Broken Dreams

Broken dreams

As the fallen snow turns into ice,
the freezing cold blows me away,
forcing an ice-age into the summer,
where icicles melt in the desert heat,
and water is a burden instead of a relief.

My eyes hurt with burning pains,
the tears have turned into dry salt,
while fire burns my skin to the bone.
I’m blaming the snow-storm in the desert,
for its lack of interest in the growing pains.
Selfishness is always the beginning of nothing,
but when I search for something,
selfishness comes knocking at my door.

My life has never been my own,
no matter how I wrestled with the universe,
it never chose my side in the storm.
Now I’m fighting thin air on the steep slope,
beating me into the thick trees on the road.

As I lay down in the snow and pray,
the daisies cheer me up with their mandolin music,
and the sun warms my face with peace,
until Love breaks the centre of my soul,
and thick teardrops work its way down,
for the broken dreams I never wanted to give up.

Bring back my broken dreams,
and plant them in the ground,
to grow them into rose bushes.
So my dreams will never get lost in the snow,
and my teardrops are not a waste in the universe.
Give them a place in Your paradise,
so Your children can find their way home.

Broken dreams 

 

The intersection of life

The intersection of life

In the middle of the forest,
pictures show me many sights,
to unfold a labyrinth in my mind.
With the key in my hands I walk,
until the soles of my shoes are worn out.
Deeper and deeper into the tangled mess,
my breath quickens and my heart races.
If the Light is still in sight,
why then does this road lead me here?
Further into the forest,
where darkness surrounds me,
I am tricked by my own imagination.
Learning to see the Light in the darkness,
I first have to separate the darkness from the Light.
Panic is the inability to connect with your soul,
and I haven’t connected with mine for years.
Still Your voice asks me to walk on,
and I walk until the road ends.
There on the intersection of life,
when all control has been taken out of my hands,
You ask me to let go in trust.
On my knees I plead for mercy,
until I have nothing more to say,
and I collapse on the cold cobblestones.
With the rain washing the last black stains away,
butterflies start to flutter out of my hair,
onto the roses that grow in my hands,
Sometimes in order to gain life,
you have to give it up.
In the silence the cold nights slowly heat up again,
until a small fire resurfaces in my fragile heart.
Doors can only be opened,
when we give the key to the One who owns life.
Ways can only be paved,
by the One who created them in the first place.
As the sky clears and the forest fades,
the smile on Your face hands me my victory,
for all I had to do to succeed,
is to let go of the control within me.

The intersection of life

 

 

 

Which wings do you have?

There is nothing more breakable than the wings of a butterfly. The slightest touch can break these little fragile wings. In life we often feel like these butterfly wings. We feel as if the least bit of hurt can break us. This state of anxiety does not necessarily have to be noticeably present, it often lingers underneath the surface. Of course we are aware that we can stand a little bit of hurt, as long as it is not too much.

We live our life, trying to avoid as much problems as possible. When problems occur we analyze them until we are certain that it wasn’t our fault. This way we keep ourselves up right, because we know that when it was our faults, our Wings may break. So as long as we keep ourselves out of the wind, we are fine.

Unfortunately life does not always agree with this.  Neither does our heart and mind by the way. The other day I released my poem ‘Mind Game’. Because that is what life really is. It is all a mind game. We trick our minds to feel well, even if our hearts disagree because we hope that somehow our hearts will catch up with it. Which it most often does! But how long can we trick ourselves this way? How long can we fool ourselves. ‘Mind Game’ was inspired by something Jesus told me. Having a generalized anxiety disorder is not easy and it often brings me in trouble. For a long time this mind game has worked out fine, until last year.

Losing my mom pulled me over the edge. I started to doubt myself immensely. To the point where I pleaded with God to help me out, and this is what I learned. Jesus said, “Tell yourself that I love you. I know your heart will not believe it now, because you are in so much pain, but in time your heart will catch up with your mind”. The love of Jesus is actually all we need. We don’t need to trick our minds by telling ourselves things that we don’t yet believe in, in the hope that one day the fearful or hateful thoughts about ourselves go away. All we need is the love of Jesus. It is all we need to set ourselves free. Regardless of what you have done in life (or failed to do), regardless of what you do and how good or bad you are at doing it, Jesus loves you, end of discussion.

