Walking in Delight

Colorful sky, PurplePhoenixJourney.comWalking In Delight

Walking in delight
Every action, every deed
Every thought
Slower speed
“Halt” I say
The race is off
The rules are a lie
The referees scoff
I’m in a place
Slowing my pace
Gazing around
Sky, PurplePhoenixJourney.comPleasant the sound
Of each little thought
Savoring sweet
Oppression has ended
I hear a new beat
It’s Your heart, it’s Your song
I can now sing along
It’s a dance, it’s a gander
Delightful meander
Erasing my past and my whole list of tasks
I can see, I can see!
I can finally be me
Not controlled, not contrived
Just a freedom to thrive
And relax in my breathing
The enemy seething…
Sunset, PurplePhoenixJourney.comWith no place to land on me
No place to stand on me
What shall I do now?
Things here are so light
Why was life just to do’s, and each day a big fight?
I want life on Your terms, God
To walk in delight

I Cannot Help

I Cannot Help

I cannot help but magnify
I cannot help but glorify
I cannot help but worship
And adore Your name

guitar, Corrie Van Velzer PurplePhoenixJourney.comMemories, captured in musical notes and lyrics, float in from the past, bringing tears… pain, and joy.
How could this be?
How could this be?
How could this be?
I cannot…
I cannot help…
I cannot help but… worship.
Thinking of the amazing sweetness that has been released over these last three years of pain.
Sweetness of God’s Spirit.
His attentiveness to my cries.
Cries to be known, heard, understood,
Cries to understand, cries to … cries for everything.
So many tears.
So many triumphs.

Truth emerging, clouded over, then emerging again.
I continue to stand for Truth, for the reality of God’s heart, God’s kingdom, even as the outcome I so desperately wanted is now surrendered and out of my grasp.
Surrendered and at His feet.
It’s not mine to grasp.
Not mine to cling to.

But … it is mine to call out FREEDOM in the face of injustice.

Freedom, God's loveFREEDOM in the face of whatever circumstances.
Whatever outcome.
I walk in freedom. I walk in joy.
I choose life.
Abundant life.
Life with my Creator. Life in His capable hands.
The hands of the One who sees outside of our time.
Who declares Truth and the enemy trembles and scurries away, terrified.
There is no one like OUR GOD.
He is the great I AM.
He sees. He redeems. He restores.
1111, full circle.
Burying the remembrances. Never to be forgotten.
Two doves circle, dead papers crumpled in their mouths, waiting to land.
Waiting for their time to deliver.
Birds, Experiencing GodSignaling one kind of end. But also a beginning.
Bittersweet messengers of pain and joy.

Dandelion, God's graceLiving Truth reigns.
OVERCOMING ALL. Outside of time.
A new season to begin.
Closure. Freedom.
A new name, vision…
Restoration.

Waiting here for you
With my hands lifted high in praise
It is You, I adore
Singing Hallelujah.

I cannot help but worship


 

Twist of the Truth

Twist of the Truth

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8

stormI have identified a thought in my life that paralyzes me, keeps me from talking to God, keeps me fearfully “working” toward…. toward….what?

I push myself to the limits, trying to stay above water.

Busy
Busy
Busy
Swirling storm of productivity.
Endless lists.
Never finished.

I finally wrote out that thought the other day: “I must be perfect – operating at peak efficiency and performance – otherwise I’m a failure.”

Yes, that makes sense, doesn’t it? I want to be excellent. I can be. I’ve tasted it.
Wow, but wait.
What is the goal?

My thought, the thought I have every day. It drives me.
That thought is… a lie.
A twist of the truth, twisted excellence into perfectionism – the endless black abyss of “almost there” emptiness.

FLOWERAs I pondered this the other day, I found myself furiously writing and experiencing the presence and peace of God. He was teaching me a new mantra, Truth to speak over myself when I feel paralyzed by this fear, this lie. I write it so that I may go to it and speak it out over myself, daily.

If you deal with this same lie, this same paralysis of fear, I encourage you to speak it out over yourself as well.

piercing lightTRUTH:

I’m still in the game.

I’m allowed to take two seconds right now in the Spirit and enter His presence and rest. I am allowed to stay in a peaceful state of mind, with no worry or fear, even though I haven’t done things perfectly.

My imperfection and weakness is my access point to enter His presence. It is what makes others relate to me. It can repeatedly be transformed into peace.

It is critically important that I have slow, unproductive times and days. Fear is a force coming against me because God has a high calling for me.

Relax.

What would fill me up right now? What do I want to do?

There is nothing to fear. Perfection is NOT the goal. Intimacy is.

