Broken

We are just two weeks before Easter and next week the Passion week starts. The Passion week is the week where Christians remember Jesus suffering. I felt it in my heart. Today is the day to share this poem with you.
I wrote this poem when I was 25 years old. It was one of the first poems that I wrote, after God called me to start writing again after a seven year break. I was still in that period of my life where I wanted to write down everything I had been through in the past. And this poem started out the same way.
However as I started writing, a particular image formed in my mind. It was the very first time I felt as if God put me in someone else’s shoes. I felt so broken. Laying on the floor almost. The tears were heartfelt. I felt like reaching out to Jesus but at the same time feeling unable to. I wrote down everything I felt and witnessed. When I was done, I reread the poem and was blown away. Instantly the name of the person, that this poem was about, found itself a way up in my mind.

This poem is about the Apostle Peter, right after He denied Jesus. There is a particular bible verse about this poem. Matthew 26:75 which says, “Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: “Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly”. This is the moment described in my poem.

Maybe you feel overwhelmed by life yourself. Maybe you did something and you feel as if God will never forgive you. Let me tell you that Peter knows exactly how you feel. When He denied Jesus, He cried bitterly. Peter must have felt that Jesus would definitely not forgive him. But guess what? Jesus did forgive Peter. In fact Jesus reinstalled Peter as one of His disciples. Isn’t that a hopeful message. If you feel that God could never forgive you for your missteps, then let me tell you that He can and He will! God is love! And in His great love, He wants you to know that you are forgiven. He loves you and cares about you and all He wants is for you to be His beloved child!

I hope this poem may be a blessing to you and a reminder of God’s love and forgiveness in your brokenness. And I hope that when you read this poem, you will know; you are not alone! Peter knows how you feel and besides Peter there are so many more. You are not alone in your hurt and brokenness!

May the love of God be wrapped around you like a warm blanket!

Broken

I feel the rain
falling down on me
tears of pain
that I didn’t see.

I want to hide
when I look at you
It’s what I denied
that I put you through

I can’t turn back
go back in time
a weak attack
I see my crime

My tears are falling
And Yours do too
I can’t stop calling
Out to you

Now I recall
The words You had spoken
Lord, you knew it all
My heart is broken.

Tears of Hope

Tears of hope is a poem about the deep suffering of Jesus. I wrote it a couple of years ago and it is based on two visions, I received. Because Easter is slowly approaching I want to share this poem and the stories with you.

The first vision, which was the direct reason for me to write this poem, showed me Jesus praying in Gethsemane. In my vision I walked through Gethsemane. It was night. Dark green and midnight blue colored the scene. I walked past the trees to Jesus. He was on His knees, praying. When I reached Him, I touched His head and He looked up. The fear in His eyes cut deep into my heart. Never have I seen anyone with such deep fear in His eyes. In my vision He grabbed my clothes and held on to me for dear life. The state He was in made me cry. As if someone stabbed a knife in my heart. And every year when Easter arrives, I am reminded of that vision. To this day I can still see the vision vaguely in front of my eyes. And still it makes me cry. As I saw Him like that, all I wanted was to help Him. To make Him happy again. To make Him feel better. But I could do nothing and that brought a hopelessness to my soul. He was doing the right thing but it was also the hardest thing He ever did. The vision gave me a deja-vu-feeling – and from this deja vu point of view – I wrote this poem. The words were nestled deep in my soul, where I easily found them. And I remember that I wrote this poem especially for Jesus. As a way to honor Him and show Him my deep love. The words to this poem can still bring me to tears but I know that I needed to write this. I needed to write this for Jesus, for myself and for the world. To explain to the world the deep suffering of Jesus. He suffered to give life to mankind. Eternal life. In the end His sacrifice became His greatest victory and the greatest hope the world can ever find!

The second vision I received much later but is deeply entwined to this poem. This vision was a snapshot. A photograph so to say. I saw Jesus with the thorn crown on His head. Bruised by the beatings, His face was swollen. There was blood everywhere on His face. I saw Jesus the exact way He looked when He was hanging on the cross. It literally took my breath away and not in the best sense of the word. I cannot say it frightened me but it did shock me. Once again I was confronted with the deep suffering of Jesus. Not because I am such a bad believer or for a lack of repentance. No. I received these visions because I can write about them and share them with the world. Because I can handle them without getting nightmares afterwards. And my love for Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, my deep intense love for them, makes me share this poem and these stories with you today.

