Sunday, March 5, 2017

Original Self


I don't think I've really looked at myself lately. Sure, I do my hair/makeup and get ready in the morning, but I haven't had the energy to really look at the person staring back at me in the mirror. It's been a tough few months, riddled with pain that has run deep. I've just had my head down, determined to make it out in one piece. But today, for the first time in what seemed like months, I stood motionless in front of the mirror and blinked at the woman-child blinking back at me. She looked different than I remember. On the outside, she looked tired and weary. But on the inside she looked a little more true... a little more like the true me I always thought was buried in there, beneath all the facades life has taught me to conjure up to guard against more wounds and pain. Beneath the fear of what you think of me and all the little insecurities that have convinced me I can't be free. The real Elise--the fearless, joyful, brave, free one, is coming to the surface and taking the lead. And for that reason alone, I am incredible proud of that woman in the mirror. 


xo




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

To Africa!

I just have to say, I had no intention of leaving the country this year. Heck, I just stepped into full time ministry in San Francisco a couple months ago and have PLENTY on my plate as it is. But apparently God likes to keep me on my toes and has the most purposeful, beautiful reasoning and timing for the things He leads us into. So here we gooooo!!



THE SCOOP: Over the couple months I started to have this sense I was going to be traveling internationally before the end of the year, but didn't know why or in what capacity. I've always had a heart for the nations and at various times have tried really hard to get to them, to no avail. I've had many dreams about Africa specifically and knew to some extent I'd be going there one day. I've kept this in my back pocket the majority of my life. 

Then a couple a weeks ago, like a flood I started receiving confirming words from strangers and people in my community, agreeing with what the Lord had already been telling me about being sent to the nations. Driving home after receiving a specific word about being sent to Africa, I told the Lord that if Global Awakening, a ministry that I love and have been personally impacted by, had a trip going to Africa before the end of the year I'd be on it (this felt like a long shot as they haven't taken a trip there in awhile). Sure enough, I check the website and the next trip leaving in November is heading where? AFRICA. 


The trip is going to Mozambique and will work alongside Heidi and Rolland Baker's ministry in Pemba for two weeks. What I love about Global Awakening is the way they are committed to bringing hope and healing to the nations through the power of the gospel while also teaching, equipping and empowering the team they bring. These people are dead serious about changing the world for Jesus and are actually doing it. That's my jammmmmmm. 


The deposit for the trip is $500, which I didn't have. "Okay Lord, You want me to go? I'm gunna need $500 just to sign up," I told Him.

Well, He heard. The next week, I was at a conference in Redding. As a group we were practicing hearing God's voice, and I received a word that God is going to double my finances. As an act of agreement, a sweet woman came up, kissed my head, and dropped a $20 in my lap. One by one, strangers came up dropped money, prayed and blessed me. You can imagine how wrecked I was. It was one of the sweetest moments of my life as nearly 50 strangers stood in agreement and sowed into my life. Amidst all of this, the Lord told me I wasn't leaving Redding without $500. I figured I'd just round up and felt so blessed as it was, but He was serious. Throughout the rest of the conference people came up and continued to hand me money. "I'm not sure what you are doing but I feel led to give this to you," they'd say. I drove away from Redding with $502 stuffed in my purse. 



Here's a picture of me, getting wrecked. So much love.

ALL THAT TO SAY, I'm going to Africa. I feel that the Lord wants to teach me more about the Father's heart on this trip and that there are new depths of His love that He wants to reveal to me. I also feel there are divine connections that will be established that the Lord will use not only in my life but also the life of my ministry in San Francisco with LindenTree Outreach. 

I have literally no idea where the rest of the money is going to come from, but I'm pretty freaking excited to find out! I'm holding this with open hands and know that He is SO capable of the impossible and the miraculous and loves to wow His kids. :)

If you feel led to sow into this trip, I am so grateful! And stoked to see what the Lord has in store for you! :) You can do so here: https://secure.squarespace.com/commerce/donate?donatePageId=545fff0fe4b0e58fabd62448


**All donations are tax deductible 
Can't wait to share this adventure with you.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Everything is AWESOME

It's been almost a full two weeks of working with Linden Tree, and I just have to say, I LOVE MY LIFE. 

Here is a picture of me, loving life. 