I can do nothing in my own strength.
This is easy! Fun!
I’m right on track!
I can’t wait to do this!
It’s not about me!
Of course I will feel inadequate!
He is setting me up to recognize Him!
I can’t take credit!
Feeling weak? Perfect! I’m surrendered.

I break any agreements I’ve made, known or unknown, with the spirit of fear.

The fact that I am feeling fear does NOT mean that I have failed. It means I’m being attacked because I am a threat to the enemy.

This is an opportunity to cling to God, to stop, and seek his help to resolve the situation, to sweep my fear under His wings, to take care of me, to show me His way, His plan.

eagleWalking in freedom takes practice. Remember that this is a fight. We must declare truth over ourselves and surround ourselves with it.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Standing

Standing

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. ~ Ephesians 6:12-13

Here I am, God.
Standing.
I’ve been standing for over 2 years.
Fighting.
Longing.
Crying.
Waiting.
Catching glimpse after glimpse of Your world. standing for marriage
The Spirit realm.
A place of beauty, of restoration, of wholeness.
Your kingdom
Come to earth.
I’m here and I taste it.
I’m here and I feel it.
Dipping and dipping, again and again
In your stream.
Refreshed, healed, moved to tears that flow in joy,

Stream, Corrie Van Velzer

Flow in sadness, flow in longing.
Waiting for my outcome.
It’s what I want most!

Or is it?
Is it… anymore?
My idol. My blanket. My security.
Gone for so long now, so long.
And in this world, no sign of return.
Only deeper and deeper entrenchment into a place
Permanently out of my life.
How could it be?
How could it be?
How could it be?
My love, my best friend.
The one I’ve seen in those glimpses
So many times.
Restored. Healed. Beaming Your light of Truth.
So WHY, God?
Why did you show me those glimpses? So many times?
Those dreams, those visions?
The REALITY of Your world.
Bigger than this world.
More real than this world.
Why lead me that way… to now sense that the chapter might be closing?
Why?
Why?
Why?
You restored once. You can restore again.
Why?
Why?
Why?
I’ve been standing, God! I’ve done EVERYTHING You asked me to.
I’ve waited.
I’ve stood.
Here I am, God.
Do you want me to keep standing?
You know I will.
I will only stand with You.
Obey You.
Move forward with You.
My hand in Your hand.
How do I move forward. . . ?
I know it can’t be in defeat.

standing for marriage

Corrie,
I win. I won. I HAVE victory.
I have poured my victory… into you, onto you, through you, around you.
Permanently.
It is reality.
You have learned to walk in My reality.
My victory.
My kingdom come now
To earth.
Standing is about me.

Blackness around me.
Then pinpricks of light.
Coming through the dark abyss.
Beautiful beams, streaming through.
Patches to bathe in.
Soaking, soaking, soaking.
Changing, changing, changing.
Learning to see that light.Standing for marriage
Recognize it. Stand in it.
The kingdom.
Your Kingdom.
Come. Coming. Here.
That’s where I am standing.
I see it!
It’s You!
For two years, it’s about…
Yes. I see it.
Outcome was my entry point.
The fuel, driving me, for so long…
Desperate
Longing
Seeking
Straining

Standing for marriageNow I’m here with You.
I’m surrounded by light.
I’m so warm.
I love this place, with You.
Better than any place I’ve been before.
My clinging fingers loosen their grasp.
On outcome.

I watch it slip away.
My love, my best friend.
My tears flow.
My love pours out.
It’s ok.
It’s ok.
It’s ok.
It would have been great.
It would have been Truth.
It was right to stand. It is where You wanted me.
So I stood.
And bathed in the light.
Here I am.
Here I am.
Here I am.
Standing. For Truth. In Truth.
In obedience.
Chasing light and victory.
Letting go of outcome
Only You knew the time.
My time is now.
The door of my heart is closing…
To outcome.
I see a new story, unfolding for my life.
You are showing me.
Standing for marriageBrilliant, so beautiful.
The tapestry flips.
Just like that.

Well done, I feel You say.
My work is complete.
You are free to move forward.

So my love pours out…
One last time.
It’s only love now.
No more anger, no more bitterness, no more biting pain.

Goodbye, outcome.
Could this be real? Could this be right?
Yes, there’s peace here. Life here. Victory here.
A shift.
I find myself writing goodbye.
My love, my best friend.
I will always remember the beauty,
The light
The wonder
That we shared with Him, with each other.
His love for you I felt, overflowing. I feel, overflowing.
May you find and choose joy, victory, and light… on your journey.
Our story is not over, but our union, it is.
Now I walk forward, in a new direction.
There is victory ahead, for me, for you, and all around. Standing for marriage

Corrie,
I win. I won. I HAVE victory.
I have poured my victory… into you, onto you, through you, around you.
Permanently.
It is reality.
You have learned to walk in My reality.
My victory.
My kingdom come now
To earth.
Standing is about me.

