Hope Makes You Brave

hopemakesyoubraveLast week at Essence, the Women’s Ministry of my church (Enjoy Church), myself and the other ladies in the leadership team had the opportunity to speak. So I thought I’d share what I spoke about there, here, but tweaked a bit to suit this platform better ;) Hope it encourages you!


hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls…” – Hebrews 6:19

For as long as I can remember, ‘hope’ has captured my attention and I’ve known it has marked my life. Through seasons of depression, it became the verse that got me through, and naturally became a key theme for my life.

This year, as Ps Georgie Baxter declared us to be Bearers of Love, Hope and Freedom, hope came the forefront of my mind again. And a few months ago I stumbled upon a verse that completely revolutionised everything I thought about hope and how I live:

since we have such a hope, we are very bold.” – 2 Corinthians 3:12

Or in other words, hope makes you bold. 

Hope makes you brave.

Hope makes you courageous and fearless.

Sometimes we can think that being a Bearer of Hope is telling people “there is hope in your situation” or to “keep the faith”. But hope is more than a feeling or feel-good positive expression that can easily roll off our tongue at times.

See, hope gives an expectation for the future. Hope sees beyond. But it’s what you do with that expectation that counts. Because, hope is merely the foundation for an action.

Like faith without works is dead. Hope without courage injected into it, an action or expression, is also powerless.

And so, this year as everything from Adore Conference and Essence has been layering beautifully, then realising that because I am marked by hope and am therefore bold, I decided to be bold and put action to it.

Hope gave me the boldness to deal with things I’ve never spoken about before. Being planted at Enjoy Church for over ten years now, I’ve heard Ps Shane say countless times “my heart, my responsibility.” No one knows what truly goes on in our heart except us. But it takes boldness to become vulnerable, expose unforgiveness, bitterness or whatever it may be, and pursue healing and wholeness. I realised that if I’m the light of the world, I myself have to be completely full of light. And if I’m a Bearer of Love, Hope and Freedom, those things need to be completely evident and outworked in my life too.

Hope gave me the boldness to launch The Free Woman – a new community and magazine celebrating the feminine heart. It’s been a dream since I was 9 years old, and literally less than one month ago became a reality when it was launched. The favour and opportunity already on this beauty is phenomenal, and I know that it’s because I am truly free that The Free Woman has been able to flourish.

What I’ve come to discover, as various girls locally and around the world are contributing to it, is that this platform is actually an answered prayer for many of them. Whether it’s a space to use and champion their talent or simply be inspired and encourage, this was an answer to their prayer.

As a 9 year old, I had a hope to one day create something like this. But if that hope had not been married to boldness and action, it would not have created an opportunity for others to step out and see their hopes become a reality too.

Hope gave me the boldness to stop shying away from relationship and community with others, and begin embracing it… No matter how scary it may seem. Being a friend, being purposeful in relationships, and open to people is one of the most rewarding and enriching things we can do.

This year’s tagline, “Girls making a difference”, is inclusive of all. It’s not a girl making a difference, but girls. Because our lives are interconnected, and I am, we are, better together.

See, hope makes us bold. Hope is tenacious, not complacent. Hope is an action, not a feeling or simply an expectation. Hope propels us to continue believing in the midst of a hard season and inspires us to live generously throughout all seasons.

In the Amplified translation, 2 Corinthians 3:12 says, “Since we have such hope, we speak very freely and openly and fearlessly.”

And In the Message translation, “with that kind of hope to excite us, nothing holds us back.

To be a Bearer of Hope is to live boldly and bravely because we have hope.

We’re marked to leave a mark. The beauty of this is that it’s our choice whether or not we decide to leave that mark.

image source

It Is Well With My Soul

lighthouseEver have those moments in life where you take a pause? Sometimes it’s for a moment, other times for a season, or two. You may have noticed that this space has been a little quiet on here lately. And that’s because I took a pause in life – to work on myself, and The Free Woman (launching in the coming weeks!).