This isn't to say it hasn't been difficult--actually, the last couple weeks have been REAL hard. The transition alone has pretty much wiped out all emotional energy. I have yet to find my new day-to-day rhythm and am struggling without a sense of consistency. I thrive on structure, so having close to none at this point has produced a fair share of freak outs. I am pretty far from being funded and am learning to look at my circumstances from the perspective of Heaven, instead of what I see in my bank account. This is a whole new level of trust and dependence that is requiring every day to begin on my face-- completely surrendering everything I have and don't have back over to Jesus again. Moment by moment I am having to ask Him, "Okay Lord, what do you have for me right now?" It isn't even an option anymore--I actually can't live without Him. 

And it's the absolute best. I'm quickly becoming convinced that no matter what the Lord has called us to, we are to live it in such a way that requires deep dependence on our Creator and relentless obedience in everything. I see my heart as having lots of little thrones, with Jesus sitting on some of them, but not yet all. I don't think I even realized (and probably still don't realize) how many places in heart I had refused to let Him sit on the throne and have complete control. But I'm learning, throne by throne, to give up control to the One who has my best intentions in mind and is actually a much better ruler than I am. And I'm telling you people, there is a closeness with God and a joy unshakable produced in the surrender that is simply unbeatable. I highly recommend it. ;)


Friday, May 27, 2016

The Day I Quit

Today is a big one for me. Closing the door to my role as a pretend mommy (nanny) and opening another to one of my biggest passions-- Linden Tree Outreach. Cue the emotional rollercoaster. 



Of all the 'feels' I've felt these last couple weeks, the strongest ones by far are anticipation and excitement. I know I've said it a hundred times to a hundred people, but I just can't believe I get to be a part of a ministry like Linden Tree. I have never encountered a group of people with such an intentional emphasis on connecting others with the heart of God. What's better in life than knowing and being deeply connected with the loving heart of our Dad? Hmm...NOTHING.

Prayer during this transition period would be greatly appreciated. I'll be traveling this next week then will hit the ground running as soon as I'm back. I am so excited to see what the Lord has in store!

xo

*If you are interested in supporting my work with Linden Tree Outreach, THANK YOU! You can donate one time gifts at Linden Tree GIVE or email lindentreeoutreach@gmail.com for a recurring payment form.  LindenTree Outreach is a recognized 501-C3 Non-Profit Organization in the state of California. Donors will receive a mailed receipt for tax purposes. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Are you lonely too?


I was talking to a friend last night about how crazy it is that I am actually living my dream. I've wanted to do something like Linden Tree for as long as I've known the Lord, and now I am actually getting to do it. It's amazing and yet, something is missing. 

As we wrestled with what that "something" could be, it hit me-- loneliness. 

It's one thing to have my dreams realized and get to live them out. It's another thing to do it alone. So many things have happened this last year that have confirmed in amazing ways God's nearness and provision. Right and left He is answering prayers and doing miracles in my life that only I'm close enough to see. I'm constantly blown away, and yet feel like I'm experiencing the majority of it solo.  

 I think this is amplified in San Francisco. Most people seem to be busy here...very busy (including myself). The transiency is at an all time high-- I've only been here a year and already the majority of my closest friends have moved away. It is difficult and exhausting to get places. Heck, it took me two hours to go to Trader Joe's yesterday for some bananas. JUST BANANAS. But beneath all of this is an underlying sense of loneliness and isolation. Regardless of being in the middle of a 3,000 person church service or alone in my apartment, it's always there. 

And it sucks. Half the time I don't know what to do about it. I'm 99% confident I'm not the only one who feels like this. 

I'm learning to be still in these moments of aching loneliness and let the Lord come in-- instead of panic. I've never been more tempted to mindless distraction than I have been since moving here. And it makes sense that that depth of loneliness would come with a need for distraction. I believe He has something for me even in that place, but I have to be still enough to receive it. There is an invitation in that moment to press into the Lord, and know Him as my truest Friend on a deeper level. I don't want to miss it because I am too busy trying to fill a void with things that don't actually satisfy. Jesus satisfies. I'm learning that over and over and over again. 

You Don't Miss A Thing -Amanda Cook


Not My Own -Will Reagan







Monday, May 2, 2016

The Hot Tamale Man

It doesn't come naturally to want to share my life with the internet. It's difficult to put the things that I care most deeply about out for anyone to judge, reject or praise. It's difficult to communicate exactly what God is doing in me and through me, in mere words. I'm finding I care much too deeply what you all think about me. Will you agree with what I'm doing? Will you reject it? Will you reject me? 

