Posts Tagged With: death

Power of your words

Don’t empower negativity by letting those words out your mouth. Don’t empower the Devil. Speak positivity over your own life – every word will bear some sort of fruit. Every word you speak is seed and it will grow something. You choose what you want to grow. Speak the Word of God and His promises and truth over your life instead of doubt and unbelief.

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Weekend of Celebrations

Freddie & Ashley

Freddie & Ashley

So this weekend a really good friend of Jean and I and my old roomie – Shikara – is celebrating his birthday. We’ll be going out for drinks to celebrate tomorrow night and then away next weekend to the Vaal dam to celebrate some more. Freddie is one awesome guy with very strong opinions but one great man of God. He has been such a good friend over the year and a half that I have known him and been great in speaking to about grace and so on. He also helped me during a time that I had found out about my ex dating a friend of mine, when I was the last to know after he’d had ample opportunity to tell me. The whole experience wasn’t so great. Shikara and Anneke, my roomies at the time had comforted me with a bottle of red wine between many tears and the next day I had a movie date with Shikara and Freddie. Needless to say, I had the worst hangover the next day and they treated me with so much care and laughter that I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciated that. It really had a big impact on me, and since then Freddie and I had a lot of conversations and our friendship grew really strong. Now he has a girlfriend, Ashley, whom I also get along with so well although we don’t see them often enough. But they really are such special people! So I’m looking forward to celebrating with these awesome people who have had such a great impact on my life and my relationship with God. It has truly been a blessing.

Then, this weekend also marks a year since Uncle Johann has passed. As September has come to a close and we get closer to October the 14th, I’m left in awe at how much has happened and the growth that has come. The way I see grace and God now, started to change in the time I met Uncle Johann and more of Bernhard’s family. A year later, and I would have done so many things differently. But I am still so happy about how close his family and I got and am so thankful for our conversations and for the experience and the precious month I got with him. They were conversations about God and the church and what grace really is. He too had started to see things the way I see them now, and felt that if he pulled through he’d be leaving the NG church and doing things differently, loving differently. A year later and I see the same things and more and too have left the NG church and am in ministry elsewhere. It also bought me closer to many friends and family. Although I have many regrets and things I wished I had done differently, I am really happy. God has radically changed my life in the past year and I am so thankful for the experience and Uncle Johann and his family. This weekend is going to be tough, the whole week has been and has felt very emotional, but my thoughts will also be with his wife and four children and I will find time to celebrate with them somehow as I can’t be with them in Wesselsbron. I think Sunday will be a good day to do something special and will work it into my busy weekend.

From Left: Uncle Johann, Bernhard, Heinrich, Karen, Ingrid, Aunty Valencia

From Left: Uncle Johann, Bernhard, Heinrich, Karen, Ingrid, Aunty Valencia

From Back left: Heinrich & Bernhard Front left: Karen, Aunty Valencia & Ingrid

From Back left: Heinrich & Bernhard
Front left: Karen, Aunty Valencia & Ingrid

This weekend, if you can, just take time to cherish those still around you and to reflect on your past year and what has come and gone for you too.

Have a lovely and blessed weekend.

xx M

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Be The Statistic That Conquered

My friend - Sarah Beth Flippo (on the right)

My friend – Sarah Beth Flippo (on the right)

This morning when  I woke up, I just felt the need to share a testimony of a friend, whom shared hers with us two days before my birthday in August. Many girls I know, including me and some friends struggled with eating disorders back in high school, for different reasons but it is something that happened. So when I read her testimony, it really struck a deep cord in my heart.  It is beautiful and she wrote straight from the heart. Hope this may encourage some girls out there today.

Love

Xx M

My Struggle Against Anorexia Nervosa and How I Survived It!

Tonight as I was laying in bed, God really started to speak to me about my past. I have met so many people that look at me and think straight off the bat that I am a very confident and put together person. Now I am not saying that I’m not because I am but it took one crazy road to get here. Most of you have never heard my testimony as to how I came to know Christ. I actually haven’t even been a Christian that long. But tonight as I was laying here I felt that God wanted me to share it to the public for I know many girls and even some guys are struggling from the very thing that brought me to my knees, Eating Disorders.

