Prayer of Hannah

14.06.2016

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We are apt to think that as a Christian we should always be thankful for what we have. To have disappointment is a spiritual failure that means we haven’t obeyed God enough, or that we don’t think God is enough, or that we are unable to trust God’s plan.

I think it is not always the case.

When I read 1 Samuel 1, Hannah’s prayer made me think. She had a loving husband and yet she is still filled with grief, she was bothered by Peninah’s mockery and she was not consoled by what Elkanah said that he still loves her. Hannah instead went to the temple and prayed, like one drunk, asking God to give her a son. At that moment, If I had been Hannah friend, I might have rebuked her and asked her to be see the blessings that she had in life and stop whining, spend her time ministering to the widow or to take care orphans. But God didn’t think the way I do. Instead of telling Hannah to go home and be thankful, God heard her prayer and answered it. God honored her faith, her disappointment and her brokenness that was poured out before him. God honored Hannah’s honest, persistent desire. 

I have told myself that I should be thankful for what I have and see God’s blessing in my life. To stop asking for relationship and focus what God has given me. This is a good spiritual discipline, yet sometimes at night, or when I see people getting engaged or married, I felt the pang of desire. The ache of unfulfilled longing. At that time, I am reminded of Hannah’s prayer. I am reminded that it is okay to ask God for what we want. Even when we are not sure if that is God’s will for us. We come to God because we know He cares for us. He loves us, and we can be honest with God regarding our longing and desire. We can cry out to him, we can pour out our heart before him.

O LORD look upon me and hear my prayer, there is no hope for me on earth but you. I want nothing that is not from you. I want your good and perfect gifts. O LORD if it is not from You, it is not mine. I don’t want anything that is not from You. Open your hand and satisfy the desires of our heart. O LORD your love endures.

The Discipline of Waiting in Hope

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The writing below is my journal entry on Jan 13th, 2016. To give a little background, before this post I was on a process to lose weight and was trying to be healthier, I had my hope for relationship dashed after 2,5 years waiting for something to happen. And at that time I was at home where my parents and their friend would “give their opinion” about the way I look and also the fact that I am STILL single is being repeated on daily basis. (note: I love my parents and they love me too, but sometimes “weight” is a touchy issue)

For couple of days I was struggling because I felt that God had not done much lately (I know it is a silly thought). I used to feel that God has so many promises for me and I live daily in the excitement of this promise. Coming home after 4 months made me realize I am still the same person. I am still overweight, I am still having skin problems, I am still single (ouch, ouch, OUCH)

I wondered if God had neglected me and time to time I remembered His Word, “Be content with what you have for never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.” I felt no hope at times, seeing how my life is still the same.

But one day, as I was praying in the morning God made me realize that waiting too, is a spiritual discipline. This has been his method of training to those whom he calls, Moses, David and Joseph. These men whom are over-confident of their ability need to be made holy in waiting. As they are realizing their utter dependence on God, as they are learning the discipline of praying and waiting on God, to be submitted to his will and to move only when He commands. These men learned that they are nothing without God. And so I am learning too. I learned that discipline in reading the Word is irreplaceable, although I feel dry and hopeless at times, I must still read His Word. Although I don’t know how things will go, I know that I can lean on God. I know that I can trust him.

A month later I am still waiting. Time to time I still wonder if I will ever meet the man the God has promised me. It hasn’t come and there is no sign of one. But daily, through his word, God reminded me to hold fast to his promises, to not lose heart and distrust God like the Israelites; to accuse God of unfaithfulness and of bad intent, forgetting what the LORD has done in their lives.

Sisters, I know that some of you are waiting like me. Let us not lose heart, but remember what the LORD has promised and what the LORD has done, and as we wait for God’s promise to be fulfilled, let us hold fast by faith. For he is faithful.

 

Introduction: The Quest of Discovering True Femininity

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A dawn of revelation broke upon me yesterday,

I don’t really know what it means to be a woman.

I know how to be an intelligent, smart, assertive, witty, and efficient woman. But I don’t know what it means to be a “woman”.

I realized that being feminine is not something that I have a grasp on. Mind you, what I mean with being feminine here is not about putting on make-up or wearing skirt. It is about having the tenderness, compassion and emotion of a woman. To relate to others in the way that only a woman can.

There is something missing and neglected within me.God propelled me to start this journey of discovering true womanhood. And through this journey, I think there is something that God planned to show me.

I will write the things that I learned through this journey and I hope that it will empower others who are struggling with the same question.