I heard this analogy once about how sharing the gospel should be. It starts with this guy who really LOVES hot tamales. And when I say really LOVES, I mean he loves them so much that he wants to share them with every person he meets. He wants everyone to try his beloved candy. So much so that he is constantly talking about them, passing them out and giving them away...he is CONSUMED with love for hot tamales because he had tasted them, and he wants everyone else to experience the joy and wonderfulness that he himself has experienced. He doesn't care what he sounds like or if people reject him, because he genuinely believes in the goodness of the thing he has to share. 

I want to be like the hot tamale man. I don't want to live in fear of what people think (or don't think) because I have tasted the goodness of Jesus and have been awed at the reality of his very tangible existence. The gospel is too good not share. Jesus is too good not to share. 


"But if I say, 'I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,'  his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot." 
Jeremiah 20:9 



*If you are interested in supporting my work with Linden Tree Outreach, THANK YOU! You can donate one time gifts at Linden Tree GIVE or email lindentreeoutreach@gmail.com for a recurring payment form.  LindenTree Outreach is a recognized 501-C3 Non-Profit Organization in the state of California. Donors will receive a mailed receipt for tax purposes. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Big Blue House


I live two blocks from this big blue house, and every day I walk past it I am reminded of how good the Lord is...


You see, I used to live in that house. For a period of time during college 20 students moved in to experience the city and try out the real working world. 

It was the worst. Ask anyone in the house and they will all tell you this was a baaddddd semester for me. The program was wonderful, my internship was wonderful, the people were wonderful. It was the city I hated. It had such a dark, lonely, isolating feel to it that I just couldn't handle. I was depressed and lost my sense of purpose and worth. When my parents finally came to pick me up, I told them to drive as fast as they could away from this place and if they ever had any desire to return to San Francisco...well they could just forget it because NONE of us were ever going back. 

Where am I now? Two blocks away. Same neighborhood. Same city. The exact SPOT I promised to never return to.

...and there is no where I'd rather be! The city still feels dark, isolating and lonely at times, but the Lord has radically changed me for the purpose of His renewing work in San Francisco. I LOVE this city! He has replaced the purposelessness I once felt here with incredible purpose and passion--all I want to do is share the wellspring of Life He has given me with everyone I meet!  

I heard someone say once,  "those who He calls He equips." I'm literally dumbfounded at all the ways He has equipped me to be here. He has provided EVERYTHING (even changed my heart to want to be here!) and I have a million testimonies of His faithfulness to carry as promises because of it. What a good God!

p.s. An oldie but goodie that has been my anthem this week: Let Heaven Shout

*If you are interested in supporting my work with Linden Tree Outreach, THANK YOU! You can donate one time gifts at Linden Tree GIVE or email lindentreeoutreach@gmail.com for a recurring payment form.  LindenTree Outreach is a recognized 501-C3 Non-Profit Organization in the state of California. Donors will receive a mailed receipt for tax purposes. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Redding


In Redding this weekend for our Linden Tree team meeting! Love an excuse to get out of the city for a couple days and clear my mind. 

Our team meetings usually consist of LOTS of tea (big tea fans of over here), lots of strategizing and LOTS of praying. Since we are still in the process of developing our team and getting ready to launch some new developments within our ministry, a lot is still unclear. BUT it has been so fun to watch the Lord give us just enough knowledge for each season that we have gone through and seamlessly prepare us for the next! His hand is so clearly on this ministry and there is no where I'd rather be! 

xo

Thursday, April 21, 2016

ONE MONTH


I am almost ONE month away from kissing my nannying days goodbye and jumping full time into Linden Tree Outreach!!!

To say I'm excited would be an understatement. 

I simply CANNOT WAIT to step more fully into what the Lord is doing through this ministry in San Francisco! 

If you would like to hear more about it, I would love to chat with you and tell you just how FREAKING EXCITED I am to see God heal and restore people and how you can be a part of it! It has been one of the greatest blessings in my life to date, and I know it will bless you too!



Until then, here is a pretty epic song for your Thursday afternoon: 



p.s. Sorry not sorry for so many CAPS. The excitement level over here is through the roof.