I was diagnosed with Anorexia January 2009. It had all started six months before that when I had moved to the US for 9 months with my family. I was a happy teenager that didn’t care about the size in her jeans or the way she looked all I knew was I was happy with life and that is all that mattered. I was comfortable with where I was in South Africa and was not ready to get up and move. There was nothing I could do to make the move stop it was something that had to take place. I soon realized when I got to move to America that it was not the same as Africa. I had never experienced culture shock until June 2008.

As I got to America I started to realize a difference between me and all the other girls, they wore make-up and dressed up for class and I was a simple girl that didn’t wear make-up and did the jeans and t-shirts every day. As school began things got a little harder. At the lunch table I would eat whatever but the other girls would watch what they eat or not eat all of it I thought that was why they were all so pretty and skinny. So I slowly began to do the same thing. It started out as a harmless little “I’ll lose a little weight to where I am healthy.”

So it started I began to eat a little healthier and work out a little harder in gym class and as they said, the weight began to decrease and it felt good, I loved the compliments. So I decided to lose a little more and again, I loved the compliments. So I decided I’d lose another dress size, except it wouldn’t stop one dress size became more than 7 dress size in total. I was a size twelve when I started and made my way down to a size zero by the December of 2008.

But I still was not satisfied with the way I was, in my mind I was still the size 12 girl (which is not even close to being big). When I got to a size four that is when the compliments stopped and the questions started. Soon people were telling me, that I needed to stop losing weight as I looked good but not healthy anymore. But I did what I knew best and listened to my anorexia speak. It got so bad I would not let myself eat over 200 calories when the regular intake for one was 2000.

Soon the symptoms started, I began to lose my hair in chunks, I began bruising all over my body, I was always cold no matter the temperature I always had sweats and jackets on and then more symptoms arose after that. In January 2009 I fell ill and my mother took me to the doctor where I got medicine and weighed nothing was said about my weight until I had to return two weeks later because of severe bruising down my spine, and this is when the mater arose my weight,  had lost 4 pounds since the last time I saw the doctor. I will never forget this is the day my life changed forever. He diagnosed me with Anorexia Nervosa. I can still remember the look on my mother’s face when he said that I had developed an eating disorder.

It seemed all so unreal to me as I didn’t want to believe him, in my mind I was not sick and I did not need help until he said the D word. What D word you may be asking? Death. He told me that I could have a heart attack any day if I kept up this life style the words to this day ring in my head “You are killing yourself, Sarah if you keep losing weight you will DIE.”9ebfa4ab860bbaae959de916264e81b5

That is the moment I realized it was not my time to die, that moment I realized I did not want to be a statistic on some graph of people who died from Anorexia but I wanted to be the statistic on a graph that survived it. I remember getting off that table and getting into the car and looking at my mom saying were going to do this. It was not an easy road out, matter fact it was one of the hardest roads for me and especially my family. It took 3 years for me to recover from anorexia, and to this day I still struggle with it but not as badly.

I had to go to counselling, doctor visits, shots, medications, nutrionist the list goes on and on but every single person that helped me through my journey saved my life. But most of all my Christian Parents, I know that they did not have an easy time with me growing up and I know I had cost them some money but they never once turned away, they always stood right next to me and cheered me on. They still cheer me on to this day. God has blessed me with an amazing family that has supported me through a very difficult situation that effects many many families today. I have to say to the girls that consider any sort of lifestyle that your body is a temple of Christ and you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Love the way you are because God does! And if you are struggling with something along these lines, go seek help because you want to be that statistic that conquered!

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

Listening to The Spirit

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Looking out over the pool area of Zimbali Hotel, Ballito.

A long weekend getaway is pretty much bliss… We were away for a couple of days and I was totally blessed by it. Amazing friends and time away with them means relaxing and fun moments filled with love and laughter… The weather turned out to be cold and rainy most of the time with small spurts of sunlight breaking through the clouds in only certain moments…it was also windy but it gave us more time to relax instead of only being busy doing stuff all the time…

We definitely enjoyed making food together and eating out, listening to music, watching movies and series, playing games indoors, making jokes and laughing but most of all getting to talk and catch up and just spending quality chill time together.

