Posts Tagged With: support

Smiley Saturday

So today my mood is way better and I must say, I woke up feeling way better…my flu has turned out to be measles instead of flu, but I do feel flu-ish still. But tons better.

In other news another friend and rugby player has gotten engaged. So congrats to Whestley Moolman on his engagement to Tanya Naude!!! May the future together be filled with unconditional love, grace and an abundance of blessings!

The engagement ring

The engagement ring

Whestley & Tanya

Whestley & Tanya

Then during the week, I went to buy a new yoga mat…I thought the blue colour would be best, very calming, relaxed colour and it just reminds me of the ocean! So I’ve been keen to try it out.

A few tips though girls, is when trying to do headstands and forearm-stand poses, like a tripod, scorpion and other poses…if you haven’t tried them because your arms and shoulders don’t seem strong enough, use your wall as a little support and help in the beginning stages of trying and getting used to them. It also helps so that you can build up strength until you no longer need the wall or any support. And what is just as fun, makes you feel like a kid again, is to try these poses on your bed – makes the epic falls a little easier and softer in the beginning. It helps me, because I’m a little afraid sometimes and it supports my wrists a little that have been broken. Plus, it just is fun. I’ve moved my bed right next to the wall…so being home with my parents…they have caught me upside down on my bed against the wall a few times… especially when I’m feeling a little bored and want to do something a fun and look silly! So go ahead and try it and see if it helps you in gaining some confidence towards trying some of these things!f5 f3

So anyway – have a happy, smiley Saturday

xx

 

 

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

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

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

Testimony of Prayer

Hi my dear friends

You all know my heart and my love for God and people, and I always want to help people, especially those close to me. This is another one of those stories but one God has been writing for longer than I ever thought. Not only is it a story but also a testimony of God’s love for us & how powerful prayer is as well as the importance of following where God leads.

I had watched Top Billing with my sister while I was home for the holidays in 2010 and there had been a guy on their presenter search with the name Bernhard. I didn’t pay much attention to the name or what his surname had been, I just remembered his face. December 14, 2010 I sent Bernhard Faasen a message on facebook for the first time after God brought his name up in my prayer time. I’ve never been someone to pray much because I never thought God heard my prayers. God put it on my heart to be someone whom he can talk to and someone who could pray for him. I never thought much of it until I need to give a testimony of what God was doing in my life at Church yesterday. The whole week I’d been stressing about what I would share but that is when God brought the whole story together. Our chats on facebook have never been very long, always to the point – I asked the same questions and he answered. There’s very few times that he ever had prayer requests for me but I prayed for him anyway, whether he and I communicated on facebook or not. The last year has been my toughest. God was so faithful to me but I have been through deep waters. On Friday, it will be precisely a year, one in which I have been through many ups and downs. In it I lost 18 people that part of my life or very close to me, 1 being in a tragic drowning at a camp with my house mates earlier this year, there were 5 people close to me that got cancer, 4 people I know were raped and not only that I struggled with my studies because of everything that had happened and nightmares that caused many sleepless nights. But like I said, God has been extremely faithful and I have grown and learnt so much! In the last few months as most of my house mates know, I have been struggling with extreme and very intense nightmares, to the point that the devil seems to use it as a form of attacking me spiritually, emotionally & physically. In the last month or so, I switched on the TV one afternoon and accidentally stumbled onto a singing competition on KYKNET. As I watched Bernhard’s name flashed past. I thought I was seeing things and quickly went onto facebook to see if there is any sign that he really is part of the competition. I doubted it could be him but he was part of the program. During this time I never once saw or heard him sing, every week that I was able to watch the repetition he was not part of the group that sang. God put it heavily on my heart to pray for him and just ask how it is going and whether he has any prayer requests. Our conversations on facebook became longer but there was still nothing for which he needed prayer. Again, I just prayed. Whenever I prayed for God would teach me new things about Bernhard’s character. The second to last time he appeared on the program I heard him sing for the first time, so now I know too. A day or so before my 21st God had put it on my heart to invite Bernhard to it – but I felt it’s a bit weird and ridiculous and too far to drive and found 100 excuses to not invite him. It was stupid but God found a way of working around it. On Thursday after I had turned 21 God had put it on my heart again to send him a message to see if there were any prayer requests from his side and to see how he was doing. Thursday was a chaotic day and I had to deal with a crisis and forgot all about sending Bernhard the message. Then I left for the weekend to a game farm & was without signal but God pressing on my heart about Bernhard. When I got back on Monday morning sent Bernhard a message and forgot about it when I had finished. Tuesday I decided to take a nap because I had been feeling sick after the weekend. I got stuck in an intense nightmare and couldn’t get myself to wake up from it and there was no one around to wake me up. God whispered Bernhard’s name into the nightmare & I suddenly woke up from the nightmare. I got the feeling I should go onto facebook and I did, where I received a reply from Bernhard on the previous day’s message. This is the message he had replied with:

Hello Michelle .. It was a very good weekend, thank you! Hope you had a great weekend.
You can definitely pray for my father who is in hospital in PTA. He received a bone marrow transplant and the cells are being rejected in his body therefore he has become very sick.
Thank you!

I was so happy to have woken from the nightmare and felt very blessed. I tried to get hold of Bernhard on facebook to hear what hospital his father was in because I felt I should visit Bernhard’s father, but I forgot to ask his father’s name. Jaco said he would visit his mother in the hospital because she would be there Wednesday evening, and if they were at the same hospital we could gp together. As things had to happen, I could not get hold of Bernhard and I didn’t have a number for him. I sent him a message on facebook, I tweeted him and sent an email. During the week the name Johann kept coming up in my prayers or while I was doing other stuff but I didn’t know why. On Wednesday, Jaco said his mom’s procedure had been postponed by a week and he didn’t have to go to the hospital anymore and as I still hadn’t heard from Bernhard I just left it. I just thought, ‘That’s okay, all in God’s time. He knows what he’s doing.’ Thursday evening while Mari went to bath, I cried and prayed about something that happened as I felt discouraged and doubted in myself a little. I also prayed for Bernhard and a few other people I know. At that moment, lights flashed on my blackberry and when I quickly checked my phone. Bernhard’s name came up on BBM (he had added me at that moment for the first time) and he had contacted me about his father. It was not long after when an indescribable peace and joy of God came over me and I no longer felt this heaviness on my heart. Thursday night I went to bed before I had received Bernhard’s last message. I began to dream and the nightmares began all over again, I could not wake up but again God whispered Bernhard’s name and I was immediately pulled out of the nightmare and woken up. I felt scared and was filled with panic but there was a sudden calmness that came over me as I read Bernhard’s last message, in which he mentioned his father’s name was Johann. I just talked to God while I waited to fall asleep again. In that time, God spoke to me about Bernhard’s character and fears and about his father, Johann. I felt God press on my heart to pray for him, to visit him and also to be tested to see if I could be a donor of bone marrow or cells to help his dad. I then sent a message to Chris, a pastor I know, to pray for Bernhard, his father & family as well as for favour, because I know he wakes up at 6am every morning to pray. Friday mornings at 6am, everyone in our commune (or diggs) gets up to pray as well so I requested they pray for what is to happen next too. I also sent an email to the hospital to find out about a few things and asked Elicia whether she would be able to go with me on Friday or Saturday. Friday Elicia seemed to get sick so we didn’t go to hospital as we didn’t want to make anyone there even more sick. I prayed with her over the phone and on Saturday she was better. Saturday while everyone went to Ivory Park, I stayed at home and waited for Elicia and her boyfriend Yvotte and drove to the hospital together. We then talked to the nurse about what could be done but when they said they had nothing to do with the donations made and I had to make contact with THE SUNFLOWER FUND. She also said, patients may receive only two visitors per day between 13.00 and 20.00. Everyone is pretty much isolated in their own rooms, and there is little they get to do. You could only visit in short intervals because patients become tired from the medicine and so on. We had about 30 to 45 minutes time and I was so nice talking with Uncle Johann. Elicia and I were so blessed by the conversation and the whole visit. Uncle Johann had been so excited to call Bernhard and handed me the phone to talk to his son (the first time Bernhard and I had ever talked over a phone) but I just think he wanted to hear from Bernhard about the rugby scores. I was just as happy, because I also missed the game and wanted an update. Elicia, Yvotte and I then had coffee and caught up before they dropped me off at home. When I came home I went on SUNFLOWER FUND’s website and I found out more about the next steps and how I could become a donor to help Bernhard’s father as I believe God has asked.