For the longest time I remained silent about what God showed me and told me. I kept silent because I thought it was a secret between me and God. What a fool I was! Now I understand that when God gives me something, it is my job to share it with the world, with all of you reading this blog. Hoping that the love, hope and joy Jesus brings, will burn brightly in your heart also. Here is the poem. May it bring you hope!

Tears of Hope

 The green of hope,
covered in the night,
shapes His love,
into a lam.
Allowing His blood,
to touch the earth,
but the mere drops,
do not compare,
His chosen sacrifice.

My broken heart,
catches the tears,
of His innocence.
But my hands are tight.
So in a cloak,
made of grief,
I give Him my love,
the strength He needs,
the support He longs for.

His tears I bring,
to a special place,
build in eternity.
There I plant it,
like a mustard seed,
to turn the sacrifice,
into a brand new tree.

A tree of life,
that brings,
new hope.

Incomparably Beautiful! That’s you!

We all have our heroes. Whether it is a parent, a brother or sister, a friend, a coach or someone like Nelson Mandela or Mother Theresa, we all have someone we look up to. Several people at times because as we grow, our heroes can change with us. As a little child you can look up to your father but as grown up it can be someone entirely different! Whoever it is, it is someone we want to be like. We see someone and think, if only I could be more like him/her.

When I was a little girl, my family were my role models. My dad, my mom, my three brothers. I thought that if I would just be a little more like them, I would be a better, nicer or a more loved person. As I grew up, it changed into musicians in my teens to someone like Mother Theresa, Akiane Kramarik, and several Christian writers as an adult. If only I could be more like them, maybe then I would be better. How the mind can make up such lies is, at times, somewhat admirable. But the greatest lesson I have learned over the past few years is;

‘Do not compare yourself to other people
  &
Do not compare other people to yourself’

God has created everything in a unique way. When He created you, He did compare you to all the other humans that He had already created. On the contrary, He looked at you with new eyes. You are a unique masterpiece. And God didn’t stop creating, until you were absolutely perfect! And when He was done, He looked at you and saw that you were good…and He blessed you!

A couple of blogs ago I shared with you the poem ‘The Sunflower’. This poem is a message that God gave me at a time when I was wondering why the grass seemed a whole lot greener on all the other lawns. I was downcast. God had promised me things that hadn’t happen yet. In my eyes, others seemed to get blessing after blessing, while my life seemed like one big curse. Not only was I frustrated with myself, I was also a bit disappointed with God. Why wasn’t I prettier? Why wasn’t I a better writer? Why did nobody seemed to notice me? Why was my life so hard? Every day I fired a million questions to God’s throne because I was disappointed with myself and my life. At that time I started painting. First God gave me a vision of a sunflower to let me know what my first painting had to become. After I painted ‘The Sunflower’, He gave me the poem. And the last sentence has nestled itself in my heart ever since. Where it is stored for times I need it.

My child, I see the sunflower in you,
and all I ask is for you to see it too.

God has the same message for you today! Look at a sunflower. Look at how it always grows towards the light of the sun, with it’s radiant yellow petals. That beautiful flower is you! You are beautiful and uniquely made. You may grow towards the light of God, knowing that you are so loved, every single day of your life. Don’t compare yourself to other people. Whether it are people at work, school, church or TV, magazines and the internet. Focus on yourself. Who do you want to be? Rest in God’s love and light. God sees you as His perfectly beautiful child! But more important is, how do you see yourself?
Choose to see yourself through God’s eyes and focus on that only. You are a wonderful person just as you are! You are beautiful and uniquely made, a masterpiece created by the Almighty God Himself! And God loves you so much that He was willing to give up His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, so He could have a personal relationship with you! That is how much you are worth! That is who you are! You are God’s beloved child! Don’t you ever forget that!

May Love guide your steps to eternal life!

