Sea angels

It was in May 2016 when I stood at a beach in Normandy with my parents. The sky was grey and the wind was blowing. It was cold. Looking out across the Atlantic Ocean, something happened inside my soul. It felt as if the Holy Spirit was speaking to me. As if, for the first time in a long time, someone understood how I felt. I was not alone that day. Not only the Holy Spirit was with me, but I felt the presence of numerous angels around me. As if Heaven wanted to reassure me that I was not alone. There is someone who understands my heart and my emotions, even when I don’t understand it myself.

Although I am not fan of sunbathing at a crowded beach, or sunbathing in general, I do like to stroll across the beach. Especially on windy days when the beaches are mostly empty and you can only hear your own thoughts. I love seeing the outstretched beach and the endless ocean in front of me. No end and no beginning. It just is. Water is always moving. It never rests. Besides oceans I also love creeks and lakes. I remember as a child on summer holidays that we would spend our sundays at small creeks or lakes in Switzerland, France and Austria. The peace that these days brought to me, I will never forget. They now remain a very happy memory that I can visit whenever I want.

Water is happiness and peace but also turmoil. In the endless oceans often appear vortexes. today’s oceans are covered in plastic. So even though the ocean is a happy place full of wonder, imagine sea life, it is also a broken place. Maybe that is what connected me with the ocean that day in May. Maybe that is what the Holy Spirit tried to point out to me. Just like the sea being restless, so am I. An ongoing energy that can experience happiness and turmoil, I am broken. Restless. Not unhappy but a constant flow between the two.

That day my heart found a peaceful place where the Holy Spirit connected with me. The words He gave me still hold a special place in my heart. Every time I read it, I still feel that this is exactly how I feel. Restless. But the comfort that there is Someone who knows how I feel and understands it, it such a comfort! God knows how I feel. He understands it. When Jesus was on earth, He experienced the same feelings and emotions as every human being experiences them. So we can be assured that Jesus knows exactly how we feel. And sometimes we just have to be made aware of that. It is a good thing that we have the Holy Spirit to point it out to us once in a while. to point out that we are not alone and that our feelings and emotions in that particular moment are completely understood. life is broken, happy and in turmoil at the exact same time. But God knows how we feel. And that is an enormously gracious gift which God the Father gave us. Something to be thankful for.

These are the words that came to me that day:
Sea Angels

Hannah’s courage

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the story of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Ever since I was a child, I had this affinity with Hannah – a certain connection. She is without a doubt one of my favorite biblical women. The reason I love her so much is her courage and dedication to God.

Hannah did not have an easy life, I believe. She had to share her husband with another woman who bullied her constantly because she was childless. In those days, being childless, was more or less a curse from God. People seriously believed that you had sinned against God, so God punished you by not giving you children. Besides children were your wealth. When people looked at your riches, they didn’t look at how much money you had or the size of your house you owned. They looked at your children. If you had many children, especially a son, you were rich and blessed.

So Hannah is in a difficult spot. Hannah’s situation is continuing for years. The bullying from Peninnah is hurting Hannah so much that she stops eating.  Even the love of her husband cannot cheer her up anymore. But instead of letting her problems defeat her, Hannah gets up and goes to the Lord’s House. She takes her problems to the only place where she can get true help. She takes it to God. The most inspiring part of this story to me is Hannah’s request. She could have asked for a child and left it at that. But she does not. Hannah promises God that if He gives her a son, she will give him back. I am not a mother but I can imagine the sacrifice Hannah makes here. All she ever wanted was a child. In fact she wants it so much that she is willing to give him up. It seems to me that all Hannah wanted was to know what it feels like to be a mother. Her heartache rises high above Penninah’s bullying. Hannah truly misses something in her heart, in her life, and she is willing to go the extra mile to make it happen. Her faith in God is astonishing. Her courage inspiring.

Would I be willing to give up what I wanted most? Would I be able to say, “God if you give me this, I will give it all back to you”? Hannah’s strength is extraordinary to me. In the world where we live in today, I don’t know if I could. But Hannah can. Her heartache becomes her greatest testimony.

What is inspiring about this story also, is Hannah’s courage to ignore other people’s opinion about her. As she is praying in the Lord’s House, the priest Eli thinks that Hannah is drunk. In those days people prayed aloud. When one prayed, he prayed so everybody could hear it. But not Hannah. Hannah does not hang her dirty laundry outside so to say. She prays silently. Only God is allowed to hear her grieve. Only God is allowed inside her heart, inside her deepest sorrow. When Eli wants to send her away, she remains calm and explains him why she prayed the way she did. Hannah was not afraid to do things her way. I see her as a strong woman. Her difficult situation definitely did not define who Hannah truly was. She was a smart, strong woman, who knew God and loved Him. And because of her faith, God gave Hannah what she asked for.

