Posts Tagged With: compassion

First two days of Dollar a Day

This is what I shared about Dollar a Day yesterday on the Intentional Living Blog. Just thought I’d share it with all of you.

This week we have decided to do Dollar a Day, which was done last year as well. Yesterday was the first day & today was the second. Living on a dollar or less is a reality for many people and families across the world, 1/3 of them and it is astounding to know what they go through.

Many of us might have thought it wouldn’t be possible to do this, but it is possible as many proved last year. The experience so far has had its high and lows. Of late, I myself, have come into contact with Cancer through friends and family. I have seen friends and family go through it, some passing away but others making it through treatment. I’ve seen the ultimate highs they’ve had and been there in the lowest of times. It really is tough and something I often avoided. My first response would be, what would I say to them? But this year some really amazing friends and inspiring people have gone through treatment with their cancer and it really has changed me. I didn’t have a clue on how to handle these things or how I could help but God had brought many across my path this year stirring a lot in me. A compassion and love that hadn’t been as intense as it is now. I never wanted to say, I can imagine what you are going through, because I couldn’t. I could relate to some of their family members but never really to the person diagnosed with Cancer.

Last week I went onto CANSA’s webpage and found out about their programs as I have felt the need to help kids with Cancer. Something I had never in my life considered until recently, and found their program called CANSA TLC (tough living with cancer). Yesterday, was the first day of Dollar a Day and also my first day of training. We learnt so much about people who have Cancer as well as their families and what treatment there is, side effects and just what they go through. It really helped to understand but still I was longing to understand more. Not being able to eat as much as usual or get in the vitamins usually needed for my body to perform, has left me tired, unable to concentrate, unable to process things, feeling emotional & drained of energy as well as making it easier to forget things. These are often symptoms people with Cancer themselves experience when going through treatment, but obviously on a more intense level than I have experienced and many of you as well.

So, I can’t tell you that I heard God calling from the heavens because of my past 2 days but I can say, I’ve been able to taste a tiny sample of what people go through whom are extremely ill as well as those out on the street and it is something that really is tough and eye opening. Needless to say, I have a roof over my head and get to take a bath when I want and I have amazing friends and people living with me whom get to share this experience with me, so I’m not even alone fending for myself, so there really is nothing to complain about. People are going through so much worse, but again, we can choose to let our horrible or tough experiences be the great stories we tell and use to glorify God. We can use this awesome experience to add value to our lives and those we come into contact with or we can choose not to. But I really think this is an incredible experience and opportunity and I’m looking forward to finding other treasures through this in the rest of the week of Dollar a Day.

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Helping people

The other day I was talking to someone and I disappeared for a while and came back. This person asked me what I was up to and I said I was busy helping someone with a task. This person replied ‘you’re always helping people.’ People have commented that a lot. As well as the question ‘why?’ So let me just answer it now.

Personally, I have just always been that way, since I can remember. It’s in my blood, it is who I am. I was pretty much wired that way. Be it people or animals – that’s me. I have a great love for God and a great love for people, so I really just enjoy helping people. I love that smile or look in someone’s eyes when they have learn’t something or the light bulb in their head has just gone on. I love the look they get when they know you genuinely care and the surprised look people have when they expected you to turn them down but instead you help them. Every time I help someone, or comfort someone – I get to learn something new and I just get to experience something of Jesus. I also just feel, I should have the same compassion towards others as I would want them to have towards me. I treat people the way I’d want to be treated.

Why do I hope for the better? Why do I spend time with people? No matter who they are, what time of day or where they are? Because I love people. I always find a little bit of Jesus in people and there’s always a little light that I find in them, no matter how big or small and I absolutely love it. When I’m with people, and I go quiet, it’s not because I’m shy or don’t want to talk, it is just because I am experiencing something of God, or God is speaking to me about that person or showing me something about them or revealing something important to me. Every time I look into someone’s eyes I get to see Jesus and experience something of Him through them or in them without them realizing it. So when they talk or tell stories, I do get quiet and it isn’t because I’m not interested it is just because I’m experiencing a lot more than just them and their story. I often get to be told about their needs and what exactly they are feeling at that time, so I am extremely sensitive to other people’s emotions and body language and so on. I really do enjoy people and it is because of God and what I experience when people talk that I am able to make connections with people whether or not I have known them for long and I can make deep connections in such a short time too. It is often why I am not surprised by things they later tell me or confess. It really is a gift from God which I really only use as He allows me to.  So that is why I help people and love people and I so deeply appreciate people and try uplift and encourage them. I don’t do it because I have to or because I’m trying to suck up, it is really out of an honest, good-hearted place.

Categories: Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

4 Hopeful Women

Bad things happen to everyone. I don’t know why and I guess we’ll never be able to explain it. But I do believe good can come from every bad thing and I always have a hope that we can learn from it all and through it all, glorify Jesus. We definitely have the choice to and I personally believe, that if bad things didn’t happen, then we wouldn’t learn compassion. We don’t really know compassion until we ourselves have gone through trials. But in all the bad, I do believe that through prayer, God will heal and when He doesn’t, I know He has a plan with that too.

In my life many have died and that is hard to deal with, but I want to celebrate those who still live and I want to cherish them and learn as much from them and their stories as possible. I have 4 women on my heart today, whom I really want to lift up, celebrate and also lift up in prayer. They are amazing women, with incredible strength, love and perseverance and whom I’ve learn’t so much from.

Elicia, Riamien, Elizabeth and then my mom.