What kind of woman does God calls me to be?

The quest had begun.

When No One Sees

LORD when I feel invisible and things are impossible,
when my prayers seemed to have fallen to the ground,
forsaken, forgotten, not heard.
You let me know that you love me.
You let me know that you are the God of the impossible.
God who cares of the ones forgotten, passed over, invisible, insignificant.

LORD gladly I am forgotten,
gladly I want to be the one passed over
if I can have that loving eyes upon me.

Drowned in His Sea of Love

Journal Entry: April 28th 2015 

“LORD let all the sadness come for I am with you and you will walk me through it. Help me to overcome the denial. Face the truth and at the end find your joy. LORD I am yet learning of your love in this difficult place. In this weary land, deserted hope. You are my Shepherd I shall not be in want. You will guide me through still waters, grass meadows and valley of shadow of death. I am learning of your love, that it satisfies, that it bridged the infinite chasm of my sins and your holiness. It is certainly enough heal my heart. Certainly. You are my hope, LORD. Open the eyes of my heart to the hope in you, my riches in you and great power that rose Christ from the dead.
When I am weak, I will experience your strength O LORD. I am yet to experience your goodness and your love for me. Knowing you LORD, there is no greater things.

He calls,
Walk with me, just walk with me. Fear nothing. Don’t despair. Come walk with me, keep your eyes on me.”

I am yet to discover your wondrous beauty and light in this valley of temptation. Darkness is not dark to you for darkness is as light to you. 

Shades of Love

What do you do with dashed hopes and shattered illusion of future?
Can we find Jesus beautiful still?
Will we find Him faithful?

I can say with confidence.

Yes we can. Yes we will. Because He is I AM.

For we must never forget what is the most repellent and inexplicable trait in our Enemy; He really loves the hairless bipeds He has created and always gives back to them with His right hand what He has taken away with His left. C.S. Lewis – The Screwtape Letters

BEYOND THE SENSES

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It was an illusion of promise as distant as the nearest star. Like a little child, I kept lifting up my hand to the sky, revelling in the hazy sentiment that what was unattainable could somehow be within my reach. How rabid and irrational. Those scattered glimpses of ‘maybe’ lured me into uncharted waters of belief that the seemingly endless wanting would grow clearer and fainter. I was walking through flashing headlights, hoping the night could illuminate the perplexity of it all.

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My Weaknesses, You Don’t Despise

“Yes Lord, all for you.. but,…”

It is hard isn’t it?

There are moments in life when we know that there are things that we should let go/forgive/forget/do/move on from… you name it. There are desires that we want to surrender to God in order to follow His Lordship. We struggled, we got disappointed at ourselves.

Our head seems to know what to do. Our heart long to love Christ more, but the reality is, it is a struggle. I like to think that I am so awesome and I have it all together, when God ask me to leave something behind, I can surely easily and joyfully obey because I love Him that much.

Wrong.

I struggled so much today because I can’t let go of a desire and, worse, I don’t want to let go. I despised my weakness. I want to be perfect. I want to be strong and have it all together. But I don’t and I am upset. My heart was deeply troubled.

And as always, His truth speaks…

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

Rest

“My child, are you tired? Are you tired of carrying your burden? Why do you look so sad? Why are so troubled? Come to me. Do you know that I am singing over you? Do you know that I delight in you? Do you know that I gave my life so that you might live in abundance?” 

I heard him calling to me.

Rest my child, rest.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.(2 Corinthians 12:9)

Why do you despise your weaknesses? Glory in them for my power rest in you. Humble yourself and come to me. I am always enough for you, why do you rely on yourself? You have begun with the Spirit, and now you want to continue with flesh? My grace will always be sufficient to you.” 

Hear O, my soul and rest

Scars and Its Stories

By Ellena Walker

“Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember.
To me they are proof of the fact that there is healing.” – Linda Hogan

I stood up dazed, trying to remember what had happened.
My head throbbed but the water washed away any trace of blood, so I assumed my fall along the swimming pool would just result in a lumpier forehead for the day. Not until I turned around. I saw the two boys’ faces look at me in horror and Sam starting to run towards me yelling “BEST FRIEND…!!!!”

I had never gotten stitches anywhere on my body before.
The pain throbbing in my head was another story but sowing in the 8 stitches was another level of painful. Amidst all this there was only one question on my mind when I faced the doctor:

“Doctor, Will this scar? ” I asked restlessly pointing to my head.
I was worried that one slip of my feet would affect my physical demeanor the rest of my life.
The doctor sadly said, “I’m not sure..We will have to see how it heals.”

