Is God trying to ruin my life?

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

God can do more than we can dream or imagine

[A note from Wendy: Usually I post devotionals every Monday and Thursday. However I'm taking a bit of blogging break. I'll be back to my normal routine from the 14th of October. Until then I'll be posting once a week every Wednesday. Today I'm giving this space to Jenna de Wit who is very bravely speaking about pursuing dreams.]

{Guest devotional by Jenna de Wit}

May God give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4 (NIV) 

As a young girl, I had big plans for my future; I was going to change the world. 

There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that I could, one day, make an actual difference in the world and nothing was going to stop me.

Years later, and ‘one day’ still features in my life plan.

I’ve come to realise that I am so incredibly afraid of taking steps toward my dreams that I’ll put any excuse in the way. 

As a matter of fact, it’s taken me months to write this blog because of that fear. I was so afraid of the truth I might reveal about what God thinks of my dreams that I didn’t even dare to begin.

You see, I was always under the impression that God would think my dreams were silly, and childish, and a complete waste of time, so I didn’t really speak to him about them.

I was also afraid to say to God, “here I am, send me!” and actually mean it, because I thought God would most likely send me in the complete opposite direction of my dreams, to make a life in a rural town in the middle of nowhere, as a missionary. 

While I fully appreciate people who do travel the world and leave every comfort behind them to evangelise, I knew in my heart that it wasn’t for me. 

Do you know who else knew it wasn’t for me? The One who placed the moon and the stars in the sky, the One who created you and me, the One who knows my heart like the back of his hand. God.

God gifted each and every single one of us with talents, passions, and a nagging desire to fulfill our dreams.

Psalm 20:4It was James who said, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the heavenly father of lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows” (James 1:17)

God wants you and me to make full use of our gifts and follow our dreams, the dreams he gave us. 

I know, the idea of pursuing your dreams is scary, and a million reasons why it won’t work are probably flooding into your mind, but there is one reason why it will: God. 

He will never leave you to face this world on your own and he will be by your side every step of the way. 

God has great plans for you and me, bigger plans than we could ever imagine.  (Tweet this)

He didn’t ever promise the road will be easy and the chances are you’ll take a few detours along the way but fear not, putting your trust in God to guide you will always, always lead to triumph.

Ponder: Do you have a passion or a dream that you have been ignoring? Knowing that God is by your side, how can you take a small step toward that dream?

Prayer: Lord, give me the courage to pursue my dreams. Amen

{About the author of this guest devotional}
Jenna de Wit is a PR Account executive, living in Johannesburg, South Africa who has a passion for writing and a passion for Christ. She is a pinterest addict and beach lover who is always trying to inspire as well as be inspired by life. Read her blog Crazy Beautiful and find her on twitter at @Jen_deWit. You can read her previous guest devotional about how God is fighting enlessly and tirelessly for you here

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{Get the book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share some of the thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. If you would like a copy please subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.  
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God loves you. Don’t lose sight of that.

7:28 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

God loves you.  
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. 1 John 4:16a (MSG)

I’ve had one of those weeks.

It’s been a week when I’m not sure where the to-do list starts or what to tackle next.

Seven days of early mornings, and long days, and late nights. 

There have been hard conversations where tough things had to be spoken, where I’ve found myself trying to find words to weave hope while drawing boundaries. 

In the midst of all the chaos there has been the gradual ending of some things and the slow beginning of others. 

In all of this craziness I’ve begun to depend on myself more than God. 

I’ve been so busy that it is easy to lose sight of the fact that God loves me. 

Maybe it’s hard to remember how much God loves me because it is difficult to understand how crazy his love for me is. 

God finds time for me.I think my week has been crazy, but God’s love bends itself around my to-do list, invades my hard conversations and somehow swallows my early mornings, long days and late nights.  

I haven’t found time for God but he has found time for me. (tweet this)

It’s weird but God’s love is big enough that he has been present in everything I’ve done. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t noticed how he helped me say the right words or how his love was present when I was tired and felt alone. 

I allowed my schedule to let me lose sight of the fact that God loves me not because of what I do but because of who I am.

I am his. 

Even on my craziest/saddest/hardest days God has never let me out of his sight. (tweet this)

In fact on those days I think he is close enough to see the freckles on my face. 

What I’m trying to say is no matter what you are going through God loves you. He sees you. And if you look for his love you will find it in the places where you least expect it.