*If you are interested in supporting my work with Linden Tree Outreach, THANK YOU! You can donate one time gifts at Linden Tree GIVE or email lindentreeoutreach@gmail.com for a recurring payment form.  LindenTree Outreach is a recognized 501-C3 Non-Profit Organization in the state of California. Donors will receive a mailed receipt for tax purposes. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

HeartSync and Wholeness

We recently worked with a woman named Bri (who gave me permission to share this story:)),  who had been cut off from feeling emotions because of childhood wounding. From early on, she discovered that if she shut off emotion and prevented it from having a voice, it would keep pain from being experienced. When she felt an emotion coming up due to heartbreak, pain, etc, she would shove it back down and become numb to the presenting situation. When she began receiving Heart Sync prayer, the Lord revealed that this began when her parents had gotten divorced and brought to light a decision she had made as a child to not feel in order to protect herself from more pain(something she was unaware of until He revealed it consciously). The pain was beyond her capacity to bear at the time, so a part of her had come up with a solution to keep her safe, the only way she knew how— to completely shut off to all emotion forever. But by cutting this off, she was also prevented from experiencing joy and love. But now, God was offering her protection in Himself, healing for the part of her that was wounded in the divorce, and an invitation for her to be able to fully feel again under the protection and safety of the person of Jesus. Since then, Bri is able to fully access and use her emotion in a way that is healthy. She began to experience emotions again, and not just for herself but also for others. As a missionary, she has found her heart has become tender and compassionate toward those she serves, “I feel more pain, but it feels so worth it because I am able to enter into those places of pain with people and really sympathize, where as before, my heart felt calloused. This is compassion!” 

I remember the first day I sat in a training for the HeartSync approach- it felt like the Holy Spirit ran into my inner world and called every part of me to attention, even the parts I didn't realize existed or had worked endlessly to shove down, and said,

"Hey. I see you. And I'm coming to heal and love every part of your heart that hurts. You were made to be whole and to know the love of God in the deepest parts of your heart."


I've come to believe that we are desperately in need of a Doctor for our hearts. Yes, even us Christians who love the Lord and have given our lives to Him. There are always new depths of intimacy and healing with the Lord--it is who He is! We have all experienced our fair share of pain and suffering, and have battle wounds and scars hidden deep within to prove it. We've come up with our own ways of self protection to guard against more pain. 


But the most glorious of news, because of the price Jesus paid for us on the cross, those wounds and scars do not have to stay buried deep within us. There is a Healer who wants nothing more than to heal and restore that which was lost! 

The HeartSync approach, the primary heart healing method we use at Linden Tree Outreach, was developed by a man named Father Andrew Miller and it focuses on synchronizing broken and divided hearts first to God and then to each other. With my counseling background, I have often wondered if there is a connection between psychology and Christ-centered inner healing, as I see the value and purpose in both. Wonderfully, there is a substantial amount of brain science correlations that not only support Father Miller's findings but fuel it (more on this at a later point). 

So how this works: each of us have Core Parts.  Father Andrew has given names to them, to help identify and distinguish these parts. These consist of:

- the Function Part helps us function daily (brush our teeth, write, drive, etc.) and believes that knowing certain information about one’s history is incompatible with survival and/or function

-the Emotion Part is most closely connected to the pain, depression and trauma we have experienced
- the Guardian Part that believes the Emotion and Function parts must be kept apart or the Function will be too overwhelmed to do daily functioning, so is devoted to keep them seperated. 

These Core Parts are universal and part of our creative design, but they were not designed to live in opposition, but instead work together as a team. And they were also created to all be in relationship with Jesus. But because of the fall, we have all experienced varying degrees of trauma and pain which have created desynchronization between our parts and the Lord (meaning they are no longer working in unity), and we are all in need of God to bring restoration to each area of our heart and restore them to their design and function. He does this healing places of hurt and trauma and correcting incorrect beliefs about God and ourselves. 

I don't know about you, but I am desperately in need of this kind of healing. Our world is full of people who are living in disconnection from God and parts of themselves--just trying to get by--not realizing there is so much freedom and restoration available for them. 


*If you are interested in supporting my work with Linden Tree Outreach, THANK YOU! You can donate one time gifts at Linden Tree GIVE or email lindentreeoutreach@gmail.com for a recurring payment form.  LindenTree Outreach is a recognized 501-C3 Non-Profit Organization in the state of California. Donors will receive a mailed receipt for tax purposes. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Blast Off

Quick recap for those who are just tuning in: 

For the past year I have been living in San Francisco working with a ministry called Linden Tree Outreach, a Christ-centered heart healing ministry. It has been absolutely amazing! I have seen the Lord move in people's hearts with such gentleness and care, bringing redemption and healing-- all for the glory of Jesus and His relationship with that individual. How kind is the Lord!  

