A God encounter in 1993 changed everything for Heidi. “One encounter with the living God changed me. My eyes were no longer fixed on myself, or my lack; I had encountered the writer of the words I had read, He was real, and He was for me. I no longer had to squeeze life out of the words in a book, the Word was living, and I had met Him! I was in love, captivated, He would take my breath away. I would run to be alone with Him, run to worship Him, run to just be intimate with Him in the ‘secret place.”
Since encountering the love of God Heidi has served in various roles in the local church as pastor, lecturer & speaker. Along with her husband Mark & son Samuel, she has run Israel Tours – “Walking in His Footsteps”, where the Bible is brought to life before your very eyes. She founded ‘Hope with Heidi’ as an avenue to reach the everyday person, with the unconditional love, unfailing grace and hope found only in Jesus. Heidi writes as well as presents devotionals of hope on radio stations across Australia. She has a BA degree in Ministry and is the author of the book “One – Complete Intimacy with God.” Heidi, Mark and Samuel live on the beautiful northern beaches of Sydney, Australia.
“There are no secret formulas to prayer, there is only a secret place…” Heidi
WHERE IT ALL BEGAN
I walked into church in 1991, a mere shadow of who I am today. I had faced the realities of abuse, sickness, loss and manipulation to name a few; and I yearned to be whole, to love and be loved by the God who saved me. A lot was learned in my first years attending Church. For the next three years I tried, and fought, and strived, to ‘feel,’ to experience His love; but I kept on coming short. I felt nothing. The longer this went on, the worse the pain of it became. I never missed a church service or prayer meeting. In my limited understanding of God, one thing I did know was that He was meant to be experienced.
Somehow, I knew what I needed was found in Him. I didn’t just want to read about God, I wanted to know Him and be known by Him. God as my heavenly Father, Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, and the Holy Spirit as my guide and comforter.
Three years into my journey, I was struck with a trial that rocked me to the core and sent my head into a spin. For the next few months I struggled to lift my voice to God in prayer. All I could do was write letters to Him. Love letters. Desperate cries for help. I had become a zombie, a walking dead. My mind was so heavy with every negative thought that kept flashing its way across it, reminding me of every bad thing that had ever happened to me, and every bad thing I had ever done. I felt like the pit was a place in my mind, a place that I would regularly visit and call home.
One mild evening I was in my room at home alone, this night was to be the most significant night of my life thus far, I just had to make it through. I had written a love letter to the Lord, and lay my head down to rest. Once again my mind took over, and the accusations against me, and mine against everyone else, began to dance through my brain. I was questioning the Scripture that says, “a man reaps what he sows.” All I kept thinking was that I must have been an incredibly wicked young girl to reap the pain and torture I was experiencing. Then the next test presented itself. Well then, is God real? How could this loving God who I had never experienced, who, in my fragile perspective had never shown me any love, be real? My mind was spiraling out of control. He HAD to be real, I thought. He just had to be. If I didn’t have Him, I had nothing. I felt at this moment a voice rise up on the inside of me saying; “Heidi you choose, life or death – you choose?” My mind was slipping. What did I want? The thought of the Lord not being real was too much for me to bear, but the thought of a life of more pain was pushing me forward to the edge of the abyss. Suddenly, I cried out from deep within my soul that whether I ever experienced His love or not I was going to serve Him regardless for the rest of my life. It seemed like all of heaven opened up, and a love like I had never known, poured down all over me. I sat in my little room feeling, yes feeling, His love. I knew He loved me. He so loved me. His amazing grace touched me and opened my eyes.
A two-fold miracle had taken place in my heart. When I saw Him in all His mercy and kindness for the first time, I saw myself, a sinner, saved by grace. I was a sinner just like everyone who had ever danced across my mind. They had been held ransom in my mind and heart to a debt they could never have paid. That night each person was released from the prison I had created for them. I loved them all.
It is a beautiful thing that all it takes is one touch. One encounter with the living God changed me. My eyes were no longer fixed on myself, or my lack; I had encountered the writer of the words I had read, He was real, and He was for me. I no longer had to squeeze life out of the words in a book, the Word was living, and I had met Him! I was in love, captivated, He would take my breath away. I would run to be alone with Him, run to worship Him, run to just be intimate with Him in the ‘secret place.’
So, that’s where it all began for me! It’s here where I still run to and draw all my strength and comfort from. I love you Lord ….