Ok, God.
Here I am.
Standing.
Standing.
I’m still standing.

I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being I announce them to you. ~ Isaiah 42:8-9Standing for marriage

 

 

The Dawn Breaks

headphones, Corrie Van Velzer, Hearing GodThe Dawn Breaks

Coming home from work, a normal day.
Water bottle… Headphones… Check.
The whir of the treadmill.
The waves of my pain, frustration, anger.
Why God? When will this pain end?
How could this be happening?
Where are You?

Walking, singing, walking, stomping, raging, walking, yelling, singing.

Waiting for the sunrise
Waiting for the day
Waiting for a sign that I’m where you want me to be
You know my heart is heavy, and the hurt is deep…

Here I am.
Looking out the window from my Faith room.
Sorry I’m loud, neighbors.
I can’t help it.
My whole life is coming undone, changing.
God, show me where you are in this.

Moon, Hearing the Voice of GodWalking, singing, walking singing.

I looked down to notice my cell phone lighting up.
My eyes scanned the words of a new text:
“Corrie, after the night, the dawn breaks. I really enjoyed meeting you.”

iPhone, Corrie Van Velzer, Hearing the voice of God

Then I heard it…
A part of the song playing that very moment:

I can see the dawn is breaking.
I am feeling overtaken
With your love
With your love
I don’t know what I can offer
In this moment I surrender
To Your Love

My heart was already beating fast.
Step, step, step.
Did she really just text those words? At that moment?

Ok, breathing.
The dawn breaks.
Yes, click.

This new friend and I had been talking briefly about starting women’s groups at her restaurant in Shanghai.
A place for women to share their lives, their hearts, their stories, with no pretense.
No masks.
Just sharing real life.

And here I am now with You, God. In this moment.
Hearing Your voice.
A raw and intimate moment.
I’m amazed how You know my heart. You know what’s on my mind.
You know how I tick.
You know I was wondering whether or not to pursue this opportunity to start this group.

And now I have my nudge from You.
Move forward. I’m in this. I’m with you, Corrie. I see you.

dawn, Corrie Van Velzer, Hearing The Voice of God

That’s all I need.
You’re here with me.
My marriage has come undone. My identity shaken and stripped to its core.
A hellish and painful night, but now…
A new dawn is breaking.
You have a plan for me.

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Here I Am

Welcome to Phoenix, Purple Phoenix JourneyHere I Am

Why is it that some days I feel like I’m starting at zero again?
All my growth down the drain.
Locked in fear.
Everything is so loud.
Can’t focus, can’t move, going about my days in a daze.
My to-do list screaming at me and paralyzing me.
Second guessing every move.
Pending implosion.
Fear.
Fear.
Overwhelming fear.
Of what?
Missing some critical detail, of something … or …
Discouragement. Just feeling distant.
Fighting and jabbing in the dark.
But it’s so dark.
darknessSo dark.
Why do I have to keep fighting?
Why?
Comfort used to come so easy. It still can. It’s there. Tempting me to partake and wallow in shallow escapes.
From the fear.
The lonely distance from walking in purpose. With Him. God. Him.
Is He really there?
Is God’s voice just my wandering imagination?
Am I really back at zero?
Where are You?

Then … a moment.
A tiny flutter.
A tiny strand.
One song.
Then another.
A sliver of light.

carNo, I don’t want to face this.
I don’t want to face this fear. The ache. The promise of Life that feels so elusive.
Why isn’t it easier?
But then again, a flutter.
Light piercing through.
Breathing.
You’re here. THIS is reality. I’m not in control.
Receive from You? Receive?
But I’ve been so distant. I’ve chosen everything but You.
This path is so narrow. Almost surreal. But what IS reality anyway?
Your reality. I’m here as your child.
Floating away.
On my tiny strand
….   of light in the great darkness. The great brokenness. That is the world.
Overwhelming darkness.
Overwhelming brokenness.
How could it be so dark, so broken?
Why is the path so narrow?

strand of light

But it’s there. It’s here.
I see the path.
You’re showing me.
Can I really trust You?
This tiny strand?
Ok, one tiny step. Here I go.
One tiny step onto the strand…

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light brighter

My senses are already flooded.
With light.
Yes, I trust You.
Here I am again, your child. My hand in Yours.
Here I am.
Here I am.
That’s all I must say, all You require.
Here I am.
Here I am.
I am yours.
You have Life.
You have endless gifts to give me.
Understanding, rest, peace, perspective.
None of my fearful striving has given me these.
Precious gifts.
Thank you.
How could I be enjoying this moment so much?
How could the fear be sucked away so quickly?
Chasing after you. On my tiny strand.
Growing brighter and brighter.

