My Father’s Garden

The poem ‘My Father’s garden’ is based on a vision I had. I was 29 years old and one night, as I was laying in bed, I got a vision from God. In this vision I saw myself in a secluded place. The grass was greener than I have ever seen. Trees with green leaves were in a quarter of a circle and green bushes were standing in front of the trees. It was a sea of green.

In the centre was a long white (French garden set like) table. It was huge and could easily seat 12 people but there were only 3 chairs. One at the head, two on either side. I was sitting on one of the seats but not the one at the head! I was dressed in a white robe, one like Jesus always wears in pictures. My hair was dark brown and my eyes had this amber-brown color. My face was so white, as if I had a lightbulb in my head that was turned on. My face was literally glowing (read; giving light). I was so shocked by my beauty. And not just my beauty. I looked so happy. Happier than I have ever been on earth. I was filled with joy. The person I saw didn’t look half as much as I am today. I was so shocked by this perfection that I pushed the vision away.

Now I am truly sad that I stopped the vision. I would love to see it once more and take a closer look at myself. I saw myself through God’s eyes. God showed me what He sees. Around the same time God gave me the name; Batyah, which means ‘Daughter of God’. (I have talked about this story in a previous blog) When I woke up the next morning I wrote a poem about my experience. To me this poem is a treasure. A memory of something beautiful. It was God’s way of saying: “I love you and to Me, you are absolutely perfect. To Me you are my beloved little girl”.

My Father’s garden

Watching through a camera,
the lens provides a new picture.
A new world…an unknown place.
Where green trees make a secluded garden,
green bushes bring rest to the soul.
She dwells in green pastures.
Her home is peace,
She’s dressed in truth.

A white table provides three chairs,
One for her…she is already seated,
One for the Son….He will come,
One for the Father….He is already there.
Never leaving her side,
His angels keep her laughing,
For joy is the essence of the garden.

The lens provides a perfect world,
where all the cultures are united.
Peace is the law,
joy is life,
and love your greatest company.

Dressed in white, Her body is alight.
Her dark brown hair points out Her amber eyes.
I want to touch Her face….my face.
I want to braid Her hair…my hair.
I want to look like Her…but I’m looking at myself.

The lens shows a different view,
I am looking through the eyes of my Father,
A promise…a place…a Daughter.
My Father’s garden…my home.

A short but sweet love poem

I love you!

If my spirit is attached to you,
with one single thread,
If my eyes cry tears,
for those I never met,
If my eyes long to see you,
if it were only once,
then the covenant still stands,
our hearts remain as one!

If the smell of spices touches me,
a taste that only you can blend,
If pomegranates tell stories,
that only I can understand,
If music is a heartbeat,
only beating your drum,
then our love is like a bride,
waiting for the groom to come!

On the balcony of dreams,
I am always looking out for you,
for none could ever love me more,
then only you can do.
I love you!

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.

 

 

 

Truth is freedom

Usually I am not exactly a morning bird. In the morning I need some time to wake up and get started. But one morning, when I was alone, I woke up early. That morning I sat down with a writing pad. I felt so inspired but at the same time I didn’t know what to write. As soon as I put my pen on the paper, the words came out so fluently that I had to put in a lot of effort to keep up. I cannot write every day at the same time and often, any time before dawn is not a particularly favorite writing time for me. When I write, I wait for God’s voice to guide me through the words. Sometimes He quotes them, sometimes I get dreams, visions or I see quick pictures in front of my eyes, and at other times I find the words in my own heart. And when I read my poetry back later on, I can always find God back in the words, pages and poems. My poetry is not just an outlet. It is my breath, my beating heart. It is my life line in times of sorrow. It is my joy and my happiness. I was meant to write! I was meant to write poetry!

Truth is Freedom

Questions ask Questions,
through the answers multiplied.
Answers calm the soul,
but only for a little while.
The answers we want to hear,
lead us walking in circles,
endlessly.

Where the truth shines his light,
human eyes are blinded by its brightness,
but if we dare to open our heart,
the truth will set us free.

Truth answers questions.
Peace calms the soul.
The two are undeniably connected,
for truth and peace give acceptance,
and broken circles give a narrow road,
until we learn how to walk in truth.

Questions ask questions.
Answers question itself.
But the truth is a rock,
steadfast and unshakable,
where we can lean on in times of trial.
The truth is the Light that sets our mind free.
Eternal freedom that sets us in the Light.

