Honey, I’m Home!

 

I’ve contemplated how to write a blog post that encapsulates everything I just experienced over the past six months. As I try I’ll have you know it was nothing short of extraordinary and filled with wonder.

A lot of you know I just got home from spending six months living in Hawaii and Papua New Guinea. I was volunteering with a organization called YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I spent three months living in Kailua-Kona, which is on the big island of Hawaii. There I spent most days in lectures, hearing from missionaries who are living out the gospel in nations from as near as America to as far as Kirghistan. Lecture phase provided the space for the Lord to move in me. I found break through in ways I never imagined I could.

Before going to DTS I was living in this false perception of who I believed I was. When I decided to say yes to Jesus and all that he wanted to do in my life. All the lies I had harbored deep down, that I believed were a part of my identity were broken. I felt the Holy Spirit rip out a deeply rooted lie that I never thought was reachable. Now when I look in the mirror I see a new creation and the truth that I am a saint, a daughter and my past is covered in a blanket of purity, cause it’s already been dealt with on the cross.

Not only did I get to experience true freedom, I got to grow up into this woman I always knew I was supposed to be, but couldn’t reach while I was still home living in Vancouver. Now I get to explore and know the woman I am with the Lord as He keeps revealing new aspects about myself to me. This Natalie is bold, fearless, honest with herself and others, courageous, mighty, secure, and filled with true and pure joy. This Natalie is no longer defined by her career of being an actor, or a photographer, or anything else, she’s defined by the truths spoken over her by the Lord.

So you can imagine after experiencing such wild transformation, living in the tropics and being surrounded by people all the time, coming back to Canada has been an interesting transition. As I flew into Vancouver, I felt two very conflicting emotions, my heart longs to be anywhere but here, but I know the Lord has called me to be here for such a time as this. What that looks like i’m still not too sure, I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I am looking forward to seeing what this next season of acting and creating brings and all the ways the Lord can interrupt my day to allow me to partner with Him.

As I transition and figure things out, I will be posting a series of blogs that chronicle my experience leaving Hawaii, moving to Papua New Guinea and all the incredible people I got to meet. As well as the the stories I got to be apart of or encounter while I was there. I am so beyond grateful to everyone who partnered with me financially or through prayer, as well as my non-praying friend who just encouraged me along the way, you were so important to me in my journey and i’m so thankful for your friendship. Thank you to all for believing in me, my journey, and for allowing me to travel the globe to fall in love with a nation I never knew existed and a people group that will hold my heart forever.

I hope you got a glimpse into my journey that was “nothing short of extraordinary and filled with so much wonder”. I hope you’ve all had an incredible Christmas, and that your New Years is filled with an abundant amount of cheer, celebration, joy and expectancy for the new year to come. I know I’m so expectant for what this new year holds and all the Lord is going to do in it.

Lots of Love,
Nats.

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Where do I begin…

I think you can’t really measure easy because each persons standard of easy is different. I may live near the beach and have sun almost every day. But I also have to search my soul for all the dark places Jesus is asking me to give to him, and then actually surrender them to the cross. I’m having to retrain my brain and my habits. I’m redefining my identity, removing the labels the world has placed upon me, as well as replacing the labels, lies and masks I’ve given to myself. Then taking all those and transforming them to a biblical based identity. So when someone says oh but you live in Hawaii it must be such an easy life. On one hand yes it is. On the other I’m being stretched in ways I never even knew were possible.

One of the things God has revealed to me is there was lies I was believing in my testimony. I thought I’d dealt with the big things in my life, which I have. I’ve found an insane amount of freedom from the “big dark sins” I was going to take to the grave. But in that freedom I took on an identity that wasn’t mine to take on. In class we took all the labels (including ones that could have been good but were defining our identity instead of Jesus) lies, and masks and nailed them to the cross then washed our hands with water and anointed ourselves with oil. I’d done something similar to this before. There is something so powerful about symbolically doing this, as it’s a physical action that you’re going to battle to declare that Satan no longer has any power over those labels, lies or masks. This time was just as freeing.

After nailing and anointing, I returned to my spot in the room and began to bask in the presence of Jesus. I felt like the Lord invited me to dance. I was a princess on her coronation day, dancing with her proud king and father. In this sweet moment I felt like the Lord said to me.

“My Beloved Natalie,

Today you’re finally stepping out in true grace. My daughter you’re becoming who I designed you to be. I dance in delight with you. You are new. This is your coronation my princess. Stepping into true freedom you no longer need to hide yourself from me. I’m not afraid of the lies, and temptations or sin. You’re my daughter.