We are trying so hard to be perfect, to look perfect and to be a certain way that we forget the love of Jesus so easily. Of course we fool ourselves that we don’t  but that is merely lying to ourselves. You see, Jesus could have said, “Honey, just tell yourself that you are not afraid, and one day your heart will catch up with your mind”. But that would not have fixed my anxiety disorder. Whether or not I will ever heal of this disorder is beside the point. The point is that it is easier for me to remain calm if I simply focus on the mere fact that Jesus loves me. I can prevent freaking out over petty little fears by knowing that Jesus loves me. The love of Jesus allows me to say, “It didn’t work out today, but maybe tomorrow it will”. The love of Jesus does not necessarily heal me, but it takes me a lot further than playing tricks on my mind does.

Sometimes it takes us to embrace our problems, so we can deal with them or overcome them. Fighting is not the solution, love is. You cannot control your life, problems, people around you or the world, but you can control your faith in the simple fact that Jesus loves you.

The beauty is also that as we focus on our fragile butterfly wings that can break so easily, God is focussing on our massive eagle wings instead. Mother Theresa said it so beautifully, “I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle, I just wish He didn’t trust me so much”. God has an entirely different view on us as we do. Where we see problems, God see solutions, Where we see ugly, God sees beauty, where we see hate, God finds love in the midst of all evil. God us smarter than us, so why don’t we give it a try. Why don’t we start seeing things from His perspective a little more. Fun fact is, that whenever I fuss over the way I look, Jesus tells me (He Always does this!!!), “Stop doing that, you are beautiful just as you are.” Jesus thinks that I am beautiful without make up, dressed in a turtle neck and just a little bit fat (or a lot, that depends on perspective) Where I see my little, fragile butterfly wings, Jesus points out my massive eagle wings.

The end of the story….Life is a mind game, life is a matter of perspective. Which do you choose?

Mind Game

Mind Game

Life on display,
asks you who you are,
where you come from,
and where you go.

Life is a war,
where beauty fights ugly,
where truth fights lies,
where realism fights surrealism,
where rich fights poverty,
where success fights failure,
but it is up to you,
to decide,
where you stand.

Life is a stage,
where judges define,
who we are.
Where a mask hides our identity,
so we remain inside a fiction,
for the rest of our lives.

Life on display,
asks us to have courage.
It asks us to break the masks of lies,
in order to live inside the truth,
of who were are.

Life is a mind game,
where we tell ourselves,
who we are,
and where the whole world,
remains silent!

 

 

 

Adoption

On the Dutch television is a program about adoption. In this program a team searches for the biological family of someone who is adopted. It has been on the TV for many years. I remember watching it as a teenager with my mom and my brother and it is still airing today. It has always been a fascinating show to me. The reunions are often so emotional and it happens so often that the story about why someone has been adopted is slightly different from what the adopted child has been told.

One morning, about two years ago, I sat down to write a poem. As I sat down, images from this television program flashed in front of my eyes like a vision. The poem God gave me that day gave me a completely different view on the adoption process itself. God allowed me to understand adoption from the biological mother’s point of view. Keeping in mind that not all biological mothers feel this, I do believe that the majority does.

So often adoption is only seen from the point of view from the parents who are adopting a child or the adopted child itself, but never from the point of view of that woman who had to give up her child for whatever reason she had. As a child grows in a mother’s womb, the bond between mother and child is already developed. When the child is born the bond is already established. So giving up a child that you are already connected to so deeply is extremely difficult.

One thing, that is very important to mention, is that I have never had children myself, I am not adopted and I have never had any experience with this whatsoever. So there is no way I can know all this. I only know it because God showed me. All the glory is for God alone because this is His work, not mine!

Adoption

The blue ocean slips through my hands,
after it has pierced my soul with love.
Vigorous brown trees give strength,
but they take my tears back to the clouds,
preventing the rain to fall down,
on my fragile empty hands.

For a while we shared a home,
in the hands of Him who gave us life.
The synchronic beatings of the drums,
changed my heart into a vortex,
where negative surroundings are washed away,
changing into positivity and hope,
until reality sets in and our home is destroyed.

Homeless my heart dwells in a valley,
longing for the rain to fall down,
until it washes away the waves of my last breath.
It has slipped through my hands,
smothered by life I am forced to move on,
and my empty hands show my empty heart.

All I wanted to hear was your smile,
but silence is my daily companion.
All I wanted was to see you walk,
but the road only carries me.
All I wanted was to hear, “I love you”,
but the deafening silence chokes me.
All I wanted was for you to grow up,
so I handed you over to be adopted.

