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.

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.

Dear Yeshua

The poem ‘Dear Yeshua’ was written a couple of years ago, with all the women in mind who have walked away from Him/Yeshua. (Yeshua is the Hebrew word for the name Jesus, in the days when Jesus was on earth, everybody called Him Yeshua (Since He lived in Israel and Hebrew was one of the languages they spoke at the time))

I think we all know someone who really needs Jesus in his/her life. I wrote this poem directed to women, mainly because I am a woman myself. Most of my poems I write from my own perspective. Each poem is different of course, some are about me, in some God speaks to me personally, in some God speaks to the world and in others it is about someone else. In the poems that are about other people, I step in the lives and hearts of  these people to write their story. If I write this way, I never know who it is I am writing about. God never discloses this with me! I just write what God gives me and for me that is enough. Fun fact is that this allows me to put a little something of myself in it as well. It makes the poetry more personal to me. My heart is attached to each and very single poem I ever wrote, and that is what makes poetry so wonderful to me.

Back to the poem, this poem is a prayer to Jesus/Yeshua. In this prayer I ask Him to bring every person that once walked away back. Of course we can incorporate the people who never heard from Jesus as well. I hope you will pray this prayer with me!

Enjoy this poem and tell me your thoughts, or if you have a prayer request, send them to me (you can type your request below this poem, or you can fill in the contact form) I am more than willing to pray for you!

Dear Yeshua,

 Dear Yeshua, Son of God,
all I wants to know,
is who you are and what you do,
and the love that You bestow.

 Ever since I was a little girl,
I read Your stories on and on,

Your love, like magic, filled my heart,
I wonder where it’s gone.

 Not by You, that’s what I know,
You didn’t walk away.
Perhaps that little girl grew up,
or maybe she just lost her way?

 Whatever happened, bring her back.
bring her to Your flock,
Protect her like a shepherd does,
and let her feel Your love.

Dear Yeshua, hold her tight,
and open up her heart,
teach her with that magic love,
that you will never be apart.

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.

The rose blooms

The rose blooms

Tears bring forth joy.
Through the ashes of pain,
a rainbow colors the horizon –
hope is a glimmering in the sky.

When pain scars the heart,
screams whisper in silence,
until the earth breaks into an earthquake –
relief is the essence of tears.

An ocean of tears fills one heart,
but only through the sunshine,
the rain falls down like shimmering stars,
and the rose blooms in full bloom.

*When my mother passed away last Friday, I never thought that I would ever be able to write again. For how do you find the words in such times of grieve? How do you find the words when the woman who was your greatest love and support has gone to Jesus?
You don’t. God gives them to show you His presence and everlasting love. I am not alone! And there is a golden light at the horizon!

Redemption

Redemption (the poem) is based on a dream that I had a couple of days ago.

In my dreams I was running through a city. Someone was chasing me but I didn’t really know who. I tried to get away but was unsuccessful in my efforts. In order to escape I ran to a stairway that lead down to a dark and scary subway station. For me it felt like the only way out.

Two steps down the stairs I stopped. In the corner of my eye I noticed a little white-blue songbird. The bird looked like a blue tit without the yellow chest. He was only blue and white colored and he had a little white tuft on his head. He was a very cute little guy!

The little bird tilted his head and looked at me with curiosity and sympathy in his eyes. With one single look he touched my heart.

Even though I was afraid, I did bend over and let the little guy hop onto my hand. He immediately started to peck between my fingers but it didn’t hurt me. After he was done with my right hand, he hopped over to my left until he seemed done. He then hopped into the palm of my hand where I could take a closer look at him.

Suddenly I noticed a black tick on my pointer finger. Left untreated, the bite of a tick can be deadly so I panicked. But before I could act, the little bird pecked at the tick and flew away.

As I was looking for signs of bite marks, the tick disappeared. In its place came a smiley face (like an emoji) that was branded into my skin. Slowly the panic left my heart and peace took its place. Then a little soft whisper in my heart said, “You are safe”.

