Posts Tagged With: strength

Blessed Beyond Compare

Tonight I found myself feeling sorry for myself as I have been sitting at home alone while my sister was out…but now I’m feeling more blessed than I could have imagined and appreciating a lot more than usual…I guess sometimes we take our everyday things as well as relationships with people for granted. And it is in times of huge loss or disappointment that I find myself reminded just how blessed I am. Never have I been more thankful and appreciative of friends God has blessed me with than right at this very moment. And the fact that technology can help us keep in touch even in the moments that great distance stands between us.

Earlier in the week I had emailed my dear friend Kerry-Lee about doing the make-up of another friend(Bianca) of mine for her wedding. Kerry didn’t reply immediately, and I took it she was busy, as this week was pretty chaotic for myself, so I can just imagine for her as a mum, wife, friend, daughter and someone who works too. But tonight she replied, and in it she included her own sad news which was reason for her ‘late'(which I seem to think is more than ON TIME) reply.

A few words into her reply and she had me bawling my eyes out as I could just imagine a tiny bit of what she may be going through. After that, we communicated back and forth…she ended up having me between tears of immense sadness, and laughter and tears of extreme joy and love… It has been the weirdest feelings but it has been great as we both shared our current situations with one another, praying and just being there for each other… It truly has been such a blessing and I have been bursting into tears every few seconds since we started chatting as God has just filled me with an immense intensity of love for my dear friend!!! She has been such a role model, friend and mentor in my life for so long and I cherish her deeply. And being able to share with her and witness again in her life tonight, has been so special. It is just beautiful how God works and how He turns all things to our good no matter how awful our situations might seem.

Kerry-Lee is such a special person that the shortest of moments of communicating between us, are often just as full of impact as those that last hours…if not more… God really shines through her and does the most amazing things in our times of communication and sharing. God has blessed us with great friendship and it is a blessing not going through situations alone, knowing that there is someone else who is listening and praying with you…someone else navigating through situations by your side… Being able to support someone else in the Body of Christ and that person supporting you, is such a blessing and should never be taken for granted.

Kerry-Lee and her son, Reece

Kerry-Lee and her son, Reece

Thanks so much my dear friend! You always seem to inspire me. And your love and support, your grace and strength are incredible. Your character never fails to amaze me. I am truly blessed by your friendship. Loads of love xx

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

The True Vine

In Cape Town some years ago baby vines were planted in the already existing vineyards. Those who had planted them soon noticed these baby vines were being infested by worms and the older vine plants weren’t. No one could understand why. After long consideration the gardeners pruned the older vines and planted the baby vines within the older ones. As the weeks went by the gardeners noticed that the baby vines started growing without any harm being done to them by worms and other pests and soon enough the baby vines and the older vines no longer grew as separate plants but had become one large vine.

This principle is that which is spoken about in the Bible.

Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:1-8 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.  3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.  4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.  5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.  7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.  8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

This concept should be true in anyone’s life. We cannot grow separately from the Father like a baby vine next to Him and hope to be perfect, strong and well next to Him. We need to connect with Him first, being the baby vine connected inside of Him and then grow inside Him, together with Him. Then becoming one with Christ and not apart from Christ.

2 Peter 1:3-9 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;  6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;  7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9 But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

Within this process we should start to build an identity in Christ, realizing our authority within Him. Christ has given us everything we need for this life and has conquered all that needs to be conquered and as He lives in us we have an ability to partake in His divine nature escaping the evil desires of this world. We are capable of so much more just because of whom Christ is and what He has done. His power has given us all we need to live the daily life and to overcome all obstacles that seem too big for us to handle. Nothing is greater than God’s power.

We shouldn’t doubt in ourselves as that is what Satan wants, because when we realize our worth and the immense power we have because of God within us then he is at loss and basically doomed. Satan cannot overcome the Christian who has realized the power and authority of Christ within themselves.

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

This realization of what we have in Christ and whom we are through Christ is a humbling realization and confession that it is only through Christ that we can achieve anything and reach our full potential

Once we realize what we have in Christ we are able to do all things well for His glory.

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I fail. MY GOD DOESN’T

My body and mind may waste away, but God remains the foundation of my life and my inheritance forever. – Psalm 73v26

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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

Underestimated..

In 10 days since my last post so many things have happened. There have been laughs, fights, tears and so much more.