Up until this point, I have worked as a nanny and have volunteered with this outreach every other possible minute. I now sense the Lord calling me to step into full-time ministry with Linden Tree as a missionary for His Kingdom in San Francisco. 

What is a heart healing ministry? By His very nature God is our life-giver, healer and redeemer. We believe that He is eager to heal our hearts of places of trauma, release us from depression, fear, addictions, and restore broken and disconnected hearts. We have seen this happen most genuinely when a supernatural exchange takes place between us as creation and our Creator. This happens through what we refer to as “renewal sessions.” The purpose of these sessions is to make intentional space for connection and interaction with God, inviting Him into areas of the soul where healing and renewal can take place. 

What is my role? A session has 2-3 relational intercessors, gifted in discernment and trained in both the Heart Sync Method and the Immanuel Approach. Their role is to journey with the recipient, facilitating connection with the Godhead and bring structure to the session. This is my primary role with Linden Tree Outeach, as well as help with any additional administrative work that needs to be done. 

Now, where we at? 

This month I am launching full swing into support raising. This is a daunting task, but the Lord has reminded me that those who He calls He equips. Thank you Lord! He is so trustworthy. 

Now down to the nitty gritty. Here is how you can help: 

First, pray! 

I do not fool myself into thinking that this will be done without God making a way. He has given me clarity and confirmation that this is where He is leading, so I am confident that he intends to provide and guide every step. I am also confident in the power of prayer and there is nothing more important I can ask for. 

Second, you can financially partner with me and the work the Lord is doing in San Francisco through our ministry. 

If, through prayer, you feel called to financially support my work with Linden Tree Outreach, I am deeply humbled and incredibly grateful.  LindenTree Outreach is a recognized 501-C3 Non-Profit Organization in the state of California. Donors will receive a mailed receipt for tax purposes. 

-One time gifts of any amount can be made here: http://www.lindentreeoutreach.org/give/

-Recurring gifts can be set up by emailing lindentreeoutreach@gmail.com for a form.

Any gift will help, but I’m specifically looking for:
10 donors at $100 per month
10 donors at $75 per month 
10 donors at $25 per month
5 donors at $200 per month
Third, you can continue following along here on my blog! I'll be posting life updates and stories. Feel free to pass this along to anyone who might be interested.



Thank you for reading! God bless you!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Dependent Transition

I am not a fan of transition. It's uncomfortable and awkward. It is hard and often feels lonely. But I think the hardest part is not knowing when it will be over.

Not knowing when things will settle back down--when your new rhythms and patterns will begin to feel natural.  When both feet will be firmly planted in one spot--no longer straddling a fine line between the new and the old. When what was normal begins to feel like a distant memory and you are able to set your hand to the plow of what is before you. 

These last two years have been almost constant transition. I have moved four times during my ten months in SF. New jobs, new goals, new friends, new home, new church--new everything. Just as soon as I get comfortable, something gets turned upside down and I realize again that I'm just a house of cards waiting for something to blow through. Build, rebuild, rebuild. 

As I peek down at my feet now, praying to finally be on the settled side of that fine line, I find I am still straddling--still in transition. 

But I know the Lord's heart well enough to know none of it is purposeless. He is the One rebuilding-- restructuring me from the ground up. He is the One who stirs deep within me and gives me dreams too big to stay put. He is tenacious in the way that He calls us and has put that same tenacity within me to take Him at His promises and reach to see them accomplished. 

That said,  I sense the Lord is leading me into full-time ministry with Linden Tree Outreach. What is this going to look like? Specific details of my day-to-day are still in the works (lots of prayer going into that from the leadership side), but the majority of my time will be meeting with people for renewal sessions. This is very exciting! And incredibly overwhelming.  I am signing up for a full-time, unpaid, dream job. This will be my first time raising support and frankly there is a part of me that is holding my breath, waiting for it to be over. Putting all of my financial security in Someone else's hands has always been a weakness of mine I'd prefer not to tackle. BUT, here we are, tackling it. And the Lord is calling me to trust Him!

