Posts in identity
the beauty in the wilderness

Some times you just kinda flop. The season slows down, the purpose gets a little bit vague, and things don’t line up the way your heart wished. The weird thing is I knew this was coming, I saw from afar this season approaching us, I saw Him preparing my heart, wooing me, speaking gently to my pride and revealing the gold that He wants to shine forth. Truly I almost expected to be plunged into the dark, into testing and trial, but God in his beautiful kindness continues to woo and speak His truth over me even in the midst of transition.It’s weird going from constant change to no change at all. It’s almost like He’s moved my heart to a place of complete peace at the transition, and now that the transition is over (for now) I feel a little lost. A little weepy. A little tired. When we cry out - Jesus take my life and use it for Your glory, I think often we have ideas and perceptions of what we think that will look like, and we push and strive, in the process making the pride of our hearts larger and turning away from the humility he offers us.. yet, God, in his unbelievable mercy and love reaches down and says ‘yes, I will use You for my glory.. just be faithful.” This morning he spoke to me out of Matthew 25, about the virgins and the oil. My heart was challenged and grateful when He said..

"Susanna, will you continue to stoke and fan the flame of love in your heart - even if it looks mundane, lame and boring? Will you fill your lamp with oil even when no one sees, when the ‘ministry’ is far from what you want to be doing, when it looks like going low and doing things you never saw yourself doing? Will you choose to be full of my oil, my spirit, my passion, will you keep your heart postured before me in adoration? Will you still love the one I bring to you with a tenacious love, sacrificing ideas about what ‘ministry’ looks like?"

Sometimes in His perfect love, he draws us lovingly into the wilderness. The wilderness looks like dying, to our self, our ideas, our plans.. it looks like leaning into what the hope of our calling looks like - the riches of what lies in eternity walking with our King (Eph 1:18) - rather than dwelling on the bits and pieces here. Fixing our gaze on Jesus, the author and perfecter of the of our faith (Heb 12:2). The wilderness sometimes looks like no direction, no job, no idea.. yet there’s always an oasis and jumping in the river of His presence has never been such a joy.

So today I’m choosing to seek out the truth about who He says I am, and what He says I was made for. A daughter made for love, adopted into His family, with a calling to walk and talk with Him for all of eternity. Let Him speak to you today about who you are and why you were created - because nothing on this earth really is what our calling really looks like. You were made to be a lover, a voluntary lover, (Eph 1:5) chosen because His Son opened the way for us to be carriers of His glory. That, is a purpose no one can talk you out of.

Hope over you today! Susanna x

Oh how I need You

Switzerland, Feb 2016. Yeshua, this truly has become my hearts cry over the last season. Oh how I need You! Without you I’m Much-Afraid, I’m a mess of thoughts and plans and ideas that really only amount to my own desires. You have begun to transform your desires to be my desires. You have transformed my heart to start to want what you want over anything that I do. You’ve taught me how to die, how to let the seed fall to the ground and become nothing so that you can plant me into your purposes, as a willing vessel. (John 12:24)

I needed You the most when I realised how much bigger your plan and story for the world is than just my little life. You’re weaving a beautiful tapestry of grace and power - so many prophetic passages you are fulfilling in my lifetime, bringing forth the beauty of your Son, the King of all the earth. Honestly I’m so overwhelmed that you would even let us be apart of your story, honoured feels like a cheap word. As we sat in the house of prayer that overlooks Jerusalem and sang out of your goodness, it hit me that we were being apart of the fulfilment of Isaiah 62:6 - that we were literal watchman posted on the walls of your great city. Again, all I can say is that I need you - I can’t even pray without your help, and certainly not intercede for your people. Your plan is so perfect, and we submit to your leadership Jesus.

Today as we sit in a little apartment that overlooks the mountains of Switzerland (which you so graciously gave us!), all I can think about is your faithfulness. The fact that you would make this little short time apart of your plan for us blows me away. A few weeks ago I started reading Hinds feet on high places, the beautiful story of Much-Afraid as she makes the journey to the high places. And here I am, looking out on the high places, the pinnacle of what you’ve taught me the last 12 months. Deep surrender. Deep trust. Forever falling and never in control.. yet completely safe on your path through the waves and the storm. You’ve taken me on a journey of being Much-Afarid, Anxious One, to transforming my name into Grace, into Glory, into Surrendered Trust.

The best part is that your glorious plan is not even a bit complete.. that with one life yielded to you Holy Spirit you can create such a beautiful tapestry of grace and beauty. That even in the in-between seasons, the ones that are not glamorous and don’t call for the attention of the masses.. that you are creating a story of beautiful humility, of complete surrender and trust. That the lower and less seen we are the more able you are to create something far greater with our little yes. Like the Great Shepherd said “the truth is that all the fairest beauties of the human soul, it’s greatest victories and achievements, are always those which no one sees. Every conquest over self love is a new flower on the tree of love.” (Hinds Feet on High Places)

So as we journey home and take our little yes to a familiar place with all of it’s comforts and routine, I continue to say that Yeshua I need you more than ever. Now that you have made me Surrendered Trust I need your help to live in that identity always. That my deepest love for you will outshine even the darkest day of winter. That Yeshua I love you with every part of my being and my desire is only for you. That I’m okay with being weak, being lowly, poor in spirit, that I actually feel more broken and helpless in my ability to do any ministry or do anything for you without You. Help me to never loose that. Because you spoke so clearly to me that it’s only when we are completely un-able in ourselves that you are made able.

With deepest love, Surrendered Trust

552 hours.

So here I am - 8 months down this crazy road that Jesus has been leading us on. How can I even gage how He’s touched and moulded my heart? 552.

