Peace of Mind 03: Wholistic Living with Danielle Strickland

Posted By on February 25, 2020

Nobody escapes being wounded. We are all wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not, ‘How can we hide our wounds?’ so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but ‘How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?’ When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers.
– Henri Nouwen Whole people see and create wholeness wherever they go; split people see and create splits in everything and everybody.
-Richard Rohr Love’ is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete.
-Plato The reason we have a longing to live a better story is because we were designed for it.
-Danielle Strickland Do not despair, thinking that you cannot change yourself after so many years. Simply enter into the presence of Jesus as you are and ask him to give you a fearless heart where he can be with you. You cannot make yourself different. Jesus came to give you a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, and a new body. Let him transform you by his love and so enable you to receive his affection in your whole being.
-Henri Nouwen You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbuor as yourself.’
-Jesus – Well, good morning. – [Audience] Good morning. – Great to see you. What a beautiful day. Glad to be here. So thrilled to be in the
middle of this conversation; Peace of Mind series
God and Mental Health. What a needed necessary
wonderful conversation to have in the body of
Christ as Jesus followers. And so I’ve been absolutely
thrilled with the conversation. So far, I’ve been traveling a fair bit. So I’ve been listening to
the podcast in my travels, just loving it, occasionally saying, “Yes,” out loud on an airplane, you know, scaring the people beside me, but just really enjoying it. and so glad to be in the middle of it. I wanna talk about wholeness
and how our mental health is a part of who we are as human beings, and how all of us are wholly
loved and known by God. And I wanna start off with
a little story; 1 Kings 19. If you don’t have a
Bible, we have Bibles here and you could just raise your hand and someone will come give you a Bible. I’m gonna just read
one portion of a story. And it’s a really epic, long,
complicated, complex story, as many of the stories
in the Old Testament are, but it just highlights, I think a little bit of
the way that God sees us. And the story is about Elijah. Elijah is a character in
the Bible that is fiery. That’s the best way to describe him. He’s a prophet and he announces
these prophetic things with great fire. The Spirit of Fire is kind of
like how Elijah is described, because he’s fiery inside, but he also is the guy
that called down fire. So right before the chapter,
I’m gonna read 1 Kings 19, which is about right there in your Bible in the Old Testament. There’s this big standoff between Baal and the prophets of Baal, and there’s a king named Ahab
and a queen named Jezebel and they’re wreaking
havoc and using religion as a controlling mechanism
to dominate people and scare people in
fear and all that stuff. And Elijah is this true prophet that’s kind of asking people
to reconsider Yahweh and God and demonstrating God’s power. And he’s actually, the
chapter before this, he’s on a mountain of
Carmel, the Mount Carmel, which as a kid growing up in church, I used to think it was mount caramel. And I always thought, if only
I could get to that mountain, you know, it would just be so delicious. Anyway, it’s not caramel, it’s Carmel. And he’s up on this mountain, and they have this big standoff; the prophets of Baal
and the prophet Elijah. And Elijah calls down fire
from heaven and the fire falls, and everybody sees that
God Yahweh is the true God. And then we pick the
story up in 1 Kings 19. So this is after that happens. An Ahab is the king. When he got home, he told Jezebel his wife everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed
all the prophets of Baal. So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah, “May the gods strike me and even kill me “if by this time tomorrow
I have not killed you “just as you killed them.” Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba a town in Judah and he left his servant there. And then he went on alone
into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough Lord,” he said, “Take my life for I am no
better than my ancestors “who have already died.” This is Elijah on a descent,
in a really big descent. He’s just had a really great
breakthrough, by the way, he’s just had a spiritual
experience that is profound. But he is exhausted and he has spent, and he is on this downward spiral. He is isolating himself. You see the one person
that’s with him, he leaves, and then he goes further into
