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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.