Tag Archives: Faith

Love parted

They were sixteen when they fell in love.  They graduated together.

They couldn’t keep their hands off one another and did not go out much.  Preferring to stay home to watch movies and cuddle.  Doing everything together, as young love does.

Someone drew a cartoon of everyone who matriculated that year.  They were the only two depicted as one.

Her dream was to study at a prestigious acting school in Los Angeles.  She was selected, and left.  He remained behind to pursue his studies.

All the parents watched.  And sighed.

Now it is their third year apart and he still has three years of studying ahead of him.

Both mothers’ hearts break for their children.  But they do not interfere.  How do you give advice on something you have no understanding of?  Courting over Skype in spite of an eleven hour time difference.  Touching physically for a little while only twice a year.

While so young and restless.

What everyone does understand is that if this relationship makes it, they would have earned it.  The usual issues that crop up and are dealt with over time has to be sorted out quickly.  Like jealousy and trust.  All of us might have time to fight it, or fight about it.  They don’t.  You cannot distrust the other at night when you are alone in your bed, and make it work.  Trust for them is a decision, not a feeling.

Everyone who knows them, roots for them.  Because they deserve it.

They take it one day at a time, with the optimism of their youth.  Not looking too far into the future.  Not sweating the small stuff.  They simply love, and believe that they are loved.  Trusting that this love will be rewarded.

I know that they will both be richer for having had one another, no matter what.  I also understand that to pass this test, they need character, and strength, and endurance, and faith.  Which the passage of time, and the separation itself provides.

These two stones rub against one another, sanding hard.  The pain released builds character which will be its own reward in time to come.

You are so faithful and brave my little children that my heart aches when I look at you, when my thoughts touch upon you.

I pray God’s favour over you.  May He give you all the desires of your hearts till there is room for no more.   And keep you strong and content, and faithful, and pure.

I have so much I want to ask for you, but rest in asking that His will be done.  Because I don’t know what is best for you, nor do I know what the future holds for you.

And it is not for me to decide.

There is enough time in a day

Here are two facts:

  • The more you do, the more you get done
  • The less you do, the less time you have even for little things

When my drinking was at its worst I hardly functioned.  Everything seemed like an insurmountable mountain, so I just shelved it.  Which meant I had to do the same with every new task after that.  It all just snowballed.  I copied what I had to do today into tomorrow’s calendar, then into the day after and so forth until even re-writing it became too much.  The guilt and worry over all my unfinished business haunted my nights.

Under normal circumstances though, I find that even when I have a lot to do, there is always a bit of time to tackle something else.  Because it is true that each day has enough time for the things of that day.  And you will be rewarded with that wonderful sense of accomplishment when you have completed all you had set out to do.

Your body produces adrenalin when you are busy which propels you forward.  It helps you do and achieve more.

It is so easy to get home tired and be unavailable to those who love you most.  A good rule is to allow yourself and/or your spouse thirty minutes from when you step in the door to unwind.  To do whatever you want.  Afterwards it will be easier to face and listen to your family.  We are not a chatty household.  But we always know what is happening in one another’s lives.  When there is a problem, I set the table and we discuss the issue at dinner.

I am always so pleased when I complete the evening’s cooking because it is the very last thing I have to do.  After that I can officially wipe out the “5th of February 2012”. There is a great sense of relief in retiring to my bedroom.  It is also the time that partners talk and enjoy one another.

Getting through each day without worry or stress requires faith.  It also requires staying in the moment and not running ahead of yourself.  When we were tied up on the floor during our armed robbery, I had the pleasure of realizing the concept of staying in the moment.  There was no point in thinking about what they could do to us.  What use would it have been had I considered that they could gang-rape me?  And that they probably had AIDS?  Or that they could shoot us?  Instead, I stayed focused on what was happening at that instant, so that I could do whatever was best for that moment.  The preservation of our lives outweighed all scary future scenarios.  I was fully anchored in each exact second.  Which created a sense of calm in everybody and ultimately saved our lives.

So, make a list of everything that needs to be done today.  And don’t stress about it.  Tackle them one at a time without worrying about the next one.  And if there is something that you cannot get to, put it under tomorrow.

Because, tomorrow is a brand new day.

Of this I am sure …

Love conquers all:   There is nothing that cannot be fixed with love, no hurdle that cannot be overcome and no wrong that cannot be set right.

There is freedom in forgiveness:   Holding on to resentment does nothing to the other person, but it destroys you.  When you let go, you are set free.

There is life after death:   Faith in things not seen.  Without this assurance, life is pointless.

It is never too late to make things right with your children:   No matter how bad we are as parents, our children love us and they will always be ready to forgive us when we say we are sorry.

Hope is one of the most important things a human can have:   Hope is a glimmer of light when you are stumbling through a dark night.  Without it, we might as well lie down and give up.

It is by grace that we are redeemed, not by works:   There is nothing we can do to make ourselves righteous.

