One thing to remember when you are afraid of what lies ahead

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

What to do when you are afraid
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) 

One thing no one told me when Xylon was diagnosed with cancer was that we’ll never really get over a diagnosis like that. 

It sticks to me. 

Even after Xylon had a clear scan, cancer lurks at the back of my mind. 

When we dream of the future there’s this cloud of cancer that hangs on the edge like a thunderstorm gathering on the horizon. 

These “what if’s” that are linked to the next scan, the next doctors appointment, the next simple winter cold. 

Bible verses about a spirit of fearWe make plans for the future. 

We just bought a new house. 

We’re planning on moving cities. 

And we try not to talk about the “what if’s” about the cloud that threatens to burst. We hope and pray that the wind will blow the storm clouds away. 

And I’m not alone in this. 

I’m not the only one who fears an unknown future. 

It’s not even something that only affects cancer survivors and their families. 

A reader sent me this letter this week and I asked if I could share it:

Have you ever been afraid to open the Bible?

I have, I am…Recently on a woman’s everyone received something amazing. So did I, it’s just that I am afraid of what I got.

“You won’t ever have the comfortable life you desire. You have shared your testimony openly and freely, now I will start molding your new testimony and so it will go on.”

Since then I have been afraid of reading my Bible. 

So I am afraid of what lies ahead. I am afraid for my kids and every day I ask that should this be my road, God, keep my kids blessed and cared for. I am so scared though and I am trying to be spiritual about it all because I know God and I know His teaching. I just never thought I would be confronted with something like this and be so afraid.

She asked me what I’d think if I were in her situation. And I thought back to Xylon and I, and the fear that multiplies like unwelcome cells. 

One thing I’ve learnt when I am afraid of what lies ahead is that the fear I feel is not from God. (tweet this)

Bible verses about fearI believe this because the bible says it. 

There’s a verse I memorized as a kid, 2 Timothy 1:7: For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 

It’s a verse Xylon and I have been praying over our fear, verse that reminds me that when God is in control I don’t have to be afraid. 

Because God doesn't give fear. 
God gives a sound mind. 
God gives love.
And there is no fear in love. (tweet this)

God stands with me, and looks at the horizon and whispers, “I’m with you, you don’t have to be afraid.”

Ponder: Are you afraid of what lies ahead? How would that feeling change if you realised that God does not give fear? 

Prayer: Lord, I believe this fear is not from you. Take the fear and replace it with your love.  


[An addendum: This morning I saw Idelette tweeted this:
Wherever there's fear in my heart, 
there's no room for Love. 
And I thought, it only took her 11 words to say what I've been trying to say in 100's.]


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In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share 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 free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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I’ve been hiding all the ugly (or a reminder for when I need courage to be myself)

5:45 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

You are priceless to meYou are priceless to me. I love you and honor you. So I will trade other people for you. I will give up other nations to save your lives. Isaiah 43:4 (NIV)

Our home went on show this Sunday. 

We spent hours preparing it for strangers to traipse through and put a value on it. 

I’ve been hiding all the ugly. 

Shaking out cushions that have lost their life, putting bins in the cupboard to open up the space, placing shampoo out of sight and appliances in cupboards. 

We’ve been making our house look perfect. 

As I hid the laundry bin in a cupboard I thought about how my instinct is to hide the ugly too. 

My nature is to hide the things about myself that I think other people won’t like. 
I am priceless
I edit myself for others all the time. 

I laugh at what I think others will laugh at. I only wear certain clothes in public because they hide body parts I don’t like. I often hide the “crazy” from people because I think if I show the side of me that dances like a white girl and sings out of tune no one will like me. 

And I spend hours preparing for strangers to put a value on me instead of realizing that 
because God is my father, I am priceless. (tweet this)

Maybe I need to write Isaiah 43:4 on the full length mirror in my room, and read it whenever I feel like hiding the ugly:
You are priceless to me.
I love you and honor you.
So I will trade other people for you.
I will give up other nations to save your lives.

It’s pretty crazy to think that God loves me that much, that he loves me just as I am, even with all the ugly hiding in the cupboards. 

Ponder: Are you allowing strangers to put a value on you instead of God? 

Pray: Father, help me to live like I am priceless. (tweet this)

Other places I’ve been writing lately:
I'm also sharing what I learnt about my husband from our first kiss over on Arleen Spenceley’s blog today. Click here to read the post


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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share 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 free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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When you're going through a deep, dark valley

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

A note from Wendy: Today's guest devotional is by a women I've never met but who reached out to me to tell me her story, her story that was like mine but different. Her story of meeting a man with skin darker than hers and making South Africa her home. They now live back in her home country, the USA, but somehow it feels like she could come over for milk tart and rusks and we'd get along just fine. 
My grace is sufficient for you
And finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (VOICE)

We were having a Ladies Coffee Morning at our church, and I was the MC. To be honest, I can’t even remember what the topic was for the morning.

I just remember her testimony.

I had asked a friend of mine, a college student at the time, to share her story. She stood up to the podium, and the microphone amplified her voice throughout the church hall.

She told us how her mom had died recently. 

Quotes about graceSuddenly. 

Unexpectedly. 

And how, when she had heard the news, she didn’t know what she was going to do. 

How she was going to cope. 

How she would ever make it through this deep, dark valley.

But she stood in front of that room full of women, captivated eyes fixed on her small stature, and she explained it simply.

“It was grace. It was all grace. That was what got me through. I never thought it was possible, but He did it. It’s still hard, and it probably always will be, but His grace is how I can face each day.”

