Lately, between moments of calm solitude and the crazy spasms of publisher frenzy, I have found myself reflecting on when I met this colourful bunch of Americans, two years ago.
Never had I heard GOD called so many different names! Jah, Yahweh, Lord, HaShem, God, Jesus, Yeshua, Adonai and others I can’t recount. I was so confused, and so in my mounting frustration, on top of Mt Carmel, I entered the beautiful chapel and sat down.
In the presence of The One, I cried in desperation, “who are you, Lord?” Immediately, I heard the response, “I AM.” I was undone, completely. As I sat in that moment, while the rest of the group were above me admiring the view and hearing all about Elijah and the Prophets, I wept.
Flick back to today, and I still hear God being called all manner of things. But the reality is, Jesus/Yeshua told us how to pray and WHO to: our Father, in Heaven. Abba. Papa. Daddy.
It really is simple. And yet, as typically present within the western church, we have made things so difficult! But it’s not. He is our daddy, and we are His children, so therefore we need to esteem Him as such.
I also know and have witnessed, people being very hesitant to call God, “Father” and this is a point of contention and pain, that I deeply understand. As much as I love, honour and respect my own dad, he wasn’t the most kind or loving father, growing up. He was incredibly critical of my appearance, my singing, my poetry and “me” just in general. When I truly encountered the Father’s heart towards me, back in mid nineties and then again in 2011, something changed on the inside of me. I have never questioned His love or thoughts toward me again, and it is my greatest joy, to release that through my life and creativity, into other people’s lives.
Read Ephesians 1 & 2, and read them in different versions. Our Father, utterly and entirely LOVES YOU!
I remember so well the mornings you would whisper to me and awaken me at 3 am. I loved being woken by you; the sweet aroma of love that enveloped me as you took me through your Word and uttered your divine mysteries into my heart. As I look back at the things I wrote, I am aware of your presence, your calling, the hope I had – that now seems so shaky.
The cares of life, the pressures of the daily routine I fall into, the raising of children, the businesses, marriage and all its woes – where did WE go Yeshua?
I remember walking along the country road and hearing you speak so clearly to me. The dreams you would share with me, the laughter that would easily enrapture my soul. I think of the time you called me by my special name, a name only we know, and how in love I felt with you.
The times I would come and minister to your heart, as you had done to my broken one, and yet you seemed so besotted with me too. It’s a love story that is better than Disney or Hallmark, and yet I’ve settled for those love stories too now.
The worship that would flow from my mouth, emptying my soul into the ether as you showed me a new facet of your being. How I miss you!
I sit on the carpet and weep now, such deep anguish in my soul – without words, they seem utterly meaningless, just guttural noises and tears falling out of me.
I remember those times I would pray and ask you to hold me as I slept, I needed you and your comfort so desperately. And now, I have a physical husband and we watch endless TV series.
What once was a thriving love relationship based on your Word, your Presence and your Worship, has been replaced with many many programmes that fill the mind, scare the soul and leave the heart deeply grief-ridden and empty.
Walks that used to be two-way conversations, seem to be replaced with work. Or should I say, plug up the ears and listen to yet another podcast that will invariably dull down my pour neglected heart?
Being misconstrued as something that I am not, and yet being fully unable to be the real person you have created me to be.
Longing for you, and yet when I don’t get the response needed, just plop down and dismiss it all as emotionalism…..hoping it wasn’t, knowing it wasn’t, but in this current climate that I live in, your Presence isn’t necessarily a necessity….
Yeshua, how I need you. I realise how desperate my soul has become. I have all that I ever asked for and yet my soul feels dead. I find wonder in the dance, the hope, the dream and the memory. But I need you more than I ever have!
Looking back into diaries that stretch to twenty-five years, I went through a bad marriage, separation, divorce, rape, being a single mother, various diagnoses, depression, anxiety, poverty, debt, spiritual abuse, fractured relationships, reconciliation, different churches, different doctrines, and so the list keeps growing. But you were the One who was my main staple in all those times. These past ten years, there have been sporadic moments of you and your mystery, but they didn’t last long. It would be easy to blame my husband, children, business and the like. But the truth is, I haven’t needed much of you for the physical necessities like I used to.