My heart felt heavy on our way home. I felt like my face was scarred for life and somehow I would be less beautiful. After beating himself up for the past hour for coming up with the whole idea to play Marco Polo, Sam then took a deep breath and looked at me kindly to say, “Best friend, it’ll be an amazing process to watch you heal..”
It was then in that moment that my best friend reminded me of Jesus.
How our God chose to keep the scars on His hands and showed it to His fearful, shamed disciples after conquering death.

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands.
Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”’  John 20:27

Could Jesus not have healed His own hands to be un-blemished?

Why did He keep the scars on his hands and feet?

I pondered upon these questions quietly and started to fall in love with the mystery of His scarred hands.

The life of a Christian is not a white washed idealistic wonderland. It is sometimes filled with the most painful experiences of losing beloved friends and family, hurtful childhoods, broken relationships, and so many more examples. Unlike the modern cosmetic surgeries that rid us of all the blemishes and scars on our skin, Jesus keeps His wounds and chooses to heal our wounds naturally, to transform it in His beauty. Our scars makes our heart soft and vulnerable to love others who have similar wounds as ourselves.

Remembering Sam’s best friend, Jimmy Brazell, who after going through a car accident had unidentical eyes when he smiled, I believe that the most beautiful people often tend to have scars. The depth of His healing brimmers through their past wounds to tell us the greatest love story of all. They welcome us to the healing hands of Jesus and welcome us to a Holy God who by his scars chose to share with us in our suffering.

Jesus not only knew the glory of the heavens, but He also knew man even in the depths of his bleeding soul.

“In Jesus’ wounds the wounds of human life are never far from the heart of God.
And if Jesus bears our wounds, then we know that he will also bestow on us his healing—the conforming kiss of love.”- Leonard J. Vander Zee

In my learning, I’m healing and as I’m healing, I’m learning.
His scarred hands are leading me to understand more deeply.
I’ve replaced my questions with His question, and my story with His.
I have an amazing love story to tell, so won’t you ask me about my scars? 🙂

Ellena and Sam Walker

 

The Great Scandal

Photo by Simon Kondo

Photo by Simon Kondo

By Tania Jocelyn

There was a scandal

So great, it stirred up the heavens

So great, it offended the whole world

So great, it defied law and judgment

So great, it killed a God

So great,

                it saved me.

Worth Waiting For

Photo by Simon Kondo

This post is a commitment made by a sister of mine a year ago, after God convicted her heart. May it inspires and convicts our heart 


Waiting for the Right Christian Man

By Angela Biswas Lina

Why does a girl needs a boyfriend? It seems to me that these days everyone wants to have a relationship.

To my understanding, boyfriend-girlfriend relationship is very complicated, we need to understand our motives and needs before going into this kind of relationship

One of our basic needs is to feel secure.

Sometimes we feel lonely and sometimes we think that being in a relationship is cool. We are very used to see campus couple. However, we must ask ourselves, what is our purpose?

Another important question, “How do we choose our boyfriend?” In my own culture, girls have to be beautiful and boys have to have a job. Men do not care whether the girl loves God or not. Girls do not care whether this boy can be spiritual leader or not in his future family.  Girls think if he has money then its fine because that’s all they need to survive in this world.

Marriage is an important part of life. One of my friends told me, “If you rightly choose a person to marry, you are complete and if you wrongly choose a person to marry, you are finished. But if you both make wrong choice, then you guys are completely finished”. This is the difference between complete and finished. When I heard it, I laughed, it did not make sense at all to me. But when I look at my society it fully makes sense. A marriage or divorce affects the children and children’s children and the society. I started praying for my people, my society. We want to make this world a better place to live for us and also for our future generation.

As a woman, I should be an excellent woman like Proverbs 31. I should be pure mentally and physically and prepare myself as a godly woman. Proverbs 12: 4 –“A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.”

I do not know where my future husband is. But I assure myself that I will wait for him until God brings him to me and I will know him.


Because when you speak I will be reminded of Solomon’s wisdom,
Your ability to lead will remind me of Moses,
Your faith will remind me of Abraham,
Your confidence in God’s word will remind me of Daniel,
Your inspiration will remind me of Paul,
Your heart for God will remind me of David,
Your attention to detail will remind me of Noah,
Your integrity will remind me of Joseph,
And your ability to abandon your own will, will remind me of the disciples,
But your ability to love selflessly & unconditionally will remind me of Christ.”

Jenette