And that’s when the tears began.

I couldn’t contain them.

They hovered on the brink of my eyelids and I tried not to blink, but they spilled over anyway.

You see, I was on the other side of her story. My mom was dying of cancer, and I knew the end was near. I knew that my friend’s story was about to become my own, and yet I couldn’t believe it.

I heard her words about the power of God’s grace, and I thought to myself, “Well, that’s nice for her, and I’m glad she can say that now, but it won’t happen to me. I just don’t see how I’ll ever cope when God takes my mom and she’s gone from this place.”

I doubted the grace of God. 

I knew He had promised that His grace was sufficient, but I acted like that promise didn’t apply to me. Like I was an exception.

A prayer for when you're going through hard timesFour months later, my mom died.

And what I never expected, happened.

God carried me.

He caused me to keep my composure as I traveled alone across 8,000 miles to the funeral. He gave me the strength to make it through the visitation and the memorial service. He helped me to console my grandmother at the gravesite as we watched the casket get lowered into the ground. He gave me a clear mind to make decisions that had to be made. 

It was awful and it was grace, all at the same time. 

And it’s still grace, with every day that stabs and stings and sleeps and wakes.

I doubted, and God proved me wrong.


And now, I can stand with my friend, my fellow motherless daughter and testify myself that His grace is sufficient, and His power is made perfect in weakness.

To God be the glory.

Ponder: Can you recall something you went through that was awful but that God’s grace carried you through?

Prayer: Lord, when I doubt you, come and prove me wrong. Show me your faithfulness in my faithlessness.

{About the author of this guest devotional}
Kate Motaung is the wife of a South African pastor and homeschooling mom of three.  She has contributed to Ungrind, Radiant Magazine, (in)Courage, StartMarriageRight.com, Thriving Family, MOPS and Young Disciple magazine.  You can read more from Kate at her blog, Heading Home, or on Twitter @k8motaung.

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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share 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 free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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When God does nothing

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

When God does nothingFor there is a proper time and procedure for every matter, though a person may be weighed down by misery. Ecclesiastes 8:6-7 (NIV)

“I also like it when God does nothing.” 

I look at my husband and wonder if all the treatments he’s had for cancer are affecting his brain. 

Then Xylon goes onto say, “I like it when God does nothing because sometimes the things I pray for are pretty stupid. If God let them happen my life would be a mess.”

He went on to give an example of a job opportunity that recently fell through. At the time Xylon felt like his dream job had just been denied but a few months later he is so grateful that the job fell through.

His comment made me think about my own life. 

When it feels like God is doing nothing
God hasn’t answered all my prayers the way I asked. And that is grace. (tweet this)

Normally, I don’t see God’s grace till months, years or even decades later, but then I look back, and I see how God always gave me his best to me. 

Honestly, I sometimes find trusting God to do his best is hard but this conversation with my husband made me realise something: 

One, even when it feels like God is doing nothing, he is working for my good. (tweet this)

Two, I like it when God does nothing. (tweet this)

Ponder: Can you think of three things you prayed for that never happened that you are thankful for?

Pray: Lord, even when I don’t understand why you don’t do anything, I trust you. 

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{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share 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 free copy please subscribe below to receive my devotionals every Monday and Friday.

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to receive my free ebook
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How to pray when you don't know what to do

5:30 am Wendy van Eyck 0 Comments

We do not know what to do but our eyes are on you
For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 2 Chronicles 20:12b (NIV)

The oncologist called again this week. 

She asked Xylon to come in and see her. We don’t know why. 

Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 

I scroll through social media and see people mourning Robin Williams, remembering a man who made them laugh, questioning the pain that makes a man take his life. An icon of the desperation so many people hide in life. 

Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 

I read news of women running away in the desert, children being beheaded for their faith and I find myself whispering,  

Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 

An email arrives in my inbox. News of a couple, who give and give and give, brutally attacked on their farm. 

Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 

And then there is this war in Palestine. 

Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 

And Ebola.

Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. 

These words I’ve been praying, I stole them. 

I ripped them from the pages of the Bible, from the mouth of King Jehosophat. 

When he lifted these words to God he was King of Judah and facing an imminent attack by armies much stronger than his. 

He called his people together and they prayed:

For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on God. (tweet this)

How to pray when you don't know what to doAnd God responds with a pretty miraculous story that sees Jehosphats’ army not striking one man but winning the battle. 

What a prayer. 

What an invitation for God to do something unbelievable. 

I don’t know about you but in the face of all this news. In the face of all the hard things happening in the world I want to see God show up. 

I want to join Jehosphat in praying, “God, it’s your move.” 

I don’t want to limit God with my prayers, I want to invite him to do something in every situation that is a miracle, that is God. 

I want to leave space for God to do the unbelievable. (tweet this)

For we have no power to face this hard news that is attacking us. 

Lord, we don't know what to do, but our eyes are on you. (tweet this)

Ponder: What do you think would happen if you stopped trying control situations and instead invited God to do the unbelievable?

Pray: I do not know what to do, but my eyes are on you, Lord. 

{Other places I've been writing lately}


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You can share this devotional on twitter by clicking here. I’d also love for you to connect with me on my Facebook and twitter pages or if you're viewing this via email you can leave a comment by clicking here.

{Get my book}
In my free e-book Life, Life and More Life I share 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 free copy please subscribe below 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

Photo Credits (Creative Commons): unsplash.com | Design: Wendy van Eyck