With Gentle Force

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

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

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

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

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

Gentle force.

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

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

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

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


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.

Born to write!

Every word

Effortless are the words, I write.
Like oxygen that bubbles to the surface,
ready to be released to the world,
Your words are nestled in my heart,
like young birds ready to fly out.

Closing my eyes, I listen.
I hear Your voice in the wind,
in the birds in the air,
in the many faces I connect with.
I listen to Your voice,
wherever I go.

My pen is my only companion.
Without paper I cannot leave the house.
I write with my heart.
I write from the soul.
The words from You, Father,
have become my own.

Poem after poem,
letter after letter,
word after word.
I connect with You.
I learn from You.
I remember You.

Effortless are the words, I write.
The oxygen that fills my heart,
bursts out into the world.
The power is not my own,
I cannot take credit for the words.
All I can do is write them down.

I breathe Your words,
and with love I release it like a dove,
into a world who needs You.

Let Your words touch the hearts,
open the hearts for Your love,
pour out Your generous mercy,
so Your light will attract the faces,
of all of Your children.

Father, I am Your daughter,
seeking Your children.
And for every heart I find,
I write,
every word.

With this poem I wanted to explain what writing means to me. I was born to write in every sense of the word. Even though I didn’t like writing as a child, I was called to write by Jesus, at the age of five! I guess Jesus knows me a lot better than I know myself.

Today I cannot imagine my life without writing. Even if I could never release my poetry book, I would still write. I would still hope for a miracle. For a way for people to read it. All I ever wanted was to touch people’s hearts with the words God gave me. I know that getting dreams and visions is a great privilege! Because of that privilege I want to share with people what God shows me. What God shows me can help others too! That I know for a fact. I just want people to understand God’s love! That is why I write. Regardless of what happens to me in my life, I need to write. This blog is such a blessing to me. It is a beautiful way to share a small part of what I wrote with the world! And for that I am grateful!

Thank you so much for reading my blog! It means a lot to me! Thank you!

 

A poem about truth

One morning, a couple of years ago, as I was sitting in the silence of the morning, I felt a deep desire to get my notebook and write. I felt the Spirit of God dance inside my heart as I wrote the following poem.

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!

The last few days I was reminded by this poem. As if a voice whispered the title into my heart and soul. If we learn to walk in the truth, we will find the freedom that we long for.
But what if the truth is not what we wanted to hear? Are we still willing to walk the path of the truth, if the truth is not what we expected? I think that is a question that will ultimately answer itself. An answer that will lead us to the door of our heart, that will show us, what is really inside.

 

Face to face with God

Many Christians and especially Christian Pastors are saying that a human being cannot see God and live. Last sunday in church I had to listen to these words once again. And even though I do not like to talk about it, I feel as if I have to. Because I saw God the Father face to face…and lived to tell the story!

Truly I tell you, I am not defending myself. All I want is to change people’s perspective a little. Because God is a God of love. He wants a personal relationship with people. That is why I am telling my story. Through this blog I am hand-delivering puzzle pieces of my life for you to put together. And whether or not you believe me, is entirely up to you.

It happened about two and a half years ago. As usual I was writing poetry when I received a vision from God. I saw myself walking at the hand of God the Father, Yahweh/Yahovah. We were walking across a path next to a forest and He was showing me things like birds and squirrels and such. As I was watching this I thought, Could I? In those two words I thought, Could I turn my head and see Him? Before I could finish my thought, in one bold move, I turned my head. To my own surprise I looked the Father straight in the eyes. I saw Him the way one would look at a photograph. He had white hair (platinum white, close to gold), a little like sheep wool and it went a little over His shoulder. His eyes stood out to me. His eyes were crystal blue and shimmering like the sun. His face had no wrinkles and yet I could see age in it. He looked young and old, both at the exact same time. His frame was thin maybe weak even. Yet at the same time, He looked stronger than anybody I had ever seen. Love was shining in His entire countenance. At the same time as love, I saw holiness and almightiness. He is literally all in one and one in all. And what surprised me most of all is that I could see a reflection of myself in His face. I saw the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth and at the same time…I saw my Father.

As the vision left me, I tried to write it down in poetry. But words can never truly define the Father. My words could and never will do Him justice!

