When God Closed The Door

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” –Psalm 20:7-8 [NIV]

voir 1

There are moments in our lives when it’s hard to see hope and when faith fights with doubt. These moments of life can be called the darkness moment, the dreary winter, etc. It feels like everything we have planned so carefully is destroyed by unpredicted distraction. Or perhaps there is a chance that was opened widely before but suddenly the door is slammed right on our faces. Ouch! In this season, it really makes sense for us to think that God is unfaithful to his promises. Perhaps we are tempted to think, “God is so mean to me!” “If God is really good, he won’t let this happen to me.” But is it truly God mean for us? What is actually his plan when he suddenly closes a door in our lives? What does God really think when he makes us waiting for quite some time?

Firstly, we need to plant the truth into our minds, that God is forever good to us. Even when the circumstances try to convince us the opposite, we need to believe that God is good. The whole Bible can give you many testimonies regarding his goodness.

“The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” -Exodus 34:6-7a

“And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” -Mark 10:18

voir 2
Other times, we are too comfortable in our comfort zone that we forget to seek his face. In fact, most of us only seek him when we are in trouble which makes we grow the most in suffering. Thereby, the difficult times are times when we are called the most to seek God through prayer. Just like the sincerest gratitude often born when we have no reason to be grateful, the sincerest prayer usually is born out of adversity when we acknowledge how desperate we need God.

Sometimes God closes the door so that we can stop depending on humans’ strength whether our strength or other people’s and fully depend on him. Some other times, he closes the door to redirect our heart so that we place it at the right place. It is easy for us to love other things more than God in our good times. God knows that the safest place for our hearts are on his lap. He wants to protect us from things that can hurt us when we place our hearts at the wrong places.

God can close the door so that we learn to wait for his time. As the unripe food will taste not so delicious, people who are not ready yet to handle his blessings can only invite troubles. Even the right thing at the wrong timing can become the wrong thing. God always put attention more on inside of us rather than our circumstances. He concerns more to our characters rather than our look. Our holiness, not our pleasure. He loves us so much so that he won’t allow the right thing becomes the wrong thing simply because we are not ready yet.

There is no fix and absolute formula to explain what God is doing in our lives. God works in such a unique way in everyone’s life. But one thing for sure is that if it is God’s will, even the present closed door can one day be opened. Keep fighting and keep waiting for it. But if it is not God’s will and the door is opened for us, it will not be wise to keep going there. Not all the opened door is a chance for us. We can differentiate them as we maintain intimacy with God. God will show us his way step-by-step according to our ability. My prayer is that you might have longing to seek his face and his will in your current circumstances. Trust in the Lord, trust in his goodness. The dark moments is only a season, it will pass …

 

Don’t ask, “Why God?” but ask instead, “What do you want me to learn in this situation?” “God I don’t understand what you are doing now, but keep doing what you want to do.”

“The darkest moment is the biggest turning point in your life.”

Blessings,
Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Voir Pictures

voir 3

Fear Not

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” –Isaiah 41:10 [NIV]

angga 2

Is there anything you are afraid of? Fear can be directed to various things, such as fear of heights, fear of poisonous snake, fear of darkness, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of making wrong decision, and many more. We have natural tendencies to live by fear. But for some of us, the level of fear is so intense until it hinders and paralyzes us. Someone who has fear of failure may not be willing to try new things. Imagine how many opportunities would never be achieved unless he is bold enough to try. But on the other hand, the right amount of fear may help us on certain area. For example, fear of having car accident will motivate us to use seat belt and drive safely all the time. Hence, the problem lies not on the presence of fear itself, but its level of intensity and whether the object of our fear is right or not.

There are 365 verses on Bible which said, “Fear Not.” This is surely not a coincidence. God has designed His Words for every day in a year to be applied. But of course it is not something we can do instantly. But if we are willing to decide to get out of our comfort zone and face the fear day by day, God’s word will set you free eventually from fear.