Soaring in Phoenix.
And resting … finally.

sunsetOf course I had gotten stuck.
In fear.
The opposition is getting more and more intense.
I’ll take that as a compliment.
Now let’s move.

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed…

2 Cor 4:6-8a

Waterfalls of Healing

Waterfalls of Healing

Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. (Psalm 30:2)

Corrie, this is not about you.
Not about your story.
This is not about your marriage.
This is not about your husband.
This is about Me.
This is about My story.
I want you to be a part of it.
Listen, Corrie.
Listen.
Step into My story.
I want to use you to help people.
To help them experience My healing to their hearts.
To set captives free.
Like I am setting you free.

One October day, two phone calls:
“Corrie, I can’t make it to the countryside anymore. My mom is sick.”
“Corrie, we can’t make it this weekend. We need to stay home and get some down time.”

Three friends cancelled. Ok, so, change of plans. I still want to go the countryside tomorrow, but I guess I need to find some new people to come with me. The van was booked, the guest house rooms ready.

I was at the Surrender Youth Retreat in Shanghai, and standing in the back for one of the sessions, and I noticed a girl on my right that I didn’t know too well. We were in the middle of a song, but I had this idea (that I sensed was God’s voice) to go over and pray for her.

But God, it’s the middle of a song.
Go pray for her.
(I waited until the next song.)
Go pray for her.
(I waited a little longer. Heart beating a little faster.)
Ok, here I go.

I tapped her on the shoulder, and asked her if I could pray for her.
Sure.

So I spoke out what was on my heart, which was a picture of Gideon (from the Bible) in the winepress, and God calling out to him that he was a warrior, a mighty man. Calling him by a new identity. And Gideon responding and stepping into it, his true identity.

I sensed that God was doing the same somehow in this girl, calling her forward also by a new identity, her true identity. So that is what I prayed. God, tell her how you see her. Empower her to step into that.
I gave her a hug, and then went back to singing the next song.

Oh yeah, the countryside. I need to find some people.

I asked a few people later on, at one of the breaks. Then I saw the girl I had prayed for standing with another girl, and mentioned the idea to them: to take a last minute trip with me to the countryside…. The next day. They said they would think about it.

Then… to my surprise, later that night, the girl I had prayed for walked over and said: “You know, I would actually love to go with you!”

I smiled, thrilled to have a buddy for the weekend.
It turns out she was the only one who could come.

Cool, God. I know You’re up to something.
Here we go.

Listen, Corrie.
Listen.
Step into My story.
I want to use you to help people.
To help them experience My healing to their hearts.
To set captives free.
Like I have set you free.

In the 6-hour drive up to the mountains, and until late the first night, her story tumbled out. She had a lot of old baggage, old lies, that were holding her back, causing her to disqualify herself from experiencing closeness with God.

I felt God’s voice whispering to me: Tell her she has permission to get back in the game. Tell her she is not disqualified.

We were sitting on a rock watching the sunrise on that very first morning, and the Titanic song came on (of course, as the Chinese adore that song and movie) from the speakers by building next to us.

Immediately the image of the two main characters looking out over the water came to mind for me. Then suddenly, this idea of finding water was there in my head, finding water and throwing rocks into it.

That was it! This girl needed to DO something as a symbol of the rejecting old things, the former things, the lies, the former self she was leaving behind.

So we planned a hike that day. A hike to a waterfall. We went back to the room to change our clothes, then set out on the path that soon led us to the crashing water sound. As we approached the modest sized Chinese waterfall, we spied a little rock outcropping away from the tourists.

Yes, this is the place.

We perched on the rocks over the water, and as I dug out a prayer to show her (that had been taught to me just 2 weeks prior), I didn’t even have to ask her if she was ready.

Tears were already welling up, and started dropping one by one into the water below. One by one along with each rock she threw – one for each feeling, word, or thought named from the past. Each stronghold, each thing coming against her, one by one.

Here is what she prayed, very simple but very powerful, filling in the blank with each thing coming against her (i.e., hopelessness, depression, etc.):

I nail ____________ to the cross.

I break all agreements I’ve made with ____________, known or unknown, and I repent of joining with ____________.

I ask You, Father, to send ____________ away from me.

Father, what do you want to give me in place of ____________?