Daughter of God

This blog is another piece of my story. It started in January, when I was 29 years old. That one particular afternoon I was contemplating life. After my whole story had played like a film through my mind, I said to God, “Why did all of this happen to me? Why did you give me this life?” I didn’t close my eyes or fold my hands, I didn’t sit in a specific praying position, none of that. All I did was look up, with my eyes wide open and from speak from the deepest bottom of my heart. Not expecting an answer, I was very surprised when I did receive one. I heard an audible voice, the same one I heard in the past, who said, “God’s daughter, daughter of God”. That’s it.

All over the new testament, it is written that through Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice, we are called Children of God. Since I am a christian, I believe all that. However, I felt as if God was taking one more step. As if He wanted to say, “Yes, you are my child through Jesus, but you are also really my child”. Myself, I did not want to go that far. I could believe that I was a sinner saved by grace, but not that I was God’s own child. So I dismissed God’s words to me. All I was willing to accept out of His words was, that my life went the way it did because I was a follower of Jesus, a child of God through the cross. Nothing more, nothing less.

In April however I got a vision. One that completely overwhelmed me. I saw a green place. Green grass, green trees with green bushes in front of it. It was a secluded place with a long white (French garden style) table, with at the head tree chairs. I saw myself sitting on one side, on a chair. I looked different. My face seemed to glow, as if it was giving light, my eyes were brown, instead of blue/grey. My hair was dark brown, instead of grey/blond, and I had a fringe (which I haven’t had since I was a child!) and curlier hair than my straight hair now. My lips seemed a little thinner. My body frame was more petite. I cannot explain it really. It looked like me but at the same time I looked completely different. However I did recognize myself. I thought, I looked stunning. I was smiling and looked so happy. In fact, I looked so perfect that I didn’t know what to do with it. I felt to much of a sinner to be that girl. I guess in a way, I felt ashamed of myself. So I shook my head and pushed the vision, that God gave me, away. God showed me the way that He sees me, but somehow I wasn’t ready to accept that.

Throughout the following months I would get more visions and poems from God. Visions that felt like memories that were stored in my mind long before I was born. I had a vision about God creating the planets. I saw exactly what materials He used to create them. I saw a waterfall that is located somewhere in Heaven. The waterfall streams down from a giant rock into a small lake. I saw the city (The New Jerusalem) that has a small stream on either side with willows beside the streams. I saw a particular animal that doesn’t exist here on earth, a dear but than it was full-grown as big as a baby-deer. I saw a secluded garden with stone walls around it, which felt like a centre of peace, with rose trees. You know those little rose bushes but these rose trees were as tall as a apple tree. And it had a small fountain at the centre, with a bench (old roman style), where you could sit down and enjoy the serenity of the moment. and I saw many more. I never talked about it with anyone, not even my parents. Some I wrote down in poetry, some I didn’t write down at all and some were stored in my heart where it felt safe.

In November I was on the internet searching for names and their meaning. For some reason I have always been curious about that. For example, the name Gineke means Queen. Haha, who new! My parents certainly did not when they chose my name!
This time I was searching Hebrew names. I had found a list and started with the letter A. When I came to the names beginning with the letter B, the name Batyah jumped out right away. The meaning of the name Batyah is, God’s daughter, daughter of God. At that moment it didn’t hit me, but a few months later, in January, it did. It was exactly a year (12 months) ago when God had spoken to me. That day I suddenly put all the pieces together. Batyah was exactly what God had told me a year before. Batyah is me.

Think of it whatever you want. For me, it took me another 7 months before I was willing to accept that name. And even though God gave me a new name that year, I stick with my old one. Batyah is a name for Heaven, that’s what it feels like to me. On earth I am Gineke, and I am more than okay with that. I think what is more important, is that God loves me and sees me as His child. And all in the end, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ we are just that. If God wants to call me Batyah then I am okay with that. If God wants to call me Gineke, that’s okay too. As long as He loves me, I am pretty much fine with whatever He chooses. Because His love is the fuel to my existence. It is what keeps me going when life gets tough. His love is more important to me. To me, it is everything!

The reason why I am sharing this story, is because God has the same message for you. Whatever way you see yourself, in God’s eyes you are perfect. You are God’s child and you are so loved. The love God has for you, trust me, you cannot even begin to fathom it. It is overwhelming!  When you look in the mirror today, please tell yourself that you are beautiful, loved and God’s child! Because that is the truth!