But apart from the bliss, Satan was definitely at work this past weekend..trying to steal the joy, trying to condemn, attacking constantly through thoughts, nightmares, keeping us awake and out of sleep, trying to make us sick, bringing us to tears, attacking our identity in Christ, bringing up my past and using it as cheap shots to scare me and make me feel unworthy, trying to cause accidents..

But even so, God somehow turns it all to our good and blessed us even more over this weekend making Satan’s attempts look poor and like epic fails… It really was a blessing as every  time the devil attacked, God would bring Jean and I even closer to one another and draw us close to Him…but it does take practise trying to listen to the Holy Spirit instead of what I am experiencing in the flesh, in the carnal due to the devil… It took a while to learn how to focus what God does in the Spirit rather than what I am seeing with my eyes and hearing with my ears and feeling with my emotions..over the weekend God really helped and came to my rescue over and over using His Holy Spirit to show me how to see and hear in the Spirit instead of the carnal…

You really need to listen to the Spirit and trust what He tells you and what He shows you and makes you feel and be obedient towards that as the weekend I saw how that can be the difference between life and death in a very real way.

Sunday we travelled back from Ballito and finally stopped at Eliné’s house. She offered that we sleepover at her place instead of driving home that time of the night..home being Pretoria. Jean said he felt he needed to be at work early and thought I wanted to be home so decided we’d drive home. Meanwhile I felt something terribly wrong and felt we should sleepover at Eliné’s. But I didn’t say anything as I had developed a headache and thought maybe I was just being weird or imagining it.. Jean and I then left her house heading back to Pretoria but the further we went the more unsettled I felt and the more the headache started going away…feeling this was Satan’s plan I started closing my eyes and trying to block my ears so that I would not get distracted by what I see and hear around me but would rather focus on trying to hear God’s heart again(something I’ll explain later). At the same time Jean suddenly started praying in tongues because he felt he wanted to. God slowly showed me how Satan was trying to take something Eliné had said earlier and prove it wrong by causing an accident and using her two friends(that being Jean and I) and how Satan now wanted us dead…as he hadn’t been very successful at his other attempts to break our spirits earlier this weekend… As God showed me that picture and Jean started to relax while praying and driving, I decided to open my eyes and as I did, this huge white rabbit came sprinting toward our car from absolutely no where…Jean got a fright and so did I but the rabbit just missed the wheel and car by less than a split second…If Jean hadn’t relaxed in God’s presence while praying and I hadn’t closed my eyes I would possibly have made a scene and Jean could easily have panicked and swerved out causing a huge and possible fatal accident…If he didn’t swerve, even then the rabbit would have caused a lot of damage…. I burst into tears closing my eyes as I realised just how close that was and that God had warned me through the Spirit earlier but I had said nothing. I then told Jean about that feeling and for a while we couldn’t decide what to do….We drove on towards Pretoria for a while and I felt even more uneasy…so I made a choice and asked Jean if we could rather turn back to Eliné’s house. As we did that, Jean and I both started getting headaches but I suddenly felt a lot calmer….Satan was going to try again as he had just failed with the rabbit, so now he made a poor attempt using a headache to try confuse us, so that maybe we’d just want to get home and he could have another go at trying to cause an accident…but we headed back to Eliné despite it all. Accident free and slept peacefully that night at Eliné’s. The next morning we both felt at peace and headed safely towards Pretoria. Arriving safely too.

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Us girls at the beach – windy day though.

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Cooking – time for fun in the kitchen

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Meintjies braaing the steak – yum!!

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Meintjies and Estee

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Cornu and Eliné

So after an amazing weekend, God has definitely blessed me, and taken what Satan intended to harm us and turned it into good and has helped me in trusting the Holy Spirit and shown me how to look beyond what we see and hear in the carnal, focusing only on Him.

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Fighting for You

One of my friends is struggling a lot right now. Things seem to continue to go a little chaotic for her and she is finding it hard to hold onto God and His promises.