In my dream the little white-blue bird saved me. The entire day I kept meditating on this dream. In the afternoon I felt the urge to write a poem about it. When I did, things became much clearer to me. The little white-blue bird represents the Holy Spirit. When we are in danger or at a place in our life that is not good for us, the Holy Spirit is with us to help us. But it is up to us to notice Him and invite Him into our lives. When we do, He will take all that is dirty, all that is dangerous and all that will hurt us away from us. The black tick represents evil. The Holy Spirit will peck at evil as long as it takes evil to leave us alone. It is the Holy Spirit that will always help us and stand by us, no matter where we are in life. He does this because Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. If we believe in Jesus we receive the Holy spirit to stand by us at all times. This is what redemption really is. Jesus loves us so much that He will do whatever He can to save us. The Holy Spirit is the Mighty Helper who will comfort us and give us strength. In order to stand firm in this life, we need them both!

Redemption

On a wild chase,
the city lost me,
and the only escape,
leads me down the stairs,
of a dark subway station.

Descending the stairs,
I find you,
and your curious sympathy,
touches me.

 Movement runs fast,
in fear it is uncontrollable,
but your steps are premeditated,
and your motions are effortless.

Unafraid is your heart,
diligent your observation.

A little white-blue bird you are,
resting in the palm of my hand.

As you fly away on the wind,
my fingertips turn into a smile,
the sign of your everlasting redemption.

 

 

 

Between the lines

For the past seven years, I have dedicated my life to writing poetry (and every other word that God gives me). Though I write mostly for myself, I have always had my focus on the reader. What would the reader need most? What would God want the reader to know? And even though this is not a bad concept, I have learned something more valuable over the years.

Over the years I have written over 250 English-languaged poems (and a handful of Dutch ones), give or take. Poems that contain a piece of God and a piece of myself. Whether God quoted it or I wrote it. It has always been a partnership where God receives all the credit. And for me, it works! For me it is the most functional way of working and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

During the years I have been through a lot. Not just the past seven years but ever since childhood. All of these struggles have found a way into my poetry. Don’t misinterpret these words though, because my poetry is not a summery of misery. With the struggles, God always handed me the solutions whether I was ready for it or not. I know the solution can sometimes overwhelm you and make you feel as if you will never be able to accomplish it. Therefore God often gives long-term solutions. Solution you can grow into as time passes by. Every day is a learning process. We are not expected to succeed in a day, week or year. God knows how long we need and that is the exact time he gives us.

Since my poetry has always treasured the solutions, they have always been my greatest comfort in times of need. Whenever I felt sad, lonely, frustrated or confused, the Holy Spirit would most often lead me to my own poetry. Between the lines I fely comfort, answers, peace and the love of my Heavenly Father. Reading these poems and feeling the great comfort they bring me, even though I wrote them myself, installed a greater understanding deep within my soul.

‘When the work you do for God heals you more than others, you’ve done something right!’

Isn’t it true that when God calls us to work in His Kingdom, we are so extremely focused on others. We need to save the world, heal mankind and bring them safe and sound into the arms of Jesus. But what if Jesus has a greater message for us than for others through the work we do? Aren’t we missing out on something?

I see so many of us make that mistake. We are so focussed on teaching that we forget to be taught. We are so focused on helping that we forget to be helped. We are so focussed on loving that we forvet to be loved. We so easily forget ourselves. How wonderful it is to know that even though we forget ourselves, God does not. He sees us and loves us. And through His everlasting love He wants to teach us every day, face to face, in the most personal way. And sometimes we don’t need to cross oceans to find it. The greatest lessons we learn are in our own handwriting. All we need is to be reminded of it.

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.

 

Blinded

As I was walking my dog one day, looking at the sun, the words simply poured into my heart. As soon as I came home, I wrote them down and called it ‘Blinded’. I hope you like it!

Blinded

If you look into the sun,
the sun will blind you.
But if you risk the chance of being blinded,
you can clearly see what the sun is made of.

If you look at God,
His light will blind you.
But if you risk the chance of being blinded,
you can clearly see who God is.

If the light makes the blind see,
then maybe we should all be blinded,
so we can finally see clearly,
and live a divine life in the light.