Around the same time, perhaps a few months earlier, I ask God a question. As I have told you many times, I have been through a lot and I am still dealing with many things in my life. So I asked God one day, with all the honesty and sincerity in my heart, “Father, why did my life go the way it did? Why me? Why this way?” Immediately I heard God’s voice saying, “God’s daughter, daughter of God”. Even though I instantly understood what God was trying to say, I dropped the thought at once. Not me! Not I! But a couple of months later I had a vision where God showed me the way I look in Heaven. Again a couple of months later, as I was surfing the internet, I was looking up names and their meaning. I stumbled upon the name ‘Batyah’. The meaning of this name was, ‘God’s daughter, daughter of God. It didn’t hit me until exactly a year after I asked God my question. I am Batyah. It is a name/nickname that God has for me. It is the way He sees me! When He looks at me He sees His daughter. Not just any ordinary girl. What is very telling is that I have always considered myself a sinner saved by grace. I was a adopted into God’s family through the blood and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Nothing more nothing less. But here was God saying, “Yes you are, but you are also really my daughter. It got a complete new meaning for me. I wasn’t just one out of many. But for God I was His.

Like I said, I hardly ever talk about this. Probably more out of fear than out of humility. The fear of what people might say or think when I do talk about it. But I hope so much that telling my story will shift something inside your heart. I hope you will learn to see yourself as a true child of God. You are not just one out of many. For God you are His one and only. No accident but a carefully constructed plan by the Father Himself. He put all His effort, love and joy in creating you. You are truly loved. Don’t ever forget that!

May love guide your steps to eternal life!

A work in progress!

The other day I was visiting a friend of mine to meet her newborn baby. It is her fourth child and the sweetest little thing, as most babies are! I showed her my blog and she asked me a question. “Do you do all of the things you write about yourself”? “Yes I do”, I told her, “but I am still a work in progress though”. It is good to have a friend like her! A friend that is honest with you and not afraid to ask the right questions. I try to do everything I write about, however I am only human. Sometimes I am better at it, then other times. Especially when my fear is getting in the way.

When I was in my early twenties, I was diagnosed, by a psychologist, with a general anxiety disorder. After I had therapy, it died down until a year and a half ago. I had a traumatizing experience at the dentist and ever since it is back in full force. Again I am fighting a high dosis of fear every day. A fear that was almost gone. I know, with the help of God, that I can overcome this fear but it takes a lot of patience. And patience is one of my weak spots. Often I want to rush things when I should actually take it easy. I want things to happen right away, when God asks me to wait.

Fear will always be a part of my life…unfortunately. However often I have prayed for healing, it is something that I have come to terms with. After all, Jesus was afraid too when He was praying in Gethsemane garden! Right before Jesus was taken captive, He prayed to His Father if the cup could be taken from Him. Or in modern day language, if He could please be spared from what was awaiting Him. You know, many people say that Jesus was not afraid anymore after that. That after that prayer, He knew what to do and He did it without fear because He knew His journey. But you know what, I believe that He was still afraid. I don’t think the fear left Him. I believe that He simply decided to go through with it, regardless of His fear. And with the fear in His hands, He climbed on that cross. His love was bigger than His fear.

His love being bigger than His fear is something that I recognize. When I like what I have to do, it is easier than when I have to do something I don’t like. When your heart is passionate for something, fear reduces to a tiny flame, making it easier to do it. But the tiny flame becomes a huge fire when your heart is not fully in on it. Of course there is a difference between a healthy fear, like before a speaking engagement, or a fear that goes through the roof. Sometimes I can control my fear but there are also moments that I cannot.

For example, after the traumatizing experience at the dentist, I tried to ignore my fear for a long time. I went to the dentist again and even though I had a much better experience, the fear was so big that I could not control it anymore. The trick that God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit taught me is; with patience and relaxation you can overcome it. The fear never goes away overnight. This is a fact that I have to be fully aware of, but it will go away in the end. This thought gives me a lot of peace already. The second step I take is becoming rational. I tell myself to calm down. Jesus loves me and there is nothing on earth more important than that. I also skip things from my agenda when I feel in my heart that I need time for myself. To plan moments of calmth is very important. I am not superwoman. I cannot do everything and that is okay. My life is not easy and God is keeping a lot of things away from me, like a family. Just because I am not married and I don’t have children, does not mean that my life is easier. I have not been requested to do it all, but to do what I can. I focus on my talents and gifts and not on what I am not good at. But the biggest of all remains patience! With a lot of patience, and a lot of faith I overcome my fear. I cannot let it go away but I can make it smaller and that gives me room to breath.

Life remains a battle. Yet in this battle it is good to remind ourselves of one very important thing. Jesus love for us is everything! It is more important than our fear. And with that in mind we can overcome anything. Jesus’s love makes me get up every morning. Just the thought that, besides Jesus, I have a Father in Heaven who loves me so much, makes me want to try again. Of course I am not capable of doing everything. Like I said, I am not superwoman. There are some things that I am, and never will be, good at. But that is okay. God accepts me for who I am. And if I do the same; if I work hard and focus on the gifts and talents that the Father, in all His goodness, gave me, it will all work itself out in the end. Fear may be an ever present companion but at least I can shut him up whenever he talks to much!