Truth is freedom for the soul!

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.

Sea angels

It was in May 2016 when I stood at a beach in Normandy with my parents. The sky was grey and the wind was blowing. It was cold. Looking out across the Atlantic Ocean, something happened inside my soul. It felt as if the Holy Spirit was speaking to me. As if, for the first time in a long time, someone understood how I felt. I was not alone that day. Not only the Holy Spirit was with me, but I felt the presence of numerous angels around me. As if Heaven wanted to reassure me that I was not alone. There is someone who understands my heart and my emotions, even when I don’t understand it myself.

Although I am not fan of sunbathing at a crowded beach, or sunbathing in general, I do like to stroll across the beach. Especially on windy days when the beaches are mostly empty and you can only hear your own thoughts. I love seeing the outstretched beach and the endless ocean in front of me. No end and no beginning. It just is. Water is always moving. It never rests. Besides oceans I also love creeks and lakes. I remember as a child on summer holidays that we would spend our sundays at small creeks or lakes in Switzerland, France and Austria. The peace that these days brought to me, I will never forget. They now remain a very happy memory that I can visit whenever I want.

Water is happiness and peace but also turmoil. In the endless oceans often appear vortexes. today’s oceans are covered in plastic. So even though the ocean is a happy place full of wonder, imagine sea life, it is also a broken place. Maybe that is what connected me with the ocean that day in May. Maybe that is what the Holy Spirit tried to point out to me. Just like the sea being restless, so am I. An ongoing energy that can experience happiness and turmoil, I am broken. Restless. Not unhappy but a constant flow between the two.

That day my heart found a peaceful place where the Holy Spirit connected with me. The words He gave me still hold a special place in my heart. Every time I read it, I still feel that this is exactly how I feel. Restless. But the comfort that there is Someone who knows how I feel and understands it, it such a comfort! God knows how I feel. He understands it. When Jesus was on earth, He experienced the same feelings and emotions as every human being experiences them. So we can be assured that Jesus knows exactly how we feel. And sometimes we just have to be made aware of that. It is a good thing that we have the Holy Spirit to point it out to us once in a while. to point out that we are not alone and that our feelings and emotions in that particular moment are completely understood. life is broken, happy and in turmoil at the exact same time. But God knows how we feel. And that is an enormously gracious gift which God the Father gave us. Something to be thankful for.

These are the words that came to me that day:
Sea Angels

Hannah’s courage

For as long as I can remember, I have loved the story of Hannah, the mother of Samuel. Ever since I was a child, I had this affinity with Hannah – a certain connection. She is without a doubt one of my favorite biblical women. The reason I love her so much is her courage and dedication to God.

Hannah did not have an easy life, I believe. She had to share her husband with another woman who bullied her constantly because she was childless. In those days, being childless, was more or less a curse from God. People seriously believed that you had sinned against God, so God punished you by not giving you children. Besides children were your wealth. When people looked at your riches, they didn’t look at how much money you had or the size of your house you owned. They looked at your children. If you had many children, especially a son, you were rich and blessed.

So Hannah is in a difficult spot. Hannah’s situation is continuing for years. The bullying from Peninnah is hurting Hannah so much that she stops eating.  Even the love of her husband cannot cheer her up anymore. But instead of letting her problems defeat her, Hannah gets up and goes to the Lord’s House. She takes her problems to the only place where she can get true help. She takes it to God. The most inspiring part of this story to me is Hannah’s request. She could have asked for a child and left it at that. But she does not. Hannah promises God that if He gives her a son, she will give him back. I am not a mother but I can imagine the sacrifice Hannah makes here. All she ever wanted was a child. In fact she wants it so much that she is willing to give him up. It seems to me that all Hannah wanted was to know what it feels like to be a mother. Her heartache rises high above Penninah’s bullying. Hannah truly misses something in her heart, in her life, and she is willing to go the extra mile to make it happen. Her faith in God is astonishing. Her courage inspiring.

Would I be willing to give up what I wanted most? Would I be able to say, “God if you give me this, I will give it all back to you”? Hannah’s strength is extraordinary to me. In the world where we live in today, I don’t know if I could. But Hannah can. Her heartache becomes her greatest testimony.