Believe it or not, the truth is, I need you more than ever as we approach the end of days here on earth.
You are everything.
It just took having everything on earth to know how desolate I am now.
She picks up the golden quill, a mighty theme upon her lips. As she writes the words upon the parchment, she is surprised at the letters forming and flowing so fast. As she utters the sounds of Heaven, all Creation listens: what Decree has the Lord spoken unto His willing Servant and Handmaiden? What mysteries will He expound through her mouth and the quill of her writing instrument?
She stops and waits as she hears the Lover of her Soul, whispering words of passion and grace into her heart. Will she dare write them down, only to be scorned and ridiculed, yet again?
Yes! For her Love has spoken His word into her, and through her this word will become flesh! He has come and dwelt among mere mankind – can you not hear, nor perceive it? Can you not taste and see for indeed, the Lord our God, He is good!
Come to the river and drink of water that you may never thirst again. Come and eat of the bread of life, and behold you will never hunger for mere food again! Come to the waters, replenish your soul. Come to the tree of life and eat – for then your healing shall break forth and your soul shall exalt in the Lord your God!
Come, dance and sing! Lift up your voice! Come magnify the Lord with me! Come, bring your timbres, your harps and your instruments! Come and make a melody, for the Lord is here in our midst!
I have quietly sat back and watched happening around me, things that don’t shock me anymore. They don’t worry me like they used to. They don’t make me upset now. Why? Because I am USED to it.
When you live in this little village of a few thousand, which is rapidly growing, you get to understand and DISCERN things at a deeper level. You understand that it’s not personality conflicts or clashes; there are principalities and powers at play, here in this little paradise.
A number of years ago, the Lord told me that I would encounter a particular ‘spirit’. He assured me it wasn’t IN me or operating THROUGH me, but that it would manifest all around me. He would use all of this to firstly; teach me, and then secondly; write about it in an allegorical style. I am currently doing that.
What makes me stop and pause, is the Body of Christ, in this area. I’ve never witnessed such lies, division, deception and dishonour. I watch others build their own little Kingdoms, and I watch further yet, the Hand of the Lord intervene. I see different ones around, wearing instead of armour, a breastplate that is wonky, full of holes and slipping off. I see helmets hanging down people’s backs and blasted with what looks like dynamite. Such mental anguish within these ones. I see many walking around with their swords, dull and unused. I see shoes that are worn out and hanging together by a thread. I see belts of lies instead of truth, and paganism and other gods, tightening their grip around these Saints.
My heart doesn’t break for these – it wars! Like the Warrior Princess, there are times that my Saviour leads me into warring in prayer and declaration; destroying the works of the enemy. Then there are times, when I step back and listen. Times when I stand and watch – oh how I have watched for over a decade and seen beautiful people turning proud and ugly. Beautiful on the outside and glaringly ugly on the inside.
Abba Father has shown me the rotten foundations, the chasing out of the Prophets, from this very village. He has shown me the Religious ones, who harken to a strict set of rules and know nothing about His abundant grace. He has shown me the gems, which society overlooks. He has shown me His heart, and how He grieves over the factions, divisiveness, disunity and pain with the Ekklesia; but oh how He roars!
Will we awaken to His roar, or will we keep on the path of the familiar?
Today, of all days, I am so thankful. After many many months of seeing a world flip and flounder over a supposed pandemic, nail biting elections, a break up and a reconciliation, death in the family AND turning 50, 2020 will go down in my diary and blog as the Year of Years!
I have been challenged to the core on what I believe. I have listened to liberals, conservatives, teachings that bore the stuffing out of me, teachings that rouse me, conspiracy theorists, Q movement, theorists on End Times and more things that just aren’t worth mentioning.
I have questioned the deconstruction that has occurred within my theology and wondered where I am headed? I’ve watched people I love totally knot themselves up into a ball and live in a world I just don’t understand, and I’ve watched some dear ones emerge after the longest time, bearing such great fruit.
