Hope//Be still

When I’m at the end of my rope, in God there’s still hope.

“Anchor”


I have this hope
As an anchor for my soul
Through every storm
I will hold to You

With endless love
All my fear is swept away
In everything
I will trust in You

There is hope in the promise of the cross
You gave everything to save the world You love
And this hope is an anchor for my soul
Our God will stand
Unshakeable

Unchanging One
You who was and is to come
Your promise sure
You will not let go

Your Name is higher
Your Name is greater
All my hope is in You

Your word unfailing
Your promise unshaken
All my hope is in You

(By Hillsong Live)


All my hope is in you…

These lyrics gets me every time. It’s my ‘I’m at the end of my rope, but in God there’s still hope’ song.


I’ve had something on my mind lately – reminders here and there – of a time long past, but not forgotten. I don’t know how to describe the magnitude of the situation/experience in just a few words, so I’ll suffice with a simple recap…


As an 18 year old, I got a knock on my door from my pastors, who were there to tell me that a friend (a young child) had been tragically killed in a truck accident. Our families were and are close. It seemed surreal. I handled it as any one would – with ups and downs.


One of the most difficult things was watching his mum grieve. She had lots of ‘why?’ questions on her mind, as did we all.

I didn’t have answers (for her or myself).

But God gave me an incredible assurance – the kind you don’t forget – that while we didn’t understand the reasons, nevertheless, God is good.

GOD IS GOOD.

GOD IS GOOD.

GOD IS GOOD.

Selah…

It’s a simple statement that holds immense truth.

It’s a revelation thing – you can say it, however you don’t really know and understand it until God shows you for yourself.


I know that right now many of you may be experiencing tough times and sadness over all sorts of things. I really encourage you to ask God to show you His goodness (in spite of whatever is going on).

And rest in it.


‘Be still and know that I am God…’ (Psalm 46:10).

Xx

Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

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https://www.pexels.com/photo/anchor-architecture-building-concrete-237694/


© Girl Growing. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Girl Growing, http://www.girlgrowing.com

Father, forgive them

“Father forgive them. They know not what they do.” Jesus’ words… My words… Yours?

I was woken one morning this week with a memory of a time when someone sent me a message to say that a friend of mine had died. It turned out that this was a ‘joke’. Naturally, I didn’t find it very funny. Not only did that immediate situation hurt me, but it dug up some extreme trauma I’d experienced years before {a long story for another time perhaps}. It took a bit for me to work through this situation and to forgive.

As I lay in bed the other day pondering why I’d remembered this, I thought about this verse:

Jesus said, “Father, forgive these people! They don’t know what they’re doing.”…
Luke 23:34‭ CEVUK

Jesus spoke these words to those involved in crucifying Him. He spoke them to us, as we too would deny Him. And I believe He spoke them as a lesson for us on forgiveness.


These words have been so valuable for me over the years, particularly when I was betrayed by someone who had once seemed a close friend. Her nasty, hateful treatment of me was undeserved. It didn’t make sense. And yet, in light of this verse, it did. This verse helped me realise that she didn’t understand that what she was doing was wrong. She couldn’t see it. She was blinded by pain in her own life, and I was just the scapegoat. So, as much as I copped it (and boy did I cop it!), I could forgive with that understanding – she knew not what she did.


Neither did the person who made the ‘joke’ about my friend’s death.


Nor do many others who’ve hurt me over the years, and those who’ll do so in the future.


I appreciate the grace and love that comes with this understanding. It helps me to pray blessing, not cursing, over their lives. It enables me to pray compassionately as I ‘see’ their struggles. It encourages me to pray that they’ll have a revelation of Christ and His love for them.


My pondering also made me reflect again on God’s mercy towards me. It’s abundance is immeasurable. So undeserved… yet given in LOVE. Thank you, Father.


