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Luke 6:45

... Lost for Words (Sept 2017)

Luke 6:45

'For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks'

It is from this place that I seek to share and yet, even with the best intentions in place, sometimes eloquence evades, the tongue gets cut, and letters of the alphabet stumble about trying to form audible sounds in my mouth.  Funny that, as a woman who makes her living from speaking, I often find writing my the prefered way to express the inner depths.  Having been encouraged to put pen to paper & write a blog it is now that I find myself flitting my fingers across this keyboard in a hope that what tumbles onto this screen may inspire & ignite others when they find themselves lost for words....

 

Song of Songs 4:16

'Then may your awakening breath blow upon my life until I am fully yours'

This is a project that has been close to my heart & a long time in the making so I am delighted to be able to share it with you now.

When I left California & returned to London I discovered that a female voiced audio bible is as rare as stumbling upon a unicorn.  I decided to right this wrong & contacted Brian Simmons' whose Passion Translation returns to the original Hebrew, Aramaic & Greek manuscripts to reignite the beauty & poetry that is sometimes lost in modern translation.  I shared my vision of voicing Brian's translation &, together with Broadstreet Publishing, we began a 12 month journey into making a dream an available reality.  

What's makes this journey more poignant is at the end of 2016, a friend asked me to write down all that I hoped God do in my life over the course of the next 12 months.  One of the things on the list was 'record an audio bible' - so here,  as 2017 draws to a close & in His faithfulness is Book one; 'Song of Songs'.  Coincidentally, before I was a christian, it was also the first book I read in the bible because I was told it was 'rude' & in my curiosity I wanted to know what on earth they were talking about.

I laughed - it is far from 'rude', but it is elegantly passionate & beautiful, enduring & wise. The way love was born to be ...Dec 2017

 

song of songs
 

Proverbs 31:25-26

'She is clothed in strength & dignity & she laughs without fear of the future'

What you believ you are is often not who God says you are. I beleive we are all fearfully & wonderfully made. Circumstances & previous expereinces can convince us of anything but that. They can leave us jaded, doubting ourselves & battling insecurities thatare nots ours to bare.Questions we ask ourselves:

'Do I measure up?'
'Do I qualify?'
'Am I enough?'

They become self limiting prophecies, keeping us in bondage to our past rather than propelling us into our destiny & calling. As life becoems increasingly non linear, we can often find ourselves battling where we are with with where society's archetypal standards dictates where we 'ought' to be.

When I stumbled upon proverbs 31:25-26 I was still very new to my faith. I was a warrior who had been bruised & woudned, questioning where my value & identity now lay. I was led to this scripture quite by accident (It was one of those bible falling open moments).  As my eyes settled upon these words, it was as if they breathed new life into me.  My circumstances looked far from dignified, my future looked overwhelmeing & my strength was faltering but God in his mercy has the perspective to flip all of that on it's head. 'Nathalie, this is who I say you are'. It re-awakened the woman who had all been lost by experiences that had seeked to rob her of her strengthm her dignity & her joy. 
 

Did my life change overnihgt? No. Did my self image suddenly rise from the ashes in a beautiful plume of phoenix feathers? No.  Thee was still work to be done but these 15 words set my feet upon a solid truth that my circumstances, good or bad, could not.

Herein lies my point. Who I am & who you are isn't based on cicrcumstancial eveidence. It's based on the intrinsic beauty set within you at the beginning of time.

I invite you to quiet your mind & ask yourself who you say you are. If it's self limiting, forgive yourself for believing this. This may be hard, don't be afraid of tears but then, when you are ready, ask God (if you don't believe in God than a positive force outside of you) who He says you are and wait for the answer. Perhaps, if you have faith, he will llead you toa scripture, if not I am confident He will give you a word or an image that will bring life to you. It may take a while to see it but don't worry, sit there in the silence & wait upon it - it will come. 

When it comes, however, hard it may be to believe it in your given circumstance, take that word & nurture it with all you haev, let it tkae root so it's truth becomes you...because it is you.

And for all those who feel they have fallen far from grace, God is in the business of redeeming stories so take faith in this quotereferring to Jesus meeting the woman at the well (John 4) who was a considered a social outcast in her day. 'God could have chosena politically correct, nice, clean woman, but that's not how grace works...Grace is often painted on the canvas of despair...' TD Jakes

 

Psalm 147:3

'He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds'

In japanese philosophy, Kintsugi "golden repair" is the japanese art form of repairing broken pottery with lacquer mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage & repair as part of the history of an obejct, it brings value & worth to the imperfection rather than something to disguise.

