Inspired by…Hazel Flood

Inspired by.... Hazel Flood

I am delighted to introduce you to the fabulous Hazel Flood! I had the pleasure of meeting her and being in a courage group with her during her time as a student on TSM.

I love this lady’s passion for encouraging others through her prophetic gifts and words and mentoring people in different parts of the world. She is a lady who loves to write, has her own website, blog (thequietstreet) and is currently in the process of writing her first book (which I am eager to read). She loves to see people dare to dream and encourages them to go after all that God has called them to.

She is humble, incredibly thoughtful, kind and is a spiritual mother to so many in this nation and many others.

Be inspired by…

Hazel Flood

Hazel Flood

What prophetic words have shaped your life/ministry?

Twenty plus years ago a visiting prophet told my husband and I that although we didn’t know quite where we fit, we were mother and father figures in the church. At the time, unbeknown to him, we had two teenage boys and were leading the youth work in our church, no big deal to get a word describing what we knew we were in the natural, or so it might be thought. Over the decades since then we have had this said to us more times than I can recall, it describes our way with people well, we are mum and dad to so very many people here and overseas, it is our favourite role. He was right about how we felt we were fitting in too, although we were fully invested in the local church we knew we weren’t the usual ‘shape’ which was hard at times. But what we’ve come to realise is that where we considered ourselves to be a bit odd, is actually part of our gifting, we are able to fit where others might not. Nowadays we don’t worry about whether we fit well or not, we simply make sure we have good relationships, and are doing what we have been called to.

Almost ten years ago I had a word about my calling to wear a prophetic mantle, most words I’ve received throughout my life have been about the prophetic gift and call, but this one in particular was about being called to go on to a higher level. This prophecy, accompanied by the laying on of hands, shifted the weight of words I heard for others, so much so, that I moved into primarily hearing directional and honouring words for leaders. At the time I didn’t know what to make of it, after all, sometimes it seems as though leaders are so eager to encourage people they will ‘prophesy’ over them to give them a bit of a boost, but this turned out to be quite different, a truly empowering word. I was deeply encouraged by my leader being so generous in spirit, I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for his input. Even years before this, he would tell me to ‘Stir up the gift’ at the beginning of a meeting, or tell me to bring whatever it was I had on my heart at the time, he rarely, if ever, wanted to know what I had before I shared it, he knew me and trusted me, it was a mutual thing and it benefitted the church greatly. Trust and encouragement bring great release and growth of gifting in the church.

Particular prophetic dreams I’ve had have radically changed the shape of our lives. Our expectation of what we were made for, was, over time, expanded by what was revealed to us. As a result we have explored other avenues of ministry as they have been offered to us, and we’ve discovered that Papa had ideas rather bigger than our own. We would never have imagined we’d be travelling to build relationships with people in other nations, it just wasn’t part of how we saw ourselves. Four or five years ago Papa started talking to me about writing a book. I didn’t believe it was him for quite a long time, even though I’d written in one form or another all my life, and had people tell me this was something I should do, even when it became part of what was being prophesied over me I still couldn’t bring myself to see this as a serious proposition.

The big change came when I told Papa I wasn’t going to write a book, I’d simply write for speaking engagements and for my blog. Two weeks later a prophet called me out during worship at a church we were visiting, only to tell me in no uncertain terms, that I was indeed to write a book. Since then I have been on the trail of the book, sometimes more fruitfully than others, I’ve experienced opposition to my writing in ways I’d never imagined, I mean, why on earth would anyone bother to critique my opinions when it is much easier to ignore them? But then…welcome to the world of writing.

As is his usual habit, Jesus comes to get me out of my frame of mind and sets me on the right path again. This prophetic challenge has meant my days are different from how they ever were, if I’m not writing I have ‘the book’ looming in the background of my mind and frankly, it’s less hassle to get and write than it is to put up with the sense of not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. That does make it sound as if I don’t enjoy writing, I do, it is one of the most satisfying activities I engage in, and a vital element of my happy place.

Have there been any pivotal/tipping point moments in your life/ministry that have changed your direction?

Some years back a friend of one of our sons contacted me and invited me to speak to the women in his church. The resulting fruit from the sessions over that weekend has been considerable, I hadn’t seen myself as a person who did that type of ministry, but I discovered I enjoyed it and was good at it. The time running up to my visit there was more significant than expected. I found I knew in my bones that while we were at his church something would happen which would mean the prophetic dreams I’d had of travelling to minister in other countries were going to fall into place, and it did.

On the Sunday we met a church planter from Sweden, one of the countries in my dreams, and when I told him my story, he invited us to go to a conference in Stockholm to meet church planters he knew from most of the countries I’d dreamt of. Since then we have visited churches in those countries as well as others, and have become friends with some remarkable people who have made immense sacrifices to go and be church in nations where Jesus isn’t well known.

We all hear from God differently. How do you hear from God?

Dreams: I’ve had such dreams from God as I would never have imagined possible, even though I’ve been having prophetic dreams since I was a child. I’ve seen into people’s houses when I’ve never even been to their country, never mind their home, and have ended up being friends with those very people. I’ve seen situations of which I had no inkling prior to the dream, which has reassured me of God’s kindness and protection. I’ve seen events which when prophesied over churches have been helpful in bringing about the changes Father wanted to see.

Visions: I’ve had Jesus come and meet with me to bring healing of old wounds and to show me the back story of difficult events in my life, these visits have brought peace, freedom, and courage to move on into more of what he has called me for.

Hearing: sometimes I hear him speak into my ear, other times it’s inner hearing.

Pictures: I see situations other people have been in, or rooms in their house and what they do there, etc.