Painting a dreamscape

Painting a dreamscape

Inside a teardrop,
arms reach up to Heaven,
and nature trembles in pain,
until grieve breaks into silence –
turbid are the waters that cannot see.

Life is a universe,
where stars and galaxies pass us by,
and leave a trademark on our existence.
In an endless infinity I float on ice,
until the deepest water swallows me up.
Searching for the stars I strike my thunder.
Searching for the galaxy I make the rain.

How can life exist without creation?
How can creation exist without life?

I paint a night sky on a blank canvas,
so it won’t disappear from my sight.
Uncatchable is a dreamscape,
unpaintable are the stars in the night.
When the camera wants to frame the picture,
the vision decides to stay inside my mind.

Only when the quill softly touches the ink,
Divine secrets are told on parchment paper.

Memories (in 2 languages)

At my grandmothers funeral last thursday, my great-aunt recited a poem that I wrote a couple of years ago. In honor of my grandmother I would like to post it here, on my blog, as well. In fact I will first post the English version (I translated it myself. Benefit of knowing two languages!) and right after it, I will post the Dutch version. I hope you like it and that you will be comforted through this poem. Enjoy!

Here is the English version:

Memories

Underneath the blue sky,
pink blossoms blow in the wind.
Entrained with the music,
they bring you to unfamiliar places,
until the wind blows them away,
and they remain a mere memory.

Colors grow in the spring,
to dress the summer in a feast.
Scents emerge,
and make the cold air disappear,
like snow in the sun.
For a moment, Heaven feels all around you.
For a moment, you forget the winter.

When autumn arrives,
and life makes the leaves fall from the trees,
there is only a memory left.
Staggering at the abyss,
you hold tight to what you know –
stored in the chambers of your heart.
But they have evaporated in the sunshine.

Then when winter begins,
and the harsh cold covers the earth,
the white flowers force themselves a way out.
The beauty of the snowdrop flowers,
allows the light to penetrate into the darkness.
The cold is silent and the darkness disappears.

The light of the Father,
that paves a way through nature,
like a springing fountain,
nestles himself deep within the heart,
and form a new memory.
Relying on the memories,
the small child learns to walk,
at the hand of the Father.

Now comes the original, Dutch version:

Herinneringen.

Onder de blauwe hemel,
verwaaien de roze bloesems in de wind.
Meevoerend op de muziek,
voeren ze je naar onbekende oorden,
totdat de wind ze wegvaagt,
en ze slechts een herinnering zijn.

In de lente groeien kleuren,
om de zomer te kleden in feest.
Geuren rijzen op,
en laten de koude lucht verdwijnen,
als sneeuw voor de zon.
Heel even waan je, je in de hemel.
Heel even vergeet je de winter.

Maar als de herfst aanbreekt,
en het leven de bladeren van de bomen laat vallen,
is er slechts een herinnering over.
Wankelend aan de afgrond,
klamp je, je vast aan wat je weet,
opgeslagen in de kamers van je hart.
Maar ze zijn verdampt in de zon.

Dan als de winter aanbreekt,
en de gure kou de aarde bedekt,
dwingen zich de witte bloemen een weg naar buiten.
De schoonheid van de sneeuwklokken,
laten het Licht doordringen in het duister.
De kou zwijgt en het duister verdwijnt.

Het licht van de Vader,
dat als een springende fontein,
zich een weg door de natuur baant,
nestelt zich diep in het hart,
en vormen een nieuwe herinnering.
Bouwend op de herinneringen,
leert het kleine kind te lopen,
aan de hand van de Vader.

 

In times of grieve

Exactly a week ago my grandmother (the last one I had on earth) passed away. Last thursday was her funeral. She reached the blessed age of 92. I loved my grandmother and I am so blessed to have some good memories of her. I know she is in a better place now. A place that she longed to go to. A place where my grandfather and my uncle were waiting for her.