the wilderness by himself, and he just starts uttering even thoughts of wanting to die, right? He’s suffering from depression,
he’s suffering from anxiety, he’s suffering from all sorts
of things going on here; he’s exhausted. It’s at this point, I think it’s important to just mention a real practical
thing; it’s called HALT. Everybody know about this? HALT, it’s hungry, angry,
lonely, tired, HALT. It’s a good time to stop, when you’re hungry, when you’re angry, when you’re lonely, when you’re tired. Sometimes when stuff’s
going on in your life and you’re not sure what’s wrong with you, you’re like, you see you
shouting at your kids or you’re kicking your
cat or you explode at work or you gave the finger to your boss. You know, whatever is happening, you’re like, “What’s wrong with me?” Like ever had that? What’s wrong with me? Sometimes it’s just stop. Hungry, angry, lonely, tired;
just go through the list. This works also with
your children by the way. Are they hungry? Oh, yeah. Are they angry? Yes. Are they lonely? Are they tired? These are important parts of
what it means to be human. Elijah is all these things. And this is what we see God
do for him, this is beautiful. Then he lay down and slept
under the broom tree. But as he was sleeping, an
angel touched him and told him, “Get up and eat.” He looked around and there beside his head was some bread baked on hot
stones in a jar of water. Doesn’t that sound like love? Waking up to fresh bread? I mean, carbs be damned, right? Fresh bread guys, I know it’s
not keto but it’s awesome. His head was baked bread on
hot stones and jar of water, and so he ate and he drank
and then he laid down again. Sometimes food, water and
sleep aren’t bad recipes for ministering to your whole self. Then the angel of the Lord
comes again, touches him again, he says,” Get up and eat some
more on the journey ahead, “or it’ll be too much for you.” So he got up and he ate and he drank, and the food gave him enough strength to get to the Mount Sinai
where he begins to pray. And this goes on. He prays, he has a conversation with God. If you keep reading, God
asks him, “Why are you here?” And Elijah tells Him all of
the emotions he’s feeling; he feels like there’s
no one else who cares, that he’s all by himself,
that he’s anxious, he feels like he’s not doing a good job. And God says,” Wait a
minute, you’re not alone. “First of all, I’m with you.” So he has a spiritual encounter,
in silence by the way, not in power, which is
a great juxtaposition to what he had just encountered. He has experience with God as silence is an experience of telling the things that are on
his heart, the truth, not trying to hide those
things, but telling them, bringing them out into the open. And then God tells him
something so beautiful. He says, “You know there’s
7000 just like you in Israel.” Think about that; “I’m the only one I might as well die, “nobody’s with me, I am lonely.” And God says, “There are
7000, you are not alone, “and also find Elisha.” And that’s when Elijah goes to find Elisha and Elisha becomes a mentor, friend, peer, and they begin to minister
with each other and together. How God sees us, the reason this story is just gonna frame our conversation today about our whole selves, is that God does not just
see us as spiritual people. He does not. He doesn’t even see us as
primarily spiritual people. He sees us as humans. He sees us as whole people. He sees all of us, all
the parts of us He sees, and He loves. As a matter of fact, Jesus so wanted to help us understand this that He took on flesh and
blood; He became a human. If you don’t know this, one of Jesus’s favorite
descriptions of Himself when He was on Earth is He would call Himself the Son of Man. And the Son of Man, when it’s
translated means human one. So Jesus comes from this like
super spiritual, like heaven, for cosmic like this from heaven itself, from the kingdom of God,
this heavenly place, and He comes into the form of a human. He walks around the Earth saying, “Hi, I’m Jesus and I’m human.” (chuckles) Kind of the opposite of what we mostly do. We’re ashamed of being human sometimes. We’re afraid to be human sometimes, because for some reason, being human or being broken or being not enough, those things are
synonymous with each other. But being human, being in this human form is nothing that Jesus is ashamed of, it’s quite the contrary. Which is what makes Christianity and following Jesus so remarkable; is it’s not this invitation to leave, it’s His invitation to be,
it’s His invitation to become and to be in Christ in our own humaneness. Hungry, angry, lonely, tired, stop. Jesus come along, eat, drink, talk, love, be loved, be known. And there is this invitation
