There is no partiality with God!

Last night I was reading Romans 2. When I got to the eleventh verse, I felt so touched

‘For there is no partiality with God’.

You may know by now that my life was far from easy. I have never really spoken about what happened because I don’t want to hurt the people that hurt me. This may sound weird, but it is something that God taught me. One day, a couple of years ago, I wanted to write my story down for all the wrong reasons. I wanted others to feel a grain of the pain I felt all those years. But God said to me, “Gineke, there are those that hurt you because they really wanted to but there are also those that hurt you because they got hurt first. They hurt you out of their own brokenness. If you tell your story, you will hurt them all over again. Don’t take revenge”! That day I decided that my story would not be told. Or at least the names of the people who hurt me, nor how they are related to me (whether family, friends or aqcuaintances), would ever be told. But I will say this. I was yelled at, laughed at, excluded, rejected, ridiculed and hurt. The worst thing that was ever said to me was that I was worthless.

Because of my past I have several issues among which a generalized anxiety disorder and a negative self-image. It is something I have been battling for years. Especially when nothing in life seems to go to plan, I mentally punish myself even when it is not my fault. I am literally my own worst critic. When I have these depressive moods, it shows especially in my prayers. I ask God what is wrong with me and on rare days, I even ask God why He still loves me because He is better off without me. In my own view God could better replace for somebody else because everybody is better than me. This sounds worrisome but the past has left some ugly scars that hurt from time to time. I have had numerous therapists, including EMDR, but nothing worked so far. I have prayed countless prayers for myself but none of them were answered.

So, when I read that verse last night, it felt like lightning on a blue sunny day. Too many people have rejected me and because of that I Always feel as if everybody else is Always better than me. I am never good enough. But don’t we all feel this way? Don’t we all feel either better or worse than somebody else? Whether it is in religion of our jobs, our family our character, we feel better or worse than others. But God does not!!!

God looks at us without judgement. He loves us all equally, regardless of who we are, what we have done or what we look like. Like God told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7,

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Samuel was at the house of Jesse to anoint the new King. When Jesse sons were presented, Samuel judged them the way he saw them. One look strong, the other intelligent and another handsome. But God reminded Samuel that the heart is more important that the outward appearance. God had chosen David. A young shepherd boy. The one who looked least like a future King.

For us it works the same way. We look at other the way we see them. We put them on a pedestal and praise them for their beauty, outstanding work, amount of charity, their ministry, their prayer life etc. But God reminds us that this is all just outward appearance. None of us is better than the other. People may look almost perfect, but they have issues that we know nothing about. They are not better than us, but they are just like us.  Isn’t that beautiful? Instead of punishing ourselves for not being good enough we may remind ourselves that God loves us so much and with God there is no partiality. In God’s eyes we are beautiful, unique, created by Him and dearly loved by Him.

So, the next time when I feel down. The next time when my past reminds me that I am never good enough. I only must remind myself that with God there is no partiality. God loves me and that’s the truth.

God loves you and accepts you the way you are, even when you find it hard to accept yourself. Do you believe that?

If you need prayer, maybe because you have a negative self-image as well or because you feel hurt, let me know. You can do this via a contact form (this way I get an email and it is all private) or you may write it below this message. You are not alone! You are loved by Jesus!

Romans 2 11

When God says ‘No’.

We all have those days, or weeks, where things are not going according to plan. Last week was one of those weeks for me. My dad was on holiday, so I planned a calm and relaxing week for myself (I life with my parents and since my mother passed away last year, I now life with my dad)

But my plans quickly went down the drain. My dog got sick. He remained sick all week and I was busy all day looking after him. At the end of the week, my dog seemed to be getting better, when he left an unpleasant surprise for me on the kitchen floor. I had a busy day the next day and I was unable to cancel any of it. So I started to worry. If I would leave my dog alone all day, it was waiting for another nasty surprise on the kitchenfloor but I also had my responsibilities. I didn’t consider praying about it because I decided to just trust that things would turn out fine in the end. I told myself not to worry and I tried to push the worry out of my mind. Of course this didn’t work but I tried not to make a big deal out of it, like I usually do.