Depression can be overcome:   By the right attitude, by retraining the mind and by taking control of our thoughts.

Kindness is repaid:   Always, unexpectedly and on time.

What you believe is what you will get:   What you believe in your heart and say with your mouth, is what you will bring into your life.

Each man is responsible for his own life and everything that comes with it:   We make the decisions that get us where we are, we cannot blame anybody else.

Anything the mind can conceive, we can achieve:   Full stop.

I was rescued, once

I was only 21 and in a big jam.  So much so, I did not know where to turn, who to ask, what to do.  I was pregnant and my options were limited.

I remember sitting on the pavement at the bus stop.  Worrying, wondering, trying to figure out a way which fitted in with my youthful plans.

Then I saw it.

I was hanging from a cliff.  No ropes or safety equipment.  The gorge was so deep that I could not see the bottom.  Only the long, long fall.

My arms were getting tired and I knew that I could not hold on much longer.  People started appearing.  Everyone had a suggestion:

“Step there, that should give you leverage to haul yourself up!”

“Move your hand slightly to the left, there is a rock you can hold onto.”

I did not consider any of it.  Just hung there, hoping.  My fingernails were tearing.  The weight was too much for my arms.

More people who loved me and were afraid.  They starting shouting at me in frustration.  I looked down and wondered how long the fall would last.  Could I die in mid-air?  Would I hit something on the way down?  I shook my head.

Then he appeared, walking towards me.  There was no panic about him, or fear of any sort.  When he reached me, he simply bent down, grabbed me by the wrists and pulled me onto solid ground.  I was safe.

I knew that I would be okay.

I still am.  That jam took me along a path I never wanted to walk, with people I did not foresee and heartache I would have wanted to avoid.

The thornblanket became my biggest gift.

It’s not what you Look at, it’s what you See

Scientists have proven that given a scene to look at, most people will focus on one thing and miss the rest.  For instance, in ‘Test your Brain’ on Discovery, an assistant of David Copperfield’s showed a money trick in their studio.  While he was busy, they changed 9 of the props in around the magician, the table he had the money on, his hat and background decor.  Very few people noticed any of the changes.  It was actually so glaringly obvious that when they showed the changes, you felt kind of stupid.

In another experiment he stood on a busy street and showed you how to hide your valuables when travelling.  While he was talking, a life-sized bunny and some other animals crossed the street right behind him.

All this proves is that we do not notice everything around us.  In fact, we notice very little.  In another experiment bystanders watched as a woman’s purse was snatched.  All of them were sure that they could identify the thief but, out of the 20 or so bystanders, only one could identify the colour of the victim’s scarf.  Yet, most of us are prepared to swear in a court of law to what we saw and have no hesitations identifying the perpetrator in a line-up.

We are so sadly mistaken most of the time and the problem is, in cases of crime we mess with other people’s lives.  Our certainties are nothing but assumptions because our minds fill in the blanks between what our eyes looked at, and what it actually saw.

We are presumptuous creatures, we do not question our senses.  We unequivocally believe that what we see or hear or feel is real.

The same goes for our lives.  If we are looking at our troubles and problems we will not see the solutions.  When we are looking at the mountain, we will not see that well-worn path with handrails and rest stops treaded out by those who went before us.  Nor will we notice the crowds lining it to cheer us on and supply us with fresh waters.

That is why it is important to decide what you need to look at.

Then speak it, and believe it!

Yes, you CAN!

Modern technology today, more than ever, has enabled man to think of himself as a god.  There is very little information not available to him, and incredibly little he cannot do.

I have recently entered the waters of brochure and logo design.  In fact, whenever I run into a problem with my computer, I ask Google how to fix it.  If I want to do something that I do not know how to, I ask Google.

When that young girl was kidnapped from Krugersdorp a couple of weeks ago, I received a Blackberry Messenger broadcast within hours.  That is why I broadcast missing person reports immediately.  I have found that more often than not, they are real emergencies.  The cell phone has allowed me to get information and knowledge when I am not in front of my computer.  There are no more inconvenient times for knowledge.  “My people perish through a lack of knowledge”, is no longer an excuse.  Knowledge is there, within grasp, every minute of every day.

Further, apparently we are at the threshold of creating synthetic life by stringing together DNA strands.  I have not heard how the soul is inserted yet.

We have learnt so much in the last couple of decades through the evolution of technology, psychology, archaeology etc.  Man believes that whatever his mind can conceive, he can achieve.  And this is true.  He is held back only by his own fears and lack of faith.

So then, let us not anymore be held back.  We have it all and all is possible.  Grab a hold of this understanding and step out in faith, wherever it is that you are going.

So, alcohol is an issue with you …

Many people ask me:  “How would I know if I drink too much?  How will I know if I am an alcoholic?”  The answer is not simple but if you are wondering about it, it is already a clue.

I am not writing this as a professional because that I am not.  I am simply speaking from my experience, hoping that it will resonate with you.