 

 

 

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!

With Gentle Force

Finding my purpose in life seemed so easy. Jesus simply told me what to do when I was five years old (see previous blogs) and all I had to do was to execute the plan. But it was not that simple! 

Let’s be honest, I am not a bible teacher – nor any other kind of teacher – and I am not a fictional writer either. My speaking abilities leave to wishes – I couldn’t hold my first speech at age 7 and I unfortunately never progressed either – but I am great with one on one conversations though. I never went to a bible school nor a theological school or study of any kind. In fact I didn’t even want to be a poet, I wanted to be a nurse. Yes I received dreams and visions, my abilities to communicate with God were highly developed but I didn’t see myself as a disciple of any sort. So when it was time to chose my future after middle/high school, I chose Health Care. Helping people and taking care of them had a more charming appeal on me than writing poetry ever did. I finished my study and got a job very quickly but then it happened. I got diagnosed with fybromyagia and was advised to stop working in that field. 

After trying another study, a job at a local supermarket and two jobs in administration, I got very discouraged. What in the world was I supposed to do except for writing? You see, writing was not an option. I wanted to be a “normal” girl. I had no intentions of standing out or being viscible. None whatsoever. I just wanted to live my life in peace and quiet with my family and some friends and that’s it. But God still had a plan with me. Regardless of whether I wanted it or not, God had His mind set on His plan for my life. He directed every step in such a gentle way that one could easily call it; coincedence. At the age of 25 I finally, reluctantly, agreed to pick up on writing again. As soon as I did, a fire of passion entered my heart as I never felt it before. This really was what I was supposed to do. 

Even when I finally agreed to do God’s will, my battle wasn’t over yet. I still wasn’t convinced that I was up for the job. I cannot tell you how many times, I begged God to pick someone else. Someone better than me with more skills. And still God gently nudged me in the direction of writing. 

In fact He still does. I am still not 100% convinced of my calling but writing makes me so happy. I still doubt because I still don’t get anything back for it. I know that I am a good writer but it doesn’t put food on the table so I doubt. I doubt and look for other ways. But that little fire in my heart still burns too bright. God’s will is still stronger than my own. So I still continue this journey. The poem “Gentle Force” is about these struggles. The fight of finding your purpose and holding on during that journey. It is so easy to give up. Giving up is the broad road, the easy way out. But to keep going and not giving up is the small path. And it is that small path that will bring you much further in life. 

Gentle force.

Love shows directions,
but my feet weakly stumble.
The bird shows the way,
if only I would follow him.
Light shows the path,
but my eyes are searching for another.
At the crossroad of life,
I wonder when I lost my way,
and ignoring the signals,
my soul loses its destination.

Love shows directions,
in the lost signals.
The bird waits for its time.
The light waits for its cue.

When I least expect it,
wings of light touch me,
pushing me in the right direction.
When I least expect it,
Your light opens my eyes,
to see the signs in front of me.
When I least expect it,
You plant a seed deep in my heart,
growing me in Your light.  

Directions are found,
in the signs of love,
where it guides you,
with gentle force. 


Inside the box

In my life I have always felt that I was different. I felt as if things were never the same for me as they were for others. As a child I tried to blend in and as a teenager even more so. I never had the courage to stand out because I was afraid. Afraid that people would get angry at me. Especially as a teenager I was often excluded, laughed at and at times intimidated. Not just by my peers by also by adults. Trust me when I say, there are certain things that you will never forget.

So out of fear of being excluded, laughed at or hated, I would simply try to blend in. Even when this was not in line with what God would ask from me. God asked me to be a writer – a poet –  but for a long time, I would refuse. Even today I still have moments where I want to give up. These moments are often when people talk behind my back in a negative way and I hear all about it, or when people question me face-to-face. People can be quite convincing. And often I understand their point of view. But then there is God asking something different from me and I get confused about what to do. I remember this one time, when I told my mom: “Life is a battle where it is me and God against the world”. Luckily my mother often listened to me and she would support me in every way that she could. I could really tell her everything because I knew she loved me and I trusted her.

Yet many people are not like my mom. Many people talk behind my back and it is not positive. The prejudices and opinions they have about me are based upon their own insecurity. But still it hurts. Life for me is like living between two fires. The fire of God and the fire of evil. And it is a tough battle.