The beautiful thing about a pause is that it allows you to focus on other things and take the time to simply look around and be captured by different things you otherwise wouldn’t have. The hymn ‘It Is Well’ has always been a favourite of mine, as a child and still as an adult. Earlier this month Bethel Music released their new album including a revamped version of this timeless anthem. It’s captured me and been constantly on repeat. The video and lyrics are below.

Whatever season you find yourself, I hope you find the time and courage to say, “It is well with my soul.

Grander earth has quaked before
Moved by the sound of His voice
Seas that are shaken and stirred
Can be calmed and broken for my regard

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well

Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
It is well with me

Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see

And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea

So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name

It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul
It is well with my soul

[image: personal, taken somewhere between Melbourne and Tasmania]

Instructions for a Bad Day

Earlier this month I stumbled across this video and knew I had to share it with you – Instructions for a Bad Day. Included below are the words to the poem. Be inspired, empowered, and calmed. x


“There will be bad days. Be calm. Loosen your grip, opening each palm slowly now. Let go. Be confident. Know that now is only a moment, and that if today is as bad as it gets, understand that by tomorrow, today will have ended.

Be gracious. Accept each extended hand offered, to pull you back from the somewhere you cannot escape.

Be diligent. Scrape the gray sky clean. Realize every dark cloud is a smoke screen meant to blind us from the truth, and the truth is whether we see them or not – the sun and moon are still there and always there is light.

Be forthright. Despite your instinct to say “it’s alright, I’m okay” – be honest. Say how you feel without fear or guilt, without remorse or complexity. Be lucid in your explanation, be sterling in your oppose.

If you think for one second no one knows what you’ve been going through; be accepting of the fact that you are wrong, that the long drawn and heavy breaths of despair have at times been felt by everyone – that pain is part of the human condition and that alone makes you a legion. We hungry underdogs, we risers with dawn, we dissmisser’s of odds, we blesser’s of on — we will station ourselves to the calm. We will hold ourselves to the steady, be ready player one.

Life is going to come at you armed with hard times and tough choices, your voice is your weapon, your thoughts ammunition — there are no free extra men, be aware that as the instant now passes, it exists now as then. So be a mirror reflecting yourself back, and remembering the times when you thought all of this was too hard and you’d never make it through.

Remember the times you could have pressed quit — but you hit continue.

Be forgiving. Living with the burden of anger, is not living. Giving your focus to wrath will leave your entire self absent of what you need. Love and hate are beasts and the one that grows is the one you feed.

Be persistent. Be the weed growing through the cracks in the cement, beautiful – because it doesn’t know it’s not supposed to grow there.

Be resolute. Declare what you accept as true in a way that envisions the resolve with which you accept it.

If you are having a good day, be considerate. A simple smile could be the first-aid kit that someone has been looking for. If you believe with absolute honesty that you are doing everything you can – do more.

There will be bad days, Times when the world weighs on you for so long it leaves you looking for an easy way out. There will be moments when the drought of joy seems unending. Instances spent pretending that everything is alright when it clearly is not, check your blind spot. See that love is still there, be patient.

Every nightmare has a beginning, but every bad day has an end. Ignore what others have called you. I am calling you friend.

Make us comprehend the urgency of your crisis. Silence left to its own devices, breed’s silence. So speak and be heard. One word after the next, express yourself and put your life in the context — if you find that no one is listening, be loud. Make noise. Stand in poise and be open. Hope in these situations is not enough and you will need someone to lean on. In the unlikely event that you have no one, look again.

Everyone is blessed with the ability to listen. The deaf will hear you with their eyes. The blind will see you with their hands. Let your heart fill their news-stands, Let them read all about it.

Admit to the bad days, the impossible nights. Listen to the insights of those who have been there, but come back. They will tell you; you can stack misery, you can pack disappear you can even wear your sorrow — but come tomorrow you must change your clothes. Everyone knows pain. We are not meant to carry it forever. We were never meant to hold it so closely, so be certain in the belief that what pain belongs to now will belong soon to then.

