On the 22nd June I flew to LA from Florida. The next day a friend and I would begin our road trip to Dallas from LA. It felt significant to me that the name of my Uber driver was, “Angel” and that I was flying to the city of angels, Los “Angel”es. I was also amazed to see the word “HOLLYWOOD” on the back of the Uber car when I arrived at the airport! I took a picture, as something about it felt profound as the Lord keeps speaking to me about Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general.
I arrived into LAX to be picked up by a friend. I laughed aloud when I saw in the front pouch a little honey bear sitting there, ready for my arrival. On its front were the words “RAW & UNFILTERED” in bold capitals. This was a little extra treat to my heart.
We then drove to Abbott Kinney and almost immediately when we arrived, I was amazed to see a shop on the other side of the street for sale that had an address of “1222”. I couldn’t believe my eyes, as this moment sparked dreams to life immediately in me. The fascinating part about this was the fact that the last time I was on that same street I had bravely declared that one day I would own a shop along Abbott Kinney that would change lives and set people free. Then to see a shop with one of my favourite numbers felt, again, like a little sign from heaven to keeping dreaming and believing.
Friends gathered for drinks at the “Butcher’s Daughter” cafe and ironically I ordered a “Honeybee” juice. It seemed fitting!
- “Love you” balloon
The next morning we set off for Arizona. It felt like a dream come true to start making tracks to a place that has been on my dream lists for the past 10 years – the Grand Canyon. The drive was super easy and didn’t feel like long, despite it taking about 7 hours. Those hours consisted of a wild mix of weathers from torrential rain, bright sun, thick clouds and ash clouds from recent extreme fires. It was crazy to experience the stark differences in such a short time frame. Yet the beautiful American roads stayed the same, their wide stunning views of the countryside and trees and a lot of nothingness. What I do love about driving is the endless time one has for conversations and time to listen to podcasts in the car. After we chatted for hours we put a podcast on called “A Handful of Honey” that spoke straight to my heart along the theme of what my heart is most passionate about. It felt significant to listen to, as that is what I believe the Lord is really doing in this season – turning around what was meant to harm us, into something that could heal us.
The closer we got to the Grand Canyon, things were not looking promising. The rain was coming down heavier and heavier and my heart was sinking deeper and deeper. Internal voices of failure were going off constantly, worrying me that I had made the worst decision to come to the seventh wonder of the world on a day of thick clouds and torrential rain. It was not looking promising. While in my own little world of thinking through all the options, I realised the signs were saying for us to expect long waits for up to two hours. Things were looking more and more dim. While sitting in the line for the entrance to the Grand Canyon park, I began to wonder if we should just call it quits and go to our glamping air bnb early that afternoon. With tenacity and perseverance in her eyes, Emily suggested we soldiered on into the Grand Canyon. Once we had fully decided that was our decision, something switched inside me. It was as if a glimmer of hope turned on. I suddenly remembered stories I had heard of when a man I had met, Chuck Parry, would share how he would pray for the weather to turn and would thank the Lord for the smallest bit of blue sky he could see, until the whole sky turned blue. He would take photos of the process of literally watching the skies split. So I thought to myself, now is my turn! I scanned the sky to find a patch of blue sky and in struggling to find any, I then caught a glimpse of the tiniest slither of vaguely blue sky and began to thank the Lord for it, while filming the process. What happened next was stunning. As we waited in the line, edging forward the tiniest bits at a time, I literally watched as the blue began to increase as I got outrageously happy about its existence. Until when we were right by the entrance gates of Grand Canyon the sun was fully shining and the clouds had completely split. I was blown away. I took photos and videos of the process. Then as we drove through the gates and into the main drive up to the car park, I began to declare that maybe because of the rain we might get to see a rainbow. I videoed myself declaring that we would see one in faith that when we did it would be a beautiful reference for God’s goodness. At this point my faith was high and I had a heart expectant for the best gifts a daughter could dream to receive. This is something I am constantly learning and being blown away about from the Lord, he is the wildest pursuer and giver of phenomenal gifts. He knows what we love and LOVES the joy it brings us in receiving the best.