This story to me is incredible. Samuel is born and as soon as he is old enough, Hannah brings him to Silo, where the Lord’s House is situated. Samuel becomes a great prophet because of his mother’s courage and sacrifice. Hannah wrote history by her courageous act of faith and love. And in my opinion she does not get enough credit for it. Most people look at Mary the mother of Jesus or Mary Magdalene, Ruth or Esther, but not many look at Hannah the mother of Samuel. Would you be able to ask God for something only to give it back? How difficult must it have been for Hannah to bring young Samuel to Silo that day. To give her own child up. In Hannah’s prayer we can read that it actually brings her joy. God gave her what she asked for and that was enough. Hannah didn’t mind about the way how God gave it.

When I compare myself to Hannah, I can clearly see the flaws within myself. If I ask for something, I often want it my way. I am not open enough to God’s way of doing things. Besides when I have to give something up, I get sad and frustrated. I honestly cannot imagine asking God for a child and giving him back to God with a happy heart. I would probably be devastated. Imagine it yourself for a moment. Maybe you just become a mother or father after a series of IVF or after a long journey of adoption. Imagine taking your child to church and leaving him or her behind, so they can serve the Lord. You have to understand that Hannah only saw her son ones a year! It was not like she brought him there, he did what he had to do, and she brought him back home. No! She gave him up. Samuel stayed in Silo and Hannah went back home. Could you do that? I believe we can all learn so much from Hannah. From her courage and her sacrifice, but mostly, from her gratitude and joy.

You can read Hannah’s story in the bible, in 1 Samuel 1 and 2.
One last thing. God, in His love and goodness, gave Hannah three sons and two daughters after Samuel. Hannah’s reward for her willingness to give Samuel back to God. It teaches me personally that through all the sorrow in our own life, God will give us so much more in return, if only we are willing to have faith in Him!

 

When the world turns upside down

At the moment the ground behind our house is a construction sight where new houses are being build. Somehow this is exactly how I feel my life is at the moment. A construction sight where someone is working very hard to establish something and I  don´t know whether or not I am happy with it. Somehow I feel like my whole life comes together at this particular moment. Things are about to change and I am not happy with it.

Thursday before Easter we heard that my mother has cancer. A week later we heard that it had already spread throughout her body and she only has a couple more months to live. It felt as if the ground underneath me opened up and I was swallowed into the deep earth. As if a massive earthquake turned my entire life upside down. Even today I find it difficult to deal with. My mother is the sweetest soul that ever lived (according to my humble opinion), and that this had to happen to her seemed unfair to me. I know that a lot of people are in similar situations, so why would my mother be an exception to the rule? When it is your own family, I believe that we are all biased in some ways.
But it’s not just my mother’s good heart. She is also my best friend. Since making friends was never an easy for me, I spend a lot of my time with my mother. We made trips together to Vienna and London, we always go shopping together or drink coffee/tea at a cafe. She is the first person I go to when I am struggling with something. I tell her literally everything. She is my greatest support and always encourages me to keep pursuing my dreams. She was the first to believe in my dreams/visions and my conversations with God. She was the first to accept and support my calling. As you can see, my mother means so much to me and sooner or later, it will all be gone.

Maybe I should feel happy that she is going to Jesus, to Heaven. But right now I just feel selfish and I want to keep her close to me. I am simply not ready to lose her. I am not ready to go through this change. In the last weeks I have yelled at God, screamed at Him, cried out to Him. My emotions are twirling like a wild tornado and I feel, like I will never be joyful again. Anger has slipped into my heart, a feeling of unfairness. God can heal her and He is not doing it. People say that God has His reasons but if you see others being healed over and over again, it feels slightly unfair that your loved one has to pay the price.

Looking back at photos from a year back, I see that the tumor we noticed last December, has been there for a long time. It made me wonder why God didn’t open our eyes sooner? Why didn’t we get a chance to save her? I talk to God on a daily basis in many literal ways (which is unique I know) but this makes no sense to me.  So many questions went through my mind. When the bible tells us to pray, believe that you have received it and it will be given to you, why doesn’t God answer the prayer when we do exactly that? I prayed, I believed and it was not given to me. Why doesn’t God intervene, when He clearly has the power to do so?