There is so much power in my name. You have authority.”

I think the best gift this week has given me in learning about identity is that I feel like I can come as I am in all my brokenness to Jesus, my friend. I can have a conversation with him. I no longer need to hide myself from him. He already knows me, so there is really no point. I feel like this entire DTS is so God can rid me of my old identity and revive me into who I am really supposed to me. As I talked about before maybe not on here but on an instagram post instead. But God gave me a word picture of Him painting a canvas in front of me. Showing me all of who I am. Already he’s painted significant things on that canvas.

These are the “labels” God has given to me already, even before Identity week. My first colour on the canvas was yellow, and it stands for Fathered, this is the most significant of all. The next one was Green and it stands for Leader, the third one was Pink and it stands for Loved.  I got another one this week too.  I got the colour Gold and it stands for Free. I think the Gold comes from the idea of the Japanese art form of taking broken pottery and mending it with gold. Kintsukuroi is what it’s called. Basically when you have a broken piece of pottery you then repair the cracks with Gold. That’s what Jesus did on the cross for me. I love that I get to see Him visually pain who I am to Him.

Another one of the biggest things that stood out to me other than the previously mentioned was that until we know our worth in Christ we’ll not be able to walk out in fullness all that God has in store for us. Our culture is so fixated on who people tell us we are. We’re all looking for an identity, it’s a fundamental part of being human. But If we’re looking for confirmation from other people especially if they aren’t speaking biblical truth and life over you then you will have a distorted identity and that can damage our ability to communicate, because we are speaking out opinions based on labels that actually don’t apply to ourselves.

As you can see I’ve been learning so much and it’s like information overload. So living in Hawaii is fantastic, I’m actually so blown away that I live here. I can’t put it into words. But It’s also been the most stretching time, going through spiritual brain surgery and heart surgery. But it’s the kind of growth you just long for, and I’m so thankful for that.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

Romans 5: 3-4

If you’ve made it through till now. Thank you for taking the time to read a piece of my heart. I feel like it’s a post that’s been all over the place, but so is my brain these days. I love you all, and thank you again for being a part of this crazy journey.

Love,
Natrrow.

Hello,

It’s officially August and I’ve been living in Hawaii for a month as of today. It’s so surreal. When I’m not in class I’m usually adventuring with friends seeing this insanely beautiful island that I’m so blessed to live on.

This past weeks topic was pretty heavy. We learned about having a Biblical World View, but with that we learned about the Secular World View and Eastern World View. One of the biggest things I took away from this week was understanding the Hindu religion. I come from an area where we have a lot of East Indians and a lot of Hindus. It was so cool to get an understanding. But with that, I also learned how drastic it is from what I believe. I wont go into too much of it because that’s not the point of the post. But it was hard to swallow all of it.

The second biggest thing that impacted me was learning how even from the very beginning of creation, God had a plan for Jesus. There is foreshadowing all through out Genesis after Adam and Eve sinned. I’ve always been told how excruciating the crucifixion was, but it never hit me the way it did this time. As our teacher explained in more detail how brutal it was and how the nails actually would have gone through the wrists, because the weight of his body would have ripped the nail out in between his fingers. The equivalent of that kind of pain would be like getting a nail hammered into your funny bone. I almost threw up. This time hearing this story it wasn’t just someone named Jesus that I knew was a part of the trinity and who had come to save me from my sins. No, It was my friend upon that cross. It wrecked me with the heaviness. That kind of sacrifice is such a declaration of love.

Needless to say after that kind of content I needed a fun weekend.

So some friends and I piled into an Uber (which I seriously wish Vancouver had, come on Vancity get with the program). We were trying to find this place called Queens Bath. We ended up asking a local who pointed us half way down the island I swear. We were really confused as to why we were going so far when our other friends had said it was a 45 minute from campus. When we got there I realized I’d been here before and this wasn’t where we wanted to go. It was a fresh water cave where you could swim. Cool but not where we wanted to go.

We turned around and called a friend for directions. Finally after a $60 Uber ride we made it to the place. Praise Jesus our Uber driver offered us a free ride from there back to campus when ever we wanted it. It was the most stunning location. We had a mini photoshoot (until my camera died), we swam with fish, and got tossed in the waves. I was the only one who walked away with out a little injury. But we went back the next day for a roommates birthday to have a photoshoot. I’m so blessed to be able to practice my photography and bless the beautiful women around me. I’ll do a post on the birthday photoshoot soon.

Here’s some photos from round one at Queens Bath.

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Until the next adventure.

Love,
Nattrow.