Tag Archives: Christianity

The going under and the Rising up

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A few (important) things have happened over the past week. I guess I should’ve blogged about them immediately, but I resisted the urge. Not because I didn’t want to blog about them, but rather, I wasn’t too sure what to say.

Last Monday I woke up with a heavy feeling leaning on my heart. I lay in bed, thinking, “I just can’t go through another week like this. Waiting, crying…waiting.” It was difficult to will myself to place my feet on the ground and get out of bed. I just felt there wasn’t much to look forward to.  Physically I felt tired – as if any energy I’d had up to that point had now completely vanished. Emotionally, physically and spiritually I felt depleted.

I walked downstairs and sat infront of my computer. “Why?” I thought. “What is going on…what is it that’s really happening?”. I didn’t want to be alone and decided to call my mom once I’d got dressed to tell her I’d come through for the day – just to be around someone…to avoid being alone with my thoughts. Whilst in the shower, I heard my phone ring. When I checked, it was a missed call from my mom. When she called back, she said, “Your certificate is ready, you can go collect it at Home Affairs.” I cried like a baby – I couldn’t speak, and totally broke down. This time, however, the tears were tears of joy and relief. After the call, I found myself on my knees thanking God. And then He said something simple, but profound, to me: “Now will you trust Me?”

So I collected my certificate from Home Affairs last Monday and my father and I went to the Cape Town High Court to have an Apostille seal applied to it. My spirits had lifted – the weight of so many worries had been removed from my shoulders. I was able to smile again and mean it! Then, on Friday, I had an appointment to see the German Consulate in Cape Town – and I handed in my application for a Reunification Visa. My spirits were high and I felt good – now I’m one final step closer to being reunited with my husband!

It’s bitter-sweet, because more and more I realise that there’s so much I will miss here in Cape Town. And it may sound odd to some, but God’s prepared this time for me to Rest and to Enjoy. It’s not easy – in true OCD-style I still have nagging worries and thoughts in my head about what bad things could possibly be waiting around the corner, but then I think to what Pastor Phil Dooley said yesterday…when you become a Christian, life doesn’t miraculously become easier. Instead, you as a Christian decide that you’ll meet the bad news with an attitude of an overcomer who has the most powerful Father at your side.

This message was quite significant because yesterday I was baptized. I don’t think the full impact of the baptism has hit me yet, but it has stirred something in my heart. I stood before quite a few people and explained how I didn’t think I’d make it through the past few months. But in the end, I did, and although I’m still completely imperfect, it was time for me to be obedient to the One who’s been there every step of the way.

I’m still silly – I still get tossed about by change and circumstances – but what’s happening now in my life really must be something big and it’s not even started yet – this really just is the beginning!

Five letter word

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I had one of those moments this morning in which I was faced with truth that seemed hard to grasp. (I seem to have those moments often actually). I know that all too often I’m so easily thrown around and battered by the storms that come my way. I would love to say that I’m able to stand my ground amidst these storms, but that would be a lie.

My daily struggle, it seems, is to stand firm when uncertainties, disappointments, frustrations, and emotions (and hormones!) are swirling all around me. I know that as a Christian, I’m expected to have Faith – “…the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see,” but I have to be honest…I really do struggle and all too often I collapse in a tired heap – too tired to continue placing one foot in front of the other.

Today’s quiet time piece spoke right into my situation, and into something that’s bothered me for some time. This lack of Faith I seem to have (do I really lack it?), annoys me and I often hang my head and squeeze my eyes shut – wondering what on earth I can do to ‘get it’ – to let the concept finally click!? Why is it that so many people find it easy to have Faith, yet I try grabbing at it, but never seem to really grasp it? It’s like wanting that pair of shoes for so long, and then having your best friend buy them for herself, and parade around in them – so effortlessly, so easily…loving every moment. Like I said to a friend of mine a while ago – if there was a Faith switch I could flip on, I’d dash for it immediately. I’d run to that switch like I’ve never run to anything before, and I wouldn’t let anything stand in my way.

So back to the part of my quiet time piece that poked at me – the Apostle Paul had what I want. In Philippians 4:11-13 he talks about how he’s learned to be content in any circumstance. He wasn’t tossed about by any storms – in fact, if I remember correctly, the dude was even happy in jail! Like my quiet time piece put it this morning…”…he never allowed himself to get upset with where he was at the moment, he was always looking forward to where he could be.” He was enjoying where he was, on the way to where he was going.

Now this just makes me sit here and say, “Darrrrnnnnn Paul! WHY! How come you got it?! And how come I don’t get it?!” I think this is a situation in which I’m allowed to be envious 🙂

I long after the revelation (and subsequent peace) that Paul had. I want to sit next to him, chat with him, ask him what he did to flip that switch. Some days I think it’s hopeless – one of those “if you don’t get it now, you never will” situations – but at the same time, I’m always hearing about how God will give you the things you desire the most. And for now, put aside all the things I want that I cannot get; the crappy situation I’m in that I hate…apart from all that…what I really desire is to gain insight into having that Faith that cannot be shaken…to be able to say, with complete conviction that “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Today’s Encouragement

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Just what I needed to hear today 🙂

Verse:           Psalm 30:5

For His anger lasts only a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing (joy) comes in the morning.

– Our lives are a series of seasons.
– The great thing about seasons is that they do not last forever.
– From time to time we may pass through a time of difficulty.
– But God’s promise to us is joy.

PRAYER: Lord, You are the one thing that I can be sure of! Your favor and the fact that it lasts a lifetime is my saving grace. Amen.