My friend, Liz, sent me a message to say that her boyfriend had broken up with her over the long weekend over skype while he is sitting overseas. Anyway, the whole situation got very messy. He not only emailed her with hurtful things to say but also her parents with a million different excuses and the pastors of the church. She was extremely upset because it all was very unexpected and out of the blue, he kept saying he had been faking it all and it was her own fault that she was hurting. Instead of admitting to his wrongs, he was shifting the blame to her. It really was terrible and cowardly. Luckily on Thursday afternoon, after she had seen me reading Isaiah 55 in class, God appeared to her in a vision. He said so many things that she had read in Isaiah 54 and that I had thought about Isaiah 54 would relate to her. He just said He would build her up stronger than before and that her pain would be used to help others. It really was beautiful. I really did sob when I heard that He had appeared to her.

Last week though, on Wednesday, Deo-Dane picked me up to take me to the school she teaches at. She said she felt God say she should take me with. So she did that although it took a lot of convincing as I really was not up to teaching high school kids some sort of math… She ended up showing me she works with Potato Foundation. She goes to different schools in rural areas and takes them whatever is needed to keep their school going and the kids happy and then she teaches them about God and sings songs and so on. The coolest job in the world!!! It was exactly what I needed that day because I still had to tell my parents that I’d be doing an extra year of studies. I hadn’t told them yet, because I was stressing out about their reaction. Luckily, I spoke to Deo and she got me motivated. She spoke to me about Isaiah 55 and how there is a purpose with everything. She also just gave testimony to the fact that if she hadn’t messed up with her studies God wouldn’t have put her where she is now. That even though everything is chaos and I may have messed up, God has the bigger picture can use anything to work for good. When I got home after working with Deo, I mailed my parents the news and all the things Deo had said. That evening we had a streetbraai with all our neighbours and my parents sent me a message which surprised me. They were very supportive and understanding. It really meant a lot.

So over this past weekend, after a week of classes and supporting my friend Liz, my heart would get hurt too. I went on facebook the evening before bed. I went off and suddenly I decided I should go back on facebook. I had a feeling I shouldn’t but I did it anyway. To my utter disappointment I was confronted with a photo of my ex and one of our friends. We had worked on the same committee. So I asked my friend Elicia what was going on and whether they were dating. She said yes. I didn’t mind until she told me they had already been dating 5 days and quite a few of our mutual friends knew. I was upset. Horribly upset because I had to find out from a friend and was ‘nearly’ last to know and because he had seen me everyday since Wednesday in which he had countless opportunities to tell me. It was horrible. I cried for a long while and luckily for my two roommates and sister being at home. They comforted me and opened up a wine bottle. Not the best thing to do when upset – note to self:choose chocolate in times of pain – it’s yummy & doesn’t cause hangovers. Sunday I spent the day with Freddy & Shikara. Went for lunch and watched Avengers (awesome movies!)

I spoke to my friend Liz about it too and she said the following to me which is so true: “I’m beginning to realise that the world is seriously lacking men who are bold enough to be MEN..and we as women suffer the consequences terribly. Why can’t they just be men? Just brave enough to admit their faults instead of blaming other people for their own weaknesses, we as the women have to carry the role of men that we shouldn’t have to. Burdens that are not ours to carry.” It was true and is true. I got a thousand excuses from my ex about the horrible way in which he had handled this.

Monday Tammy & Mari (Wassie) went with me to shop for a dress for a 21st over the weekend but they also helped me find an outfit for Deo’s birthday on Tuesday night. It would be my first night out at an event where my ex and his girlfriend would be and the girls wanted me to look “HOT”. We had lots of fun and then had a great supper together.

Tuesday evening came and I was nervous as anything about Deo’s birthday dinner because it would be my ‘coming out’ night. I was freaking out about having to face my ex and his gf. I was super nervous. Everyone I know and all the girls in my house were giving me pep talks and trying to motivate me. They did my hair and helped where ever they can. Tammy who was feeling sick even went to be my ‘wingwoman’ incase I needed her and couldn’t handle it. The girls really were worried. Everybody said I should just take a really hot guy with. I wanted to but no guy could come and I didn’t want a guy to go with me because of that, I wanted a guy to go with me because he wanted to. I also needed to face it on my own. I mean, what if I bumped into them somewhere else and I didn’t have a guy with me, then what? I needed to know I could handle it on my own, it was just way too easy for me to hide behind some guy. When I got to the restaurant I walked in with them sitting at the table facing the door. I had to take a deep breath for a second there. But the rest of the night I felt this immense peace and confidence come over me and it really went well. I even said hi and congratulated them and everything was fine. Last night I saw them again at a concert and I was fine. So through all the tears, everything worked out.

So what I am trying to say is, many times we underestimate ourselves and others do to. But just try the things you want to, even if the obstacles or tasks look daunting. You may just surprise yourself. And trust me, it really feels great to see what you actually achieve when you believe in yourself and prove yourself.

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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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