I share this because I belive God doesn't called the qualified but qualifies those he calls by choosing people who have enough cracks in their story through whom his glory and their calling (the gold) can reflect

Why do we seek to hide our supposed imperfections behind a mask of false bravado or digitally in the magic of photoshop.

Childhood experiences often run deep without us realising the impact they have upon the way we see ourselves later in life.   A negative experience, a sharp comment can dent an impressionable mind. Perhaps we begin to question who we are, it sows a seed in the form of a lie &, like a weed, begins to root itself in your DNA. This lie begins to bind itself around us until it morphs with us.  Quietly it tells you that to share yourself now means you'd have to share it also & so afraid to unveil the fullness of ourselves for fear of judgement & rejection, we foster a relationship with it.  Like a faint mist, the lie shrouds you in a false hug of companionship in the hope it nor the true you will ever be exposed. 

Like weeds, there are two problems with lies:

1) they love shadows, they don't need much to thrive off -  just your agreement to it's whispers. 
2) they often elegantly present themselves as the real thing, that negative voice will disguise the lie as the voice of truth.

It is why we have to take every thought captive & replace it with empowering truth & that can mean exposing the lie by stepping out of the shadows & being fully seen.

I believe the core of true intimacy is to be fully seen and fully known emotionally.   It allows us to walk into our calling with boldness irrespective of our 'imperfections'.  Imagine the liberty that comes from a relationship that allows you to be fully seen, that welcomes the broken places of your life & sees the beauty that you are through the battles you have conquered.   There is a peace & a dynamic that comes from a relationship that allows you to be unabashed & unashamed. 

The challenge begins first in bravery. Anyone can know you physically but to allow someone to know you emotionally takes courage. It takes courage to stand before someone and shrug off the shroud & allow them to see you in all your vulnerability.  It's brave because we have often created such a deep but falsely fulfilling belief system behind the veil of perfection.  It takes courage to show ourselves unmasked, & allow someone to fully see our imperfections.  These relationships obliterate the false seeming true - beauty abounds. 

 

 

Psalm 147:3

I waited & waited & waited some more;
Patiently knowing God would come through for me.
Then, at last, he bent down & listened to my cry.
He stooped down to lift me out of danger,
From the desolate pit I was in,
Out of the muddy mess I had fallen into.
Now he's lifted me up into a firm, secure place,
& steadied me while I walk along his ascending path.
A new song rises up in me
Every time I think about how he breaks through for me!
Ecstatic praise pours out of my mouth until
Everyone hears how God has set me free.
Many will see his miracles, they'll stand in awe of God,
And fall in love with him!

 

I stand before you a product of my past but -
what the world would have left for barren wasteland;
consumed - exhausted - starved - purged -
He used to plant His harvest.

Bones protruding,
My spirit rattled around the empty tomb of my body,
Echoing the death threats from without.
Like a wild animal left in the desert of my own demise,
My parents were told to expect the vultures to consume my remains,
Leave me for dead,
At best maimed, scarred for life. 
 

But in the final hours He swooped in
& with barnished talons
plucked me from the clutches of no return.

And I marvel now at His relentless anonymous pursuit when,
as a victor to death,
I became a pawn to lustful predators.
My spirit numbed to find home,
I deflowered, derobed to the melody of charmed seduction. 
In the quest for love that couldn't be found in devaluing the love I am, 
I sold myself for less than the price it cost to ransom me.
And still He came, in violent ambush.
Tearing down the barricades & strongholds,
Ripping out barbed wire weeds, snatching at bricks & mortar,
The shrapnel of the battles I thought I'd fought alone until - 
In the dust & debris, His eyes locked to the dim light of mine
And gently He pulled me to my feet so,
Eye to eye I could recognise His face for the first time. 
I, blinking to absorb the light He radiated,
The tear stained bandages of protection unraveled,
falling like swathes around my feet.
I stood naked before Him,
War wounds revealed, as I stand before you now,
A product of His love & my redemption.
Fruit of His harvest.
My life a testimony of His miracle
And a living witness to His love...May 2016 

 

Zechae=riah 2:£

 

I am a master at trying to do things in my own strength, to lean on my own abilities and not trust God with the finer details.  We mostly commune in the bathroom in the morning. I do most of the talking ranting why I don't hear   I expect to fight my own battles