I love being 50, I love so much that comes with a bit of age, experience and pain. But I didn’t like how I got here!
For the longest time, as much as I love words and writing, I just couldn’t make sense of my inner soul. All the things I have held dear, ways we have done church, doctrines that I thought were truth, all these things were tested and tried in my soul. My walk with God has been fraught with puddles upon damns of tears and snot, mingling down into a mass of unintelligible words and groanings. Yet I knew, as sure as God is on the throne, that I had to take this journey, predominantly on my own.
I stopped listening to everything, and started hearing the Lord speak to me in the darkest of nights, the earliest of mornings and the quiet still times I managed to get during the day. I felt like my anchor had come adrift, and my heart was just everywhere. I didn’t like what I was hearing, but I trusted the Lord, nonetheless.
We – Neil and I, separated and it was the hardest thing stepping back and watching. Wondering five hundred million things all at once that manifested in one thought – “wasn’t I enough”? Wrong question, The Almighty said! The answer was, “you’re an enabler” – the question was “why”? Oh, yes I remember….abandonment. The bane of my existence, the dreams that had come, now all manifested – and God was only just beginning!!
The deconstruction took me to places where every stone was turned over, every belief questioned, every friendship put under the microscope, every relationship analyzed and every thought was looked at. It has been exhausting!
The loss of things that have been part of your make up and the fabric of your soul for thirty years, is quite intense. I wanted to reach out, I wanted to share, I wanted to make that phone call, send that text – but I felt the stern warning of the Lord. This was something between He and I. Period.
Fast forward – Neil and I are the best we have ever been. There is redemption and healing when God’s mercies and truth kiss, at the Cross of Jesus. There is a wonderful embracing of all the flaws, complexities and wonders that marriage brings, and yet God weaves the most beautiful tapestry from our worst and makes it His best. WE are both extremely thankful.
You all know my take on our elections and what I feel about our Prime Minister, but as the anger and despair dissipated, I found I am able to pray for her regularly and sincerely. Wonders never cease! I don’t believe this ‘pandemic’ is going to linger for too much longer – it’s very inception was the greatest deception of the modern era. Combining the Cabal, the Democrats and a willing group within China, you have seen the ONLY thing that could stop President Trump from entering into a second term, seemingly. He will be victorious. Satan has overplayed his hand. The general public in America who were on the fence, wanted someone who would lead them through this supposed pandemic, and Biden was anointed that man. But the Lord will expose and indeed is exposing the deepest of corruption – and Trump already knew. He is one smart cookie!
So, as we near the end of this year, there is much to be thankful for. I will not stand back and wimper at some of the crap that has been thrown my way. I will stand and open my mouth, and I will sing the song of the Redeemed! I will not stay silent, I will declare His praise from the ends of the earth – NZ is pretty much it peoples!!
During this week, after a very long conversation with my Spiritual Ma, I finally got the breakthrough in this whole deconstruction process, that I had been waiting for. Among many many things that have been revealed to me, there came an understanding that I had been denying one of the biggest parts of who I am and what I am called to do! I had allowed the enemy to put me in the back and sit quietly, and be resided to the fact that I will never fully live out my calling as I wasn’t good enough, or enough in general.
This girl is long overdue to move out of THAT cave!!
So I thought I’d be really smart and privatize this site just so that you guys could have the first look at my secret project – but that didn’t work! It turned out that you had to login or register via email, and that caused some issues, by some of the language I could hear in the other room!
Well, before I go ahead and do my reveal, I just wanted to give you a background on who Mirabelle is and why this book is important to me.
Mirabelle is based on a woman who was a dear friend for many years. She underwent most of her cancer journey before I met her, and over the course of getting to know her, the story she shared really impacted me.