In times of grieve we can be more sensitive towards words than at other times. So am I!  When Billy Graham passed away (also this week), people all over the internet were praising him for everything he has done. And he did do great things! But what stung me, was when I read in some responses that Heaven was throwing a big party right now and that Heaven was blessed to have him. No offense towards anyone but why do we think that Heaven will be happier with someone who had the opportunity to do more for Jesus? I am only being honest. It bothers me. Not everyone gets the opportunity to work in such a big way for Jesus. God has a personal plan with everyone. But when I lost my grandmother and I read these praises, I found it hard to take in. Was Billy Graham better than my grandmother? Was Heaven throwing a party when Mister Graham entered but with my grandmother, no one cared that much? I was struggling with this last week!

Believe me, this is not about Mister Graham or my grandmother. It happens with many famous or well-known people. When someone who was well-known passes away, Heaven is so blessed to have him/her. But we don’t say these things about a homeless person on the street or our nextdoor neighbor! And I get this deep sense of standing up for these people. Jesus always said, “The first will be the last and the last will be the first in the Kingdom of God”. And with this in mind I get the deep feeling to defend the unknown. Maybe it is my grieve speaking right now. But in the eyes of God everyone is exactly the same.

As I was struggling with these thoughts, a certain bible verse came to my mind that gave me a sense of peace. It is Matthew 11:11 which says, Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Jesus said these words shortly before John the Baptist was beheaded by King Herod. Jesus loved John. They were even related in a sense. Jesus’s Mother Mary and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, were cousins. But Jesus has in mind that in Heaven, everything is different than here on earth. God the Father does not treat one better than the other. For the Father, everybody is equal. Here on earth we establish a certain hierarchy. The one who does the most for God is somehow also the best. But to me it was such a great comfort to know that God does not look at people this way? My grandmother was not an evangelist. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother. She was loved by many but did not have many conversations about Jesus. She was a believer, a sinner saved by grace, but not a well-known evangelist. And still God is as happy to have her in Heaven as He is with someone like Billy Graham (or Henri Nouwen, Thomas A. Kempis or anybody else). This thought gave me peace and understanding. Maybe I have always known this but I was grateful that God pointed it out to me anyway.

Like I said, we get very sensitive in times of grieve. Things that normally don’t get to us, do now! Normally I would have ignored the whole thing but now I couldn’t. And in this struggle, God was right there with me. He was comforting me and helping me to see things in a different way. Grieve can throw a blanket over our eyes and make our sight foggy. It can prevent us from thinking with a clear mind. In these moments of grieve, we may know that Jesus wants to comfort us and help us. We do not face this alone. We are never alone. Jesus love will always be with us. Even when nobody sees us.

 

Read & Learn

When I was 25 years old and I just started writing again, I wrote a lot with rhyme. Most of my earlier work is also based on bible verses, because I didn’t know what to write about. I wasn’t getting that many dreams and visions and I wasn’t that well trained either. This is exactly the reason why I also want to publish my earlier work along with my latest and , in my own view, better work. It is so important to know that when God gives you a gift/talent that you develop it. I wasn’t able to write, the way I do now, over night. Through practice and repetition I became better and better.

If you have received a gift/talent from God then please don’t expect to be perfect at it right away. It will take a lot of hard work to become better. But if you do it with joy, the hard work won’t bother you that much.

The poem I want to share with you today is called ‘Read & Learn. It is based on the bible verses 2 Timothy 3: 16 – 17  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,  so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

I hope you like it!

Read & Learn

A strong voice with a tender heart,
From One who loved us more,
Than anything or anyone,
Has ever done before.

Spoke words of true compassion,
And bundled it with grace,
To show us our transgression,
and the hurt upon His face.

So in everything you do today,
Just take that book and read,
learn what He has done for you,
and simply let Him lead.

Between my fingertips

The poem I would like to share with you today is one very close to my heart. This poem is about the night I met Jesus in a dream. You know, I often work with God the Father, so those rare moments when Jesus communicates with me, are very special to me. I don’t know why I communicate more with the Father and the Holy Spirit but I am confident in the bond Jesus and I have, so I don’t really mind. But it fills my heart with pure joy when Jesus comes to me to have a chat or to show me something!