that we have to be human. This idea of fragmenting our lives is so rooted in our human context; it’s so part of our normal
lives to fragment ourselves, to be disconnected, not
just from one another, but also from ourselves. That it is a big part of a lot of the problems
in the world today. We would say that the
conflict that exists, the trauma that exists,
the separation that exists, the fragmentation that exists in society, I think is actually a
symptom of the fragmentation and the disconnection that
exists within ourselves. This has been a fascinating
discovery for me over many, many years. I remember I was part of an
anti-trafficking movement called Stop The Traffik. And one of the things that we would do is go into sex exhibitions
with an anti-trafficking booth. And these are always fascinating times. But we would go in to these places and we would have this
anti-trafficking booth, sort of telling people,
this is what’s happening, and if you can help us, look for signs, you know, if anybody might see it, it might be the people at that show. And then we would also
have a prayer booth, because we actually believe,
Augustine said this, “When anybody’s knocking
at the door of a brothel, “they’re really knocking looking for God.” And so I wanted to let
people know that that thirst, that desire, that appetite
for sex that they were having was actually a deeper desire
for love and connection and intimacy with God. So we were gonna say like here, let us help you find what
you’re really looking for, but also, would you help us
find what we’re looking for and get women and girls
out of the sex industry? And so I was setting
up one of these booths, and I just did a three hour shift I was on and it was in Red Deer, Alberta. At the same time, during those years, I was living in Edmonton, Alberta, and I was always speaking at
this really big youth festival called YC. 10,000 kids in a stadium,
every year we’d go and they were really excited about Jesus, super excited about their faith, super excited about social justice, and it was a great honour
to be part of that. So I’m at this sex exhibition
anti-trafficking booth, and I’m just doing my three hour shift when a girl sees me
and shouts out my name; “Danielle,” she says. And when I look up, everything
got a little bit awkward, because at that show they had this deal on that if you were female and
you wanted to go topless, you would get a free landscape
airbrushed on your torso. You know, they had an artist
there with an air gun, and they would do this artistic thing. And I remember it being so awkward because all I saw was art. And then I was like, “Ah, I
don’t know where to look,” you know, and I don’t who is this person? Like it was all a little bit awkward. I remember her saying,
“Danielle, Danielle, is that you? “Is that you Danielle?” And she comes towards me and
I’m like, “Yeah, it’s me.” Like, I don’t know, who are you? And where do I look? And I’m finding her eyes I said,
“Where do I know you from?” And she said, “Oh, I know you from YC. “Are you the one that speaks at YC?” And I said, “Yeah, I
speak at YC, did you come? “Have you been there?” Thinking like she came
with a friend maybe. And I remember her saying,
“Oh, I go every year, “my youth group loves it. “And you’re an amazing communicator.” And I remember saying to myself, “Not that amazing it would appear.” (audience laughing) Right? Not that good. What’s happening? And then that awkward conversation ended, and then another awkward
conversation again as two more girls came over
and introduced themselves and said hello from YC. And I remember calling up Mike
Love who’s the founder of YC and saying to him, like,
“What are we doing wrong? “What’s going on? “How is our relationship with God “not transferring to our
bodies and how we live “and how we interact in the world. “And what’s happening? “What’s going on?” And then I was tempted to
do that thing everybody does when they get older, where they’re like, “Young people these days.” I just went, the young people these days, it’s got to be age, right? It’s got to be like the next generation. And then I got this email that very week from a spiritual leader. And it was just their prayer letter. But basically it said, “We found a way to escape
our bodies and to pray “without any limitations.” And I remember thinking to myself, you found a way to escape
your body in prayer? Like what on earth are we doing? God became flesh and blood, the faith is meant to be embodied. The message of Christianity is actually this message of
wholeness in our whole selves, not separation, not fragmentation,
not compartmentalization, not like different parts of ourselves. And this has been a
struggle in human history. I wrote down a few of these
isms that we struggle with; Gnosticism. In the early Christian Paul
