Friday, December 27, 2013

Know Somebody 2nd Edition

This next “Somebody” is the Samoan, Fiji raised book loving, song writing, movie adoring Cheyenne Maiava. She has a heart bigger than the ocean that she lives in, a passion that rivals the flames of an arsonist and of course the astuteness that deems her reliable, sharp and degree-worthy. She is currently in the process of conquering the exciting and sometimes tedious world of Psychology and Sociology at the University of the South Pacific. And of course if you’re a uni student that values your sanity you need an escape that isn’t always youtube. Thus, Cheyenne is involved in so many awesome vocal and youth projects and groups, the most notable being a leader for over 60 radical evangelists called the Circuit Riders of Suva. But all journeys have a some sort of beginning and hers was In 2010 with Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Australia where she stepped out to share the gospel of Jesus Christ for the first time.   Three months later she was off to the highlands of Papua New Guinea to share the Good News, a place not for the weak and weary. After a good two months of growing and learning about the very core of evangalism she eventually found herself on the Hawaiian shores of Kona. Here is where she met her future husband…I’m kidding calm down, she did although meet someone even better, God. She met Him in the school she attended called the circuit riders and again when she travelled to Orange County, California to share the gospel at beaches and universities. She spoke  life, love and destiny to all those who crossed her path, even some unexpected old class mates. By 2012 she threw herself back into the all too familiar whirl pool of education where she is today trying to tie together her passion for Christ and people in a way that will allow her to be a greater and more versatile vessel for God. This is someone worth “Knowing” …

What is the perfect day for you?
Family Quality Time. The moments I grip close to my heart are truly vulnerable. It's when my parents share who they are with us, and when we share our hearts with them. Shedding the facade; reintroducing yourself to your brothers, your sister, your parents. It never looks the same; Sometimes, it's painful and full of tears, other times it's laughing over pizza. My perfect day is filled with quality, valuable, vulnerable, messy moments with the people I love.  My perfect day, is that window of truth and trust. 
What usually satisfies your procrastination urges?
I'd either be on my kindle reading, or travelling to another world full of adventure, danger with wonder-filled eyes drinking in love and seeking out the possible in any circumstance; which I believe, is called 'daydreaming'. I'm a professional. First, I'd make sure I was alone, put on some music and start a monologue creating different situations and plots in my head. This can last more than 2 hours if I'm not disturbed. I'd physically act out what I'm saying and feeling- cry, yell, laugh, you name it. So, I'm weird- I own it. 
If you could sit down with your past self how far back would you go and what would you say?
I think throughout the years, I've never been able to let go of 14 year old Cheyenne. The beginning of a long struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts including 2 suicide attempts happened that year. If I were ever to see her, I'd say: "The brokenness; it isn't permanent. The sadness; it isn't forever. Your shame; it was never yours to carry. Hear me now! You are beautiful, and wonderful, and loved, and blessed, and forgiven. Seek Jesus. He will restore you. Beloved, beloved, beloved... You are worthy." 
What are some misconceptions about you?
It's funny, but people never believe me when I tell them I'm shy. Yes, I have been in leadership for years, Yes- I have participated in two beauty pageants, Yes- I give public speeches, Yes- I help lead worship in church, Yes- I preach from pulpits, Yes- I hosted my own tv show (long story), Yes- I will walk up to a stranger and say "God told me to tell you...", Yes- I am outspoken in class, and everywhere, yes yes yes to everything; but heck, I am terrified through it all.  I don't have it together, I'm a bloody mess. Growing up I was always told to Shutup. Things got worse when I started doing tv commercials for digicel and hosted my own tv show in Samoa. The discrimination and judgment blew up. I remember being ridiculed on the local newspaper and being a topic of negative public discussion and attack. That seriously had an affect on my confidence and self-esteem. I had always been a little shy, but boy did it magnify greatly in my teens. So when you see me being "out there" and "crazy", know that I'm making a conscious decision to be vulnerable. I am deliberately stepping out of my comfort zone, being intentional in the killing of my timidness because it is definitely NOT from The Lord. I learnt long ago to walk victorious; to stand up and raise my voice to actively battle in the name of Jesus, and in the name of original design; MY original design. 
Do you tend to lead on your emotions? What are the negative and positive outcomes?
Gosh Tash, these questions are crazy good! This one especially, because it's something The Good Lord has been speaking to me about for a billion years! My instinct is to follow my emotions and bulldoze a situation come hell or high water. It's landed my behind into so much unnecessary trouble. Positives of leading with emotions? Not so much a positive, but; It fuels fire into arguments and creates interesting, and awkward situations. In other words; DRAMA. It causes lots and lots of drama. My advice is to never, ever ever ever lead with your emotions! The reason being that emotions can lie; and lie GOOD. They are fickle! You can FEEL unloved and yet have the most loving family. Here are some of the negatives: (1) you can make a bad situation worse (trust me, it's possible), (2) it encourages stubbornness trapping you in the whole "I'm right, I truly feel and believe I am right" when in fact, you're WRONG. Strong feelings do not equal truth, it just equals 'strong feelings'. (3) it mistakenly gives you license to be either offensive, insensitive, careless, self-serving, inappropriate and/ or rude. The sad truth about emotions is that it is all directed to the 'self' i.e.; how it makes ME feel, how I see it, what I believe, what I'VE been taught... Now, 'Compassion' is a whole other thing. It is separate from emotions. Compassion is based on truth, and Gods perspective - "Lord, how do YOU see it? How does this make YOU feel? Show me YOUR heart Lord!". It's the 'break my heart for what breaks yours' prayer we Christians frequently pray. Separate your views, your emotions from Gods heart and perspective. Take a step back, search your heart, your reactions, take a deep breath and say "Lord, less of me and more of You"
You have been through the amazing processes of learning and becoming what some might say a “qualified evangelist” through YWAM and circuit riders. Does the instituionaliolized learning of Jesus Christ and spreading His Word ever take away from the heart felt purpose of serving in the Kingdom? In other words does learning about God and how to spread His Word in a classroom sometimes leave you feeling like He is a subject to be studied so that you can “pass”?

