God Can Birth Life Out Of Our Pain

12:33 pm Unknown 6 Comments

In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born," says the Lord. "If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation," says your God. Isaiah 66:9 (NCV)

Picture: Creationswap.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck
There is a little cactus on my desk at work.

It has tiny red flowers that blossom despite the stony ground or infrequent watering. 

My colleague gave it to me when my husband was diagnosed with cancer. A simple reminder, she said, that in the midst of tough and prickly circumstances there is still life and beauty. 

Each time a new bud appears that little cactus tells me that no matter how unlikely it looks that life will flourish, a God who creates good things, can beat the odds and create something new.

God can birth life out of our pain. 

Life Doesn’t Always Go To Plan

8:57 pm Unknown 6 Comments

Mortals make plans, but God has the last word. Proverbs 16:1 (MSG)

In January, my husband and I had a plan for the year.

We were going to learn French.

Maybe visit France.

We were going to refurbish the house we’d bought a month or two before. Strip and paint and make it look like something out of a magazine. 

But life doesn’t always go to plan.

By February, my husband had been diagnosed with cancer. 

And all our plans for the year didn’t matter much anymore. 

In their place were hospital visits, and fertility planning and an attempt to learn the language of phlebotomists and blood results.  

We learnt something else along the way - something a friend grieving the loss of a child reminded me about – that even when it all seems out of control God knew the plan the whole time.

Our plans were never really ours to begin with. They belonged to God all along. 

While I spoke to my friend she reminded me as she fought back tears that God has the last word - and that his word is good and true and kind - because He is. 

I’m not sure whether it’s comforting or not to realize that God knows about cancer and miscarriages and other things that throw our plans off balance. Part of me asks, “If you know it God then why do you let it happen?”

But despite the questions and the uncertainty and the pain, I do find it comforting that whatever happens, God – who loves you and me – has the last word. 

I’m sure if I could see the beginning from the end, I’d see that God’s last word is always better than my best laid plans. (<-- Tweet this by clicking here)

What stops you from believing that God has the last word? (I would love for you to share your thoughts in the comments.)

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Why You Will Survive The Worst Day Of Your Life

1:59 pm Unknown 6 Comments

You did it: you changed wild lament into whirling dance; You ripped off my black mourning band and decked me with wildflowers. I’m about to burst with song; I can’t keep quiet about you. God, my God, I can’t thank you enough. Psalm 30:11-12 (MSG)

Photo: Cindy Ford (Creationswap.com) | Design: Wendy van Eyck
We were made to be resilient. 

I saw it gardening today. 

A tiny green leaf grasped for life, just as I bent to throw - what I thought was a plant hit by hail and frost - a plant that was surely dead aside. While on the surface there appeared to be no life, beneath the dried out, crusty, brown leaves was a plant saying yes to life.

I saw resilience as I cut my husbands hair today. 

A month after his last chemotherapy treatment his hair is thickening and darkening again. There is life in follicles that seemed gone. His body is embracing the life that we hope his treatment has given him. Every cell is choosing to live.

I saw resilience in the bible today. 

In the Psalms I was reminded that we are made to be resilient. I was reminded that we will survive the very worst days of our lives because at the end of it all God will take our tears and give us laughter, he will take our grief and turn it into wild dancing and weave flowers into our hair. 

God made us to be resilient. (Tweet this)

God made us able to survive, able to make it through, able to smile after our worst fears come true. 

And if today all you feel like doing is crying your eyes out - that’s okay.  Just know that it won’t last forever, that it will give way to days of laughter, days where you will see little green leaves sprout, and when thanks will pour from your mouth because of the God who has brought you through.

Today I want to thank God for showing me life in unexpected places. 

I want to thank God for holding my husband and I through chemotherapy and I want to thank Him for sustaining our lives.

What has God brought you through that you can thank Him for today?

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I Want More For My Life

6:06 pm Unknown 0 Comments

God, the one and only—I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. Psalm 62:1-2 (MSG)

She didn’t say it, but I heard it.

I want more for my life.

She said, “I didn’t think I’d still be doing this at my age.”

Comparisons rolled out her mouth: 
  • I wish I had children like C. 
  • I’d love to dress like Y.
  • If only I’d gone to the same university as X.
I gently reminded her she’d only just turned 25. 

I reiterated she was much closer to the job she wanted to do then I was at the same age. And I told her that what she was learning now, that this preparation would be invaluable in getting her where she wanted to go. 

That she should view this as a time of preparation for bigger things. 

She still looked dissatisfied. 

I’m pretty sure growing up David (of David & Goliath fame in the Bible) was constantly comparing himself to his brothers: Did he sling a stone as well as they did? Could he run as fast as them? Did he play the harp as well as them?

How To Be Like Jesus

10:15 am Unknown 3 Comments

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Acts 3:6 (NIV)

Photo credit: creationswap.com
Something odd happened when I went to the supermarket. 

I was standing in the snack food aisle trying to decide between corn chips or pretzels when a man approached me and said, “Sorry to bother you.” 

“My wife and daughter were killed in a car accident two weeks ago,” I heard as I realized he was still speaking to me. “And I spent all my money on their funeral but now I need to buy diapers for my grandchild, could you please help me?”

My mouth opened and out came the words, “Sure, go choose them, I’ll meet you back here.”

Even as I was saying it, I was processing the cost of what I was saying. 

God Doesn't Give Up

3:14 am Unknown 4 Comments

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. 2 Thessalonians 3:5 (NIV)

Angkor Wat. Photo & Design: Wendy van Eyck
I couldn’t breathe. 

I was beginning to see spots in front of my eyes. 

I wanted with my whole thudding heart to sit down, stuff air back in my lungs and then take slow steps towards the door and hope the gym instructor missed my departure. 

Just like she maybe missed the fact I wasn’t there for the two months before that. You see, I’m not very consistent at attending gym. I won’t go for a month and then go 3 or 4 times a week. 

What You Need To Change The World

3:43 am Unknown 2 Comments

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For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. Colossians 1:16 (NIV)

Photo: Matt Gruber/Creationswap.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck
It was 3:45am.

The trip from our hotel to the Entebbe Airport in Uganda took an hour under the best circumstances. 

We had been driving for 30 minutes when we got a phone call that the bus behind had a flat tire. 

My first thought was I’m so glad I’m not on that bus. At least I’ll make the flight in time. 

After all, the world revolves around me getting everything I want and need.

Someone else on the bus was more like Jesus.