People have told me they can hear my laughter on this ship from 2 decks away. Apparently I often look like this:
I love to laugh and it happens to come out loudly. And although there have been and continue to be many laughs, the truth is, this year has been really hard for me. The hardest year I’ve ever faced.
So far I have blogged about great things, and it’s not that great things haven’t happened, but behind the smiling face, at times my heart has been crying.
I am struggling, as every woman does at some time of her life (or multiple times), with feeling alone, unwanted, unloved, worthless and not needed. It’s amazing that you can feel so alone living in a metal box with 400 other people, many of them my friends. I mean, I have so many options of company, why would I choose none of them?
The only thing that has kept me on my feet walking these ship hallways, is frequently falling on my face before Jesus, crying out for Him to fill me. I have to identify the lies I am believing, tear them out of my mind and re-wallpaper with Jesus’ truths.
I have been reading scriptures including these:
Zephaniah 3:17- “The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”
Isaiah 43:1-3- ‘But now, this is what the Lord says- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name. You are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”’
Psalm 103:1-5 “Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not his benefits- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with great things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
And I have been looking for God’s promises and holding onto them for dear life.
Isaiah 62:3- “You will be a crown of splendour in the Lord’s hand.”
Isaiah 55:12- “You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace.”
A few days ago, I was unable to sleep after night shift. All the lights in my cabin were off, as my three cabin mates were sleeping. We have a small window and some light was streaming through, but I went into the bathroom and kept the light off. I could lift my hand up in front of my face and not see a thing. My eyes were open but I was blind to everything. I had a sudden thought, ‘My life is like this. My eyes are open, but I can’t see where I’m walking or where to go next. I have no idea where I’m being led.’ And then yesterday before I started work for the day, I opened my bible and my eyes fell on this passage:
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16
Oh Jesus, I love you.
But today, I woke up depressed and sad. I met a friend as soon as I stepped out of my cabin. After a few words she knew my need and prayed with me straight away. Then another friend, spoke gently to me and hugged me and I tried not to let my tears fall. I don’t want to show my weakness and frailty. I tell myself, I must be strong and put on a brave face. This is exactly the time that I need to fall before God, because he comes and meets me, walks with me and fills me up so that I can face the world with a real smile.I had a little excursion at lunch time, going out for a quick bite to eat and on the ride home, I bought myself a bunch of flowers!
I wish I could show you how they smell! It fills my cabin and lifts my heart! There is something so delightful about fresh flowers. They are sunshine to my soul and God’s gift to me.As I was looking for a vase for my flowers, I found a sheet of glass and brought it back to my room, determined to use it for a sort of white board to write scriptures on. As I was arranged my flowers and cutting off the long stalks, I lent on the glass and broke it. My immediate thought was, ‘oh, now it’s useless! I’ll have to throw it in the bin.’ But as I picked up the pieces, wrapped them and put them in the trash, I heard within me. ‘God can use the broken.’ So picked it out, taped it together and put it on the wall as a reminder.
Yes, I am broken and stand before God just as I am, sometimes crying, sometimes laughing, but always remembering life is a journey and God wants to walk with me, every step of the way.