We all have to deal with it…

Disappointment…. We all have to deal with it.

In this past week I was reminded of my own disappointment when on Sunday the visiting pastor preached on family and the importance of raising the next generation for Christ. Then the following day I saw on Facebook that a friend was pregnant and everyone was congratulating her. All this scratched open old wounds and  I felt hurt and sad all over again!

Often we live in our own selfish little bubble without realising that others are also suffering like ourselves. Our pain isn’t all the same but we all have pain.

I came to realise this as I was pouring out my woes on my dear friend’s kind listening ear and telling her all about my disappointment.

Did my kind friend understand? ABSOLUTELY!

In actual fact she was experiencing a similar pain of her own. She isn’t married yet and is also wondering when Mr Right will come along. She has been in relationships but just hasn’t met the right man yet. A colleague at work this week got engaged, the TV show or movie tells a compassionate love story and she is wondering, ‘Will this ever happen for me?’ She is asking herself if she should lower her standards and settle for someone less than what she is worth…

She understands my pain. She is longing for something that is right and normal and wondering why others can have it and she can’t. She is counting her blessings while she is single but still hoping and praying that somehow the right man will come along for her.

Later on I took comfort in my husband’s arms and told him that I was hurting. He told me that he too had taken a bit of a knock during a conversation with someone. The couple he had chatted with were trying for a third child but having trouble conceiving. They expressed their own pain without realising that we were still trying for our first child without success.

We all have pain and each pain is as real as another’s. When we take time to see that and to reach out in compassion to each other we will also find some sort of healing.

I have noticed that when I am hurting or feeling sorry for myself, praying for others helps me forget my own pain. I get to focus on someone else’s pain instead of my own and then my spirit lifts.

Let us make a choice today to look for other’s who are hurting and reach out to comfort them during their suffering. Pray for them. Love them. Listen to them.

God bless!

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“Happy” Father’s Day

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For many years my husband and I have tried to have children. We have prayed, we have read books on the issue, we have visited others who have prayed for us and we tried the wonders of modern medicine…. But to no avail.

At first I was frustrated, angry and hurt. I would see other women my age and often younger falling pregnant and I would congratulate them through gritted teeth.

I stopped going to events and socials because it hurt to see others and their children.

I would see pregnant tummies and new mommies cuddling their babies and I would cry… I wanted that. I wanted to feel what it felt like to carry a baby in my womb. I wanted to feel the warmth of my baby feeding on my breast. I wanted all those things and more.

But my pain wasn’t all my own. When I looked at my husband, I could see how he loved children and it broke my heart thinking about what a good father he would be. He was strong and gentle and enjoyed teaching and playing with other people’s children.
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Gradually, I learnt to submit my will to God and I started to force myself to enjoy the benefits that we have as a husband and wife without children. We can come and go as we please, sleep in on a Saturday morning, and have as many “date nights” as we like. These are just a few of our luxuries as child-less parents.

Then God blessed us with a cat. She came into our lives by “accident” but we both believe it was no accident. We rescued her from the dog and since then she has filled a gap in our hearts which helped me to heal from the hurt of infertility. We found something to love and enjoy and she loved us back which was a wonderful bonus.
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I felt whole again. No more pain and no more longing. I enjoyed our quiet nights as well as our spur-of-the-moment outings. I enjoyed sleeping in on Saturday morning and having fun with my hubby. I didn’t feel the need for a child anymore.

But then came Mother’s Day… And now Father’s Day….

It still hurts.

It hurts that I will never be a mother. I won’t ever get a mother’s day card or flower…. It hurts that my husband who would be an excellent father won’t have that joy. I can’t give him a father’s day card or help our child prepare him a special breakfast.

I know it’s silly! How stupid to put so much emphasis and emotion into a commercial and man-made holiday which is probably only there to help businesses make money. But it hurts nonetheless.

In a few days/weeks I will probably get over the hurt and move on because I trust in my God and I know that He is Sovereign over all… but there are others out there who don’t know this or they have lost sight of it for a moment like I did.