Ok, so I hate school. Always have. The one hesitation I had about doing YWAM was the 'lecture phase'. I had no idea what a school about Jesus would look like, so I naturally assumed it was going to be like the education system. Ha! I knew squat! First of all it was like no other school I had ever heard of. Secondly, the Holy Spirit was the School Principle. Class times= people on the floor crying, people getting slain in the spirit, miracles, supernatural activity, demonic deliverance, it looked like freedom, love, joy, redemption, restoration, acceptance. Basically, it was a nut house. I had always been to church, learnt about a far away God and a cardboard Jesus. I learnt about scripture, how to memorise them, but I had never understood the Fathers heart, the Sons sacrifice, the Holy Spirits compassion. YWAM is just one of the many Christian non-profit organisations that encourages and facilitates encounters with the Living God. You walk in, take a seat, go through introductions, and then they're like "Hey, let's meet Jesus" and BAM! The Holy Spirit falls, your heart gets wrecked and Jesus melts your face. This can go on for hours, or minutes, depending on what is needed and what God is doing. Then, you take your seats, go through scripture that will help explain and describe what The Lord had just done, then get wrecked all over again because you finally understand what the bible is all about. You are evaluated according to how you're built. Musicians have the option of writing their assignments into song, artists can portray it through visual presentation, poets are encouraged to write poems, and the scholars can write their essays. The first thing my YWAM school leader said to us was "You are here to pass. We are here to do everything that it takes to help you pass". So no, I don't believe that institutions like YWAM take away from the heart and purpose of the Kingdom. If anything, it gives life to it. We need to be INTENTIONAL in our dealings with Jesus. That's what happens in these classrooms. They are filled with kids tired of the facade and are willing and desperate to be intentional in knowing their saviour. There's such beauty in that. 

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the responsibility of serving as a leader?
All the time. As leader you have to make yourself available. Available emotionally, available mentally, available spiritually, available physically. Your time is not your own. Leaders are servants, down to the washing of feet. On top of that, you have to be humble, strong, vulnerable, loving, firm, discerning and faithful. One of the easiest mistakes to make in leadership is leaning on your own strength and forgetting to spend time with The Lord. I have to constantly remind myself that the fruit cannot be more important than the tree. My ministry cannot, cannot come before my relationship with The Lord
I’ve heard interesting whispers of people and their expectations of finding their future partners when they join YWAM. Was this the same for you?

Whispers? Ha! When it comes to spouses and YWAM then you most likely heard a sonic boom. People jokingly say that YWAM also stands for Young Women After Marriage. When I first started in 2010, marriage wasn't on the radar. There was a lot of heart healing that I needed to go through first. Things have changed now. Haha, true talk? I'm so ready for my future spouse (whoever he may be) to whisk me away! 

What have been big spiritual lessons for you in 2013?

1- Did I learn to love? Truly?
2- Even if I blindfolded Jesus, mask my scent, change my appearance, He knows me. His heart calls to mine, and my spirit yearns desperately for Him. I am His.
3- I am called to Honour.
4- Make choices that The Lord would want to bless
5- I am blessed, to bless. It is not about me.

You are majoring in Psychology and Sociology at USP how do you intend to use these as tools in serving God?
I love to counsel and give advice. It's always been in me. Everyone wants to be heard. People are wanting a chance to speak their hearts, but there's just too much noise in the world. I want to be that ear! The one that'll take the time to hear you out. Psychology is good because it explains behaviour and motives. Sociology gives me a view and perspective of collective groups as a whole and how they function, thus helping me understand better. More and more people are going crazy, and they just need someone that'll hear them out and meet them where they are; which Jesus does perfectly. 
If there was a ministry you wish you could be more amazing at what would it be?
The only reason I'd wish to be more amazing at a particular ministry would be to either make it easier for me, or to satisfy my pride at being 'The Best'. I know my heart and it's selfish ways. From my experience, you're only amazing at something when you are serving from a genuine heart, and you love what you do. Evangelising sucked for me until I learnt to love it and see the bigger picture. When you're truly involved, you'll do it in excellence, tunnel vision towards The Fathers heart, investing your all, your everything....and people will be like "you're really good at this", and you'll be taken aback because you were too busy loving on others to worry about how you compare on the 'talent scale' of ministry (and life). "Success looks a lot like hard work"- a quote, from (would you believe it) Ashton Kutcher. 