We can be relax by knowing that God never gives us a command without sending the strength to do it. His command is accompanied by promise that he will always be with us.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” –Deuteronomy 31:8 [NIV]

You are never alone. God is always with you. God will fight for you, and what you need to do is enjoying his presence [Exodus 14:14].

One of the sources of our fears is because we depend more in ourselves rather than on God. Those who are mature in the Lord will learn to depend their lives more on him instead of their own. Fear is actually the situation where we are lacking of the right faith unto God. Today, God reminds us that, “I am with you, why should you fear?” Nothing is impossible for God. Whatever now that seems impossible to you, God is able to change it. He sends you this message only: “Fear not.”

As you walk with God, you will find that the more you trust in God, your fear will be more directed to the right things. God is faithful. When he gives you his guidance, he will also give you the strength to do it. Do not be afraid with enemy’s intimidation, but be afraid that the enemy has no fear to you because you do nothing to expand God’s Kingdom.

We cannot expect to have no fear at all, but we can press through the fear whenever it shows up and choose boldly to do the right things.

angga 1

Fear not the attack of Satan,

but fear that you never make his hit list.

Fear not the unknown, but fear that you never learn what is beyond the unknown.

Fear not trials and tribulation, fear a life of ease.

Fear not the God haters, but fear the God himself.

Fear not that your messages are not good,

but fear that your messages are not of God.

Fear not what men say about you,

fear what God would say about you.

Fear not attempting something great for God and failing,

but fear rather attempting little things for God and succeeding.

 

Do not live a life free from fear, but live a life fearing the right things –Richard Crisco

Blessings,

Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Angga Permana Photo

Not A Fairy Tale

Bedtime stories are usually being opened by, “Once upon a time …” and ended by, “… and they lived happily ever after.” Happy ending is everyone’s dream. But here is the good news: happy ending doesn’t belong only to the fairy tale world. Our beloved God also has promised us a happy ending. The Scripture has conveyed the ending of all incidents that happen in this world.

‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” –Revelation 21:4 [NIV]

198

When you cry, God cries. He understands your present sufferings. But keep on hoping, because you have assurance that all these things will pass away. Do not give up with the problems that life offers to you.

“Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.” –Isaiah 59:1 [NIV]

Many people ask, “Why did the missionaries who lived for the Lord died tragically? Why didn’t they experience a happy ending?” The truth is, what we see as ‘tragic’ may not be ‘tragic’ in God’s eyes. Jim Elliot was a committed missionary who always aimed to please the Lord, not people. His soul was utterly on fire to share the gospel to those who never heard of it. His enthusiasm found interest to reach the Aucas in Sourth America who had never heard the gospel at all. After carefully planned everything, in January 1956, Jim and the other four missionaries landed successfully on the riverside of Curacay, east of Equador. But two days later, they were speared to death by the very own tribe they would minister, Aucas.

Didn’t it seem like a sad ending? But their death becomes like seeds, which died but at the end produce many fruits for the gospel to spread. Jim’s wife, Elisabeth Elliot, together with the other missionaries’ wives, forgave and came to minister to the tribe who killed their husbands. Many people of Aucas eventually received Christ as their own savior.

Perhaps you are not called in mission field as some people do. But today, God is speaking that wherever you are, no matter how difficult is your situation, God is not finished with you yet. There are a lot of things God wants to work in your life. If you are not satisfied where you are ended now, then it means that it is not the ending. There is always a hope to those who wants to hope. What you are going through now can become just like the seeds die but at the end they become much more fruitful and become blessings for many. Endure the current process with God and God will reveal his beautiful plan for you step by step.

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.” –John 12:24 [NIV]

170

The happy ending we long for is not just what has been reserved for us in heaven. God is also able to create happy ending on this earth. For those who walk in God’s ways, happy ending can happen. But keep in mind that it may not happen as what we think of, but as what God intends to be.

If it is not happy, then it is not the ending.

God is not finished with you.