Optimism is the key to a happy life!

Optimism is the key to a happy life. It really is. I believe that happy people are optimistic people. Optimism does not mean that you avoid problems in your life or simply turning a blind eye. Optimism, to me, means that you remain positive about the outcome regardless of the circumstances. When facing a problem, you don’t dwell in the problem but you look beyond the problem to the outcome and you make it a happy one.

When I was a child, I was a very optimistic little girl. One of the things I always said was, “Everything will be okay. Maybe not today but in the end it will be”. And I believed in it. Why? Because I believed that God could literally do everything. Nothing was too out of reach for God. But when I grew up, I had moments when I doubted that. I did not doubt that God could do everything, but I did doubt that everything would be okay in the end. The problem, in my own point of view, is adulthood. There comes a time where we lose our childlike innocence. It is like someone takes our rose-colored glasses off and exchanges them for reality glasses. As we grow older we start to look at the world and lose a piece of our childlike positivity. A positivity that is so important for us.

When I was nineteen years old (about two months before my twentieth birthday) I got into a deep depression. During that depression I lost my optimism completely. It was like something shifted inside of me. In the weeks before I became depressed, it had been brewing for a while inside of me but I ignored it. Then suddenly one morning, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I could not see the goodness in my life or people. It lasted for at least a year and a half, and with therapy I found a way out. Since then I have had two more depressive periods. And the only thing that helps me during these dark days is optimism. Telling myself positive things. One thing that helped me greatly was telling myself that Jesus loves me. As soon as I woke up, I would remind myself of Jesus love. And throughout the day I would repeat it. Then slowly, little by little, my happiness would return.

Negative thoughts enter the mind so easily. With me it probably started at school. Someone laughed at my because I did not wear the right clothes. Then someone rejected me. And more people followed. Instead of seeing people for what they really are, I would try to locate the problem within myself. I kept trying to fix myself until I felt worthless and unfixable. But when exactly this started? I cannot put the finger on it. Little by little negativity ate its way into my soul until it had eaten me from the inside out.

And yet the answer was so easy. The only thing that ever helped me was to replace it with positivity. Even when I was twenty my psychologist would make me look at myself and research myself as long as it took for me to see that things weren’t that bad after all. I wasn’t that bad after all. When I was twenty-one, a good friend of mine secretly filmed me with her camera as a joke. When I saw it back, I thought, wow she is a really great girl. Only to realize that this great girl was actually me. After all the negativity, this moment shifted my heart back in its place. For the first time I started to like myself. Which was a huge step forward! And it has only improved ever since. Like I said, I still have depressive moments that can last several weeks, but I don’t take it out on myself anymore. I just keep repeating Jesus’s love for me. I keep reminding myself of what is beautiful about myself. I literally talk myself happy again. And if I can’t do it? God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit remind me of it.

A happy life starts with loving yourself. I know the bible asks us to be humble, but there is a great difference between humility and pulling yourself down. You can see the beauty within yourself, love yourself and be humble at the same time. Humility simply means that you don’t boast about yourself. Or in the language of the bible; Honor one another above yourself (Romans 12: 10). When I realized this, it was a great eye-opener! For as long as I lived, I literally thought that I had to hate myself to be humble. But slowly, as I grew older, God started to show me a new reality. He asked me to like myself. In the poem ‘The Sunflower’ (I posted it in a previous blog), God said to me, “I see the sunflower in you, now all I ask is for you to see it to”. God wants us to be positive and optimistic. He wants us to see His love for us and He wants that love to penetrate our soul so much that it covers our soul completely.

But positivity goes beyond yourself. I can be very positive about myself but it is equally important to be positive about the world around me. To see the good in people instead of the bad. To give people a chance instead of rejecting them right away. To give someone a compliment or a kind word. Greet people on the street or smile at someone instead of living in your own world. If we try to be a little more positive, it can already change our souls and lives dramatically. Optimism is the key to a happy life. Not just for yourself but also for the people around you!

A little more gratitude

As I was walking my dog this afternoon a Dutch children’s song came to my mind. I just couldn’t stop singing it. The song is about a helicopter. It is a request to the helicopter if you could please fly along with him because all you want is to be up in the sky. On and on I kept singing this song until it really drove me crazy. But when I really looked at the lyrics, I started thinking. In life we are all exactly like this song. All we want in life is to fly higher and higher. The highest place isn’t high enough. We want to be more successful. We want a bigger house. We want more money. We want more recognition. We want more friends. We want more fun. We want more adventure and so on. It is never really enough. When are we finally going to be grateful for what we have?