What is inspiring about this story also, is Hannah’s courage to ignore other people’s opinion about her. As she is praying in the Lord’s House, the priest Eli thinks that Hannah is drunk. In those days people prayed aloud. When one prayed, he prayed so everybody could hear it. But not Hannah. Hannah does not hang her dirty laundry outside so to say. She prays silently. Only God is allowed to hear her grieve. Only God is allowed inside her heart, inside her deepest sorrow. When Eli wants to send her away, she remains calm and explains him why she prayed the way she did. Hannah was not afraid to do things her way. I see her as a strong woman. Her difficult situation definitely did not define who Hannah truly was. She was a smart, strong woman, who knew God and loved Him. And because of her faith, God gave Hannah what she asked for.

This story to me is incredible. Samuel is born and as soon as he is old enough, Hannah brings him to Silo, where the Lord’s House is situated. Samuel becomes a great prophet because of his mother’s courage and sacrifice. Hannah wrote history by her courageous act of faith and love. And in my opinion she does not get enough credit for it. Most people look at Mary the mother of Jesus or Mary Magdalene, Ruth or Esther, but not many look at Hannah the mother of Samuel. Would you be able to ask God for something only to give it back? How difficult must it have been for Hannah to bring young Samuel to Silo that day. To give her own child up. In Hannah’s prayer we can read that it actually brings her joy. God gave her what she asked for and that was enough. Hannah didn’t mind about the way how God gave it.

When I compare myself to Hannah, I can clearly see the flaws within myself. If I ask for something, I often want it my way. I am not open enough to God’s way of doing things. Besides when I have to give something up, I get sad and frustrated. I honestly cannot imagine asking God for a child and giving him back to God with a happy heart. I would probably be devastated. Imagine it yourself for a moment. Maybe you just become a mother or father after a series of IVF or after a long journey of adoption. Imagine taking your child to church and leaving him or her behind, so they can serve the Lord. You have to understand that Hannah only saw her son ones a year! It was not like she brought him there, he did what he had to do, and she brought him back home. No! She gave him up. Samuel stayed in Silo and Hannah went back home. Could you do that? I believe we can all learn so much from Hannah. From her courage and her sacrifice, but mostly, from her gratitude and joy.

You can read Hannah’s story in the bible, in 1 Samuel 1 and 2.
One last thing. God, in His love and goodness, gave Hannah three sons and two daughters after Samuel. Hannah’s reward for her willingness to give Samuel back to God. It teaches me personally that through all the sorrow in our own life, God will give us so much more in return, if only we are willing to have faith in Him!

 

When the world turns upside down

At the moment the ground behind our house is a construction sight where new houses are being build. Somehow this is exactly how I feel my life is at the moment. A construction sight where someone is working very hard to establish something and I  don´t know whether or not I am happy with it. Somehow I feel like my whole life comes together at this particular moment. Things are about to change and I am not happy with it.

Thursday before Easter we heard that my mother has cancer. A week later we heard that it had already spread throughout her body and she only has a couple more months to live. It felt as if the ground underneath me opened up and I was swallowed into the deep earth. As if a massive earthquake turned my entire life upside down. Even today I find it difficult to deal with. My mother is the sweetest soul that ever lived (according to my humble opinion), and that this had to happen to her seemed unfair to me. I know that a lot of people are in similar situations, so why would my mother be an exception to the rule? When it is your own family, I believe that we are all biased in some ways.
But it’s not just my mother’s good heart. She is also my best friend. Since making friends was never an easy for me, I spend a lot of my time with my mother. We made trips together to Vienna and London, we always go shopping together or drink coffee/tea at a cafe. She is the first person I go to when I am struggling with something. I tell her literally everything. She is my greatest support and always encourages me to keep pursuing my dreams. She was the first to believe in my dreams/visions and my conversations with God. She was the first to accept and support my calling. As you can see, my mother means so much to me and sooner or later, it will all be gone.

Maybe I should feel happy that she is going to Jesus, to Heaven. But right now I just feel selfish and I want to keep her close to me. I am simply not ready to lose her. I am not ready to go through this change. In the last weeks I have yelled at God, screamed at Him, cried out to Him. My emotions are twirling like a wild tornado and I feel, like I will never be joyful again. Anger has slipped into my heart, a feeling of unfairness. God can heal her and He is not doing it. People say that God has His reasons but if you see others being healed over and over again, it feels slightly unfair that your loved one has to pay the price.

