us, and that we love because He loved us first and that He gives us faith because He chose us. So as the waves come that truth and rock never changes or moves even if everything else does and that is so powerful.
How has God made you more wild?
Man, I just feel like it’s a constant challenge of Him just loving people and challenging me to love people, being kind and being generous with my love. He is always pushing my boxes! When I think there are no boxes He points out another little box and I’m like “oh okay! Maybe that’s a little box there..”
The bible talks about Jesus on the cross and it says ‘whilst we were still sinners Christ died for us’
He meets us in our sin and He meets us in our mess and I’ve seen that so many times and it just challenges me to be a better lover and more present in relationship and even in the little interactions with people and the moments that might not matter and he’s always challenging me to love wider and love deeper and not from a place of depletion and give everything, not from a place of poverty mindset but from a place of overflow! From that place of lavish lavish love and man it blows my mind and that’s why church is hard in this season, especially in the states just with the political scene and all the things that are happening and the church just isn’t doing a great job at being known for their love! Jesus said to the disciples that we will be known by our love for one another and it’s like.. Yeah we’re not quite there yet! I just find that really challenging when there are restrictions around that.
What advice would you give any teenagers working their faith out today in this crazy world that are reading this mag?
I would say just keep being honest. Ask the hard questions, trust that you hear God’s voice and man be yourself. Don’t let your questions go unanswered, doubt is fine! That’s where our faith comes in. If you doubt someone that means you believe in them. So be honest especially in those young adult/ teenage years. Don’t be afraid to be real and honest. Don’t hide from God! He sees you and knows you and He seeks you out so that should be really encouraging, not a burden. Often when it’s a burden when we are not being honest with yourself and God so keep honesty at the forefront. Be real, the Lord will be as real as you’ll be with Him it’s such a beautiful love exchange.
This article is published in our ‘Wild & Holy’ series in our Wild Hearts Magazine. To read the story in the mag and other stories like this pour a cup of tea, put on some music that goes with the mag, and read our second issue ‘Wild Romance‘ for free online.