What do you look for in a close friend?

The willingness to build relationship. A 'CLOSE FRIENDSHIP' needs the commitment of both parties. With that being said, some of my closest friendships had awkward starts. One of us was always closed off. The key to opening others up is through pursuit of love, grace, patience and endurance. If you don't put in a lot of effort and show someone how much you value them, then you most likely will lose out on a potential friend and partner for life. Always proceed with wisdom. With all that being said, it's interesting that my closest friends are made up of Christians, Atheists, Mormons, Extremists and Druggies. If you're looking for a ready made "perfect friend", then you're missing out. Go on, EXPAND! 


Out of your group of friends you’re generally known as the one who…
Amongst my high-school friends I am: the blonde Samoan, who loves Jesus.
Amongst my YWAM friends I am: the prophetic prayer warrior.
Amongst my Samoan friends I am: the funny, loner girl from Fiji.
Amongst my Circuit Rider crew I am: the wise leader.
Amongst my family friends I am: the quiet good girl that did missions.
Amongst my uni friends I am: the outspoken peer with questions and views who also happens to be a Jesus freak.
Amongst my party friends I am: the ultimate crazy party girl that is going through a "holy phase"
Amongst my Best Friends I am: All of the above, and more.

What does emotional purity mean to you in a relationship?
YWAM Speaker Cora Dawson said to me once "Don't give away your heart, your feelings, your emotions, your touches like it's running out of style! Save them for the one who truly knows the value of what you give". I could write 10 sermons on emotional purity; and from 100 different angles. We could do the whole "we are emotional creatures and our soul forms soul ties and it's unhealthy and it'll disappoint you and make you go crazy and stray you from purity of thoughts and the bible speaks about sinning through your thoughts and be careful because you can be tempted to forsake physical purity blah blah blah so on". All of it true of course! But I had heard it all before and it wasn't affecting me on a deep enough level. Then someone said something I'll never forget. He said "I haven't met my future wife yet, but I know I love her already. Right now, I need to make sure that I don't do anything, think anything, invest into anything that could bring dishonour, shame, insecurity and embarrassment to the woman that I will marry; to the mother of my children." 

If you have had a first love or even just a first relationship what have you learnt from it?
To not be so quick in love and lead head first with what I "felt". I was young, and everything felt urgent and temporary. Don't rush into what you think "Love" is or means. When in doubt, always remember that Love is Patient, Love is Kind, Love is not Jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love is not selfish, Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures every circumstance! - That is straight from the bible folks! Hold it close to your heart, let it breathe new life into what you believe love is to be, let it guide your life, decisions, actions. I wish I had known this before. And now I'm telling you! This is gold, and you're welcome for the free tip :) 

Do you think that Christian men and women are unrealistic about their standards and expectations about their future partners? Should there be a compromise on both sides?
I don't think it's just the Christians that have unrealistic expectations. There's a thing called the  "Dream Husband List". It lists all characteristics and physical features a girl wishes for in a mate. Funny side-note: I've never heard a girl say "I want my future husband to part oceans like Moses and have been raised from the dead like Lazarus".
Girls tend to willingly burn the list when being pursued or courted. Haha, I don't know how to answer this properly because I am definitely one of those girls with high expectations; and surprise surprise, I've been single for over 3 years. Having a Holy standard when it comes to spouses is good. I've been pursued by guys that aren't genuine in their relationship with The Lord, and though they were generally kind and nice men, I said no quickly and effectively shut those doors. I saved myself a lot of heartache because it wasn't long after declining their attentions that they entered into a relationship with someone else. I've seen real pursuit! When Jesus pursued my heart, he waited years and years and never gave up. I've met so many men that are like "I'm going to pursue her the way Jesus pursued his Bride". Unfortunately I was never the "her" being referred to, lol. And The Lord has a funny way of exceeding your expectations and giving you what you wanted before you even knew what that was. Blah...I feel like I'm verbally vomiting and making no sense, so to end this tirade of messy thoughts, I say; NO TO COMPROMISE! Not the good stuff anyway, like: Faith, Good character, Kindness, Generous, Protector, Leader, Compassionate, Good cook etc

 ·         International - High School
 ·         Husband - Hurry
 ·         Paris - Food
 ·         Beach - Book
 ·         Winter coat - Yikes!
 ·         High Heels - Ouch
 ·         Tattoo - Expensive
 ·         Abraham - CHILDREN





1 comment:

  1. Powerful and yet humble, great to see young people on fire for Jesus! Enjoyed that blog :)