The chance that I will be a match is 1 in 100 000 but I believe nothing is impossible with God and He has a plan. We serve an Almighty God so the statistics don’t really bother me. Tests must obviously be done before I could donate to see if I could be a possible match. Unfortunately you have to pay R2000 before this can happen. If you don’t have the money they put you on a waiting list and until there is money available for it. It is an amount which I don’t have so I decided to pray for it and share this story with others. Even if I could not be a match for Uncle Johann, which I believe I can be, I might be a match for someone else.

Uncle Johann was diagnosed with Bone Marrow Cancer in 2008, but Wesselsbron where they live there are no facilities available to deal with this like we are privileged to have here in Pretoria. In March 2011 he had a bone marrow transplant and one of his sisters was the donor. His other sister was not a match. Her cells had to grow & take over 100% in his body. If at any time his own cells would grow back he is likely to get very ill and his body could possibly reject the bone marrow. He has been in hospital for 3 weeks now for treatment because he has been severely ill as 3% of his own cells have grown back. So it doesn’t take much for people with this disease to become ill again and the cells become to be rejected. He should go home today or tomorrow but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t need a donation.

I have felt the need to help as God has really put it on my heart. God has been working on the story for a while now and I learn something new every day as God brings it all together and reveals more of the story to me. This Friday it will be exactly a year and 9 months that I have been praying for Bernhard without knowing him. All I know about him is what God has shown me and said through prayer. For the last year and 9 months I could never figure out how God would use someone like me in Bernhard’s life when I had never met him and he never shared any prayer requests or his heart. Now, he has something that really troubles him and is important to him. And finally, I have been given the chance to help. I shared my testimony at church last night. I thought I had spoken in circles and that nobody had heard what I had said as I thought most of them had fallen asleep while I had spoken. I was in tears and very troubled afterwards, doubting in myself but hoping God had done the rest because I felt like a flop. And I am happy to say, I have gotten so many messages from people who want to help financially or any way possible, even if there are any additional costs. This morning I woke up with a message, that someone had deposited that full amount into my account. I also phoned THE SUNFLOWER FUND today, got registered, filled in forms & paid the money for the tests. On Tuesday Anneke & my sister went with me to get the first blood tests done. During the week I have had so many phone calls, messages and visits from people whom wanted to hear how I was doing and how Bernhard’s father as well as Bernhard are doing. There has been so much support and help from people who have wanted to show them love and help out wherever they can. It is a difficult process as getting information takes time and communication is sometimes limited.

This past week, on Wednesday, my house mates and I met Bernhard for the first time as well as his friend Frank. We had tea and showed them our two houses and really got to chat well and overall had a great time getting to know them. Most of the people in our house asked that I invite them to a concert that evening but unfortunately they couldn’t make it as they really would have enjoyed the people and networking a little as well. This morning I also heard back from the hospital and that they are waiting to confirm with Bernhard’s doctor/s what needs to be done next and what he needs and then we can work from there. Erna will keep me updated. So the journey so far has been so blessed, and every moment I can, I go to God in constant prayer, just trying to lift them up. Many friends and family members are also doing the same daily which is so important and I am so grateful for. God is working and doing such amazing things and I truly believe He hears every prayer.

God is so faithful, we just need to rely on Him and act in obedience. I have learnt that, but also that God seems to love a good story and He is busy with each of ours’ daily. We just have to decide whether we a willing to take part in it. He loves a good story and He loves us so much. I can only say I am extremely thankful. Not only that, but that prayer is so extremely powerful, more than words can describe and we can imagine. May God get the glory for it all.

So please remember to lift them up in prayer and that God will have His hand over this bringing healing, restoration and unity. As well as for favour and that things further on will go well.

Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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