You do not have to drink every day or all day for it to be a problem.  You can drink only at night.  You can drink only on weekends, or every second week.  That is not the issue.

Here are a couple of questions:

1.  Does your personality change?  For instance, do you get difficult and aggressive when you drink?

2.  Do you frequently have trouble remembering the night before (black-outs)?

3.  Does your partner/children/parents complain about your drinking?  Do they avoid you when you drink?  Have they told others that they dislike your  drinking?

4.  Do you worry that might be drinking too much?

5.  Do you experience guilt over your drinking?

6.  When you fill a glass, do you have to empty it?  And everybody else’s left-overs too?

6.  Is your drinking taking up a lot of your thought-life?  Wondering and/or worrying about it?

If the answer is yes to any of the above, chances are that you have a problem.  If it is yes to all, well …

So the question is not whether you have a problem, but rather what you can do about it.

Now believe me, I know how hard it is to be where you are.  I lived there for a long time.  I knew I had a problem and admitted it but did not know how to fix it.

I spoke to many people, but they were always the wrong people.  Spouses, friends and family are all well-meaning, but they CANNOT help.  They do not have the knowledge or the tools.  At most, they are sympathetic ears that will listen while you air your fears.

The last three or four years before my rescue, I spent at the bottom of a pit.  When I awoke in the morning the first thing I did was to try to assess who was angry with me.  I stopped greeting everybody cheerfully (even though I felt like death) because I was met with angry glares.  Usually because I started an argument the night before which I knew nothing about.  My husband said it was like pushing a reset button.  No matter what I did or said, in the morning we all acted as if everything was okay.  And it really was for me.

You do know how horrible a hangover is right?  Well, that was my life.  Inevitably you land up feeling so crappy that it is almost impossible to do what you have to do.  When this happens day after day, you eventually become non-functional.  You might sit behind your desk pretending to be busy but eventually the people around you cotton on that you are getting very little done.  Towards the end, you will get nothing done.

Living inside the nightmare of substance abuse is like falling off a cliff, only difference is, you never hit the bottom.  You can and eventually will, but it is called death.

We all know that you can start drinking because you are depressed, however, drinking also causes depression.  That is why rehabs generally place alcoholics (and drug users)  in the Duel Diagnostics Unit (DDU).  Professionals know that you have a two-fold problem, substance abuse and depression.  They will attempt to ascertain which came first and treat you accordingly, but that is not the point.  Whether or not you started off depressed, you will end up depressed.  Most alcoholics try to commit suicide at some point.  I did.

Almost a year before the end came, I sought help from a psychologist.  I also saw a doctor who put me on anti-depressants, anti-anxieties etc, etc.  I was even hospitalised for a week of sleep therapy.  Yet, I was not drinking any less.

While, or because (or both) I was non-functioning, I started playing on-line games.  Farmville, Cityville, Frontierville you name it.   One that I particularly enjoyed was called Yoville, it is almost like the Sims but you interact live with real people.

While hanging with my friends in Yoville one night I met (the avatar of) a substance-abuse counsellor.  I told him about my drinking and we chatted for a long time.  Even though nothing had changed, for the first time I experienced a sense of hope that the end might be near.  I believe this was because I had met someone who knew what I was going through, and could offer reassurance.  Most, if not all counsellors, are ex addicts.  He encouraged me to join a local AA meeting which I did.  And every week I went there drunk.  One night I confused my tranquilizer dosage and took too many (with too much whiskey)  before going to the meeting.  I kept falling asleep and people thought I would fall off my chair lol!  It was funny.

I think I have made it clear that I did talk to people and that I did seek professional help.  And that it is possible to drink your way through all sorts of attempts to stop.  However, you cannot give up!  Nothing worth having comes easy and this must be one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.

To cut a long story short, my psychologist eventually called in my husband for a session and realised that the family was at breaking point.  He suggested rehab and I agreed.

I am not advising rehab for you, nor any of the other things I did.  What I am advising is that you do not give up looking for the answer for you.  I can promise that if you mean to bring and end to your horror and if you trust God (the real one) to do it for you, it will happen.  My life as an alcoholic lasted 13 years.

I do not think that I could not stop because I tried the wrong methods.  Rather, I believe that I had to walk to the end of a road that I had begun.  You are a different person and your walk is different.  The only things we need in common is desire and faith.

Rehab worked for me because I was ready for it.  It was good being with people who were all in the same boat.  We established a warm sense of camaraderie and that can be fun.  Also, you are treated by people who had been in, and escaped that boat.  Everybody speaks your language.

If you are here, just make sure that your mind is open to all suggestions and try everything that presents itself to you.  Obviously I don’t mean anything foolish.  And never give up!

In finishing off I will say this, I cannot take any credit for coming out of this alive, nor can I credit anybody or anything for it.  The people and the AA and the hospital and the pills etc, were all just tools used by a greater Hand to bring me to my freedom.