the Apostle rages against this even in his time. Gnosticism is overemphasizing
our spiritual selves above everything else. Nothing really else matters
except our spiritual selves. We’re still guilty of
doing this to this day. Some of us who think
everything’s a spiritual problem. But even God Himself when
He’s ministering to Elijah thinks sometimes that
you actually need to eat, and sometimes you actually need to sleep and sometimes you actually
need to express your emotions and get them on the outside of it, and sometimes you need
connection and belonging, and that all of those
things are called ministry, all of those things are
how we enter into wholeness with God. Hedonism, this is always present and always has been present. But hedonism, this idea that
our appetites or our emotions are the main driver and the
thing that’s most important and everything else takes a backseat; to hedonism, to pleasure and to appetite. We’ve struggled with rationalism, where our intellect is the
only thing that matters and everything else doesn’t really matter. And that rationalism has led to some terrible, terrible
times even in history. Or materialism, I would argue probably we’re suffering
from this right now. That just the physical
realm matters, that’s it. Our own comfort and what we own and the standard at which we live, all of those things that
that’s the most primary thing and everything else is secondary to that. Anytime we overemphasize one
difference or one part of us or we compartmentalize,
or we fragment ourselves, we are not living the
human being experience that God wants us to live, that Jesus is inviting us into wholeness. One of my favorite
descriptions of holiness, coming from a holiness
tradition in my own life, one of my favorite descriptions
is rest for your soul. I just love it. It’s like” Oh, please.” Rest for your soul. And your soul, I’m using a soul
as mind, will and emotions. Great; mind, will and emotions; those parts of us that are
often at war with each other. Now, just this week, I released a new book called “Better Together.” And in that book I talk
about how we can heal men and women’s relationships with each other, not just heal them, but then also collaborate
to transform the future. In one of the main ways we can do this is by changing the way
we see difference, okay? So I’m gonna show you a slide here. This is what I’m gonna say
is, every human has in common, we are all different from each other, it’s what makes us human actually. Literally before you’re
even born out of the womb, your fingerprints are
formed, your ID is is unique. This is how the police are
gonna catch you people, right? So pay attention, this is
how you’re gonna go down for the crime. Okay, you’re unique,
there’s nobody like you, you are unique. I mean I have three boys and one husband, and they are all
different from each other; different personalities, different-, they like different things. I mean, it’s a nightmare
at dinnertime, right? Like it just trying to get things that everybody will eat
together, it’s crazy. We’re all so uniquely different. And what happens is if we see difference through the lens of fear,
it becomes a threat. Difference becomes a threat. So we’ll see difference
through a lens of fear and it becomes a threat. But I wanna suggest that
if we see difference through the lens of faith,
it becomes an opportunity. Okay? Now this works when you’re
dealing with relationships or conflicts or tensions externally, especially when it’s men and women, but it can be anything, even racism. So if you see difference
in race as a threat, then you’re gonna do
things to push away, right? You’re gonna do it
through the lens of fear. It’s gonna be something that you’re gonna wanna
separate yourself from, or you’re gonna wanna hide
or you’re gonna wanna punish or you’re gonna wanna dismiss. Same with gender, same
with all kinds of things throughout human history; faith, all kinds of differences, orientation. I mean, name it, if you see
it through the lens of fear, it will always lead to
separation and punishment and shame and guilt. But if you see difference
through the lens of faith, it leads you somewhere else. And this I think is probably one of the
most important things to think about in your own self. And this is what I was discovering when I was preparing for this message in light of this difference; this is the difference that
needs to be seen differently in order to embrace it between us. But I actually think that
healing, that wholeness, needs to also take place within us. See, there are things in
you that are different. There’s difference on the inside of you, there’s pieces of yourself
that you don’t like, there are areas of your life
that maybe are at a deficiency, or maybe they’re broken, or maybe they’re different