The number of hours I’ve spent in the prayer room in the last months. The number of hours I’ve cried, sat, prayed, and vulnerably placed my weak yes before Him asking Him to mould me into a vessel worthy of His plans. Truthfully, the number of hours I’ve sat in total boredom, looking at the clock, wishing that they wouldn’t sing that same song again, and again. They number of hours I’ve chosen to press in and lock my phone away from my wandering eyes. The number of hours I’ve been convicted again and again by my total humanness - when my flesh is screaming out that pressing in won’t do a thing, but my spirit yearns just for a touch from Him.

The number of hours I’ve felt dry and barren, only to be met with the gracious river of His beautiful presence. The presence that gently reveals to me how much closer my roots could be planted to His life giving waters. The number of hours I’ve fought distraction, only to give in and be sadden by the wasted hours I could be spending drinking in all He wants to say. The journals I filled with the same prayers over and over again - "make my yes real Jesus, grow my heart in love for You.” And the beautiful revelation and encounter He lavished on me as He wooed me closer with gentle whispers of love.. that giving it all for love is enough, love is the reward of love.

The countless tear stains on the book of the Song of Solomon as He revealed to me how He see’s me amidst the struggles to lock eyes with His beautiful gaze. That amidst the struggle He sees me as beautiful, worthy, worth everything He had to give on that cross. The beautiful story He is writing over humanity - and the wonderful ending that Jesus has planned to truly bring the church into victorious love as she leans in with everything.

It’s been a roller coaster to say the least, and truthfully it hasn’t been easy to sit, pace, and stand in the same room for so long. But even in all the highs and lows, He truly has been faithful to grow my heart in ways that I can’t even imagine. The deepest delight and highest calling of my life - to learn to love You Jesus.

So where to from here? Above all, we just want to go where he says - and clearly God's not done with this intense training season. So off to Africa & the Middle East we’re going to serve with Iris Global. We’re heading to Mozambique to do their Harvest School of Missions for the next four months - to test and put hands to all Jesus has grown in our hearts this year. To say that He truly is worthy of our utmost lovesick obedience, what a joy to follow a King worth everything we have to give Him.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever create artworks and run a business again, and at the moment - I’m totally okay with that. This space will continue to become a place where I can share the journey with others, and I hope it encourages your heart to say yes to Jesus more and more.

#3 Dreams from His heart

The other night I had a dream. In my dream I knew I was dreaming, and I knew that God was speaking to me. The exact words aren’t clear - more of an impression of His heart - I knew he was speaking to my spirit. He was speaking encouragement. That even when I can't tell if I'm growing in this season, he's strengthening my spirit and spirit man to be stronger than it’s ever been. He’s growing my capacity to hear him and to operate out of the overflow of his heart rather than the striving of my own.

For the past two days these thoughts from this dream haven’t left my mind.. even though the dream’s pictures have faded, it was a completely new experience to me to hear Jesus speak to my heart so clearly while I was sleeping.

There’s been so many highs and lows over the past two weeks - beautiful times in the prayer room full of intimacy with Jesus, mixed with days of weakness and distraction. Times of prayer where my heart is burdened with the Fathers heart and the words come easy - and other days when my mind can only think of the next snack… or is distracted with the realities of life.

But then He speaks, and in a way he hasn’t before. A dream. An impression of his heart for me - to build my spirit stronger than ever before. That even when I feel weak, and the hours in the prayer room drag, and my mind is everywhere that it shouldn’t be - that he’s still growing my spirit. That even when I can’t feel his presence and my prayers feel empty - that the words of my mouth to build his church are building my spirit.

I felt him clearly say that this season is a strengthening season for what is to come.. that this beautiful history I already carry with the Father is only the beginning of a life of surrender to Him.. and that he wants my heart ready. Really ready.

I hope that my journey of learning his beautiful plan of surrender will strengthen and encourage your own heart today - let him speak to the depths of your heart. He longs to do so.

#2 Thoughts on breakthrough

When He speaks - let your heart hear.. because although you cling to those insecurities, those past habits and ideals like a comforting blanket around you... they can't lead you into your true identity. The Father says let go, He says 'don't look back and instead let me lead you.’ He says that there is no need for you to carry this blanket anymore, even for emergencies.. because you have His embrace. But yet sometimes you still choose to pick it up again and favour comfort of the insecurity over His perfect embrace.He says let it go, and let me lead you…. And when you’re not sure of what the future holds, when you’re feeling anxious about the details of life and where the provision will come from next - let your security rest in who he is. Let your peace lie in His embrace, and let your joy be revealed in the beauty of who Jesus is. Don’t let the details overwhelm you. Look into His eyes. When you’re in worship and your head aches, instead of giving up - let him whisper his beautiful breath of fresh love into your spirit… and when your heart can’t contain the joy of the moment - let the tears fall over. Because he speaks both in the loud, overwhelming praise, as much as the still, quiet voice.

And when the words aren’t coming, when you don’t feel the passion for the prayer your praying - ask for the Fathers beautiful heart. His heart doesn’t stop breaking, and will never stop breaking until heaven comes to earth. Just a tiny touch of his perspective is all you need for your heart to break for what breaks his own. All you need is one touch of his joy to be over filled with joy… all you need is one moment to quiet your spirit and reach into his heart for more. More of his glory, more of his peace, more of his love for others. Just reach in.. all you need is there.

And when the wall of tiredness, apathy or just the wall of life that threatens your ability to engage with Him.. hold on. Breakthrough is coming like the rain, like the beautiful dawn that Jesus breathes his life into. Don’t let the wall determine your perspective of Him.. but instead let your perseverance be made complete in the beautiful history that you have already walked with Him. The rain will come, it always has.. just like the dawn, sure and steady.

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10