Nothing can separate us from God’s love!

The thursday before easter we heard that my mother has cancer and that there was no cure for her. Hearing something as horrible as this made me feel as if the floor underneath my feet disappeared and I fell into this huge hole. Unfair is a word I have used often. I just didn’t understand why this had to happen (I still don’t). In my prayers I negotiated, asked questions, pleaded, tried to make deals, anything that would turn this situation around. The moment I realized that it didn’t work, I simply got angry.

I know that it is unfair to blame God that things like this happen. They happen to everybody so why not to someone in my family? (I got this response a lot!) Even though I know that it is true, it didn’t satisfy my soul. In my opinion God could heal my mom, He still can. What made me angry is that He just didn’t do it. My life never turned out the way it was planned and after everything that had already happened, God allowed this to happen also. After all the rejections, bullying, disappointments, loneliness and hurt, I am losing my mother to this horrible disease. It was the final straw. I never complained about my situation, always tried to do the best to my abilities and I always followed God in everything He asked of me. We didn’t deserve this!

At some point my anger intensified so much that I stopped talking to God all together. I did pray but I only spoke the absolute necessary words. “Lord bless this food and forgive my sins, amen”. Or I simply prayed the ‘Our Father’ prayer. But talking personally was out of the question. If God didn’t listen to a word I was saying anyway, if He didn’t answer my prayers, then why would I even bother?

I kept this up for a week. Then one morning, right before I wanted to say a short prayer for breakfast, I audibly heard God’s voice. He said, “Gineke, please talk to me”! He was listening after all. Just because He didn’t answer, didn’t mean that He didn’t listen. God heard every word. Initially I thought, fine, if you want me to talk, I can talk. My first prayers after that week of silence consisted of yelling. All my anger was thrown at God’s feet. My feelings of unjust, disappointment and down right rage where fired straight at God’s heart. But the funny thing is that the more I screamed at God, the calmer I became. Until the screaming became talking, and the words became tears. I admit to saying things to God that I now regret. As my anger slipped away, a feeling of remorse slowly trickled into my heart. God didn’t deserve my anger. He didn’t deserve the blame. Still He listened to every single word.

Last saturday, again before breakfast, I was sitting in the living room. Suddenly I felt the presence of God the Father, as clear as the light of day, in the room. The Father walked over to me, laid His hand on the crown of my head and kissed my head. I whispered, “I love you, I really do”. And the Father answered, “I know”. Where I doubted God’s love for me, He never doubted mine. Where I thought that God wasn’t even listening, God was doing much more. He didn’t just listen. He also looked straight into my heart. God observed every single part of me so intently because He knew exactly what I was going through.

All of this opened my eyes. Often Christians say that we have to praise God and we are not allowed to get angry at Him. We have to obey Him, honor Him and keep our mouth shut about pathetic little things. Only worship! But God wants much more than worship. He wants a personal relationship with us. This means that we have to open ourselves up completely before Him. We can praise and worship God all we like but if we still hold a grudge against Him, our praise is worthless! God rather wanted me to yell at Him than that I kept my feeling to myself. God wanted to hear how I felt because He understood, and still understands, my pain. God knows how difficult my life is. How much I long for my mother to be healed. How much I long for a future and a hope, for a life of joy and worship. He knows that I am still waiting for Him to make His promises to me come true. He knows the tears of my heart. But keeping silent is not making anything better. We have to learn to open ourselves up completely, dirt and all.

If you are angry at God, disappointed, hurt, sad and you haven’t said it to Him yet. If you feel that God is to Holy, to Almighty, to receive you anger and hurt, and therefore you remain silent. If you are hiding your real feeling towards God by a mask of praise then please hear me out. God wants to know how you really feel! God is strong enough to take your anger and your pain! God understands so much more than you think! And His love is so astoundingly big that nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, can make it go away! Not even your greatest anger. And after the anger, you find that the praise and worship is deeper than it ever was before. Open your heart up for God, yell, scream cry or laugh. Don´t hold anything back. God completely understands you! He loves you!

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8: 38-39