The Heart Awakening
I can still hear the sound of the Harley Davidson tearing up the road and coming to a stop out the front of the church I worked at. It was the day before we left for the USA as my old friend and mentor who I hadn’t seen in over a year arrived to pray over us. He prayed for over half an hour but the words that stood out most were; “You will experience an awakening in California”. It filled my heart with so much hope and expectation that we would be part of an awakening in this country we were flying to, but I did not expect this “awakening” he spoke of to be of a completely different kind altogether.
Prior to moving, I was in a strange place in my heart, to say the least. We had the privilege of being part of a ministry trip to India in late 2008, (read more of that story here). We encountered a lot of favor and opportunities at every turn leading up to our international move, but deep in my heart, I felt stale and flat. In the hidden places of my heart, I was crying out for more of God without realizing that I had become complacent. I felt I had experienced all of Him that there was to experience, oh how wrong I was! My soul was crying out for more.
Baby faces. Monterey, California.
It was a strange and surreal feeling the moment we stepped out into the busy streets of LAX airport for the first time in the beginning of April 2009, knowing we were there to LIVE, not to visit. Having never been to the USA before, this was a crazy venture, to say the least, but we didn’t make the decision for us, but because we knew God was leading us. After a week of settling in, finding our local grocery store, learning to drive on the right side of the road (and a few times driving into oncoming traffic), adjusting to the time zone and then learning our traveling roles, we were off for our first few weeks away on the road doing ministry.
The first two weeks did not feel real, It was like I was living some kind of dream life getting the opportunity to travel, lead worship and pray for people. As well as meeting amazing people, heroes of mine, and other influencers on the way, yet still, there was a longing in my heart that I couldn't ignore, my heart was crying out. You see, I knew how to pour out, serve and do all the Christian stunts like an acrobat on a trapeze. I could talk the talk, do the stuff, encourage, inspire, pray and light fires, but I still felt empty, unfulfilled, and craving a fresh touch from the Lord.
Have you ever felt that? Like you are almost dissatisfied with where you are? I struggled with it and even felt guilty that I felt this way, but the longing within stirred a hunger and I was willing to do anything to encounter Him deeper.
We had moved to the States to support our friend Nick. He had only lived overseas for two years at that point and needed some family he could rely on, those who could run with him, pray with him, and lift his arms up as he moved forward in his ministry. So really we thought God had us there only for that reason, to help and pour into Nick, but there was something deeper God was up to. He was stretching us, enlarging us, performing heart surgery on us, and preparing us for our destiny, we just didn’t know it yet.
Then out of nowhere, something started happening… We were at a church service one Sunday for a speaking engagement when the pastor and I began talking. Everyone else had left the room and out of nowhere he said to me, “God wants to satisfy the longing of your heart, and when He does it will change EVERYTHING!” Then he walked out of the room. I instantly felt raw like someone had put their finger on a sore area, a place in me that was in pain. God began using these strange and wonderful divine appointments regularly to stir me in a deep way and I felt like He was leading me on a life changing heart journey.
Christy too was hungry for more, but it would not be until December of 2009 that these seemingly small moments would lead us both to have a life-changing encounter that altered the course of our lives forever. (But more on that, later!)
One such moment that led to December 2009 was in a car park of all places, in Los Angeles, in October. On this particular night, I was driving into downtown LA with my friend and his brother. Christy had her parents visiting from Australia and they were in New York together, so I was feeling a little alone to a degree, but this night was a good distraction and I was quite excited to be attending a secular charity event that we had been invited to. Right as we arrived, we found out that there were actually only two invitations to attend, not three as we had initially thought, so, unfortunately, I was no longer able to attend. I was so upset!
The charity event was scheduled to last early into the morning hours and where we lived was well over two hours away, without traffic. Anyone who lives in or has been to Los Angeles knows… the traffic is always horrendous. So as I dropped them off realizing I was their only mode of transportation, I knew that my night would involve sitting in a carpark waiting for hours on end. As they got out of the car, I watched as they walked through the front doors with A-list celebrities stepping onto the red carpet alongside them. Buzz Aldrin, Lindsay Lohan, and Sir Richard Branson to name a few. As I drove away feeling dejected, wishing I could attend, I felt a prompting from the Holy Spirit, and the Lord gently asked me, “Why does this matter so much to you?”
I drove the car to a nearby carpark and just decided to spend my time sitting in the car, worshipping the Lord. As I did, suddenly I got caught up in the most incredible vision for what seemed like hours. I was hovering over the city of LA and I could see all the lights, I could hear the faint noise of parties, music, people talking, and cars beeping. The world and Hollywood were so very busy and yet so very void. I felt the Lords heart for the city and its people, and it was grieving me! They were chasing and seeking everything but Him, and yet only moments earlier so was I. I thought I had pure intentions but really I was feeling insecure and felt that to be someone I needed to BE at that event that night, amongst all the worlds A-Listers.
As I had this realization I heard Gods' voice say loudly in my spirit “Nate, Let me be the only celebrity you ever chase”. I started sobbing and then surrendered that area of insecurity to Him. Suddenly my heart felt like it was coming to life for the first time, like I had been seeking second best for so long and had finally found my purpose and reason I was alive.. to burn for him and know him!
The next day I thought back to that day earlier in the year where I had been told I was going to experience an awakening and suddenly it made sense.. I had, but it was an awakening of the heart that I had encountered, not some event. That night was the beginning of a chain of events that took place that further branded and marked Christy and me for life.
So here we are as a family about to embark on a journey back to the place our hearts first started awakening. A place God met us powerfully and altered the course of our history, and I feel that today God wants to take you on this journey too. Maybe you have been crying out for more of Him, feeling like you just aren't as close to the Father as your heart longs to be. Maybe you have been feeling like your heart is in slumber, and the waves of cares and circumstances of this world have crashed over you time and time again, leaving you feeling distant from Gods heart. But I prophesy, the time for your own awakening is now, for the embers of your heart to be set on fire. IT IS YOUR TIME! The Father is drawing you to Himself. Set your face towards Him, turn your eyes away from the cares that surround you, He has encounters awaiting you. I promise you that as you seek Him, you will find Him, and you will be surprised to discover that He has been seeking you all the more.
Lots of love
If you feel led to sow a seed into our transition as we move to America, you can do so below. Every gift is a seed into what we believe God is doing through this ministry as we move internationally to in turn sow into the heart of America.
With all our hearts, Thank-you!
We are so thankful for every seed sown into this ministry. We could not respond to the call of God on our lives if it wasn't for those who are also faithful in supporting His vision for us. Thank-you.
(Every contribution is tax deductible in America.)