I didn’t know many people who have had significant body parts removed in order for them to survive, but she is one of them. A large softball size tumour was discovered inside her that encompassed her bladder, bowel and internal genitalia. She had to have all three reconstructed over the period of a few years, and still to this day she doesn’t function fully. But you would never know. You wouldn’t know that her bladder is made from pigskin. You wouldn’t know that her bowel is made from some of her large intestine. You wouldn’t know that her internal genitalia were the last thing to be constructed, and she went without those organs for eighteen months.
So yes, to me she is one of the most inspirational women I have ever had the good fortune to meet.
Unfortunately, our friendship went south not long after I got married. My dear friend is someone who has an incredibly stubborn streak and if you seemingly wrong her, she cuts you off in the most powerful way. You don’t even know, she won’t even tell you, but slowly and surely, she backs off, like she did to me. And she will hurt you on purpose. Because so far, she has been able too.
It took me nine months to process the demise of this once incredibly close relationship. I’d never had a friend where things were shared so openly and honestly, so brutally and with so much humour! We were a dynamic duo when we went anywhere, and behaving wasn’t something that either of us thought to do 🙂 Going to Israel with her and with Neil was fantastic; I did feel sorry for the Tour Guide though – I don’t think he’s ever met a duo like us!
In amongst the pain, the despair I felt and the anger that would rise in wave upon wave, the Lord came to me one morning and gave me such love for this friend. Ex friend. I never call her that, but I guess that is what I am to her now. She has this book, and my guess is that she’s darn angry with me, but as I said to her, what started out writing about her, turned into a greater story that the Father wouldn’t let me leave alone.
I know that she loves Yeshua incredibly deeply, and I know one day we will reconcile. I also know that it will be different.
The character of Alex is based on me. It was with fear and trepidation that I wrote so much of my own personal story within these pages. To bare my soul so openly, I did query the Lord on this? But sometimes in order for others to heal, they need to know that some have been through the same thing. They need to know that they can reach out and touch someone who is similar to them. I know I am just a chick from Snells Beach, New Zealand, but God sees me differently to others.
When Mirabelle was released just over two years ago, we had just come back from a disastrous trip to Israel, and I was suffering from depression. I wasn’t in the right place to own this novel, or to accept the path that the Lord was leading me down, but somehow it seems right to do so now.
So, with all that background in mind, I am so pleased to show you the new cover that my brother (a 100+ Award winning Creative Director) has designed for when we re-release Mirabelle back out into the public!
We are currently working to get me out of my old contract with the Publisher in London, so that soon I can release this on our own logo.
I have sat here these past few days just scratching my head and marveling at what seems a miracle to me 🙏 Since the announcement of our first SparkleMoon Publishing book coming out over on that blog (www.sparklemoonpublishing.net), we have been viewed over 500 times!! That is something a small time Blogger dreams about, and yet here we are. Thank you Lord!
I have spent more hours than I can count, editing and proofreading, working out a new system online, making sure all the vocabulary is in American, as that is how the Author has written it. Dealing with creative types (myself included) has had me in tears, praying for abundant grace and answering dozens of texts! Internet crashes, school holidays, uninstalling and reinstalling the right apps, computer crashes, marketing, advertising, collaboration with my Authors, correcting overseen errors. Where is the time going?
I know. I have absolutely no right to complain, and I am not, not at all. But I am sharing what this crazy life has become of recent weeks.
Saturday night just past, saw me submit all the approved files and covers, to the printing press. Phew! That has been a journey and a half, and it’s not over yet. This I guess is the calm before the storm – but I am enjoying this moment of respite.
These past few weeks have had me learning new ways and pushing myself in ways I didn’t know I could. I’ve learnt so much and realised I am far more capable than I give myself credit for! I’ve also come to realise that I am incredibly hard on myself, and have a high expectation, regarding myself as a Publisher. But that’s not the point. The point is at 50, I finally feel like I am in my element. I love being a wife and mum – nothing compares to that – but there’s something incredibly gratifying about stepping into your calling and stepping up to the plate. It’s either sink or swim, and I am learning to go beyond doggy paddling!!!
