News & Articles
“If you’re always trying to be normal you’ll never know how amazing you can be.” – Dr. Maya Angelou
Often I will hear from the women in our program, “I just want to be normal!” How powerful this natural urge that we all have to be ‘normal’ is and yet, how destructive this urge can be, especially if we have dreams. When we are always concerned with what others think of us, we limit ourselves from ever living our full potential. When you always try to fit in, you risk losing yourself in the process. You sacrifice authenticity, which is what makes you who you really are.
What is “normal” anyway? Alfred Adler said, “the only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well”. There are countless people who exhaust themselves every moment of the day as they seek to portray their “normal”. But when you finally get to know them, you realise they have been wearing masks. When we. Constantly seek others’ approval, we waste energy that could be used more effectively to be channelled towards our strengths.
When we invest our energy appearing normal, we stunt our personal growth and limit our God given potential. When you focus on what others think of you all the time you end up doing things you don’t necessarily want to do, and life is too short and too valuable for that.
However, when you finally decide to courageously be yourself and let your unique you begin to shine, you can truly impact others. You unconsciously give others permission to also be themselves. We all have the capacity to be impact makers in our own lives and in turn influencers for good in the lives of others. I’m grateful that Destiny Haven creates a culture for women to learn that it is amazing to become their own, beautiful, courageous selves. Normal is average and our Diamonds are anything but that!
Artwork completed in Art Therapy by Lucy.
John 8:46 “who the Son sets free is free indeed.”
“I went through a season of holding great unforgiveness and it was affecting every aspect of my life. I believed by holding onto this ball of shards spiking me spiritually, emotionally and mentally, that I would somehow protect myself from being hurt again. I was afraid forgiving meant I’d forget and forgetting would allow me to be hurt again. However, unforgiveness was hurting me more than I can even explain.
Initially, I envisioned this image as a ball of shards that I held onto so long that my hands were bleeding, but when I finally chose to hand the ball of shards over to Jesus, suddenly I realised they’d been a protective shell I’d been wearing as a coping mechanism with the accompanying belief that ‘seeing my hurt will make you stop hurting me!’ At Destiny, I have learnt that hurt people do hurt people! I cannot control a person’s behaviour towards me, but I do have control over how and whether I choose to let it affect me. I can choose to respond in a way that will no longer
Some of you may remember the fundraiser that graduate and current staff member Tarese organised last year to begin raising funds to enable Janine and Lewis to get their kitchen, dining room, laundry and guest unit renovated. The house Janine and Lewis live in was built in 1930 and the kitchen was renovated around the 1960s, so as I’m sure you can imagine it was in dire need of some TLC!
We love seeing how God weaves people through our story here at Destiny Haven and these renovations were no exception. Jacoba Tiles very generously donated tiles for the job and Casey’s uncles, Ron and Mark Billing, came down for multiple trips to help with all of the work. We definitely couldn’t have done it without Ron and Mark’s help, we are so grateful for the numerous trips they both made, especially Ron. Not to mention all the hard work the women put in to help out in different ways.
As you can see in the photos the make-over is stunning and completely unrecognisable to the before photos. Maintaining our staff accommodation is so valuable in ensuring there is suitable housing onsite at Destiny Haven for the years to come, making sure we can provide comfortable homes for the volunteers who live onsite to help see broken lives restored. And we’re pleased to say Janine is thrilled with her new kitchen and has already enjoyed cooking the first of many meals!
We caught up with Lewis, Destiny Haven Co-Founder, friendly conversationalist and property management extraordinaire! See what he had to say.
Start date and current position with Destiny Haven: Co-Founder – here from the start!
What I like best about being a part of Destiny Haven: Helping people get their lives back on track.
Best part of my job: Connection – interacting with people from all different walks of life.
Worst part of my job: The impact of the workload on family.
Favourite place I have lived: Eagles Nest, Tasmania.
Personal motto: Be honest and truthful to oneself.
I’m happiest when: Having quality down time to myself.
I’m proudest of: The incredible family I have.
Favourite sports or pastimes: Football and spending time with other men out in the bush.
People would be surprised to know: I’m an introvert.
- Baptising my daughter Jessamyn in a spa bath in Tasmania.
- When all of Destiny – staff and diamonds – went to support my son Jarrod at a school performance.
- Baptising Tarese.
Favourite song, movie, book, or comedian: Movie: The Shawshank Redemption, Comedian: Danny DeVito, Book: Surrender to Love by David G. Benner, Song: How Deep the Father’s Love for Us
When I arrived at Destiny Haven I was in a very bad way. I was having an extremely hard time managing life and was desperately uncomfortable within myself, I had struggled on and off with drugs, alcohol, and abusive relationships for many years.
At 23 years old, I had basically given up on life before it had even really begun. Following the suicide of my father in late 2018 I reached the point where I couldn’t stop drinking or using drugs on my own and I knew it was going to take a miracle to get me out of the violent and co-dependent relationship that I was in. I felt broken and damaged beyond repair and there are no words for the fear that caused me.
Destiny has taught me that there is a whole different existence available to me if only I will get up and fight for it. God has already won the war, but it’s up to me to play my part in the battles. My life is important. It has purpose and value. I am a walking treasure that can choose more for myself from each thought and action to the bigger life decisions. The most valuable element of the program at Destiny has been the staff examples. The staff live openly in community and their commitment and dedication to God, the program and all they do is evident in their everyday lives. I have seen for myself what a life surrendered to God can achieve and the impact it has on other lives around it.
When I came here everyone, especially Jodie, kept telling me that I was going to have a brand-new life and that kind of annoyed me because I didn’t want a new life. I just wanted to know how to live the life I had been given. I wasn’t actually fully aware of what was holding me captive or in bondage until the education within this program set me free. John 8:36 says, ‘So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’ I’ve learnt to talk to God about anything and go to Him for everything. Most importantly I’ve been taught to allow Him to talk to me as well as actually listening for and obeying what He says. Living in the environment at Destiny has allowed me to truly centre my life around Him as well as learn to know His voice and heart for me.
Destiny’s program has been an incredible journey and worth every minute; the most challenging, yet best thing I’ve ever done. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to come here, but I am even more thankful for the privilege that it is to be able to stay on and undergo Internship while I commence my Diploma in Ministry at Morling College.
Thank you, Destiny, for raising me from my tomb, setting my feet upon solid ground, daring me to dream and better yet, teaching me how to pursue those dreams. I am not just a survivor, nor a thriver, I am a warrior!