Love,
Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Jennifer Phelps Photography

Repairer of the Broken Walls

We all have experienced brokenness at some point in our lives. Either it is a broken heart from relationship, broken dreams, broken family, broken financially, and so on. The truth is .. we live in a broken and fallen world. No wonder that there are things in our lives which inevitably hurt us. But here is the good news .. God is able to use your brokenness and turn it around to become His greatest glory!

24

In brokenness season, there is a tendency for us to respond it with either self-pity or bitterness. Self-pity is a feeling that we are the most pitiful person in this world. It is seeing that there is nothing good in our lives and we mourn over it all the time. When self-pity overwhelms us, it is hard to see the fingers of God in our current situation. It seems like we are in a very big problem but cannot see any way out. That’s why we can only mourn over it. Self-pity seems harmless on its very first stage. It seems so natural to pity ourselves for all the calamities that happen to us. And it may feels … good. But what we don’t realize is … it gives the devil a foot hold in our hearts. It is like a seed of cancer which keeps spreading all over our bodies. There will come a point where we have no ability to be thankful at all to our beloved Creator. It causes us losing our joy, and eventually makes us us losing our strength. ” … Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10). Thereby, as natural as it may seem, self-pity should not linger even for a second in our lives. The cure for self-pity is simply shifting our concerns from ‘self’ to ‘others’. If you desire a compassion, give a compassion to others. If you want to be loved, give love to others. If you want to be comforted, bring comfort to those who mourn. It may sounds weird, but God really gives more abundantly to a cheerful giver.

The other ‘natural’ response to brokenness season is by being bitter. Our hearts does not become bitter automatically when people hurt us. Bitterness is our choice. No one can affect our hearts’ condition unless we allow them to. In every situation we can always choose whether we will be ‘bitter’ or ‘better’. The fact is, I never see any bitter person is thankful nor a thankful person bitter. It may sounds strange, but thankfulness is the medicine to bitterness. “Give thanks in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess 5:18) Of course, give thanks in the midst of trouble will be so unnatural for us. Some even do it just with a burdened heart simply because they have to (for example they try to obey God). But here is the view point. It is a matter of acknowledging His goodness in our present trouble. Yes, we can admit to God that, “I don’t understand it Lord. But I still believe in your purpose. Keep doing on what You do.” It’s a whole different perspective which can set us free from a bitter heart. Another important key to be free is releasing forgiveness for those who hurted us. It’s difficult and it will take time. But if we are willing to forgive, there is a hope. 

23

We need to be sensitive on asking God instead of “Why God?” but “What do you want me to learn from this?” God is in control. He never allows circumstances occur in our lives without any purpose. If you have prayed and nothing changes, maybe God wants to change you first. Instead of seeing the ugly sides of other people and circumstances, ask humbly to the LORD to help you see your own heart’s condition. Is there any unwillingness to forgive and reconcile? Is there any bitterness? God is more than willing to reveal your heart and His plan for you as you come in humbly before Him.

Though it is hard to comprehend, but brokenness season is the only place where we can truly know who God is. It is the only season where we can truly feel His presence in a very intimate way. As someone says, “God does not promise you explanations about everything, but He promises you to walk through the pain.” It is a place where depending upon God is the only choice we have. And that in the end leads us to a deeper relationship with Him.  “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3) Shouldn’t it all that matters in this life?

As illogical as it sounds, God uses people who are ‘weak’. People who acknowledge that they are nothing without their God. People who come humbly upon Him and surrender their independence to become fully dependent to Him alone. Psalm 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” And sometimes, it takes a series of circumstances to bring us up to this point. Peter was being broken for his failure by denying Christ three times. He wept bitterly. Yet God touched his brokenness by asking “Do you love me?” three times (John 21:15-17) and in the end God used him so powerfully to preach the good news. The fact is, we simply cannot be broken where things are running so good in our lives, can we? Be glad if God breaks your heart right now, for it always meant for a greater purpose beyond your imagination. Yes, you cannot see it now, but one day you will, and you will be amazed.