Still the fire of God is greater. My passion to do God’s will still exceeds everything else. For as long as I can remember I had only one ambition in life; to bring a smile to my Fathers face. And with my Father, I mean God the Father. If I could just put a smile on His face, I would have done the best job that I could possible do. In one of my dreams God said: “the only way that leads to eternity is the small way”. So even if it is difficult to do what God asks you to do, don’t give up. With God everything is possible and God will never leave what He once started. It is better to have faith in God than in people!

Today I wrote a poem about this. It is a poem about my story. I have a huge passion for God the Father, for Jesus and for the Holy Spirit. My love for God makes my heart burst, but so many have tried to stop me through the years. I may be a woman, I may have never been to a prominent bible school or theological study, I may not life up to people’s expectations but I know – with a 100% certainty – that God is greater than my circumstances. God loves me and He will make a way where there is no way. And if you are in the same situation as me? If you feel the same way? Than please know that God is almighty! He loves you! He can and will do amazing things in your life, that may seem impossible. Do not give up! Never! Think outside the box!

Inside the box

Inside the box,
the noose around my neck tightens.
Trying to settle in,
the small nook is too cramped,
and all I want to do,
is to leave this small space.

All eyes tell a different story,
but when they look at me,
all their stories are the same.
Stuck in prejudices and opinions,
war is either neglect,
or fight back.
Who will love me as I am?

Traditions are for keeping,
but not if they suffocate the soul.
When everything is the same,
we are in desperate need of change.
Evolving is teaching yourself to be better,
learning is allowing yourself to grow,
for growth is a never-ending story.

Inside the box,
where I am unable to grow,
I look out into infinity,
where God asks me to live,
in His divine library,
where His great wisdom,
will lead me to eternity.

Enough is enough!

This morning I was thinking about insecurity in life and faith because it is something that I experience at times and I know that so many others do to. So often we are looking at the great teachers, speakers and writers of today and we feel less than them. They seem to have it all figured out. Their wisdom seems incessantly and somewhere deep inside of us, we feel like they are better Christians than we are. They are smarter, know the answers we don’t know, understand things we don’t understand and so many people follow their lead, so they must be “perfect”. In our own insecurity we follow their lead, read their books and listen to what they have to say in order to be as good as them. But our insecurity does not go away. Instead we search harder, try harder and we spend more time finding what we don’t have. This does not happen to everybody of course but I know some of you will recognize themselves in this. And these people, me included, are wondering why we cannot be as good as them. How come they understand everything and I am stuck with so many questions, such doubt, such emotional struggles. When do I reach the end of my search for perfect faith, like they have seemed to reach theirs?

Our faith, as James tells us in James 1 (Holy Bible) is like the sea. One moment it is low tide and the other it is high tide but it is never in balance. The storms come and go, waves grow bigger and smaller but our faith is unstable. To many questions and doubt rush through our minds. Our search for strength, peace and stability seems to go on, while others seem so much stronger than we are.

We have become like beachcombers. We keep searching for the one gem, that one answer to all our questions. We have prayed about it, asked for help, read books, visited conferences and services, we tried worship and we listened to so many family, friends, preachers and speakers that we lost count. But the search does not come to an end. We never stop and be satisfied with what we already have. It is never enough. It can always be better. We do try to be grateful and peaceful but our eyes keep spying the beach for more new treasures.

When are we enough?

Of course it is important to keep working on your life, faith and interaction with one another, but when is it enough? We are like a desert. We drink the water we receive but before the bottle is empty we are already searching for the next because we are still thirsty. Just knowing Jesus and His love for us isn’t enough anymore. We want more…we need more.

When we keep comparing ourselves to others – Christians, speakers, teachers, writers etc. – we miss out on a great truth;

Jesus is already enough. He is all we need!

When are we going to realize that Jesus loves us the way we are? Jesus doesn’t expect us to be a certain way or act a certain way. He doesn’t want us to be like everybody else. Jesus loves us for who He created us to be. All He wants is for us to realize that His love is enough. He is enough! Jesus wants a relationship with you. A personal one where you stop worrying about what the lady in row six at church might think about you and the way you love Jesus! Jesus loves you with your flaws and perfections. He loves the beautiful person that He created you to be.