Think about it! Are you really grateful? Or are there things that would make your life just a little bit better? If I may answer this question for myself, I am not grateful enough! For the past month I have been complaining to God about my life. When God the Father audibly told me that He loved me, all I could think of was the things that aren’t going well in my life. Things that I hadn’t accomplished yet. Things that were still missing in my life. In reality I didn’t really listen.

Even when Jesus said, again audible, that He loved me, I started complaining about the fact that I haven’t gotten my book published yet. As if the publication of my book is more important than Jesus’s love for me. Of course, looking back, I can hit my head into a brick wall with piles of shame piled up on my shoulders but that is not going to help me now! Jesus taught me once, “An apology is merely a collection of words, only a change of heart can redeem the soul”. So I know that, especially with Jesus, an apology doesn’t really work. What Jesus rather sees is that I change my actions into the right ones. However that isn’t easy!

It is so difficult to not want more. In our own minds we simply need it. We need a roof over our head, food on the table, clothes to wear and, preferably, a stress-free life. And how we get it appears to be as important as what we get. We don’t settle for less. It has to be new. It has to be big, it has to be enough to our own standards. And in a way we do need all these things. We do! But God already knows that. God knows our needs long before we do! The point is that sometimes we just aren’t grateful enough. Instead of enjoying the moment, we are looking for our next problem. We keep searching for requests that we can lay down before God’s throne until we start making them up. But when are we going to stop and say, “Thank you”. When do we stop our lives and realize what we already have? When are we going to let the helicopter go without us because we have enough already?

A few years ago I made a rule for myself. During prayer I would thank God for at least one thing. In the evening for example, I would go through my day and thank God for as many things I could come up with. As time went by it became easier and easier to come up with things. In moments of difficulty it is extremely helpful. It allowed me to consciously think about that what God has given me. It made me see that God gives me more than I am often aware off. Maybe it can help you to? Another thing you could do to become more grateful is writing a prayer journal. You write down each prayer that you pray. Looking back on the prayers you can see what God has done for you. And so there are many more ideas to be more grateful.

Once a year we celebrate thanksgiving. It is a different date in most countries in the world. And each country celebrates it differently. In the United States for example it is highly celebrated with family diners. It is a public holiday that everyone celebrates. In Holland however, it is only celebrated in churches. Only Christians have a thanksgiving day. We don’t get a day off to celebrate and we have a church services in the evening. And I am pretty sure that some other countries don’t even have a thanksgiving day! But do we need a thanksgiving day? Do we need one day a year to be grateful? Maybe we do. However I think it is very important to be grateful every single day of your life.
Stop looking at what you don’t have and start realizing what God did give you. A little bit more positivity can brighten your soul more than you are aware of.

For me it remains a work in progress. When I feel down and alone it is a lot harder for me to be thankful for what I have. Those are the moments when I complain to God and I get frustrated with myself and my life. In those moments I will have to remind myself to look at what I do have, even if it is only one thing that I can come up with. Because I still believe that God is good and that He knows our needs! Besides, Philippians 4 verse 19 tells us, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” He is with us, taking care of us every day, to the very end of the age! And that alone is something to be grateful for!

Psalm 100

A psalm for giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Are you allowed to get angry at God?

Are you allowed to get angry at God? It is an interesting question, isn’t it? I wrestled with this question a lot when I was younger. As a teenager I had the feeling that anger was a sin. I wasn’t allowed to get angry at the people around me and especially not at God. I looked at God as this almighty being, high on His throne and judging the world. I had based this on the stories of Israel in the bible. The amount of times that God the Father got angry at the Israelites was downright astonishing. Read the old testament and see how often God gets angry after people made mistakes. The old testament is filled punishments in order to get reconciliation. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that my opinion of God shifted.

Sometimes we get angry at little things in our life, especially when we are stressed out or worried. But sometimes we get angry because we got hurt. In that case anger becomes part of a grieving process. Through anger we learn how to deal with something. And in other occasions we get angry because things aren’t fair. We feel a high sense of unjust at something in our own lives or in the lives of others. I think we can all recognize one of the three. We all get angry whether we like it or not. It is part of our sinful living. But is anger always wrong? I think not. I think we are allowed to get angry when we see or experience injustice. When I see the amount of children living in poverty, I get angry because I think it is unjust that the world has such a lack of equal sharing. If I hear that a mom died of cancer, leaving behind young children, I can get angry because it is unfair in my opinion. When I get angry, I am not saying that God is mean and didn’t do the right thing. Not at all! I get angry because of sin. Because we live in a dark world and we still didn’t learn how to listen to God and do His will. But this is not an answer to the question if we are allowed to get angry at God.