than you wish they would be. And if you see those parts of
you through a lens of fear, it’s going to lead to, I wrote down three specific
things it’s gonna lead to, it’s gonna lead to hide, which is a shame-based
response to difference, it’s gonna lead to despise, which is a fear-based
response to difference, and it’s gonna lead to punishment, which is a guilt-based
response to difference. That’s what’s gonna happen if you see even difference within you through the lens of fear. And that’s what happens when
we take one part of our lives and we overemphasize it, or we look at it through the lens of fear. This is what’s so beautifully
refreshing about Jesus at the centre of our lives;
calling us into wholeness, into acceptance, into a lens
of faith to even see ourselves through the lens of belonging
and through the lens of love. What do I mean by this? I have a couple of things. One, I have a friend who has
multiple personality disorder, which I think is called DID now. And she told me, she said, “I
have one request, Danielle, “one thing that I really want
more than anything else.” I said,” What is it?” you know, in the middle
of all her diagnosis. And I said,” What is it?” And she said, “I just want
every one of my personalities “to know Jesus.” Right? “I just want every one of my
personalities to know Jesus.” Not, is it wrong, is it right? Do I want, do I hate it, do I despise it, do I to a shame it, do I afraid it? Or do I just invite Jesus into who I really am, into all the fragmented
broken parts of me? Is this something that I can do? Yes, it’s something that we must do. Here’s the opposite of those
three things I mentioned. Instead of hiding it,
instead of despising it, instead of punishing it, maybe
we could actually listen. Listen to those parts of us
that are trying to speak to us. Maybe we could use curiosity
instead of suspicion. When things even on the
inside of us are different, maybe the parts of you that are different are opportunities for you
to listen to your own self, (chuckles) to your own. You know, I remember being
at an exercise class one time and they said, this instructor said, you know,
do this and then she said, or don’t do this, you
should listen to your body. And I remember thinking, “No, “I don’t listen to my body, “my body He wants me to lie down.” (audience laughing) Right? Like No, I’ve never looked, like what, I don’t listen to my body. And I realized like even
through a prayer time with God, I realized that actually
I’d only ever punished and shamed and hidden and
covered and criticized my body for my whole life. This a common thing with women by the way. That we’ve been taught to shame and hide and cover and punish our bodies. What if we just listened to our bodies? What if we loved our bodies? I started practicing this
prayer in this regard, just I breathe in be this is a
Jesuit prayer, it’s Be Loved, the prayer is Be Loved, and you can practice it even
right here if you want with me, you just breathe in be, deep breath in, and then
a deep breath out, loved. You can just keep breathing please. But you just keep breathing and be. And when you’re breathing
and be, the Father told me, He said, “Breathe and
be as opposed to do.” Not do, just be, not function, just presence. Just be loved. And then when you breathe
out loved, he said, “Where are you breathing out loved?” I said, “Well the whole world needs love.” He goes, “No, no, no, no, no.” Yes the world needs love and
yes we’re gonna get to that, but start with you, start with your body. Just breathe love to your body. So I remember lying on this
mat in exercise class one day and I remember just going be, just raging against the tendency
to do do do do do do do, high function high activists, you know, like I’ve got a
lot of dos; do, do, do, do. I’m just like, no, be, be, be, be, be. And then I’m just like loved. And I remember just sending
love out to my foot; you know, that was bugging me and my back. And eventually even as
I grew in this prayer, I even sent love out to my jiggly bits. (audience laughing) I know it was a big love. And then I kind of had this
like boom, it’s like thought, like if my body and myself came to me for marriage counseling, I would tell my body to run away. Honestly, I would, I would be like, “Let’s review the tape; “you’re punishing, you’re shaming, “you’re hiding, you’re fearing, “this is not a healthy relationship.” And can I just say,
that’s the relationship many of us have with ourselves. And that’s just one part. I’m just talking about the
body but also with our minds, also with our mental health,
also with our emotional health, also with our relationship. So we view things
through the lens of fear, and we don’t accept them, which means we’re not listening to them. But there’s so much to listen to. Like when your emotions