But today, in the midst of having finished a whole lot of work after working more than 8 hours through the night and being dead tired, I came across a promise that is made in the Bible. It is in Exodus 14v14: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”

Every day there is going to be a battle, whether we see it and are aware of it or not. It may be physically tangible or in the spiritual realms. No matter how hard life gets, we need to know and hold onto the promise that God WILL fight for us and will come through for us. I know it gets tough, and I have been there, but God is so faithful and He won’t let us down.

It is easy to hold onto God and His beautiful promises when things seem to be going okay, but push us a little too far over the line and suddenly His promises are harder to hold onto and it is easier to forget how faithful He is in fighting for us. Even if we have seen it many times, Him fighting for us and delivering us time and time again, somehow we always forget and have to be reminded. But God is always true to what He promises in His Word, so keep holding on. You can be sure that He will fight for you, no matter what. God’s love is intense and He was serious about fighting for us when He let His Son die for us, so keep holding on.

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Honouring lives lost

Just over a year ago, I had gone to the farm with my aunt and uncle for the weekend. My cousin had had his last day of school that day. I remember him jumping in the car as we picked him up at the Spar on the way home to the farm. It was hot and there was a slight breeze.

That evening he was off to go celebrate and I was supposed to go with him but plans changed and I chose to stay home. We warned him to be careful as he was leaving to a party with one of our mutual friends. That evening our friend changed his plans to go to a different party, my cousin didn’t change his because his girlfriend would be at this particular one. The next morning I was relieved that he hadn’t changed his plans and got home safe the next morning because tragedy had struck that evening. Although relieved for his sake, I was shocked and filled with sadness as our friend whom had changed his plans was rushed into hospital after an accident caused by some guys. He was brain-dead and later didn’t make it. He was the first of many close friends and relatives I would lose in weeks and months to follow from then on ‘til now.

From then on I can remember each of the 19 people I lost around me after that. All very close friends and people I had gotten to know..some were close relatives too. People close to my heart.

A month ago, tomorrow, Uncle Johann Faasen passed away; the last of these 20. It was a Sunday afternoon when he passed away…  I can remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news, the smells, the thoughts, the feelings and so much more.

20 people…how could someone lose so many within a year..? You rarely hear of this, I know. Could they all be people I have spent time with and gotten to know personally? They have been, I can give you details of each of their lives, worries and thoughts they had, things we had discussed the last time I had seen them. So many detailed moments that I can remember, so many moments that are now just fond memories.

So, today, on this golden afternoon….while insects hum, the wind whispers a sweet song and the grass sways, dancing to the melody of the early evening beats…  With a fragrance of rain in the air, as the clouds prepare to break and wash the earth clean, I just want to take a moment to honour the lives lost, those we know and those we don’t know.

May these people continue to be a part of our lives and may we honour them by truly living. Taking each moment and making the best of it, adding value to this world and cherishing what we have as well as the people we have in our lives. May we make them proud by living confidently and diving into life with all we have, not regretting anything but being grateful for each new morning and the grace that has been bestowed upon us. That we may treat others with kindness, love and respect as we ourselves would like to be treated. May we be reminded we were given another day and use it to the best of our ability. Be thankful and remember and honour them in loving ways, using the days you still have, that they haven’t got anymore.

So to the lives of these beautiful people, which we mourn, may we find joy in their memories and joy in living each day to the fullest.

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Get up off the floor…

A great song Tot sent me. It really helps to keep you motivated even when life gets tough…. Dare You to Move by Switchfoot

“Dare You To Move”

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone’s here
Everyone’s here
Everybody’s watching you now
Everybody waits for you now
What happens next
What happens next
[Chorus]
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened before

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
Tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

[Chorus]

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

I dare you to move
I dare you to move
I dare you to lift yourself up off the floor
I dare you to move
I dare you to move
Like today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened
Today never happened before

She sent it to me after I had been in Pietermaritzburg with them after Victor’s tragic death. Thanks Tot!!!
Hope this helps you all
xx M
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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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