I am voicing my pain for those who need to know that there are others who know your pain too.

God knows what the loss of a son feels like. He understands our pain. The world isn’t perfect but our Saviour is! He has died in our place so that we can be free from death and the curse of sin. I can know peace in my heart and soul because of His mercy and grace. Hallelujah!

When the pain comes again, as I am sure it will, I will remember that God is in control and I will think about how much He loved me to die in my place. This is enough for me!

The Greatest Commandment

This Sunday at church we looked at Mark 12 from verse 28 where one of the scribes asked Jesus which commandment is the most important of all.

v.29-31 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.

Firstly we see that instead of just one commandment, Jesus gives two commandments as if they were connected.

Secondly it stands out to me that for both of these commandments the root is LOVE.

I was challenged with the thought that we are told to love God with ALL our heart…. soul … mind… and strength. Is there any part of us with which we have left? No.

Every part of ourselves should be totally focussed and committed to LOVE for God. From our love for God will flow a love for our neighbour (even the unlovable one).

I realise that more often than not, other “loves” divert our attention from our love for God. My father often spoke of, “The expulsive power of a new affection…” That phrase stuck with me because I often found myself passionate for Jesus until something else comes along that steals my affection and hijacks my attention.

Do we love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength? Or is He second to all the other affections that take our focus.

 

A woman after God’s Heart

“The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, But the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.”
-Elisabeth Elliot

So, what does it mean to be a woman after God’s own Heart?

Does it mean that you follow a list of rules and regulations? Do you have to shape up to a specific pattern or mold?

I don’t think so.

I believe that in order to be a woman of God, a woman after God’s own Heart, we must get to know our Saviour. We must be so in love with Him and desire to develop a deep, intimate relationship with Him. We must spend time in His Word and on our knees before Him.

When you have a relationship with Him and love Him with all your heart there may be patterns and molds you shape your life to, or rules you follow… but it will be because you desire to please Him and not because anyone else expects it of you.

The Inner Beauty of a Woman

 1 Peter 3:3-4 

“Do not let your adornment be merely outward – arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel – rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

Incorruptible beauty!

What does incorruptible mean? The dictionary defines incorruptible as something that will not dissolve, disintegrate or decay.

In today’s time women strive to keep their beauty and youth as long as possible. We try every facial treatment, creams, face lifts, hair dye and makeup, (just to mention a few) and yet our outward beauty fades… Our outward beauty is corruptible… It fades with time and there is nothing we can do about it.

But, what about this INCORRUPTIBLE beauty the Bible speaks about? How can we get this?

The verse in 1 Peter says “Do not let your adornment be merely outward …rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.”

The hidden person of the heart refers to our INNER beauty; beauty which comes from our character and out of our hearts. It comes from a gentle and quiet spirit which the Bible declares to be precious in the sight of God.

This is not implying that we change our personality but rather that we shift our focus, away from ourselves and away from our external appearance and towards Jesus Christ and a relationship with Him. Jesus is our true Prince. He wants us to be in love with Him and He promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. This topic is a whole other message on its own so we won’t elaborate on that now.

Proverbs 31:30,

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

It is this holy reverent fear of the Lord spoken about in Proverbs 31 that inspires praise and also highlights our INNER beauty.

Coming back to the verse in 1 Peter, it says firstly, “do not let your adornment be merely outward…”

This does not imply that you don’t take care of yourself or may not adorn your external body. It only guides us to understand that there are more important than things than our external adornment.

Makeup, jewellery and clothing are simply tools that can enhance a lady’s God-given INNER beauty but, if and when used improperly, will detract from it also.

INNER beauty is also dependent on being content with who you are and how God made you.

Surprise!

I wish I could describe the feeling… the indescribable JOY when you haven’t seen your husband in over 6 weeks and suddenly, there he is… in front of you… totally unexpected!