are raging out of control, what’s wrong? What’s wrong? Listen to what’s wrong, and
get some help to listen, if that’s what you need. By all means, please, because God wants His redemption project, His wholeness to get all the
way through our whole spirit, soul, and body; all of us listen. What if we listened instead of shamed? What if we welcomed those parts of us even that we weren’t sure about, even that we were anxious about, what if we welcome them as an
invitation to be loved more and to know God’s love more? What if it was less about
function and more about being and welcoming those people in
places, but even inside of us; those things inside of us
that are painful and anxious that we just wanna like
repress and push down and say, “I’m fine, thank you very
much for asking, you?” Those things inside of us,
what if we welcomed them and said we’re… Now Bruxy last week had this beautiful, you know, thorn in the flesh teaching around like this place
that Paul didn’t want and no one could understand. He never can make any sense of it. But what he did know is as he welcomed it, he could find grace there,
he could find love there, he could find power, even in that spot, he could find God in that place. You don’t have to travel too
long with people in addiction who understand that being addicted was one of the best things
that ever happened to me, and you’re like, “That can’t
be true, I don’t believe that.” But they’re like, “It is because it was the
way I discovered God’s love. “It was the way I discovered
that it was too hard for me “but not too hard for
God, it was the way in.” What if we welcomed those spots of us? Do you understand the harm of segregating or fragmenting mental health
outside of the holistic idea of us as human beings? This is a part of who we are. This is a part of our life. This thing, what if we listened to it? What if we welcomed it? And then finally, what if we loved it? What if we loved? What if we were able to
receive the love of God? I remember, was really good friends
with a girl named Annie. Annie was a woman in the Downtown Eastside who was schizophrenic
and also drug addicted. But she was a really good
friend she was just incredible. And she was really
connected to God in ways that I just learned so much from her. And one of those occasions,
I remember I was visiting her at a psych ward in Vancouver,
and she calls that a holiday, ’cause she loves the
craft rooms, but anyway. And I went to visit her and
I was with my buddy Rob, and Rob used to be a heroin addict and God really did a
beautiful number in his life and just loved him back, and he was on the way to transformation. He had a lot of things
he was still working on. And we went to visit Annie together. And I remember walking along with Annie and Annie looks at me and she goes, “Danielle, wasn’t it amazing
the way Rob turned into Jesus?” (audience laughing) And I was like, oh, man, like, we’re supposed to be helping Annie, but I feel like we’re just
feeding some sort of delusion. Like, you know, like, and I’m just like, how am I gonna, so I’m
like Annie, you know, Rob, and this is funnier if you know Rob. But I’m like, Rob is like Jesus, but Rob really invited
Jesus to come into his life, you know. And Annie looks at me
like I’m new and she says, “Yeah, but when Jesus
came into Rob’s life, “didn’t Rob come into Jesus? “When Jesus came into Rob
didn’t Rob come into Jesus.” And this is really important. 1 Thessalonian 5:23 it says, “May the God of peace sanctify
you through and through. “May your whole spirit, soul “and body be preserved blameless.” No more judgment, no more
criticism, no more blaming, no more war, no more conflict; may there be a peaceful
wholeness in your life. And then the Scripture says, “You can trust that God will do this.” In other words, see, we have this idea that we have to do it. We have this idea that
somehow we’ll be perfect, just absolutely perfect specimens of completeness in all things. But that’s not what the Scripture says. The Scripture says that
in Christ, He’s wholeness; that we get our wholeness through Him, through access to Him and the interconnectedness of one another. When we finally see our difference through the lens of love instead of fear, it leads us to the most beautiful thing. And this is the thing that
will help us in relationships, but also this is the thing that will help us within ourselves. And it’s this beautiful
thing called mutuality; where we start to see our
lives and everyone else’s lives as gifts, as connected, as necessary to build up the
body, to be Jesus in the world, to be loved to each
other, as opportunities. People struggling with their mental health instead of ashamed and afraid and hiding can bring it to the light and teach us to love better together. You understand how this could