It was a radical moment for me of learning the power of trust and faith in a moment when the facts were not lining up with my dreams at all. It was an empowering moment of activating faith and seeing the power of declarations and the deep knowledge of God’s character in the face of defeat. That was the moment I got to realise the power of hope. Hope truly is seeing beyond the clouds for the sunshine and rainbow on the other side. I have to say that personally in that moment I had needed a friend to press through with me to believe that there could be something good on the other side.
When we arrived to the car park, the sun was fully shining, the floor was glimmering from the rain that had previously fallen and we began our walk with smiles spread over our faces. We were simply in awe of this gift. My heart leapt and skipped a beat when our feet reached the edge of the abyss. The views before us were heavenly. Endless ridges and cliffs lined the horizon. It was breathtakingly beautiful. I reached into my pocket and pulled out my scarves and danced with the one that looks like a butterfly, right on the edge. Emily captured a picture of me that literally looked like I was about to take flight. Funnily enough the name I gave the scarf is “Rest and Take Flight”.
As we began to walk along the trail I was overcome with a feeling like never before. I felt this sense as if I was literally living in the reality of a dream. The best way to describe it was as if I had stepped into a storybook of wonder and dreams coming true. I began to externally process with Emily about the beauty of living in our dreams and the fact that I am a believer that as we step into our dreams, we allow others to step into theirs. At one of the viewpoints we were asked to take a photograph of some people and they kindly took one of us in exchange. We walked to the next view point and saw the same family there too. Something about them surprised me and I wondered if they were into witchcraft, from the sense I was getting. Then just as we were about to walk on, a younger looking girl, who was a part of their family stood weirdly next to me, almost to mark her ground and I knew in that moment what I was up against in the spirit. I began to speak in tongues and pray prayers of protection and covering. Emily and I walked a little further and went off the path to pray and worship. We sang super loudly over the cliffs and heard our voices echo over the land. From that moment on we never saw that family again.
We began to walk again and weren’t sure exactly where we wanted to be for sunset. After looking at the map, we knew in a moment. I saw the name “Bright Angel” on the map and couldn’t believe it that another sign was leading us to where we needed to be. We aimed for the hut where Bright Angel was and made it just in time to watch sunset. As we came around the corner, I spotted three girls who looked just like models. I commented saying how beautiful they were and wondered if they had modelled before. They told me that they had tried but didn’t get into an agency. I mentioned how I dream of setting up a modelling agency and would scout them then and there if I could. I realised in that moment that I was holding three of the scarves I had made and asked if they might kindly model them for me.
It was a stunning golden light that was beginning to shine and I captured so many shots of each of them with the Canyon in the backdrop. It was a surreal sight as the honey light of the sun pierced through the silk and brought the scarves to life.
As they were modelling and I was photographing, I began to feel a few drops of rain. To my surprise I looked up to see half of the sky looking incredibly stormy. Earlier there hadn’t been a sight of cloud and so I was amazed to see them surrounding us. Then from behind me I heard someone excitedly pointing towards the sky saying they could see a rainbow.
In awe that the moment I had believed for had arrived, I looked up to see the faintest little rainbow. Then within no time at all I watched as the rainbow became stronger an stronger until it was a full arched rainbow. Plus it turned out not only to be one, but two full rainbows. It was such a miraculous and unreal moment getting to experience such a sight. What added to the extraordinary experience in front of the seventh wonder of the world, was that we had previously overheard from a tour guide that the Grand Canyon proves that the flood happened. To know that the rainbow was first formed after the flood, as a covenant between God and man, it was a moment I felt privileged to experience right in front of me. It again was a confirmation of the Lord’s presence with us.
