At the beginning of 2018 I sensed very clearly in my spirit it was "The Year of Acceleration." I got excited! Sounds glamorous! What I wasn't prepared for, however, was the amount of pressing and crushing that would come with it! I've been broken, squeezed, wrung out, ripped apart and gripped for the entire first half of 2018.
Today I want to share with you the intensity of the pressing and crushing and I do so not to "ooze the junk" but because God has and continues to produce a NEW WINE out of me. I've had countless conversations and coached many clients over the years that have also gone through pressing and crushing and if that's what's happening with you right now, I assure you will be empowered in our time here together!
Within the first 2 months of the year, I experienced tremendous loss. A friend that was close like a sister abruptly and inexplicably cut me out of her life. Then a leader that I had served under for nearly 3 years hurt my heart (again) with false accusations and manipulation. That resulted in me having to make the tough decision to step out of the church location I was helping to launch which isolated me from a large group of people I had built deep bonds with. I also had a close friend and co-leader cut me out because I did not share the desire to make our friendship into a relationship. It was like everything that meant the most to me was being ripped out of my hands.
For 6 solid months, it was an intense and agonizing season of battle, contending, warfare, depression, confusion, conviction and countless hours in desperate prayer and heart recovery. I was hurt, angry, disappointed, and alone. I felt like Job. I questioned what I had done to deserve this much pain, loss and suffering.
Through the process, I learned to look upward and inward. It was dark and lonely. I reached out to a few people in the church and invited them to walk me through it. For various reasons they were either unwilling or unable. It was between me and God. I spent most days crying hysterically on the floor, barely able to function. I imagined myself curled up on Father God’s lap and would imagine His heartbeat so that I could be soothed enough to sleep. Holy Spirit became my best friend and greatest counselor.
In this intense pressing and crushing I was challenged:
I had to refuse to adopt a victim mentality.
I had to release judgment and criticism.
I had to dig out the cancerous roots of offense from my heart.
I had to be broken of my own pride, addiction for acceptance and the fear of man.
I had to forgive those who hurt me, release those who accused me, bless those who criticized me, and love those who committed to misunderstanding me.
In this season, my theology was tested, my motives have been realigned, the pursuit of my passion has been reignited, and my purpose has been more realized.
I survived. And I’m stronger now because of it. I have a greater level of compassion because of my own experience.
Scripture tells us that we are MORE than conquerors (Romans 8:37). I never really understood what that meant until my friend, Pastor Jon Shepherd explained it to me: “Heather to be a conqueror means you overcame something. But to be more than a conqueror means that when you do, you help other people overcome too.” Wow.
During this time, the song that spoke most to my heart was “New Wine” by Hillsong Worship. I had it on repeat. It ministered to me by providing the language of my experience and the hope to endure in the faith.
Please take a moment, not only to listen to this song…but also to hear a powerful message from Brooke Ligertwood:
Next week I’ll continue to share the story of my experience about the NEW WINE!
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This story is largely the inspiration behind The book, Breaking and Remaking.
Click here to learn more!
Before I go, I want you to know…if you have gone through or are currently going through a season like this…please hold onto hope. As a Certified Christian Life Coach, I’d be honored to come alongside you and the Holy Spirit so that you may experience inner healing and freedom so that you can be all God destined you to be. Please feel free to reach out anytime in any which way you want if you would like to set up a free call with me. If nothing else, I’d be honored to listen and to pray with you.