Feelings: I find I feel other people’s emotions, as if my own weren’t enough! I can enter a meeting perfectly at ease, only to find myself under a cloud of grief or anger, etc, but once I realise this isn’t ‘mine’, then I ask Holy Spirit what I need to do, if anything, and will pray for whoever the feelings belong to. I pick up atmospheres in countries or cities, this is helpful in understanding what is needed in the places we visit.

Knowings: there can be a strong sense of something being obvious to me, which when I recall the incident, isn’t obvious at all. This is often helpful in situations where there is a potential threat.

Similarities: people might remind me of someone and I know Holy Spirit wants me to tell them about specific aspects of the other person’s life and it will minister to them precisely where they need it.

Word play: Papa will show me a picture and ask me what I see, when I tell him, I hear the word and it helps me to realise what he’s saying to me. Why he doesn’t just say it directly I don’t know, but it is fun and memorable when he speaks like this, so I guess part of it is I don’t forget what it means to me. I like the fact that he hides things for us, not from us. This journey of hearing him is an adventure, not just “Go here, then go there” but a real work of discovery that unfolds bit by bit until I see what he is up to, at least to some degree!

Numbers, etc.: He draws my attention to doubles of numbers, other times it’s plants or creatures. He really does like to make me seek understanding.

 

Who has been an inspiration in your life or a spiritual parent to you?

Oh wow, so many have inspired me, but these have done more than catch my eye, they have shaped me by breathing life into particular areas of my thinking and ministry. John Paul Jackson, Graham Cooke, Sarah Jameson. Brian Zahnd, Brad Jersak, Bill Johnson, Dallas Willard, Gerald Coates, Richard Rohr, Brennan Manning, Sarah Bessey.

Others who have made me go after the ‘more’ are Paul Cain and Shawn Bolz, their ability to see with precision has been a great provocation to me. There’s never been anyone nearby to be a spiritual parent so I have relied on the people I’ve looked up to for mentoring through their books or teachings.

  What do you do whilst waiting for promises to be fulfilled?

If Jesus hasn’t said to stop, then I carry on with whatever it was that he told me to do previously, not always with the greatest grace and patience though. I find I burn with whatever it is I feel is on the horizon, and I see the future more easily than the present. Friendships are such a help at these times, to be open and authentic and know I’m understood and loved as I am, even in my frustration, is a vital part of the journey. If my husband wasn’t my best friend I think I’d implode, I overthink and am highly sensitive, he is my rock, we make a great team.

How have you coped with any disappointments in your life/ministry?

Slowly and not always very well, although as you’d expect, I have pursued forgiveness and understanding for others when I’ve been hurt, it can take a long time for deep wounds to be genuinely healed. In latter years, I’ve experienced more profound healing through meeting with Jesus in personal encounters. I have found that being quiet with Jesus gives him opportunities to minister to me in ways that aren’t possible if I’m always talking to him and not deliberately giving him time to do whatever he wants to.

 What has been the key to breakthrough in your life/ministry?

Discovering the nature of Father God more accurately, he is much more beautiful than we can imagine, he truly is better than we will ever know. Entirely unexpectedly, I began to be powerfully and physically impacted by Holy Spirit during worship some years ago, this changed my expectations somewhat. Discovering soaking in the presence of Jesus has been a key practice for growth and transformation. I think my relationship with each member of the Trinity has changed almost beyond recognition in the past few years, and of course, this changes everything else.

 

What do you want to see God do in your life?

Open more doors and hearts for me to impact an increasing number of people with the heart of God for them. Increase the level of anointing on my prophetic gift. Bring about the prophetic words over my life that are as yet unfulfilled.

 

What have been your biggest obstacles and how have you overcome them?

Insecurity and anxiety have been a bugbear for me, this has sometimes meant I have been overly compliant when people have wanted more control than is healthy. Meeting with Jesus and finding he was working with me to rid my life of these strongholds brought massive progress, those areas aren’t anything like the problem they used to be. I’ve learnt to be myself and to stand free of overly controlling influences.

Do you have a daily routine with God and what does that look like?

Kind of, I love spending time with God, but I’m not reliant on one particular arrangement, I like to keep my rhythm with him fresh and flexible. Most often it will involve using one of a handful of liturgical works that I enjoy, I journal often, too. I love to sit quietly with Jesus, or to soak in his presence to worship music.

These practices have been a game-changer for me. I have seen greater breakthrough since engaging in them than I ever saw before, when I was reading and praying in the more conventional manner. I also like to read books by people who have similar gifts to me, I find I am stirred to look for the ‘more’ when I do this, especially if I remember to read with a sense of Jesus reading along with me.

How do you and Paul connect and encourage leaders on mission?

We spend time with them, hearing their hearts and loving them as friends, or mum and dad. We don’t go with a strategy or an agenda, other than to make sure they know they are loved. Our role isn’t about church growth, or reaching the lost, except indirectly.

We are invited by the leaders to gather groups from the church, and on any visit it might be to explore their God given hopes and dreams, encourage them in their understanding of themselves and each other, or strengthen their skills in exercising the prophetic gifts, etc. We also meet people for listening prayer, or soaking sessions, and whatever else we see will be a means of growth, either individually or as a body.

There is so much undiscovered treasure within each and every person, we take immense pleasure in helping them discover more of it. God’s dreams for his children are wrapped up in the hopes and dreams he has put in their hearts, and we love to do all we can to assist in those dreams coming about. All in all, our sole purpose is to love them.

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There are 10 inspiring ladies in this series so if you have missed one you can link to it from here:

Wendy Mann

Helen Calder

Hazel Flood


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