In that moment I felt it was good timing to tell the girls about the scarves they had each chosen to model. I explained that each one has its own story and name. I started with one of the girls and described the journey behind it and what it meant and how I felt the Lord wanted to encourage her too with the meaning behind the scarf. I wasn’t sure if what I was saying meant anything to her, until suddenly tears started to pour down her face and she explained she’d recently found out some hard news about her body from the doctor. Her sister beside her then began to weep too and her mother on her right as well. It was such a powerful moment of the Lord encountering each of their hearts with hope and truth. Amazingly she had picked up the scarf I created during a really tough time, that I had declared over, that “others would wear and know hope”. After I explained that in the very places that life had stung her, the Lord wanted to heal her, she explained it was the voice of hope she needed to hear. I was deeply touched too to see my step of faith be rewarded with a beautiful encounter of God’s love. I was also reminded in that moment of Emily sharing in the car that she felt we would encounter a girl that day that we would minister to and prophesy over. I had forgotten that until the moment we were praying over the girls abs I knew that her vision of that happening was for this moment! It was truly extraordinary and blew us all away. I then shared with each of the other girls too about the scarves they had picked out and those meant a lot to them too.
The rain started to pour down heavier and heavier. So we rushed in our goodbyes and Emily and I ran the whole way back to the car. Buzzing after such a wild encounter the rain didn’t seem to faze us much as we hopped into the car and began our drive to our glamping site in the dark.
As we began to drive towards our glamping site, the fact that it was pitch black added to the anticipation and nerves about finding this place. As we drove the moonlight guided the way. It was breaking through the clouds in such a stunning formation as the song “Infinity” played in the car. I felt like I was in the scene of a movie. We started heading towards the sketchy looking parts of the town we had driven past on route to the Canyon and I started to wonder if we should call the guy at the glamping site to make sure it was legitimate. As we got closer, we turned onto a dirt track. This was when it felt the most freaky, as we couldn’t see anything around us and we could only see the outlines of little camper vans and make shift homes made just off the dirt path. In that moment of slight panic, I began to thank the Lord for His angelic protection and for the angels that have gone before us. The car filled with peace and we decided to keep moving onwards, trusting our little home for the night would be at the end of the trail.
We followed the instructions and arrived at the campsite right in time for a community dinner under the moonlight. I was relieved to know it was a safe place and full of wonderful people. It was such a magical campsite with five glamping tents and a beautiful, well lit path from the lanterns. We arrived to see their long rectangular table filled with people eating and speaking over a taco dinner and a lantern, lit table. It felt like a dream to see people gathered around the table who had all just met, sharing their adventures they had had and were yet to experience. I soon came to find out that free men around the table were called “Charles” which means “free man”. This felt significant to me that out of only about 10-15 people, 3 had the same name. I knew in that moment that the Lord wanted to set those men free tonight. During dinner I was overcome with joy. I found that I couldn’t stop laughing at what didn’t even feel incredibly funny. I simply couldn’t contain the level of joy I felt and didn’t try to keep it in. I just let it overflow. To my surprise, the table were so impacted by it that the owner of the place started to call me the “wild life”. I explained that I felt the Lord wanted to flood hearts with joy and laughter that night, as joy is like medicine and is so good for ones heart. I could feel that some people around the table needed an infusion of hope and joy and almost didn’t have a grid for the explosion of joy bursting out of me. It was stunning to see and to open eyes to the power of joy. It was a breakthrough moment for me too, as often I don’t like to make a scene. But I felt like I got to fully embrace the moment, the light and use it to lead others into truth.
Just before we were about to go to sleep Emily went outside to capture a photo. With a big longing to see the Milky Way, sadly the clouds were covering it. But she showed me a photo that she had taken and sent to a friend, who had sent back the photo with the outline of an angel around the sky. To our shock, it was another confirmation to us of the fact that angels had gone before us, as her friend had no idea about the number of times we had seen angel signs along the way within the last 24 hours. It was a sweet gift to go to sleep with, knowing that we were surrounded by the angelic and were brimming over with thankfulness for such a magical day!