In other news: the New Zealand elections are fast approaching us here. Saturday 17 October, will be the deciding factor between life and death. We have two referendums along with out national election: legalizing marijuana; and euthanasia. Personally my views have been God, life, Israel. I’ll stand on that mountain and there I shall stay. But I fear what is coming. Many of my elderly relatives believe in the right to choose when they die – I believe that is God’s choice alone. And I say so. Respectfully of course.
Currently, we are finally back down to Level One here in the open border compound of New Zealand! Yes I’m being sarcastic 🙂 Our borders remain ‘shut’ but they never have been really. We have ‘crushed covid’ a second time, but of course it’s at the borders, just not in the community. Or maybe it is; I’ve had other priorities these past few weeks.
I was able to go and see my Dad two weeks ago, but now they have an outbreak of Gastroenteritis in the home. Thankfully Dad is ok, but the whole compound is on full lockdown/quarantine until things get back under control.
People say that 2020 has been a nightmare of a year; I disagree! I turned 50 back in January, and I was told this was my Jubilee Year, and whilst bad things have happened, the Lord has been so good and magnificent to me. I will write a bit more about that shortly, but in the meantime, as Believers in Yeshua, let’s stop looking to government to fix us, and keep our eyes upward – He IS coming soon. Of this I am most certain.
The phone rang, I wasn’t going to pick it up. It was 9am and Sammy was just about to start his homeschooling. I then thought I had better do so, as I didn’t recognise the number.
I was in total shock and didn’t quite understand what was being said on the other end of the phone? My ex mother-inlaw had just dropped dead. My daughter’s two grandparents, divorced but amicable, had died in two months.
I spoke with Neil, and realising we live in the ever present world of social media, it was decided I needed to ring both the girls at work and get them home. As if grieving their Poppa (my ex father-inlaw) whom they were both very close too, wasn’t enough, now Nana had made her exit smack bang in the midst of Level Three Lockdown here in the greater Auckland area. There would be no rushing down to be with their father, no being with their relatives. No funeral, no memorial. Nothing. Covid rules need to be obeyed…..
The grief we feel is palpable. I was still very much part of the Hornell family, as is Sammy & Neil; we are a big blended ex inlaw/outlaw bunch who fight and love and have each other’s back at the end of the day. Things are day by day at the moment, but we hold fast to Yeshua, our rock and strong tower.
My last great Aunt died too. Level Four Lockdown. Her daughter is stuck in Australia and can’t come back at the moment. My Aunty Tuppy was like a surrogate Nana to me. In fact she was the younger sister of my Nana, and when my Grandpa died, her and Uncle Fred made a solemn promise to be there for us and be the surrogate grandparents. They did so well in that role. The only thing that bugged me about Aunty Tuppy, was she insisted on calling me Sarndra. I allowed it out of respect, even though my actual given name is Sandra. It was her term of endearment for me, and I understood that.
So yes, three deaths in three months, all in different levels of Covid19 Lockdown.
Poppa Ken, insisted on calling me his ‘Number One girl’, namely because I was the first daughter inlaw. We had the most amazing chats, he was a great conversationalist, who had big dreams, a grumpy temperament and so much untapped potential. He was gruff and hard at times, but never with me. I could get him crying easy! I loved him, and I miss him so much. He would turn up in his beat up old four wheel drive, and just beam with joy when he saw me. His health had given him what for the past decade, but that smile always came out when he was with us. He didn’t believe in God like I do, but he sure did believe in his love for us. He saw things very differently to me, but he taught me a great deal. He had the biggest, bushiest eyebrows I had ever seen! They grew so wide and deep, he longer had to wear sunglasses 🙂 Typical Ken, it was always his way.
Nana May, well she used to scare the daylights out of me! She was a hard taskmaster of a woman, who seemed to live most of her life hiding. Again, I managed to reach in and hear the heart of a woman who had been deeply misunderstood and so incredibly broken. I ended up being the only one who knew she had a heart condition, and that has puzzled me. She had three sons whom she adored, and yet no one but me knew. I found that out the day of her death. Again, so much untapped potential and dreams locked up in a woman who lived mainly alone, later in life, and who didn’t allow people deep into her heart. I guess I am fortunate – for I know some of those precious secrets.
