By Koila Costello
Our beautiful country turned 51 over the weekend. It’s the first time I walked around Albert Park with our beautiful 510 Fiji Flags flying beautifully in the wind, and I walked intentionally praying for our nation, being thankful for our people in the past, in the present and in the future who contributed to our country. I prayed for all my loved ones, my clients and those who are impacted by Corvid and our CAD members. It’s the first year my grandson Malakai, will be celebrating Fiji Day too. I thanked God so far and the powerful shifts that’s happening in my life as I support people, because I am intentionally
listening carefully to what he needs me to do. I’m becoming more confident to hold respectful and courageous conversations as I guide people to make better choices. To be bold and to speak out. During this season I have been approached to speak to different groups on the topics of mental health, mental well being and resilience during this pandemic.
I am discovering the deep appreciation of how Pastor Linda is teaching about the Deborahs of the past and who Deborah is in the Book of Judges. She has made Deborah come alive as we study her carefully not just at a head level but at a heart level. The obedience she had in the way she prepared herself to act when God called her to. The inner preparation of having God as her Rock. The fact that Deborahs name in Hebrew means Bee and what a Bee does and its relationship to a Rock, was such a revelation. The importance of understanding the meaning of your name. I even went and researched the meaning of my name Arieta and Kuila. I was so surprised to see that what I read was very applicable to me now. It was in that session that I decided to re-invite God to be my Rock and to put him first again. His voice has become clearer, and I am listening to him and carrying out what I need to do.
I am being stretched big time out of my comfort zone, at times I feel a bit scared and overwhelmed. So I just breathe, pray and take it as step at a time. I am so thankful to have the mentoring community I can reach out to if I feel a bit lost or uncertain. I never had such a community like this before, and its beautiful. I can see also see there is a boost of energy and the rate at which I need to do things or the rate at which things come to me has quickened.
I have spent 30 years of my life working to support people to build healthier relationships with themselves, with each other and with their environment especially if they are experiencing conflicts. I can already see the way in which I am doing this work has changed, because I am listening to how God needs me to do his work. My exposure to the 1987 Coup through the eyes of my late father Jack Costello while I was a student in Australia and then again in 2000 was pivotal in my direction and work to study peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Its 22 years later and I am now doing some work with the Catholic order that exposed me to peacebuilding originally- the Columban Fathers. Things do go around in full circle, all in God’s time. Joining the John Maxwell courses on Leadershift and Intentional living has been such an eye opener as to what more I needed to do with my gifts to serve our people. I had never joined courses like this in my life or courses like Calling All Deborah. I have no regrets and I’m really enjoying this so much. Being apart of the mentoring community and to reflect once a week with our
members on CAD has enabled me to share and reflect deeply on my learnings and vulnerabilities. The growth is happening each week. Thank you Ana for your leadership and holding this space with us and for us.
I could listen to Pastor Linda everyday. I am so thankful and blessed to be learning with and from her and all our members.
After our session 2 weeks back, I witnessed the power of facilitating a family through a sensitive conflict and encouraged them to confront it in a loving and respectful way. I listened as we identified the issues and their feeling, and we prepared then for how they were going to confront and address the conflict with the other party. I prayed before I left home for Gods help and guidance. When we ended the session after 2 hours, we all held hands and prayed for God to guide them carefully and to protect them as they entered into their meeting. I was sent a short text afterwards to thank me for my help and that it was a successful meeting. I thanked God for that success. Last week I visited the family and heard their excitement in how everything worked out smoothly. We acknowledged and thanked God for his blessings over this family that they reached a wonderful resolution. I was over the moon, so much so when I walked around Albert Park with the rain falling lightly, I carried this joy with me. I could hear Ana say, that’s God , God Man!!
A reflection by Koila Costello