change absolutely everything, if we could be loved ,stop the war, allow the rest for our souls
to enter into the whole of who we are, not just individually but
also with one another. This could change some
things in your life. I pray it does. Are there anybody that has a question that you just can’t wait
to ask and you want? We have a few minutes left if anybody has a question
and you wanna ask it. It’s one of my favorite
parts of this gathering is the question time. I feel like it makes it more real. (laughs) Anyone have a question? Yep, there’s one way at the front here. – [Woman] Terms of like
bringing it to the light. Yeah, people need to feel safe, right? In the places they bring those stories to. I think we have to be careful too. Because I think there’s still stigma, you know, obviously still
stigma and people can feel at times very afraid just
to know who to trust, I guess and I just wanted to ask you, how do you deal with, you know, knowing who and not to trust? – Yeah, I mean, I think what we’re hoping even as talking about
this from the platform, and then, again, with home groups, we’re gonna keep talking about this and people’s own experience, this happens with anything
that’s been stigmatized, right? The more it’s talked about publicly, the more we’re not afraid to dive in, the more we’re not afraid
to accept one another in our brokenness and to
be healing for each other, the more we hope that that becomes a norm. So that it actually becomes abnormal to stigmatize mental health. So that’s part of that we
wanna be part of that solution. Tragically, we’re not quite there yet. But what we would hope is that we would be
examples of the believer. So if you’re not in a home church, a home church is designed
to be a safe place where we can be Jesus to one another, we can be loving towards one another, we can be accepting towards one another. And that hopefully is a
light in a dark world. There is actually a place of belonging. This church designs to be that way. We hope that you would
be a place that’s safe for people to say, “I’m
struggling with this, “I need help with this.” And it is okay, I think Bruxy
said this a couple times, like we’re not professionals
at mental health. This is not what we’re doing. But what we are, are we’re Jesus lovers and we know that Jesus
cares and loves and is able to be present in all of those things. So we don’t have to be afraid of the subject of mental health. And so there are gonna
be some professionals. If you need some professional
help, please get it. We love professional help. But you also need more
than professional help, because you’re a whole person, you’re not just one part of yourself, you’re all the parts of yourself. So we want you to know
that you are wholly loved. I pray that we’re gonna
be part of the answer to this idea of stigma. And we’ll just keep praying. Obviously, wisdom, if you
you mentioned it to someone and they reject you, then
that’s not a safe person. Find somebody that will
not see your difference through the lens of fear. Yeah, I pray you’ll find them. Yeah. – [Woman] Danielle, as a woman, I agree that we’re often
taught to not trust our bodies on the same topic of trust, not trust. What we’re feeling and the emotions that are coursing through and
even our reactions to them. So how do we learn to lean in and to not do the things
you’re saying we do, like to despise and to hate, right? Like to not trust. When we are on the path of trust, like say we are diving into that, how do we really lean in and
not turn around or turn away? – Yeah, that’s a wonderful question. I think it’s practice just like every other thing in your life, you know, that has become a habit or even as something that’s happening, you’re not even aware that it’s happening. So first of all, becoming aware of sort of an internal
dialogue that you’re having. I think whenever things like
hiding, shaming, fearing, like, whenever those things
you become aware of that, you’re like, “Whoa, okay, why am I?” You know, and then beginning
to listen to what it even is that you’re so afraid of, and what it even is that
you’re so scared to voice even out loud. So even that awareness piece
you don’t even know necessarily that you’re doing it. I was talking to 100 girls
yesterday at a Brave event in Newmarket and it was, Brave seeks to reach vulnerable girls before they’re sexually exploited. And so 100 girls, and
we were talking there about the difference
between life and death; when somebody offers you help, what’s the difference
between life and death? And how can you tell the difference? You know, how do you spot someone who actually is a boyfriend or someone who actually is an exploiter? And it was a fascinating discussion. One of the girls, just like 11 or 12, and she just said, “If.” And I was like, “What?” She’s like, “If, if there’s