25

Today,if you are in brokenness season, I believe that God wants to speak comfort for you. “For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.” If a desert can be turned to become a garden in the hands of God, than your brokenness is more than able to be used to  proclaim His glory too. It will be just like a dream, but God’s promise will come true as we respond to our brokenness correctly. Do not harbor anger, self-pity, nor bitterness in this season. Just offer your sacrifice of a broken heart, sincerely trusting God, and offer thanksgiving for His goodness. As you respond in God’s ways, you will be more likely to end up in God’s plan. 

“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the Repairer of the Broken Walls, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” (Isaiah 58:10-12)

One day, in the midst of your current ruins, God will built a new home. He is the ultimate Repairer of Broken Walls, broken soul, broken hearts. He is the ultimate healer. If you respond correctly, pouring your life to serve others instead of focusing on your own wounds, releasing forgiveness, and willing to surrender to God, this will be your destiny. God is more than able to heal the broken hearts, if you give Him all the pieces.

Blessings,

Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Baby Axioo Photography

Go Round

 

“In their hearts humans plan the course, but the LORD establishes the steps.” –Proverbs 16:9 [NIV]

I lived in a big city where I usually drive a car as my main transportation. One day I noticed one of the traffic sign which was placed on the roundabout in the middle of roads’ intersections. It requires the vehicles to go round first before turning to the road they want to go. As each vehicle goes round the roundabout, it will have to slow down its speed. Surely, it takes more time to go round the roundabout first rather than taking the turn directly. I found the same principle works in our lives. There are times when we want to go directly to our dreams, but the circumstances require us to “go round”. It causes us to wait for some time until we reach our destination.

round

The season of “go round” is the season of preparation and molding our characters. This is the place where our patience is being molded, our hope is tested, and our faith is struggling to stand firm. The Israelites had this phase when they had just left the Egypt’s slavery under Moses’ leadership. The journey from Egypt to the Promised Land should only require 11 days, but they had to go round the desert for 40 years! Why did it happen? Because it took one day for Israelites to go out from Egypt, but it took 40 years for the “Egypt” to go out of the Israelites.

The Israelites had actually reached the boundary of the promised land on the 11thweek, more exactly in a place called Kadesh-Barnea. Out of the 12 spies sent to Canaan, only two of them: Joshua and Caleb, who reported with full of faith that they would be able to conquer the land despite of many enemies there. But the Israelites chose to follow the opinion of the other 9 spies who were full of fear and pessimistic. Because of their lack of faith, God had to mold their faith in the way that took them 40 years and he also punished the whole faithless generation for not entering the land of Canaan. Only Joshua and Caleb in that generation would enter the Promised Land.

“not of of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times –not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.” –Numbers 14:22-23 [NIV]

God does not work in the same way for each of us. For Israelites, their lack of faith and the memory of Egypt were the factors that they had to “go round”. But God’s children usually have to “go round” as a process to prepare their character and increase their level of dependency to God alone.

Whatever you are going through now, believe that this “go round” situation is only for a time. Let the patience being mold inside us, and let our faith and hope keep shining in the midst of uncomfortable situation. One day, what you are going through now can be used as a beautiful testimony which glorifying God. God is the master to turn your “mess” into a “message.”

Faith is to believe what you do not see;

the reward of this faith is to see what you believe –St. Augustine

143

Love,

Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Axioo Photography

Why Not?

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” –Deuteronomy 31:6 [NIV]

180

What is your dream that has not come true yet? Do you think that your dream is too big and feel unsure that you can achieve it? Many of us were dreamers during childhood years. When we were asked what would we want to be later on, we might answered with no doubt, “I want to be famous singer!” “I want to be president!” “I want to have a successful restaurant!” But oftentimes, the reality of life squeezes the dream until we no longer feed it and eventually the dream dies. “Uh, my dream is unrealistic! How can I earn my living with merely singing? I would have a better and stable income if I work as employee in big company. My salary will be guaranteed, I will have fixed working hours, and I will have fun on weekend.”

Many people had a dream, but they do not guard it, nurture it, and they don’t have the determination to achieve it. Life is more than just looking for money. God has planted the seeds of dream inside each of us. He longs to use his children to shine wherever they are, to maximize their potentials, and giving us an abundant life in all aspects.