I pulled up the family tree on the MyHeritage website, and with tears streaming down my face (what else is new?!) I put in the three recent death dates.
Ah, this year really has been shite for breakfast, hasn’t it? I don’t think there could be a living soul out there that would say 2020 has been a true blessing from Heaven. No one would believe them if they did. But what I am learning to do is seeing things from both a Heavenly and an earthly perspective. Some areas just aren’t as black and white as we’d like them, but they’re not meant to be. Yeshua reminded us, our Kingdom is invisible, not for this earth, and therefore as my tagline says, we are just Pilgrims passing through. We can’t make this world the be-all and end-all because it’s not. This is just a mere vapour, and one day soon, we will all be with Him, forever. Until then, we must occupy until He comes, and share our Beloved Yeshua with this cold dying world.
So yes, as I said a couple of blogs back, I had been feeling spent, until the Lord showed me the word ‘grief’. There’s no time limit on grief, and I’m not one to walk away from a challenge, so moving through this with the family in tow, is quite the journey indeed.
He sat me down, closed the door, cancelled his appointments for the next hour and asked me one huge question, ‘Sandi, do you still believe in God?’
I looked at him with tears streaming down my face, and quietly uttered the word, ‘yes’.
I did and I do. But I was terrified. Terrified I’d never feel God’s presence again, or hear His voice. What kind of world was I signing up to, taking anti-depressants and walking into a world of counsellors, psychiatrists and psychologists? How did this fit in with my faith, God’s word and everything else I held dear?
The Doctor looked at me as I responded, and said, ‘good, now I know you will be ok.’
He was a Muslim doctor and I was a Christian patient. He was amazing, very humble, very capable, and yet he and his wife were my clients too! I was a Domestic Cleaner and I cleaned their home every week. It was nothing for me to watch the Doctor walk inside, take off his shoes, position his mat and do his prayers.
I didn’t care. I just wanted to know that I wasn’t going mad. Apparently I was having a Emotional Breakdown….
Those words resonated with me, simply because Mental issues were a big deal in my Maternal Grandmother. Mum witnessed Nana have at least one emotional breakdown, and declared that she would never allow herself to become that way – she often would say I was cursed with my own emotions and Nana’s. Funny how it all came to a head when she watched her own Granddaughter have a full psychotic breakdown. Actually it’s not funny at all, but if issues aren’t dealt with in one generation, they will come back in another – and another until they are sorted.
I’ve witnessed a disturbing trend or recent years. People who seem to have it all, or seemingly have a great life etc, suddenly up and commit suicide.
My Doctor asked if I had suicidal thoughts – hell no! I had too much terror to reign on people and too much life to live yet!
But I needed to sort out my mind, and apparently going on Aropax was going to help me do that.
I got a burst of energy for the first twenty four hours, so I went out and dug a vegetable garden at 9pm that night! The rest of the time, it did nothing for me, so after six weeks, I flushed it all down the toilet. People are amazed, simply because here in New Zealand, there had been many cases reported of the withdrawal symptoms from Aropax actually being so bad, and some leading to suicide – but somehow I knew God was with me and that I was gaining inner strength.
The point to all of this is not self pity, or even about me. This is about not being alone. This is about reaching out and sharing your troubles. If that person is unable to help you, there are lots of places to reach out too.
I made one phone call. That lead to an amazing charity called Strengthening Families. These people were brilliant at helping me get sorted through the myriad of mess and emotions that I was dealing with. They helped my children. They helped my friends. And by some amazing stroke of serendipity, I opened the door for this charity to help many others within my community.
So, the long and the short of it is, we are never alone. Every single person on this planet matters to God – despite race, gender, religion or ethnicity – and every single person has the God ordained right to be seen, heard, appreciated and loved.
If you are having Mental issues or need to chat with someone, I encourage you to reach out – and please stop believing the lie that you are alone – it’s simply not true!