Elicia, I got to know last year by working on Tuks Missions Committee with her and we have been incredibly close friends ever since. She has Marfan Syndrome, a disorder of connective tissue, the tissue that strengthens the body’s structures. This disorder of connective tissue can affect the skeletal system, cardiovascular system, eyes, and skin. It also causes overgrowth, mainly in the long bones. So arms and leg and fingers often grow very long and thin. Because of this disorder, she is unable to do physical sport or anything as she needs to gain a lot more muscle before she can do that and as far as I know, this incredibly beautiful friend of mine also has some problems with her heart.

Riamien, I got to know this year, by a friend whom studies with me. Francois started a prayer group for her and I felt God truly wanted me to get to know her and just support her. I have got to know her by sms, her status updates on bbm and facebook and by the messages people have sent her. She has lung cancer. There isn’t much I need to explain as I am sure you have heard of it. I remember from when I was in primary school, a close family friend who passed away from it. We went to visit her often and I remember her last days and they were horrible. But Riamien, has shown incredible positivism and a belief of getting well again. She really has taught me a lot.

Elizabeth, whom has been studying with me for 3 years now and has been an amazing friend when I haven’t even been worth the name ‘friend’ has suffered many illnesses but the the worst so far has her in bed and recovering for more than a month. She went for an operation and the doctor found stage 1 Ensometriosis for a second time. Since her operation in May, she has been in for a few operations again, they thought she had internal bleeding. We now know she has been suffering from Peritonitis, which is an inflammation (irritation) of the peritoneum, the thin tissue that lines the inner wall of the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs as well as Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a blockage of the main artery of the lung or one of its branches by a substance that has traveled from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream (embolism). PE most commonly results from deep vein thrombosis (a blood clot in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis) that breaks off and migrates to the lung, a process termed venous thromboselism (VTE). A small proportion is due to the embolization of air, fat talc in drugs of intravenous drug abusers or Amniotic Fluid . The obstruction of the blood flow through the lungs and the resultant pressure on the right ventricle of the heart lead to the symptoms and signs of PE. The risk of PE is increased in various situations, such as cancer or prolonged bed rest. Things just seem to be going wrong or getting worse. She really is struggling.

Then, my mom. The amazingly tough but stubborn women who gave birth to me struggles every day with Osteoarthritis. Many days after work she goes to bed having to lie flat on her back with stuff stretching her spine and so on. My mom is too young to have an operation and although she needs it, she won’t go, there is no money for that and it won’t be long before she would have to go for another one. Those operations don’t help much and you end up having one every few years which is pretty ridiculous. So, seeing and knowing how my mom suffers sucks too.

Each one of them persevere through so many situations every day, they have a lot of love and compassion to give, they are always willing and active, they are funny and crazy, but most of all they possess an incredible strength I wish I had. But they all have been dealing with illness and need God’s protective, healing hand and need our prayer.

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A poem written by Riamien about her unshakable hope about beating cancer.

Faith, Hope, Love. 
You need all of the above.
If you want to live, then you’ve got to be positive. 
There is a rumor I got a tumor. 
I used to be a dancer, but then I got cancer. 
I used to have hair all down my back, but now it is even shorter than Kojak.
But that is all right,
Cuz I’m gonna win the fight!!!

Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Health, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let your compassion rise above judgement & watch the horizon turn from darkness to a brilliant hue of everlasting gold

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From Ashes to Beauty

“God can take what Satan meant for shame and use it for His glory. Just when we think we’ve messed up so badly that our lives are nothing but heaps of ashes, God pours His living water over us and mixes the ashes into clay. He then takes this clay and molds it into a vessel of beauty. After He fills us with His overflowing love, He can use us to pour His love into the hurting lives of others.”

– Lysa TerKeurst

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“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength. While loving someone deeply gives you courage… ” – Lao Tzu


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Adventure of Grace & Love

I spent a weekend in Pietermaritzburg from the 17th to the 19th February, or more time in Balito than Pietermaritzburg. After Victor’s death I was a little traumatized so I was invited there by a pastor that I know. His parents live there so it was kind of like a little get away weekend.

To my surprise though, a girl named Lucinda (whom we call Tot) and Ryan (whom we call Dom) joined us. I must say it was one of the most relaxed weekends I have had in a long time and all I could say is that I honestly felt God’s love in so many ways. He blessed me that weekend by surrounding me with amazing Christians, strong of faith – something so necessary when something traumatic happens. Their love and understanding was of a different level, it was so intense and so comforting. The whole weekend it was raining, and if you know anything about me, you’ll know that God sends rain when He tries to make me aware of His presence and love and just to let me know He’s there. He often sends it as a blessing or just reminds me how I am washed clean and I should not worry, everything will be okay. So it was raining, yet we still went to the beach Saturday morning for a little swim. By the time we got to where we would swim we were soaking wet anyway.

Well there I sat and cried for what felt like forever while the others swam. But after that I felt relieved and a sense of peace just came over me. Especially after a hug from Tot and her use of an analogy of God painting and me seeing the bigger picture, getting glimpses of that. Anyway, the rest of the weekend we just chilled together, drinking tea, eating and talking, just sharing stories and knowledge of God and sharing love with each other. It was indescribable seeing how God had bought us together for that weekend and then to see how close Tot and I had gotten from just sharing a room together for a weekend and now even a week afterwards. We still talk every day and she has helped me through immense struggles.

On Saturday I had my heart broken by someone I had loved for 7 years and had finally seen I need to let him go. It just wasn’t worth being played anymore but my heart had honestly been broken a lot harder then it could ever have been broken had it been done by anyone else. But once again Tot stepped in with words of wisdom only God could give and I was comforted. Now I feel a lot stronger and more at peace…..

So through all the bad that has happened God has been faithful in bringing me closer to Him and He has blessed me with such special people that I don’t even know how to begin to thank Him!!! All I can say is I truly have been blessed and Ryan & Tot will probably never begin to understand what a blessing they have been in just a week! I seriously cannot wait for more adventures with them in this year to come!

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Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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