The goal is to be fully supported by July this year. More details to come as I break down the logistics of what this will look like, but MAN would I LOVE some prayer!

I sense there is a lot of teaching and dependency practice coming my way these next few months. It's not surprising as I am stepping into a ministry that also requires a deep level of dependence and trust in the Holy Spirit. 

Please pray:

 -that my heart would truly learn to trust God as Provider and Sustainer

-that He would glorify Himself through this process and use it to shape me for the good of His healing work in SF

-that He would humble me and I would learn to live from a place of consistent dependency on Him

Thank you!!





Friday, January 15, 2016

Sooo, what have I been doing?



After meeting Lindsay and getting involved with Linden Tree Outreach (LTO), it became very clear this ministry was to be my top priority. I felt like I had been given a very precious opportunity to receive as much training and practice as I was willing to invest, and I did not take that gift lightly.

I have given as much time to this ministry as I have physically, spiritually and emotionally been able to. 

What has that looked like?

A big chunk of this has been serving in what we call "renewal sessions." A typical session consists of the person receiving from the Lord accompanied by one leader and one intercessor. The majority of my time thus far has been spent interceding. It has been absolutely amazing! The lessons the Lord has taught me through this role are invaluable. I am constantly being reminded by how much He desires to communicate His love and care for us. His closeness and attention to detail in each of our lives is astounding.

I started to see this play out in some of my earliest sessions. On one such occasion, I sensed the Lord had given me a very clear picture for the person we were praying for. I silently mouthed over to the leader of the session that I had something to share. She gave me a wink and a gentle, "shhhh." No more than a minute later, the recipient was describing in great detail the exact same picture I had seen for her.

Something became very clear in that moment--the goal was for this woman to connect with God

His top priority is relationship, and close relationships involve communication--on both sides. He wants to make it incredibly clear that we all can have an intimate relationship with Him; a relationship in which we can see and hear Him for ourselves.  It is wonderful when someone hears from the Lord for you (and there is definitely a time and place for that), but how sweet to be assured of the fact that He desires to speak right to you. So that should be also our goal-- helping that person connect with the Lord directly. And how encouraging to have that confirmed so clearly through another person hearing the same Voice?

My time with Linden Tree has also included receiving a lot of inner healing training and mentoring. I meet regularly with one of our leaders to receive my own sessions (most of my understanding of inner healing tools has come through my own healing and revelation of God's love for me personally), ask questions, study inner healing material, and spend a lot of time seeking the Lord in our ministry and lives. We also have monthly team meetings (my personal favorite day of the month) in which there is an element of training and Q&A, we seek the Lord on our upcoming sessions, ministry, etc, and spend time interceding for each other. Our team recently traveled to Nashville to attend a Heart Sync training by Father Andrew Miller. Heart Sync is the primary healing method that we use at Linden Tree (I'll go into that in more detail at a later point). For now, I'll just say it BLEW.OUR.MINDS. 


*Let me also address the issue of survival and student loans (cause that stuff is kinda important). Around the same time I signed on with LTO, I met a girl at church who offered me her full-time nanny job on the spot. She had been praying for another Christian to take her place. I interviewed with the family and had the job by the end of the week. I am thankful it pays the bills and has allowed me (to a certain degree) to focus my energy on learning about inner healing ministry, but I sense my nanny days are coming to an end as the Lord moves me into more work with Linden Tree Outreach (more on this later). 


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Lindsay Nelson

I prayed a lot about what my life in San Francisco was going to look like. I figured since the Lord was so clearly sending me, He must have a pretty good reason for doing so. I would really like to know what that reason was...beforehand. 

Unfortunately for the planner side of me, He didn't say much. I did have an unusual amount of peace for someone about to move with no job, a month's worth of rent, and murky/no direction--but that was about it. 

One thing was highlighted though, and that was the name "Lindsay Nelson." 


I had met Lindsay briefly during an internship I had done at Youth With a Mission SF several years back. We had overlapped only a couple weeks before I went back to school, so I had never gotten the chance to know her. It seemed pretty random, but I slid it in my back pocket to investigate later. 


Find Lindsay Nelson, I scribbled in my journal. 

That task was easier than expected, as the day I move to the city I ran right into her on the sidewalk.