The next morning God surprised me with some unexpected grace. Instead of working (a cleaning job I have at the family firm that is now ran by my brother), my brother texted me if I could babysit instead. Even though I hadn’t prayed about it, God knew exactly what I needed, when I needed it. I was so pleasantly surprised and humbled by the grace of God that day, that I couldn’t stop smiling.

This taught me a valuable lesson. I was always taught that God doesn’t give, what you haven’t first asked for. I believed this my entire life. If you want God to do something, you have to ask Him first, otherwise He is not going to do it. But this moment taught me that God doesn’t need our prayers to create miracles. God loves us so much that He watches our every move. He looks at us so intently with love, grace and mercy. He sees where our life meets a crossroad and He knows exactly what we need to get through that.

During my life, my prayers were hardly ever answered. I pray a lot but my personal prayers are often answered with ‘No’. The prayers for others however are often more succesful but it has caused me to not pray for myself, unless it is highly necessary. I tell God what bothers me but I don’t ask for anything. If I ask for something, I don’t expect God to actually do it. It is a survival mechanism that I taught myself, so I won’t get upset if the answer is ‘No’ again. (which it often is) I know that God loves me but prayer time has always been a bit awkward to me. Why ask if you don’t receive anyway? I think because it comforts me. At least God knows and He cannot say that I never told Him. This may sound foreign to you, but this is what prayertime became for me. A questionable conversation where I talk and God listens but if He acts upon it is very unsure.

Anyway, God surprising me with something that I hadn’t even asked for. He more or less restored my faith in prayer a little. Just because God says ‘No’ 90% of the time doesn’t mean it is no all of the time. I have to rely on the remaining 10%. There is still a chance that God says ‘Yes’ and it is a 10% worth praying for. Maybe you feel just like me. You wonder why you should still pray and when people start about God’s grace and mercy, you stop listening because the answer is always ‘No’ or ‘silence’. Why bother? Why try? Well you keep praying because prayer is comfort.

Prayer comforts you even when nothing happens! 

Besides, God does listen to every word you say. He sees your every need. He sees your past, present and future in the blink of an eye. He knows exactly what you need, when you need it, God’s ‘No’ could be a blessing in disguise. God may say no because it is not the right time. Maybe He has a much better plan in mind. And maybe He knows something that we don’t know. When my mother got cancer and I heard that she only had two to four months left to live, I got furious at God. Why didn’t He heal her if He had the power to. But God the Father said to me, “Honey, if I would tell you now why your mother passed away, you wouldn’t understand it. It would only upset you more. But I promise you that one day I will explain you everything”. God knows our pain and heartache. He knows what we want and what we need, and often those are two entirely different things. His ‘No’ could be the perfect answer. One day He will explain to me and to you, why He said ‘No’ that day. We will see everything through His eyes! But until then, we have to trust Him. We have to trust that God does what is right for us.

But God doesn’t say ‘No’ all the time. When you pray, believe that God can also say ‘Yes’. God can still do miracles and often He still does them. All we need is faith. Even if it is as tiny as a mustard seed. The tiniest faith it big enough for God and He hears everything you say. The smallest prayers do not pass God’s throne without Him hearing every single word. Keep praying, because God does what is right. Because God loves you!

(My encouragements may not make a lot of sense as I have written them, but it comes from a loving heart and I hope it will encourage you nonetheless) With love! 🙂

Multidimensional

Multidimensional

 One light beam represents,
one life,
one event,
one moment.

The prism represents,
the eyes of God.

One light beam is merely a light beam,
the prism is deeply underestimated.

If you shine the light beam,
through that mere prism,
you will see an astounding rainbow.