God. Loves. You. Don’t lose sight of that. (tweet this)

Ponder: Do you ever lose sight of the fact that God loves you? I’d love you to share in the comments the things that help you remember how much God loves you.

Prayer: Thank you that you love me, God. Help me to trust in your love. Amen. 

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{Other places I’ve been writing}
Hop on over and read my contribution to Tanya Marlows' series God and Suffering. I share about the prayer I never thought I'd have to pray and what God taught me about praying last hope prayers of, "God, do something!" I hope you go and read it here.

I also guest posted for Chris Morris about finding hope in unexpected places. This is how it starts: "I have wished that I never heard the words, “Your husband has cancer.” They are hope-sucking words. Those four words were the ones we heard a few months after marriage." Read the rest here.

{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share some of the thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.. If you would like a copy please subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday and you'll recieve instructions on how to download it in your inbox.  


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For the days when life isn’t a fairytale (or how can I stop bad stuff happening to me?)

5:20 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Look for what God can do John 9:1-5 bible verses
Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”
Jesus said, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do. John 9:1-5 (MSG)

My husband is standing on a stage and he is telling his story. 

The story of how he grew up in part of town where rich kids wouldn’t go, with a single mom. A tale of creating the life he wanted when his circumstances said his goals were impossible. 

The perfect place to end the story would probably be when he marries the girl of his dreams (me) and sets off to travel the world. 

But life isn’t a fairytale. (tweet this)

The next chapter of his life is the one everyone has gathered to hear. It starts with the retelling of the day he heard he had cancer, and it ends with a stem cell transplant, just 3 months ago. 

He finishes, and someone raises their hand, and asks, “Do you know what caused your cancer?”

Their question aches with the fear that there is nothing that can be done to avoid pain. 

I wonder if they realise that what they are really asking is, “Could what happened to you, happen to me?” 

I think they want to hear, “I got cancer because I did not do XYZ.”

Then they could do XYZ and avoid the pain that cancer brings. And they wouldn’t have to be afraid anymore.

I find it fascinating that Jesus was asked the same question centuries ago. 

John shares this story in chapter 9 verse 1-2, “Walking down the street, Jesus saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked, “Rabbi, who sinned: this man or his parents, causing him to be born blind?”

There it is, the echo, of how can I avoid pain and suffering? How can I make sure it doesn’t happen to me?

I like how Jesus responds, “You’re asking the wrong question. You’re looking for someone to blame. There is no such cause-effect here. Look instead for what God can do.”

Jesus invites us live a life bigger than our fearsJesus’ answer changes everything. 

He flips the question from, “How can I make sure it doesn’t happen to me?” to “God, what can you do with my life?”

Jesus moves us from fear to hope in him. 

He lifts our eyes from our hard things to the One who can do impossible things.

Jesus invites us to live a life that is bigger than our fears. (tweet this)

Jesus never promises that our fears won’t become reality. 

He just reminds us that in our fears God will be present, that God will be finding a way to make everything right, and that if we look for what God is doing in hard times we will see him bringing life, life and more life out of it.

Ponder: What do you fear about the future? Do you believe that even if your worst fears come true that God is able to bring life from it?

Prayer: God, help me to live a life that is bigger than my fears. Amen. (tweet this)

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{Other places I’ve been writing}
I’ve been sharing at DevotionalDiva.com about how God found me in my darkest time. You can read it here.

Last week I wrote an article for ibelieve.com about Why I’m not on the pill (and it’s not because I want to fall pregnant). Click here to read why. 

{Some reviews on my ebook, “Life, Life and More Life”}
Last week I released my ebook, Life, Life and More Life. A few of my friends and readers were kind enough to share reviews of my book on their sites. Please go take a look:
Jen Mguni, writes reflections, and shares beautiful poetry over at freshmercies.com. Read her review here.  

Ashleigh Davids wants be my neighbour after reading my book. Read what she said here

Kate Motaung and I "met" through ibelieve.com where we both contribute. She was generous enough to share her thoughts on my book here

Lesley Miller and I met online right after her husband had completed treatment for the same cancer as my husband. She has been a great encouragement to me. Read her thoughts on my ebook over here.  

Jenna de Wit wrote a lovely review that you can read here.

{Get the book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share some of the thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.. If you would like a copy please subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday and you'll recieve instructions on how to download it in your inbox.  


Enter your email 
to receive my FREE ebook
and a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday

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Life, life and more life

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain. The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life. And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him. Isaiah 53:10 (MSG)

I don’t like pain, suffering or death. 