Look at the story of Jonah. I love this story. This is one of the few stories in the old testament that shows us how God responds at our anger.
Jonah was called by God to go to Nineveh. The citizens of Nineveh sinned so much that God was pretty much done with them. Jonah had to go to Nineveh to tell the citizens that in three days God was going to destroy the city and all its inhabitants. Jonah however wasn’t willing to go. Instead He fled onto a ship that would sail in the opposite direction. But God wasn’t easy to fool. He provided a storm and Jonah was thrown overboard where a big fish swallowed him up. Three days Jonah sat in this fish to think about his actions. And Jonah ended up going to Nineveh after all. After Jonah told the citizens of Nineveh the message of God, he patiently waited for God to destroy the city. But God did not. The citizens of Nineveh changed their hearts and turned back to God. Because of this, God had mercy on Nineveh. This is where Jonah gets furious.
And what does God do? This is the part that I love so much. God calmly explains to Jonah exactly why He did what He did! God does not get angry at all, in fact He takes this moment of anger to teach Jonah more about Himself. Isn’t that amazing?

This story tells us that God does not mind our anger at all. In fact He takes it as an opportunity to teach us more about Himself. God’s heart is 100% love and God operates out of this love. His love is so big that we often don’t understand it.
Besides if God taught me one thing through my poetry, it is that God rather wants us to be honest! Our honesty, regardless of whether we are happy, sad or angry, means more to Him than anything else. We can keep a pretty facade but God knows our heart. If we would not be fully honest with God about what is going on inside of us, we would be lying to him. If we give God our anger and hurt, He is able to do something with that. God does not act unless we ask Him to. This also applies to our anger. God is fine with us being angry at Him as long as we keep an open mind to what He will do with that.

To me that is exactly the love of God. God loves us so much that He even wants to put up with our anger. For if we give our anger at Him, He can do something with that anger and turn it into something much more positive. So if you hold any grudges towards God, let Him know. He wants to do something with your anger. He wants to explain to you why He did what He did, but He cannot do that unless you tell Him. God is a God love, who will never force himself onto you. It is up to you to trust God. It is up to you to trust Him with your anger and your pain. He is already waiting for you, to shower you with His love and mercy. So don’t be afraid! Give God everything that you have inside your heart He is listening!

 

From the heart

On the news this afternoon I saw a piece about the Rohingya refugees. Unicef called for help because so many children in camps in Bangladesh are hungry, traumatized, sick and alone. In the footage they showed, I saw a long line of children. They all had a cup or a plate in their hands and a small portion of food was scooped on it for every child. This one particular little girl begged for a little more. Even though she was given a little, she was immediately pushed away. The helplessness in her eyes touched my heart. All she wanted was food but there was simply not enough to give her. Not even enough for one more scoop. This reminded me of a poem I wrote a couple of years ago.

When I wrote this poem, I had also seen similar footage on TV. I don’t know from which organization this was but that doesn’t matter! In the footage I saw back then, there was a little boy. Same conditions but then in Africa, I believe. The look in his eyes touched my heart so much that I immediately wrote a poem about him. And not just about him but about all the children around the world who are suffering. Whether it is from hunger, sickness, trauma or loneliness, there are too many children still suffering around the world. And not just children, but adults and elderly too. So many people who are living in totally different circumstances than me and you. For a while I worked for an organization called ‘TEAR’. This is an organization that fights poverty. My work was mainly administration but it felt so rewarding.

The reward is the help that you give people. Even if it is just a small gift, it makes a great difference. For a while I felt that my administration work didn’t matter that much, because I wasn’t helping anyone hands on. But little by little I started to see the difference my small contribution made. Today it is my dream and deepest wish to help people through my writings. It is the only prayer that I hope God will answer for me one day. Because when I see these children, my heart goes out to them and I wish that I could do so much more than I am able to do today!

Here is the poem I wrote:

Unanswered

 Your eyes,
pierce through my flesh,
like burning arrows.
I feel your pain,
and my eyes shed the tears,
that you cannot give.
In a moment of despair,
my heart breaks.
To read is unnecessary.
Prevention too late.
For your eyes,
scream the questions,
left unanswered.

Hope, I call you!
Compassion, where have you gone?
Give me the names,
of the helpless hands,
the eyes that closed,
and the mouth that didn’t speak.
For the Heavens cry,
and the angels shout,
but nobody heard,
nobody answered.

Bless the soul that sees,
bless the hero that helps,
but glory to Him,
who answers the prayers,
and leaves the selfish,
unanswered.