If you see your life,
through the eyes of God,
an event is not just an event,
but a multidimensional soul,
beaming to all the corners of the universe.

 

Prepare without timeframes!

The year is almost over. One more day and a new year starts with new chances and new possibilities. Interesting thought though, we don’t need a new year for new chances and new possibilities. For some reason we need that ourselves. We need a timeframe that gives us hardship and a new timeframe that brings us blessings, however long that timeframe may be.

For years I would decide, on December 31st, that the new year would be a better year. Every year had some form of hardship in it, so I would decide that the new year would be better. After a couple of years, we, my mother and I, would make a ritual of this. On December 31st we would tell each other, “Next year will be better.” But years came and went and nothing improved. About two years ago I stopped this ritual because it didn’t work anyway. I simply couldn’t timeframe my life. I couldn’t decide for myself that things would get better.

Through the years I have always had the feeling that God directed my life more than I did. For as long as I can remember I have felt that I have zero control over my own life. I made plans and I dreamed dreams but things always turned out so much different.

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps.
Proverbs 16:9

It felt as if, whatever I decided, God had His own plan for me and His plan would come to completion regardless of what I said or did. I couldn’t predict the future in any way. Exactly a year ago I had no idea that 2018 would turn out the way it did. If I would have known, I would have gone into hibernation, that much is certain. 2018 was a year that shook the foundations of my life and tore everything apart that I was certain of. It was a year where I wrestled with God just like Jacob did,

Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”
Genesis 32:28

The two big differences between me and Jacob are that I wrestled with God in prayer, and not face-to-face, and second, I don’t have the feeling like I have overcome anything. I have felt angry, hurt, defeated, empty, sad and confused, and not necessarily in that order. I tried to change and negotiate the plan God had but without success.

Was the year only bad? Is my life one huge failure? No! In the last year only, God also answered me. He said, “Honey if  I would explain it to you now, you wouldn’t understand it. But one day I will explain it to you, I promise.” God also taught me to be open and honest with Him about how I feel inside. And there were blessings like meeting Lynn Austin, who told me not to quit writing (something I was highly thinking about). God brought blessings and people in my life when I needed it most.

That’s the thing about life. Blessings and hardships go hand in hand. God is near to the broken-hearted but still feels so far away in times of grieve. God cries with us, gets angry with us and laughs with us but still we so often feel as if He doesn’t care. God is too great for our minds to comprehend and still we try every single day to grasp an inch of Him.
It is not a lack of faith or trust, it is a simple desire to be as close to Him as we possibly can because we know, that He, Jesus Christ, is the only place where we can truly heal and find peace. Someone once said, “You get the angriest at the one you love most”. And in my own case, there is a big truth to that.

We cannot timeframe life. We cannot timeframe a year. We cannot predict the future or change the past. We can only live today. We can only prepare for the future. Just like the ten virgins in Jesus’ parable (Matthew 25), we can only make sure that we have enough oil for our lamps. Read your bible, pray, worship God, use the gifts and talents God gave you and treat everyone with love. That is the only thing we can control. That is the only way we can prepare. We cannot control the year to come, we can only prepare for it. Without any timeframes!

May the Lord bless you and keep you in the new year to come! Have a blessed 2019!

Endless Possibilities

Endless Possibilities

In a broken world,
consumed by selfishness,
I am restrained,
by countless limitations.
The chains of restrictions,
the prison of human opinions,
are taking my breath,
leading to suffocation.

My heart yearns,
for the power of Your word,
that created a universe,
and made man breath.
God of all creations,
my heart writes,
the song of Your heart.
To give hope and love,
to the mirror reflections,
around the world.

The chains are broken,
the prisoners released,
by the words of Your lips,
and the act of Your heart.
Longing for freedom,
in a broken world.
My heart cries out,
to my God and Father;
Let me breath, Lord,
the mighty air,
of Your endless Possibilities.