That when someone asks you how was your day, realize that for some of us — it’s the only way we know how to say, be calm. Loosen your grip, opening each palm, slowly now — let go.”

My Name Is Hope

:: this post is part of the ‘hope’ series. it includes bits + pieces of my journey with depression, anxiety + insomnia with the hope that it will illuminate, expose, + help ::


Hope. If you’ve followed this space for any amount of time, you’d know that I love hope. Last year when I was going through the journey of anxiety and depression (read my story here), hope was the anchor that got me through. During that time, and still even now, I seek out books, information, blogs, and more from people on these topics. Why? Because it’s important and integral to be somewhat knowledgeable on these types of areas of life — especially when it’s one you’re personally going or have gone through.

Enter this book — My Name is Hope: Anxiety, depression, and life after melancholy, by John Mark Comer.

It’s hands down the best resources I’ve ever come across on depression.

“Some people wake up happy. Others wake up sad. I am one of those other people. You know – depressed people… Or maybe, better said, I was one of those people. My story is one of failure and success. Defeat and victory. Ignorance and wisdom. But more than anything, my story is one of healing.”

What I love about this book is, well, everything. The cover, content, paper inside, design… everything. Originally reading it last year, I remember loving it so much because it felt like someone had put a lot of work into it — they had put value on it, thus valuing me, the reader.

Parts covered:

+ Movement One: the power of solidarity, defining terms, the cause and effect(s)

+ Movement Two: digging up the roots (sins), dirt under your fingernails (struggles), the art of repentance

+ Movement Three: the mind – a tricky monster to tame, the body – more than a prison, come out of hiding, praying your guts out


What sets this book a part from other books on depression I’ve read is that John explores the lives of those in the Bible who dealt with emotional pain, were downcast and depressed too – including Jesus: “The Creator himself is not spared from the assault of creation’s sorrow” (p48).

What sets this book a part is its holistic approach — the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental aspects are all in balance. This is refreshing, especially because it comes from someone who’s walked the journey and is a pastor.

What sets this book a part is the brutal honesty from John. He bares his story for all to see and shows that he’s human.

He tells you about his first brush with depression — was on a missions trip and started “feeling sad. Really sad. I remember laying down at my bunk at night and thinking, Why am I down?” Fast forward some years later and in the midst of his misery and hitting rock bottom, he literally meets Hope while teaching a room full of college students.

It’s a powerful story.

And the world needs more people who tell their story. I’m thankful that John chose to not just tell his, but to also equip, encourage, illuminate, and empower others on the journey too.

{Some favourite quotes}:

“Anxiety is temporary atheism.” p81 [ouch!]

“Worry can be a gift because it shows us what we are really passionate about.” p82

“Perfectionism is a recipe for misery.” p96

“The only thing that is real is the present. Right here. Right now. The past is a memory. The future is a shot in the dark. The moment is where we live.” p102

“Hope does not put us to shame. Hope is indestructible. Hope refuses to give up. Hope never caves in… Hope screams at you every day. She calls to you, invites you, and refuses to shut up.” p206-7


If you’re going or been through depression/anxiety, know someone who is, or simply want to know more about it, I highly encourage you to get this book. It’s such a valuable resource and one that I read over and over again.

The My Name Is Hope website also includes resources and more – check it out.

And above all remember, there is always hope.

Featured Around The Web: Strong & Trustworthy Anchor of Hope


Through the week I contributed over at A Woman Inspired in a post called Strong & Trustworthy Anchor of HopeIn it I share a little bit about about my journey with depression and anxiety, plus some practical bits and pieces. Enjoy the read :)

“I’ve always been one to giggle and laugh at everything. In fact, I still giggle and laugh at everything. Having grown up in church, part of an amazing family, and never had any rebellious teenage years, many assume I had life “easy”. And to an extent, I did. But we all have situations we go through and stories to tell as a result….”

 Get the whole post here.