This night was one of those rare night I saw Him. In my dream I saw Jesus standing at a distance from me. It was just the two of us, there was nobody else there. So I thought by myself, why are you always at such a distance? (Yes there was a short period of time where it actually bugged me, but this dream changed all that!) Suddenly Jesus was gone and I panicked just a little. I panicked because it wasn’t my intention to push Him away, all I wanted was for Him to come closer! Then I felt a presence behind me and there He was. He came from behind me and walked to my side. Now He was actually standing right next to me. Our eyes locked. He stroke my head with His hand and the love I felt in that moment overwhelmed me. His love also ensured me that even though He is not always this close to my side, His love never changes! He will always love me and I will always have a place in His heart. It really felt as if He takes a polite distance to give the Father space to work with me. Nothing more, nothing less. And I really needed to know that. I needed to know that even though I do not always feel His presence, He still loves me anyway.

As I was looking into His eyes and He into mine, I desperately wanted to say something. But I could not find the words and neither did He. What happened next still kind of surprises me sometimes. For some weird reason I looked at His robe and thought, that must be so uncomfortable. For His robe looked like itchy wool. Then I reached out my hand and touched His robe. I took His robe between my fingertips and rubbed it very gently. I can tell you that I was very surprised by the softness of it. It felt very comfortable actually.

When I looked up again, into His eyes, I read a touch of worry in His eyes. He was worried about me and His worry reminded me of the worry my brothers sometimes have when they look at me. Looking back I understand His worry but at that particular moment it confused me. When I was fourteen years old and God the Father spoke to me in a dream, the Father told me that my coming future would be a difficult one. I believe that Jesus was very well aware, that I wasn’t out of the woods yet. I think it worried Him that I still had battles to fight. Why? Because He loves and cares about me. I matter to Him. And it is exactly that love of Jesus that fills me with joy, love and peace.

When I woke up, I wrote a poem about this dream. The reason I want to share the poem and the dream with you is, because Jesus loves you too! So much more than you are aware of. I see it as my duty to direct people towards the love of Jesus. To make them aware of the overwhelming love Jesus has in His heart for mankind. Words cannot explain His love for you and still I try to bring it to people through my poetry. Always remember that Jesus loves you. Open your heart and let Him in because He is more than worth it. I hope you like the poem. I hope it fills your heart with love, joy and peace in Jesus name.

Between my fingertips

I still feel the soft fabric,
gently between my fingertips.
Your eyes are imprinted in my soul,
how can I ever forget Your gentleness?
Not a word has to be spoken,
our minds are one.
And as the Spirit draws us closer together,
our bond is still the same,
Between You and me,
nothing has changed.

Your brother love exceeds,
it is a heart without boundaries.
Never will Your anger rain down on me,
or felt in any chamber of Your heart.
Your teachings are my guidelines,
wisdom is planted in my mind,
where it grows out of love for You.
I walk the roads of this world alone,
but in heaven I look out for You.
More are You to me than a Savior,
more than all the Kings of the earth,
more than all my brothers combined.

I still feel the soft fabric,
gently between my fingertips.
Your brotherly worries unspoken,
Your love speaks louder than any word could.
Not a soul knows our connection,
or the bloodline that keeps us attached.
The memories hold my heart,
when the distance becomes an obstacle.
All I need to know,
when my soul returns home,
that the fabric of Your robe,
is still between my fingertips.

 

Daisies in my hair

Daisies in my hair

The needles in a pincushion,
are like a rainbow confetti at a party,
but I need to learn to walk on burning coals.

Happiness has faded into the background,
yet still the sun rises through the window,
setting in a tickling morning glory.
I need to learn to walk between the hedgehogs.

Like a child dancing in the summer rain,
I need to learn to dance the tango,
on a stage where they only dance ballet.

Mirrors seek only a self-approval,
so I need to learn to break the frame.

On a construction site I cannot see the beauty,
I can only see the foundation in the ground.
Brick by brick a castle arises from the dirt,
and it teaches me to pray for patience.

Where the life of a monk teaches to be silent,
the life of a guard teaches to be brave,
but all I need to learn is to have faith.

Breaking the mirrors during the dance,
the red kite dances on the wind of faith,
where hedgehogs surround me in my sight.
And in the rising of the morning sun,
I discover daisies growing in my hair.

daisy