I don’t like thinking about these things happening to me or to people that I love. 

When I think about my life I like to think of it as being ice-cream and chocolates and plump toddlers chasing bubbles. 

But I know that is not the way life is. 

I know because I grew up with a mother, who was in-and-out of hospital with a heart condition. I played in the sandpit with a brother who has a chronic autoimmune disease. And then I married a man who was diagnosed with cancer 8 months after our vows. 

I wrestle with the idea that God allows there to be pain in the world. 

I struggle with this verse in Isaiah 53:10 that says, “Still, it’s what God had in mind all along, to crush him with pain.”

I grapple with the idea that pain could be part of God’s plan. It doesn’t sit comfortably with me, that suffering. 

How could crushing pain be part of God’s plan? (tweet this)

I’m still trying to figure this out, still asking God questions, still seeking to understand what God had in mind all along. 

But in all of this I have one thing settled in my soul. I truly believe in the second part of Isaiah 53:10 which says, “The plan was…that he’d see life come from it – life, life, and more life.”

I’ve seen that in my own life, beauty growing out of hard places, hope flowering in terrible circumstances and love winning in hospital wards and on honeymoons. 

I’m learning that I don’t have to understand God’s ways to hang on to his promises. (tweet this)

On the days when I get angry that the people I love are in pain or suffering or pass away, I think about this verse. 

I think about how God has promised that even out of pain he will bring life, life, and more life. 

Ponder: Does the idea that God will bring life out of pain help you to cope with suffering or death?

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust in your promises even when I don’t understand your plan. Amen. 

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{Get the book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share some of the thoughts on how to make every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.. If you would like a copy please subscribe to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.  

Enter your email 
to receive my free ebook
and a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday

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Can God change my life?

5:45 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

If God can change the seasons he change my life
Look around you: Winter is over; the winter rains are over, gone! Spring flowers are in blossom all over. The whole world’s a choir—and singing! Song of songs 2:11-12 (MSG)

The last two years of my life have been hard. 

There have been good times, beautiful moments, and stretches of joy, but much of the last 24 months have been overshadowed by my husbands’ cancer treatments. 

There were many times, when I was driving backwards and forwards to Doctors appointments, or leaving my husband in hospital, when I wondered what it would take for God to change my life. 

It wasn’t that I wanted a different life; simply that I dreamt of a life without trouble, without hard things, without illness. 

If God can change seasons how hard can it be for him to change my life? (tweet this)

Last winter, I watched leaves turn orange, then brown and fall to the ground through the large windows in the Oncology outpatients. From those same windows I saw how months later the trees turned green and spring had arrived. 

This year I found myself looking out of hospital windows again as the trees lost their leaves and my husband received a stem cell transplant

It is spring here now. I haven’t seen what it looks like at the hospital. But from my window at home I see pink buds struggling to free themselves and I hear birds singing. 

I look out the window and I’m reminded about God’s fingerprint on every season.  

Mindful of the questions that I have asked so many times, “God, can you change my life? Can you take away these hard things?”

Even in hard seasons God is busy bringing life from deathSpring blossom reminds me that if God can change the seasons he can change my life. (tweet this)

However, that blossom also tells a story, about how sometimes it’s out of the hard things in our lives that beauty is born. 

Winter is a difficult season for plants. Often plants don’t survive it. But without that hard season there would be no blossoms in spring.

Even in hard seasons God is busy bringing life from death. (tweet this)

He is creating beauty from barrenness and painting colour back into lackluster lives. 

I think about the blossoms - how their beauty depends on the hard season - and I reflect on these two hard years, and wonder what splendour God still has in store for me if I’ll hold on till spring time. 

Ponder: What season of life do you feel like you are in now? When you look back at your life can you see God preparing beauty in hard times? If so, would you share some of your story in the comments to encourage others?

Prayer: Lord, help me to trust you in every season of my life. Amen. 

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Life, life and more life ebook wendy van eyck{Subscribe to receive my ebook }
All my current subscribers received an email today with a link to download my ebook, "Life, life and more life" three days before it is available on this site.

If you aren't a subscriber and would like to receive my ebook then make sure to sign up today and you'll receive it on the 12th of September. 

In "Life, Life and more Life" I share thoughts on making every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. 


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Learning to speak the language of grace

5:15 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Matthew 11:29

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. Matthew 11:29b (MSG)

I am trying to learn Italian. 

For the last few months for four hours a week I sit down and struggle through “eh” and “gee” and “ah” sounds. 