Surely, there will be many challenges to achieve those dreams. Even parents, our loved ones, could become hindrance to achieve our dreams. But keep on believing that if our dreams come from God which is based on huge passion to bring His kingdom shines on earth, then God himself will enable us and open his way in his time.

On the journey, God may put us in many uncomfortable situations, which require us to do insignificant or small things in regular basis. We may think it is wasting our time because we long to do the big dreams immediately. But God is teaching us at the moment to be faithful.

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” –Luke 16:10 [NIV]

Joseph was given a dream that one day he would become the leader of his family.

One night Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers about it, they hated him more than ever. “Listen to this dream,” he said.  “We were out in the field, tying up bundles of grain. Suddenly my bundle stood up, and your bundles all gathered around and bowed low before mine!” His brothers responded, “So you think you will be our king, do you? Do you actually think you will reign over us?” And they hated him all the more because of his dreams and the way he talked about them. Soon Joseph had another dream, and again he told his brothers about it. “Listen, I have had another dream,” he said. “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed low before me!” This time he told the dream to his father as well as to his brothers, but his father scolded him. “What kind of dream is that?” he asked. “Will your mother and I and your brothers actually come and bow to the ground before you? But while his brothers were jealous of Joseph, his father wondered what the dreams meant. -Genesis 37:5-11 [NLT]

Perhaps one of the things can be learned from the story of Joseph is that we need to be careful to whom we are telling our dreams. Some people will disbelieve and discouraging us. They may laugh at our dreams. Part of guarding well our dreams is that we should be selective with people around us. Surround yourself with those who are supportive and encouraging your dreams! And you know the story goes that Joseph’s dream did not happen instantly. Instead, he went on a downward spiral situations where he was being sold by his brothers as slave to Egypt, got a great job at last at Potiphar’s house, but eventually slandered for sexual harassment by Potiphar’s wife and ended on prison. However, the Bible didn’t say Joseph complain in any of these situations. Instead wherever he was, he was always doing what was best for his master.

Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said. But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them. -Genesis 50:18-21 [NLT]

Joseph did not grow bitterness out of his brothers who sold him as a slave back then. Instead, he knew that even God has purpose behind sufferings which he had endured. God is capable to bring out something good out of evil intentions of men. He did not  get revenge against his brothers, instead he repaid their evil deeds with kindness.

If the dream does not happen yet, take it as your preparation phase. Sufferings and hardships develop character. And character is the main thing that will sustain us whenever we have achieved our dreams. As John Wooden says, “Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there.”

A dream from God most of the times appears as a dream that is so big and seems  impossible to achieve according to our minds. It is because the dream can only be achieved when we rely on God’s strength and not ours. When I was called to be a preacher, I felt, “Can I do it?” And God’s voice speaks so clearly in my heart for the first time (I had never heard God’s voice before then), “Why not?” And that “why not?” changed my life completely. Yes! With God, we can do anything that seems impossible. He will always be with us and with his strength, we can achieve our God’s given dream.

127

“For nothing is impossible with God.” –Luke 1:37 [NLT]

Our God is he God of “Why not?” –Leticia Seviraneta

 

Photos by Jennifer Phelps Photography

His Beloved

There are days in our lives when we feel unloved and unworthy. In fact, there are so many people out there who are still trying so hard to gain acceptance, love, appreciation, compliments, etc from others. It has become humans’ necessity in life to simply just being accepted. We may struggled with it once we were just children. We may struggle with it now in our various relationship, e.g. with girlfriend/boyfriend, spouse, parents, boss, and many more. Does it sound familiar to you? It seems like there is a big hole in your life which is screaming to be filled with love, love, and love. You may think that once this person does this and that for you, you will find it be enough. But the truth goes … it is never enough.

180

I remember the days when I used to feel unloved. At that moment, I questioned about God’s love for me. But in one session of Youth Camp in my campus, one of the speaker told me the story when God made a woman. Its last sentence of the story changed the whole course of my life. Here is the story 🙂

By the time the Lord made a woman, He was in the Sixth day of working. An angel appeared and having conversation with the Lord.