Selah {Think on this}


A girl forgiven. A girl called to forgive. xxx






Scripture references: The Holy Bible (several translations)

Photo credit: Pixabay.com

https://www.pexels.com/photo/black-and-white-cemetery-christ-church-208315/


© Girl Growing. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author and owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Girl Growing, http://www.girlgrowing.com



The List Maker

Do you have a list of what you want in your future husband/wife? What’s on your list? Are you list ready? Come explore the ‘list’ concept with me…


If you’re reading this, chances are you either know someone who has a list of attributes they want in a spouse/partner, or you have (or have had) such a list yourself…

This post isn’t about whether it’s right or wrong to have a list… you can decide that for yourself.  I just want to put some ideas and questions out there for you to ponder…

Why have a list?

It seems that those with lists use them as yardsticks to see whether potential girlfriends/boyfriends measure up to their expectations. 

On a basic level, they ask themselves, “Is this the kind of person I want to spend my life with?” and that seems like a reasonable thing to do. 

On a deeper level, though, it seems to say, “I know exactly what I want and need in a mate”, and “They must measure up.  They must tick all the boxes.  They must give me what I want”.  I wonder a little about that.  Do we really know what we want and need in a husband/wife?  I don’t know everything about my future, where my life will take me, or the challenges I will face.  So, how can I know what I need?  The first example of marriage in the Bible is Adam and Eve.  God saw Adam was alone, said that it wasn’t good, and so made him a helper, Eve.  Did he consult Adam and ask him what he wanted?  Would Adam have known? 

What’s on your list?

I find it intriguing hearing what people have on their lists…

He/she must…  fulfil these 100 very specific physical attributes, have a swagful of particular skills/talents/abilities, exhibit an array of lovely, well-developed character traits…

What difference will it make to your marriage if he/she is blond, can play the cello and sing the national anthem of Liechtenstein???

If we look at a few examples from the Bible and read between the lines a little, we could consider what may have been on people’s lists when they sought a spouse…

Noah (& Mrs Noah) – ‘She’ll have a good attitude (no-grumbler here please!) and stick by me no matter what’

Isaac (& Rebekah) – ‘She’ll be servant hearted and will go where God calls her’

Abraham (& Sarah) – ‘She’ll be patient’ and ‘He will trust God and be obedient and thankful’

Jacob (& Rachel) – ‘She will be beautiful’

Jacob (& Leah) – ‘She will be motherly’ (If he’d have bothered with a list for the wife he didn’t really want, that is!)

Boaz (& Ruth) ‘She’ll be faithful to God’ and ‘He’ll fulfil his responsibilities’

Elkanah (& Hannah) ‘She’ll be hopeful in the face of disappointment and tenacious in her prayers’ and ‘He’ll comfort me in tough times’

David (& Abigail) ‘She’ll speak wisdom to me when I need it’

Gomer (& Hosea) ‘He will be gracious and forgiving’

The King (& Esther) ‘She’ll stand up for what she believes in, and be a person of great influence and integrity’ and ‘He will show me favour’

Samson (& Delilah) ‘He will be strong and buff’

Aquila (& Priscilla) ‘She/He will be united with me and we’ll be a team to share the message of Christ’

Were these couples perfect?  How similar/different were their lists to ours today?  Did they always display their ‘list attributes’? 

It is pretty clear that there will be times when our partner fails to live up to our expectations (and we’ll fail to meet theirs).  And, I would suggest that marriage is far more about persistence than perfection!  Which makes me wonder…

Are you ‘list ready’?

Something I’m yet to hear, is someone sharing about their list of what THEY intend to BE for their future husband/spouse.  This constantly amazes me.  How selfish is it to have a long list of expectations of someone else, yet to fail to consider what you offer to them.  Marriage is a two-way street after all!

In light of this, I find the Proverbs 31 wife inspiring.  I know we can read about her and feel like we’ll never measure up, but I don’t think the proverb is to be a ‘to do list’ for us.  More, I think it points to perhaps her greatest attribute, her dependence upon God.  No woman (or man) could do all that she did without being empowered to do so by God.  I imagine her prayer life went something like this, ‘God show me your heart.  Teach me your ways.  Show me how to be a great wife and mother.  Help me to be moulded into the person you’ve created me to be.  Guide my steps.  Lead me unto obedience.  Let me never forget your goodness…’  And, I imagine her husband was similar, and together they’d have been a power couple! 