an if, if there’s a big if, “I’ll do this for you,
if you do this for me, “if there’s an exchange,
sometimes that’s a sign “that this isn’t life.” And another one said, “You
should listen to the voice.” And I said, “Do tell me more. “What voice Are you listening to?” And she said, “You should listen
to that voice inside of you “that says, ‘This is
against your sense of self'” So I think there are some, this I guess we would also
say is like us, it’s God. it’s other people voices that we trust, this mixture of things that are like, “Hey, something’s wrong.” You know, there’s an alerting impulse. Anyway, I think practice. The be loved prayer, I hope it’s a tool. It’s been a super helpful tool for me. And then I’m also gonna close
when we’re done with questions with a thing called the Welcoming Prayer. And I’m gonna make this
available for people too. This has also been a fantastic way of fusing together Jesus at the centre, but also me in the centre
of Jesus in a loving way. And we’re gonna make this
prayer available on social media for The Meeting House. If you’re here and you want to or in the notes and the podcast, if you’re wanting to have a copy of this and maybe practice this, this could be a good way to the beginning to see your difference, that things happening in you
to see them as an opportunity to encounter God’s love instead of something to be afraid of. Is there any other questions? Yep. Right here. Oh, that’s not a mic, it’s a coffee. (Danielle and audience laughing)
Well I’ll have that too. – [Man] Yeah, I could use that too. Thank you so much for sharing today. A question that I had from the
beginning of the series was, in Luke, a lot of times
Jesus healed somebody with an unclean spirit. And because of their
faith, they’re made clean. And I’m just wondering, Jesus
then empowers his disciples. And then when Jesus goes
up, He sends the Spirit and we’re living with that now and we’re empowered with that. What does that look like today? And what what is that? I’m sorry, I don’t have
a more specific question, but I was wondering if you could speak to what that might look like today. – I think, I hope, I mean, as of today, that’s like a whole, what does the spirit look
like at work in us today? I mean, I think that Jesus
said is the Spirit of Christ, right? So it’s the Spirit of Jesus
that’s at work within us. And I think for today, specifically, if we can contextualize it
’cause it’s a big question and a good question, and
I love it, by the way, but I would say that the God
of peace would sanctify us, would dwell in us, so that we could experience the wholeness that we were meant to carry. One of the ways I put this
is that we would be loved; the whole of us would be loved by Christ, so that we could become the
love of Christ in the world. I think that pretty much sums it up. And that the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit gives us
the power, the courage, the love, you know, the
grace, the strength, to do that, to love Christ, and to be loved by Christ and then to be the love
of Christ in the world. That’s the most specific
answer I can give for today, but that what the Spirit does, what a beautiful topic and conversation. Yeah, Holy Spirit comes. So speaking of spirit
and what spirit does, this is a welcoming prayer, and I’m gonna invite you to
pray with me, if you don’t mind. And I think it would be
a beautiful invitation for the rest of your day and then hopefully the rest of your week, as you invite God to be at the centre of who you are, your whole self. And you can begin to actually receive all the parts of yourself
as one whole human being, beloved by God, who knows
you and loves you as you are. The welcoming prayer, here we go. I gently become aware of my body. I gently become aware
of my interior state, thoughts, feelings. I allow myself to focus, feel, sink into the feelings,
emotions, thoughts, sensations, and commentaries in my body. I welcome and consent to the presence and action of the
indwelling Spirit of God, in the feelings, emotions, thoughts, commentary, or sensations in my body by saying, welcome, here I am God, angry, confused. All my muscles in a knot again. Broken, disturbed, distressed, anxious. Do you see me? Please come. I let go of my desire
for safety and security, esteem and affection, power and control. I let go of the feeling
to change the situation. I let go of the desire
to change any situation, feeling, condition, person or myself. And I open. I open to the love and presence of God, and the healing action of grace within me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Posted by Lewis Heart

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