Angel: “Why are you spending so much time on this one?”

Lord: “Have you seen the spec sheet on her? She has a lap that can hold two children at one time and that disappears when she stands up, has a kiss and hug that can cure anything from a scrapped knee to a broken heart, and she is doing all of these with two hands!”

Angel: “Only with two hands, Lord? No way!”

Lord: “Oh, it’s it the hands that are the problem. It’s the three pair of eyes that mothers must have!”

Angel: “Why does she have three pairs of eyes?”

Lord: “Yes, one pair of eyes are to see through the closed door as she asks her children what they are doing even though she already knows. Another pair in the back of her head are to see what she needs to know even though no one thinks she can. And the third pair are here in the front of the head. They are for looking at an errant child and saying that she understands and loves him or her without even saying a single word.

Angel (tried to stop the Lord): “This is too much work for one day, wait until tomorrow to finish!”

Lord: “But I can’t! I am so close to finish this creation that is so close to my own heart. She already heals herself when she is sick and can feed a family on a pound of hamburger and can work 18 hours a day.”

Angel (moved closer and touched the woman): “But you have made her so soft, Lord.”

Lord: “She is soft. But I have also made her tough. You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.”

Angel: “Will she be able to think?”

Lord: “Not only will she be able to think, she will be able to reason and negotiate.”

Angel (touched the woman’s cheek): “Oops, it looks like you have a leak with this model. I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.”

Lord: “That’s not a leak. That’s a tear!”

Angel: “What’s the tear for?”

Lord: “The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her loneliness, her grief, and her pride.”

Angel (impressed): “You are a genius, Lord! You thought of everything, for woman is truly amazing.”

Lord: “Yes, she is. Women have strengths that amaze men. They carry children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens but they hold happiness, love, and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They don’t take “no” for an answer when they believe there us a better solution. They go without new shoes so their children can have them. They love unconditionally. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They have sorrow at the loss of family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strengh left. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. Women come in all sizes, in all colors and shapes. They’ll drive, fly, walk, run, or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin! Women do more than giving birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. Women have a lot to say and a lot to give.”

“But she has one weakness …”

Angel: “What is it Lord?”

Lord: “She often forgets how worthy she is…”

181

Yes, indeed! I used to forget that I am worthy. Just like most people, I grew up in an environment where love may not be verbalized nor be shown expressively. It causes children to doubt parents’ love, wives doubt husbands’ love, and at last God’s children doubts God’s love. And as our confidence of God’s love is shaken, we are most likely to end up in downward spiral of life. We question about the goodness of God, life and its purpose. That was why this story became a huge turning point for me. For the very first time, I was being reminded about that I am always worthy in God’s eyes but it’s just my eyes which fail to recognize it.

You are God’s beloved. When the world tries to convince that you are not, He constantly wooing you to win your heart. God is a Father to the fatherless, friend to the friendless, and husband to the husbandless. In fact, although you have a nice father, a great friend, and a lovely spouse, Jesus Christ still surpasses them all. He is the one who keeps being faithful as the world lies through their teeth. He is the ONLY ONE who has the capacity to fill the longings in your heart. In Jesus, you are loved and accepted. Not because of what you’ve done, but because of who He is, Love.

[Isaiah 43:1-7,11,13]
But now, this is what the LORD says-
he who create you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, 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 LORD your God, 
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east 
and gather you from the west.
I will say to the north, “Give them up!”
and to the south, “Do not hold them back.”
Bring my sons from afar and my daughters 
from the ends of the earth-
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.
I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior.
Yes, and from the ancient days I am he.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?”

God is the One who never gives up on you although you even want to quit. You are His beloved and He will not let you go. He will protect you. For it is your destiny to be loved by Him. 

175

“Letting yourself be loved by God is more important  than loving God” -Brennan Manning

 by Leticia Seviraneta

Photos by Jennifer Phelps Photography