I don’t have a list for my future husband.  Sure I have things I’d like to see in Him.  I want him to be passionate about God, family-minded, servant hearted, fun to be with and attractive.  But above all that… I want to be a wife that is deserving of such a husband.  And I desire to be a ‘helper’ who will bring out the best in the one I do life with.  Most of all, I want us to be a great team, living wholeheartedly for our God and drawing our strength from Him.

Whether you’re a list maker or not, be encouraged to seek God’s heart for what He wants in your life and in your loving… 

You are loved

Dear Singles,

Today is Valentine’s Day and I pray that on this day you will know that you are loved beyond measure, by the One who created love and made it such a sought after thing.

It gets me every time when I hear 1 Corinthians 13 read out in the movie, ‘A Walk to Remember’.  God’s love for us is so immense, so far beyond what we can imagine.

Know today, that you are valued, beautiful/handsome, talented, gifted, amazing and full of purpose.  Know that He pursues you every day, longing to be close to you.

Be confident – You.Are.His! He loves you enough to die for you.  He loves you enough to care about every detail of your life.

Let today be all about love.  The best.  His.

Love from your friend,
A girl who’s grown to know that God’s got this – this moment and every one hereafter.

Happy Valentines! xxx

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Heartbreak High


I’m writing this post as I travel back from a youth camp. It was a great experience in many ways, but it also left me feeling heartbroken and humbled.

My heart aches for the teenagers who don’t know what it means to be loved.  And for those who experience neglect and abuse as part of their daily lives. It saddens me that you can no longer ask them about their parents, and that instead, you have to ask, “Who lives in your house?”, because all too often mum and dad aren’t around.

And probably most of all, I find it devastating that so many of them don’t know their worth. One night at camp we held a formal dinner, with everyone dressing up, the girls being pampered with hair and makeup, and the boys decorating the ‘restaurant’ (camp dining hall) and waiting on the girls with their meals. The male camp leaders picked the girls up, gave them a rose (yes, think The Bachelor ha ha), and escorted them to dinner, where the guys all cheered and clapped for them.

What amazed me was that this beautiful event was initially quite traumatic for some of the girls. They were exceptionally nervous at being picked up and presented to the guys, with some even in tears. They questioned their beauty and felt undeserving of attention and care. 

Yet, some of my favourite camp moments came from this night. I loved hearing the girls tell me how special the night had been. It made me smile when they decorated our cabin with their roses and carefully packed them up to take home. And, it brought a tear to my eye as we had conversations about how they deserved to be treated well by a guy – that he should recognise and value their beauty, and do things to make them feel special. And, it seemed, they got it. I know they’ll take home lots of memories from camp, but above all else I hope they remember how precious they are.

And, this was what humbled me… I am no more deserving of love than any of them. I didn’t earn a place in a loving family. I was just incredibly blessed to be born in the family I was. Especially, to have a dad who showed me love, taught me to look for love in the right places, and showed me that I deserved to be ‘romanced’ (Yes, my Dad brought me roses. And, was the perfect ‘I love walks on the beach and picnics in the park’ newspaper ad for love ha ha – do you ever read those?  Well… as I was growing up, my Dad and I often went for such walks, chatting about life and eating Cherry Ripes).

Camp also made me realise how disconnected I can be, at times, from those around me who need a little loving. I feel like my own teenage years are a zillion light-years past. I don’t speak the lingo of youth today (although I have learnt this week what a twelvie is). And I quite often feel like I can’t relate to their lives. But, this week, I saw how much the same we are – we all want to be loved, appreciated, valued, acknowledged and made to feel special. And, I rediscovered how easy it is to give that to someone – to just give them some of my time, to hangout and have fun, to listen and talk, to comfort someone as they cry, and to share a little of what I know with those who’ve not yet journeyed as far as I have in life.

I find it interesting when people question why God allows pain and suffering (I’m not going to go into that right now). More so, though, I wonder… why do we?

So, that’s my challenge for myself at the moment, to try and be more consciously aware of those around me, and to go out of my comfort zone to show love to those who may otherwise never experience it.