A little thrown off, I asked her to meet and we sat down the next day. Turns out, she is pioneering Lindentree Outreach, a ministry focusing on creating space for the Holy Spirit to meet with people and transform hearts as a result. Renewal prayer, inner healing, prayer ministry... call it what you will. The goal is connection with Jesus. Leading people into deeper knowledge of God and our truest selves. Letting the Lord heal each part of their hearts and bring them into wholeness and unity with Himself and each other. 

That meeting with Lindsay was an answer to a prayer I hadn't been able to formulate into words. The ministry, the focus, the goals all fit me like a glove. I couldn't sign up fast enough. I found myself in an inner healing training the next day before boxes were even unpacked. 

Let me just interrupt right here with a brief history lesson:

I was a Psychology major at Westmont College. I went through every possibility of what I could do with that and tried them all on for size. Some avenues of the therapy world got close, but still seemed to lack something I couldn't quite put my finger on. I interned with Christian counselors, picked the brains of Child Life Specialists, and was counseled by some of the most gifted MFTs. Yet, I could not understand or see healing methods as fully effective without the help of the Holy Spirit. (I am not in any way discrediting therapy or psycho-therapy. On the contrary, I see the incredible value and role they play in the healing world. But what became more and more apparent was that all real, lasting, and complete healing comes from God. He is the only One that can change hearts at their core, completely redeem our experiences, and heal us of pain/trauma.)


During my senior year of college a mentor referred me to a man by the name of Joseph Dalton with Healing for the Heart Ministry (HFTH). Joseph uses an approach to healing that focuses on allowing the Spirit of God to speak peace and love back into damaged hearts. A picture of this approach is beautifully described in Joseph's bio: 



"...the Spirit of God kept revealing to Joseph that the healing of hearts and the mending of hearts and lives would be done through this heart whispering approach with people – that love is what heals people...He realizes now that this approach isn’t taught in schools or found in books, but rather it comes from and through the Person of Love. When Love Himself encounters the human heart, the healing that can occur far exceeds anything man can produce in his own resources." 

Receiving this inner healing ministry from HFTH was the most transformative experience in my relationship with the Lord to date. I encountered the Person of Love as Joseph describes, and learned of His love for me. He healed parts of my heart that were in deep pain and addressed the numbness I had used to self protect. He revealed where He was in some of the darkness moments of my life, and brought true restoration there. 

He also planted something in me during that time; a hunger for that same depth of healing and intimacy for other people. I knew that what I had received was not a typical counseling experience, but in some way far surpassed the length that any amount of therapy could have reach. I was ruined for anything less. The Healer himself healed me. [Hallelujah]


--End of history lesson--


So with that in mind, you can see why this seemingly casual encounter with Lindsay was kind of a big deal for me. Up until this point, I had yet to find an outlet or training ground in which to practice and learn more about heart healing. And all the while, the Lord was preparing a place for just that. 



(Lindsay and I in Redding, CA for a team meeting)





Saturday, October 24, 2015

I Have No Idea What I'm Doing



Recently, I dropped most things in life and moved to San Francisco. Now this may not seem very surprising to you, since it appears to be the hot trend these days. But unlike the plethora of young, driven, intellectual individuals with $6 pour over coffee that have rushed to the soil of apparently endless possibility-- I have come with no such plan and (don't kill me) a can of Folger's. 

However, I did come with something. It is profound and powerful enough to make me leave my most favorite place to move to one of my least favorite places (that I am currently aware of).  This "thing" that first prompted me to pack up and move was the soft, undeniable and irrefutable whisper of the Holy Spirit. 

I fought Him for awhile--I was perfectly content and sure that I was experiencing the abundance of what He had for me. But as soon as I surrendered to the Voice and His leadership, like a waterfall I was drown in the sweet presence and assurance of God. His love would hit at the most unexpected times, and for weeks I would weep at the drop of a hat just thinking of His consistency and faithfulness towards me. How could I forget so easily that to be where He is is the greatest joy and to go where He calls is the most life-giving adventure? 

That one thing is enough. That call is worth everything. 

My life is very up in the air at the present moment, and I am trying my best to wait patiently until it comes back down (not looking like it's going to be in the foreseeable future). I find myself often muttering, I have no idea what I'm doing. But thankfully, HE DOES and happens to be in control of all that stuff we threw in the air together. 

And He has a way of really glorifying Himself so wonderfully in the messiness of life. I want to glorify Him with my personal mess; with my story. So as it unfolds, I'll write it down. 

Feel free to praise Him with me.