At the end of each prayer, we actually asked God that final question, listening in our hearts to what we sensed He wanted to give her in place of each stronghold, each lie. Every time, either one or both of us had something pop into mind. (i.e., Freedom, Hope, Life, etc.)

So she would then say: “Holy Spirit, I receive your ___________”.

She had been hurting a long time, and her heart was wide open. My heart was focused. Calm. My senses were alive, and I remember the wind rustling in the trees, the water gurgling beneath our feet, the sun warming my back. God stopping time. Being in the moment with us.

It was actually kind of a dirty Chinese waterfall with some trash floating around, but we didn’t care.

We gazed down into the valley below with a sense of heaviness being lifted off.
We both felt it.
The prayers were intense and quick.
When we were done, we turned around to see a huge rainbow stretching across the rocks under the falls behind us.

We took off our shoes and waded in, the water crashing and sending off cool sprays of refreshment onto a pair of new friends.

Woohoo!! Freedom!!

Listen.
Keep listening, Corrie.
Step into My story.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. (Psalm 29:3-4)

 

Stepping Into Royalty

Stepping Into Royalty

I walked in silence through the bamboo forest. Zhejiang, China. Peaceful day.

Quiet. Beautiful. Suddenly finding myself in a conversation with God, tears rushing out like the waterfall on the path.

Say goodbye, Corrie.
No, how could I?
Say goodbye?
No, what do you mean?
What do you mean?
Like a funeral.
That time is over. That season is over.
Remember the good things, Corrie.
Remember what I did in that season.
Remember who he was to you in that season.
Remember the things I was to you through him in that season.
It was good, Corrie.
It was me.
I had so much good for you in that season, I want you reflect on it.
But God, it’s painful.
It’s so painful.
I don’t want to face all of that.
I miss so many things about us.
About You in us.
I know. I know.
God, I’m so tired.
I’m tired of this tension.
Tired of this sadness.
Tired of this longing.
Tired. Tired.
I want to be free.

Corrie, you are.
Remember what I spoke to you, Corrie. Remember.
There is a higher calling. If you choose it.
There is a word. I released a vision. Do you believe it will be fulfilled?
That it is being fulfilled?
That I am the God of the impossible?
Remember.
Remember.

So now I find myself here. Out of the bamboo forest, following God’s voice to the edge of a new season, a new chapter. A crossroads. Memories coming in waves. Memories from these last two years. Now fresh in my mind.

That first Christmas in crisis, 2010, praying with two friends in the US, and a picture of calm in the storm coming to mind for one of them. She said,

“Corrie, I sense God saying that he has a royal calling for you, in relationship with Him, in his kingdom. He has a deep level of faith He is offering you.

A level of intimacy with Him.
A place where more resources are accessed.
His heart.
Setting captives free.

You don’t have to choose it. It will be a painful road, a painful journey. Sacrifice. But there will be great reward. Great intimacy with Him.”

I chose this. I choose this. I keep choosing this. Level after level of surrender. Deeper and deeper. Waves getting higher. Calmness deeper.

I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.
Philippians 4:11

Whatever the circumstances
Whatever.
The.
Circumstances.

Yes, that is a royal calling. So aware of My presence that you just see up, not down, not in front of you.

Every problem, every conflict, every ounce of pain… an opportunity for training. Awake, awake, arise. Step into the place of royalty. Of strength. Of victory in the battle. Problems are opportunities to experience Me.

Reflecting back to 2011. Walking through life reading Hinds’ Feet on High Places (by Hannah Hurdard)… the journey of the main character “Much-Afraid” mirroring my own in an uncanny way. I got to this page in the book and my heart stopped, my world quiet. My world His:

Detour through the Desert

“Abraham was the first of my servants to come this way…then came Joseph, with tears and anguish of heart, and looked upon it too and learned the lesson of the furnace of fire. Since that time an endless succession of My people have come this way.

They came to learn the secret of royalty, and now you are here, Much-Afraid. You, too, are in the line of succession.

It is a great privilege, and if you will, you also may learn the lesson of the furnace and of the great darkness just as surely as did those before you.

Those who come down to the furnace go on their way afterwards as royal men and women, princes and princesses of the Royal Line.”

I choose this world. Your world, God. I choose to listen to your voice, God. I choose to walk by faith and not by sight. For a purpose bigger than just me. I choose to be immersed in Your reality. To find my hope there. Not in a person. Not in an outcome.

You restore me. You heal me. You equip me for this fight. You call me your warrior princess, daughter of the King.

Now to you who believe…you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:7,9

Goodbye to the former things.

The prison of fear I lived in.
The idol of my husband I clung to.

Stepping into royalty. My true identity, truly free.
I will not be shaken.