Last week Wednesday was D-day. The day that my husband should be back in South Africa.

I was super excited! I had booked a flight for Wednesday morning from Cape Town to Durban where I was going to meet up with Michael en route from Mozambique back to Cape Town. We intended to meet in Durban and stay with our folks there for a few days. My flight was in the morning and Michael was only going to be arriving that evening late. I planned to make a really special dinner for him and to get dressed all special once I get to Durban.

That morning I was up early and at the airport in good time for my flight. Before boarding Michael still phoned me from his Mozambique number to find out how things were going. He told me that according to people in Mozambique the drive from there to Durban would take about 11 hours and that would mean that he will be with me that night by around 7 pm. I was really looking forward to seeing him.

My brother-in-law messaged me that he will be picking me up from the airport as my mother-in-law was going for blood tests. That was all good. I boarded and after a smooth 2 hour flight I landed at King Shaka International Airport. I messaged my brother-in-law and told him that I had landed. He replied that he was already there waiting for me but I must come outside to the pick-up area. Once I had claimed my baggage I headed out toward the pick-up area.

Coming out of the baggage reclaim I saw a man… one that looked very much like my long-lost husband… standing there just looking at the notice board.

I was confused! I couldn’t believe my eyes because it seemed they were tricking my mind… I walked slowly towards this man and then he turned!

It was my HUSBAND!!!! The handsomest most wonderful man I had ever set my eyes upon! I just quickstepped into his welcome arms and clung on for dear life allowing the tears of joy and relief to wash over my cheeks.

My brother-in-law was not far behind recording all this with the faithful camera so here is a link to the video…

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A Tribute to my Grandmother.

Today is my Ouma’s birthday…

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She was the one who put me to bed at night and she woke me up in the morning. She taught me the ways of God. She insisted that I read my Bible and pray every night before closing my eyes. It was her arms that comforted me when I hurt. Her hanky wiped my tears or the dirty stains on my face and hands. She sat with me many nights till late as I struggled through math homework and she covered for me sometimes when I was in trouble. 

Ouma taught me to sew, to cook, to bake and all the important things because she knew that one day I would need to be a wife and those things were important for a wife to know. She taught me patience and love. She lived out LOVE and compassion. She was never too busy to listen and she always had a comforting word to say. She always picked up the phone… I miss her so much!

Today was my Ouma’s Birthday… I know she is celebrating in Heaven!

Come Holy Spirit!

I pray for Him to come down… I want His touch! I long to walk in communion with Him but I am afraid…

I am afraid of not being in control of my own life. I am afraid of looking silly to other people. I don’t want to make a fool of myself. I want to seem sophisticated and normal and…. I and I and I…. Oh Lord, what about You?

You created me from the rib of my husband, You formed me in my mother’s womb… You planned my life before I was born and you died… oh Lord, you died for the sins I will commit long before I was formed.

You wanted to use me although You didn’t need me… You chose me and raised me in a home where I would be prepared for work in Your Kingdom. After I deserted You, You came after me and You plucked me out of the mess I had made of the life You had given me. You washed me clean and set me on the right path again. You saved me…

Then You continued to save me… Every time I made a mistake; every time I took things into my own hands and made a mess of things, every time I got hurt… You were there…

The most amazing thing is that you still want to use me!!! After everything I have done You still seek me out Lord…

Father, my Heavenly Father, I love You! I cannot begin to say how sorry I am for all the times I have hurt You and turned my back on You. I want to serve You with all my heart and I want to be a vessel, pure and holy, in the service of Your Kingdom. May You be glorified through my life and may I serve You faithfully as You have loved me faithfully.

Use me for whatever You will and take me wherever You will. Pour out Your Spirit on me and come dwell in me from day to day that I may be more and more like You. I am ready to accept everything You have in mind for me. Forgive me my unbelief and lack of faith and help me to grow every day stronger in You. I want to trust You with my whole heart, soul and mind for everything and in everything.

May Your Will be done! Come Holy Spirit…

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