But four hours isn’t enough to become fluent in Italian. The real secret to learning a language is to immerse yourself in it. 

I’ve got Italian tapes that play in the car, and when I’m cooking the Italian TV channel plays in the background, and I’ve got Italian language apps to play on my phone when I’m waiting around. 

Slowly, but surely, I’m beginning to recognize patterns and words and sounds. I’m starting to understand what I hear, and learning how to string words together to create meaning. 

I want to learn to speak Italian so I put in the time and effort. 

While repeating Italian phrases in the car today it struck me that maybe I have to learn grace the same way I learn a language. 

I want to learn to speak grace, to assume the patterns of grace, to be defined by grace, but for some reason I think I should just “get” grace, that it should just come naturally. 

Acquiring another language has made me think that maybe if I want to learn to live the unforced rhythms of grace that Jesus speaks about I have to surround myself with those who already know the language of grace. 

I think Jesus knew this, which is why he said, in Matthew 11:29, “come walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it.” 

Jesus understood that I wouldn’t just wake up one day and suddenly speak Grace. 

Quotes about graceLike learning a language, understanding grace doesn’t happen by accident, it happens by surrounding myself with people who speak it. 

Sometimes to learn grace I have to immerse myself in it. (tweet this)

I have to open my heart to Jesus’ invitation and walk with him and see how he lived grace. Take the time to read through the Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and study how Jesus displayed grace. And I must hang out with people who get God’s grace, who understand what it means and let it rub off on me. 

I’m realizing that to learn grace I have to be willing to give the time and work it takes to forget the language of law and assume the attitudes of grace. 

Ponder: Who do I know that “gets” grace? What steps can I take to spend more time learning grace?

Prayer: Jesus, help me to find people who speak the language of grace to spend time with. And as I read the Bible help me to grasp how deep and wide your grace is. Amen.


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Enter your email in the box below and be part of the first readers to receive my ebook, "Life, life and more life" on the 9th of September.

In "Life, Life and more Life" I share thoughts on making every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. 


Enter your email 
to receive a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday and my free ebook on the 9th of September:


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Can I put my confidence in God?

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

Encouragement: God will never give up on me
If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, For He is not able to deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13 (VOICE)

Sometimes it is hard to have confidence in God. 

It can be hard to believe that God is really working all things out for my good. Especially when the all things involve stuff like cancer.

When I’m falling to sleep at night, and praying that my husband’s next scan will cancer free, it is sometimes hard to believe that God wants what is best for us. 

Especially when deep down I want “what’s best for us” to only be interpreted as “cancer free”. 

On nights when I question God, when I wonder if God cares, when I ponder if he interprets “best for us” the way I do, I find verses like 2 Timothy 2:13 comfort me. 

They remind me that there will be times when I wonder whether God knows what he is doing, and there will be moments when I wonder why we go through hard things, but that through all of it God will never give up on me.

God will never lose confidence in me. (tweet this)

God remains faithful to me even when I do not believe he is. 

God is faithful
Faithful is kind of an old fashioned word but I can’t think of better word to ascribe to God
when I’m wondering whether he is worth trusting with all things

I like that this verse uses the word faithful. I like it because it reminds me that God is trustworthy, dependable and reliable. And that even when I falter – when I stumble over my beliefs – God remains committed, true and constant. 

Perhaps this is because so often I think that God is moody, that he changes his behavior based on how he feels. Then I read a verse like this and I’m reminded that his character is more robust than my faith. 

My faith doesn’t alter God’s character. Or rather my disbelief doesn’t change who God is. (tweet this)

God is faithful, even when I wonder if I should have confidence in him. 

It is right when I remember this that find my faith again, that I find the words to pray with hope again, that I can believe that God is working all things for my good. Even stuff like cancer. 

Ponder: Do you ever struggle to put your confidence in God? What helps you to believe that he is faithful and worthy of your trust?

Pray: Lord Jesus, thank you that you are faithful even when I struggle with disbelief. Amen


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Life, life and more life ebook wendy van eyck{Subscribe to receive my ebook }
Enter your email in the box below and be part of the first readers to receive my ebook, "Life, life and more life" on the 9th of September.

In "Life, Life and more Life" I share thoughts on making every moment count gleaned from my experiences of loving my husband through 18 sessions of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. 


Enter your email 
to receive a NEW devotional in your inbox every Monday and Thursday:


Photo Credits : Angkor Wat trees: EmmaJG | Design: Wendy van Eyck