God created us all in a different way. We are all unique and beautifully made but for many of us that is not enough. We don’t feel enough. We see the way others live their faith and we get jealous. We look at ourselves and see a million mistakes and we wonder, maybe I didn’t pray enough, maybe I need to read my bible more often or maybe we didn’t lift our hands high enough in the air during worship. Maybe Jesus missed us and we just weren’t visible enough. Maybe we just have to try a little harder and be a bit more perfect. Maybe than Jesus will notice us. Maybe then we will be good enough.

So when are we going to realize that we already are enough? When are we going to stop searching on the beach for more treasures than we need. When are we going to stop, stand still and enjoy the beautiful view ahead of us? When are we going to see what is already there?

When are we going to see the view of a Savior who loves us?

All you need to focus on in life is Jesus’ love for you. His love is all that matters. It is all you need. It is important to pray, read your bible and spend time with fellow believers but don’t lose track of the most important thing that you already have; the love of Jesus! Not a soul can take His love away from you. You get it for free and there is nothing that you need to do to earn it. The love of Jesus is free and available. We don’t have to search for it because it is already there. It will help us, guide and sustain us through everything in life. The love of jesus is enough and in His love, so are we!

 I (the Apostle Paul) pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me, but he (Jesus) has told me, “My grace is all you need, because my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most happily boast about my weaknesses, so that the Messiah’s power may rest on me. That is why I take such pleasure in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for the Messiah’s sake, for when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12: 8 – 10.

From Death to life

Three years ago I traveled to the province Thüringen in Germany with my parents. During our stay we visited concentration camp Buchenwald. Buchenwald touched me in such an emotional way that it inspired me in more ways than I could ever imagine.

DSCF4164

Buchenwald still has a few buildings that give a vivid picture of what it must have looked like back in the days. One building houses the ovens, another shows the pictures of what happened there. Jews, gypsies, christians even that were undressed and shaved and divided amongst the camp. Pictures that brought tears to your eyes.

DSCF4170

Yet all the barracks are gone. One barrack was recreated by pictures.  This was a hospital barrack where sick were tended to, but it isn’t the original. On the places where the barracks used to be are stones. The stones outline the places where the barracks used to be and they are filled with gravel stones.

DSCF4189

As I was walking across the grounds, I noticed flowers growing between the rocks. This surprised me. A place where life seemed to be impossible, a place of rocks, housed a group of dandelions. I know that dandelions are seen as weed but to me they are flowers. And the symbolism of these pretty little flowers growing between the rocks blew me away.

DSCF4200

When dandelions die, they change from yellow flowers into white flowers with uncountable seeds that blow away on the wind. Kids love to pick these flowers and blow the seeds onto the wind. The seed fly away and land on other grounds where the produce a new flower. The death of a dandelion in never the end, it is a brand new beginning for uncountable new flowers.

The symbolism or message that God gave me is that death is never the end. Just like the dandelions. The People who survived the camps have been given a new life. Where Hitler tried to wipe the Jews from the face of the earth, God took the few ones left to create a brand new nations. The destruction from humankind cannot stop God from creating beautiful new beginnings. One person is one dandelion. Through our trials and struggles we become uncountable seeds that create new life all across the world.
Even if Hitler would have killed all the Jews, God only needed one to create a brand new nation just like He did with Abraham. When God called Abraham, Abraham did not have children. In fact his wife Sarah was not even able to have children. Yet God took this hopeless situation and turned it into a story of hope. Abraham became the father, the patriarch, of more children then all the stars in the sky and the sand of the ground.

The flowers growing between the rocks inspired me to write the poem ‘A Flower of Hope’. It taught me that even the most hopeless situation is the beginning of new hope, new life and new beginnings. It is a message that I still need today, every day of my life. And a message that can give the world, a world that houses so many people who lost hope, new hope, new life and a new beginning. For God death is never the end but a brand new and hopeful beginning!

Flower of Hope
(The poem in the picture, see below)

A Flower of Hope

Through the rocks,
of earthy ashes,
grows new life,
that gives us hope.
To wipe the tears,
through deep suffering,
from innocent children,
of God the Father.

Without a thought,
the rocks were broken,
leaving the pieces,
of worthy crystals,
out in the open.
Washed away,
by the cold icy rain.
Nobody saw,
too little cared,
and now it flutters,
into oblivion.

Yet God left a sign,
for the world to see,
the worthy lives,
of His loving people.
There in the rocks,
of the oblivion,
grows a flower,
to give us hope,
of a new,
and better life.