The only answer that comes up inside my heart, right at this moment, is because He loves us! God will not let us be tested above our abilities. Maybe, just maybe, God loves my mother so much that He wants to prevent her from getting hurt. Maybe bringing my mother Home (to Heaven) is the only right answer. And maybe, even though I do not feel it right now, God will help me through this. I will get through this. One day I will get up and smile again.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

God loves me. And it is that love that will guide me through this. The interesting thing is that as I was angry at God, I refused to talk to Him for a while. But God talked to me and said, “Gineke, talk to me”! You see, God rather wants us to yell at Him in anger as we tell Him exactly what is inside our hearts than hide and ignore Him. God the Father once told me, “When you cry, I cry. When you are angry, I am angry. When you laugh, I laugh”. God is one with our emotions. He feels what is inside our hearts. He understands all the emotions that are within us. When someone hurts us, God gets hurt too. So if there is one who we can confide in, it is God. And that is what I ended up doing. I told God exactly how I feel and it made me feel a whole lot better. I cannot grow by my own strength, I need the light of God to lift me up. Only with God I can get through this. Only with God there is hope even when I don’t see it yet.

Between questions and answers

Faith is wobbling at the edge of a deep cliff and I wonder when it is going to tumble over. When life is a battle and all our weapons have been used, how do we keep on fighting? Exhaustion is wearing me out and I wonder when it is enough? When will the future become something, instead of this unseen thought? Is everything I dreamed of nothing more than a mirage? Tears trickle down my fears until there are no tears left and a drought season sets in. Plants will not grow and the sun will not shine. Still we believe that someday the grey will disappear and the colors will flow back.

Restless my heart searches for stability. But the last piece of the rope slips through my fingers and all there is left is a free fall. The world stops and the sounds fade. For a moment there is nothing but You and me and I wonder, whether or not you really see me. Do You hear my last prayers flutter up towards Heaven like a million multicolored butterflies? Or has the sounds muted in its flight? Wonder is a funny thing where the mind floats between questions and answers. Questions are asked and answers are seeked but silence blurs even the loudest call.

Is silence a friend or an enemy? At this point I would not know. Uncontrolled I walk across a beam, hanging above an enormous abyss. It can go either good or wrong but all I can focus on, is the umbrella that You gently put in my hands. I don’t know how to use it. As I am figuring this out the instability grows intens. Do I have to stop myself in the wonder why life seems to go on unasked? When twenty four hours are in a day, how do I find the twenty fifth? Time is an earthly measure, so maybe that is why the old antique clock has broken down. How do we find time when there is none?

When all I can hear in the deafening silence is, “Go on”, where then do I find the answers, when the magpie has taken my last gem away?

The Weaver and the tapestry

Our place in this world is unique. Each and every single one us has his own place in this world. There is not a person to many or too little. Everyone is exactly where he/she is supposed to be. It is like a tapestry. Each wire has its own place and function but the tapestry could not exist without each and every single threat.

When one comes face to face with an approaching death within the family, life somehow becomes much clearer. As my mom is battling cancer (a battle she is going to lose according to the doctors), I start to reflect on my life more than usual. Questions like; what is important to me and what do I really need, are going around in my mind. Looking back on life I can clearly see God’s hand in everything. Every moment in my life was carefully coordinated by His mighty hand. Before I was born, my life was painted into great detail. Not a single color or brushstroke was left out. Every word was written down. When life happens, it is very difficult to see that you are a part of a great tapestry. Your life really matters! It is the moment when life comes to a halt that you start to see the full picture (or after something bad happened).

We have these moments in life when we look back over our shoulder and suddenly see the full picture. As if we have always been looking at the bottom of this tapestry. All we could see was the knots and chaos in the threads. Nothing seemed to make sense. But suddenly you get a small glimpse at what the other side looks like. You can see the Weaver create every detail in this enormous tapestry. Every color and every thread is handpicked.

To me it is very comforting to know that Someone is in control. God is the Great Weaver who has put all His blood, sweat and tears into this masterpiece. Sometimes the knots hurt. Sometimes we believe that the threads are supposed to be at a different place or preferably not there at all. Sometimes we believe that we could do a better job, if we had a say in it. But looking at the tapestry of my own life, I personally disagree. I could not have done a better job at my tapestry than God. Even though I have been hurt, I can clearly see how much God loves me. God the Father has never allowed a single knot or thread at the wrong place or the wrong time. I can clearly see moments where evil tried to destroy or put the wrong thread in the tapestry and God stopped it.

Looking at the tapestry of life, all I can say is, God the Father did an amazing job. I can feel His love in every thread of my life, in every fiber of my being. Life isn’t easy and sometimes it seems unfair, but I believe that God sees the bigger picture. A picture I can not yet see. Sometimes I get a glimpse but I can never see the full tapestry. Still I only trust God with my life. I only trust God with my tapestry because I know that He does see the full picture. He knows where I came from and where I will go. He has created me and wove me into a unique masterpiece. Whenever life gets difficult and all I can see is chaos, God shows me His love in numerous ways. I can always talk to Him and He always listens to me. His hand holds mine and He never let’s go. His hands hold me up when I cannot stand anymore and His wisdom guides me along the way.