Looking back at photos from a year back, I see that the tumor we noticed last December, has been there for a long time. It made me wonder why God didn’t open our eyes sooner? Why didn’t we get a chance to save her? I talk to God on a daily basis in many literal ways (which is unique I know) but this makes no sense to me.  So many questions went through my mind. When the bible tells us to pray, believe that you have received it and it will be given to you, why doesn’t God answer the prayer when we do exactly that? I prayed, I believed and it was not given to me. Why doesn’t God intervene, when He clearly has the power to do so?

The only answer that comes up inside my heart, right at this moment, is because He loves us! God will not let us be tested above our abilities. Maybe, just maybe, God loves my mother so much that He wants to prevent her from getting hurt. Maybe bringing my mother Home (to Heaven) is the only right answer. And maybe, even though I do not feel it right now, God will help me through this. I will get through this. One day I will get up and smile again.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

God loves me. And it is that love that will guide me through this. The interesting thing is that as I was angry at God, I refused to talk to Him for a while. But God talked to me and said, “Gineke, talk to me”! You see, God rather wants us to yell at Him in anger as we tell Him exactly what is inside our hearts than hide and ignore Him. God the Father once told me, “When you cry, I cry. When you are angry, I am angry. When you laugh, I laugh”. God is one with our emotions. He feels what is inside our hearts. He understands all the emotions that are within us. When someone hurts us, God gets hurt too. So if there is one who we can confide in, it is God. And that is what I ended up doing. I told God exactly how I feel and it made me feel a whole lot better. I cannot grow by my own strength, I need the light of God to lift me up. Only with God I can get through this. Only with God there is hope even when I don’t see it yet.

The Weaver and the tapestry

Our place in this world is unique. Each and every single one us has his own place in this world. There is not a person to many or too little. Everyone is exactly where he/she is supposed to be. It is like a tapestry. Each wire has its own place and function but the tapestry could not exist without each and every single threat.

When one comes face to face with an approaching death within the family, life somehow becomes much clearer. As my mom is battling cancer (a battle she is going to lose according to the doctors), I start to reflect on my life more than usual. Questions like; what is important to me and what do I really need, are going around in my mind. Looking back on life I can clearly see God’s hand in everything. Every moment in my life was carefully coordinated by His mighty hand. Before I was born, my life was painted into great detail. Not a single color or brushstroke was left out. Every word was written down. When life happens, it is very difficult to see that you are a part of a great tapestry. Your life really matters! It is the moment when life comes to a halt that you start to see the full picture (or after something bad happened).

We have these moments in life when we look back over our shoulder and suddenly see the full picture. As if we have always been looking at the bottom of this tapestry. All we could see was the knots and chaos in the threads. Nothing seemed to make sense. But suddenly you get a small glimpse at what the other side looks like. You can see the Weaver create every detail in this enormous tapestry. Every color and every thread is handpicked.

To me it is very comforting to know that Someone is in control. God is the Great Weaver who has put all His blood, sweat and tears into this masterpiece. Sometimes the knots hurt. Sometimes we believe that the threads are supposed to be at a different place or preferably not there at all. Sometimes we believe that we could do a better job, if we had a say in it. But looking at the tapestry of my own life, I personally disagree. I could not have done a better job at my tapestry than God. Even though I have been hurt, I can clearly see how much God loves me. God the Father has never allowed a single knot or thread at the wrong place or the wrong time. I can clearly see moments where evil tried to destroy or put the wrong thread in the tapestry and God stopped it.

Looking at the tapestry of life, all I can say is, God the Father did an amazing job. I can feel His love in every thread of my life, in every fiber of my being. Life isn’t easy and sometimes it seems unfair, but I believe that God sees the bigger picture. A picture I can not yet see. Sometimes I get a glimpse but I can never see the full tapestry. Still I only trust God with my life. I only trust God with my tapestry because I know that He does see the full picture. He knows where I came from and where I will go. He has created me and wove me into a unique masterpiece. Whenever life gets difficult and all I can see is chaos, God shows me His love in numerous ways. I can always talk to Him and He always listens to me. His hand holds mine and He never let’s go. His hands hold me up when I cannot stand anymore and His wisdom guides me along the way.

Even though I cannot see the full tapestry, I can see the Weaver.
Even though I do not understand all the knots and threads,
I do know that the end result will be breathtaking!