Even though I cannot see the full tapestry, I can see the Weaver.
Even though I do not understand all the knots and threads,
I do know that the end result will be breathtaking!

When the future is inescapable

Sometimes I take poems or pieces of wisdom that come up in my mind and I turn them into pictures by using textgram. I wish that I could use my own pictures but I am not a brilliant photographer, even though I absolutely love it (so all credit goes to textgram!).
Anyway, today I wrote a poem called ‘When the future is inescapable’ and I really want to share it with you. I turned it into a picture which you can also find at my instagram and Facebook. I hope you like it and I hope it inspires you, gives you hope and fills you with love.

When the future is inescapable

An ever present companion

Today, as I was standing in church, someone came up to me and asked me how I was. This may not be so extraordinary to you, but to me it is. In church people rarely talk to me. And I really mean…ME! Yes they say hello or inquire after my parents but they rarely speak to me.
It has always been that way. Somehow I don´t make friends easily. Yes, I have had friends in school but I always learned in the end that they were not my real friends. The amount of times I felt laughed at and ridiculed, I cannot tell you. At some point I simply stopped counting the times. But the words I never forgot, and to this day, those words are still haunting me at times. It often comes up in my mind when I am feeling insecure.
Those times I was “bullied” (not just by kids my own age but also by adults, who should have known better!), they have created a huge distrust towards people inside of me. People I should have been able to trust, appeared to be unreliable and mean. But people I didn’t trust, never got a chance to be a friend. It has literally turned my life upside down.
For a great part of my life, I have lived with this, at times suffocating, loneliness. But it was in those times of loneliness that God was very close. God was not just the Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth, He was often also a Father, a Brother and a Friend. He was all in one for me. Always there to make sure that I would feel loved. God always made sure that I didn’t feel alone. God saved my life in so many ways that I could never find a true way to properly say, “Thank You”.
The poem ‘Loneliness’ is about; how I felt in those moments of suffocating loneliness. I wrote it a couple of years ago, when I had just started writing again. I hope that it will bring love and hope to you in your own loneliness. And I hope it will make you see that with God, you are never really alone!

Loneliness 

My eyes can only see,
togetherness in bloom.
The bunch of roses show,
just one carnation in the room.

Not accepted by the world,
dwelling in my desolation,
my feet are wandering forth,
searching for salvation.

But loneliness is hunting me,
Like a lion hunts its prey,
where I go and what I do,
It never goes away.

drowning in my loneliness,
feeling that I’m not alone,
rescuing me to the shore,
a love I’ve never known.

He brings me in His presence,
my heart is filled with praise.
My God who took my loneliness,
replaced it with His grace.

 

 

The first-born view

The first-born view

 In front of the south gate,
the platform shows a change –
nature made room for a city.

I miss the green grass smile at me,
and my heart longs for the first-born view.

Sitting on the edge my feet swing,
on the angelic melody that soothes my soul.

Discomfort is born out of fear,
preventing my heart to settle down,
for this view is more than I ever saw before.

Searching for stability in this dizzying sight,
Your eyes interlock with mine,
and Your smile sends a heartwarming invitation.

Standing at the top of the stairway,
I wonder if I can let go,
of everything I ever knew.

Born in the first-born view,
is the request for change.

Inside the shell

Inside the shell

I am a pearl inside a shell.
Who will open me up?

Effortless footprints,
are washed away by the sea.
Who will bring them back?

Forgotten memories,
are like sprouted seeds.
Who will plant the seedlings?

If only the flower could grow,
on the breath of the wind,
she wouldn’t lose her petals in the storm.

Now I must learn to walk again,
but I cannot find the cane.
Who will teach me the steps?

If healing would have a guideline,
we would not need the Hands.
We would not know the Love.

Only Love can plant the seedlings.
Only patience can let it grow.
But the pearl can only be seen,
if I learn to see the effortless footprints,
inside the shell.

 

The only sense of true reality

The only sense of true reality

In the deafening silence,
when all time stands still,
the world stops turning,
around its own axis,
and the image freezes in the snow.

Breaking through dimensions,
Your voice pierces through time,
like a bolt of light,
breaking through the earth.
But only I can hear You.

Gentleness is a strength,
in a size unable to measure.
How can a mountain fit in a box?
How can a house fit in a purse?
The inability to hold reality,
confuses the mind,
until it meets the inability,
to understand.

But when I hear Your voice,
Your vision is the only reality,
that I truly understand.
Your gentleness is the only coat,
that seems to fit.

Nobody wants to hear me.
Nobody seems to understand,
the truth of this reality.
They hold on to the bricks,
in a fear to fall down the cliff.
I wish they could see,
that the ground is only one feet,
underneath their own reality.

Love is guidance,
where you learn to let go.
Kicking the dust of my feet,
my focus shifts back to You,
the only sense of true reality.