The Broken Bless

 

Over the past seven years I have found myself bruised, broken, torn, bewildered, lonely, facing no answer to medical concerns, blanketed with the weight of depression, laying in a hospital bed undergoing back surgery in a foreign country, bombarded with panic attacks, gaining weight despite a healthful diet plan and 2 hour work-outs at the gym, getting the news that my mother had a heart attack and I was too far away to hold her hand or be present by her hospital bed, hearing the news that my son would not be released from prison- yet again, watching my husband bear the load of watching me have seizures on long-haul plane flights, being far from my home country when my younger brother had a stroke, experiencing my body go completely numb within three days’ time and having no answers after medical testing was done, saying hard good-byes to dear friends who I may never see again this side of heaven, missing out on births, weddings and the death of loved ones, walking a long valley of isolation and feeling the tremendous overbearing weight of the dark night of the human soul.

At times it felt like too much to bear. And I am sure that I frequently mentioned that to the Lord in my prayer journal.

It wasn’t that joy wasn’t sprinkled-brightly, in-between these great sorrows, losses or disappointments; but today as I re-think this journey of my life I am reminded of this thought. The broken bless!

Opportunity through brokenness

Those who are broken have a tremendous opportunity to use their brokenness as a means to gift others with; their empathy, compassion, mercy, understanding of pain, loss, bereavement, trial, difficulties and great sorrows.

As I look back at these past years I can easily see the dark, frayed and broken strands of my life; but I also see a tremendous gift that God has given me through these trials. Through the school of brokenness, I can greet others with mercy and compassion. I can withhold my judgmental voice because; “just maybe”, they too are wading through murky, rough waters.

There are no schools that give certificates or degrees for brokenness; but I believe that our Lord showed us most clearly that when we embrace our brokenness, we can become a healing balm to those around us.

Called into brokenness

As believers, Christ Himself calls us into brokenness. We each have the choice to curse, or to embrace our suffering; which then becomes the means in which we experience more of Christ Himself.

In our brokenness we draw nearer to the cross of Christ as we identify with His suffering. Through identifying with Christ, we see that our suffering has meaning and purpose.  

Only the Broken Can Bless

 

Only the broken can bless

Only the bruised can heal

Only despised and rejected ones

Truly know how it feels

 

Those praying in vain for relief

Relieve pain wherever they go

Those stumbling, bearing their cross

Best lift up the head weighed low

 

Chorus:

So take me into your arms

Lord, help me to make it through

There is nobody else who has suffered so much

To love me the way you do.

 

Only a love sacrifice

Is worthy of the name

Only a heart wrung out of life

Can make dead hearts beat again

 

Only the broken can bless

Only the bruised can heal

Only despised and rejected ones

Truly know how it feels

 

Chorus:

So take me into your arms

Lord, help me to make it through

There is nobody else who has suffered so much

To love me the way you do.

 

I’ve been broken so I can bless

I’ve been bruised to help you heal

Since I’ve been despised and rejected

I think I know how you feel

 

Chorus:

So come to my Savior’s arms

We will help you to make it through

There is nobody else who has suffered so much

To love you the way we do.

Written by: David J. Weaver

Used with permission

 

Author and missionary David J. Weaver says; “It is not enough that we identify with each other’s suffering. We must identify our suffering ultimately with Christ’s suffering if our suffering is to have meaning and purpose. Only by making that connection do we see our suffering as a means to God’s saving end in another person’s life.

When we see each line of the poem (*above) speaking of Christ, then we can see each line that speaks to our suffering – as having a specific purpose as well. Then, for the joy before us, we will endure our cross, despise its pain, and let God resurrect us as wounded healers of others.”

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV

Pause and Reflect:

Does your life carry with it a litany of bumps and bruises? Are you currently journeying through the valley of desolation? Is your pain so intense that you can’t see any way through it?

  • Can you see any parallels between your suffering and the suffering of Christ’s brokenness?

Christ’s pain was never wasted, it was offered up as a gift of life and redemption to all mankind.

  • What do you think it means to not waste your pain?

We waste our pain when we use it to curse God.

We waste our pain when we allow our desolation to bring us to the brink of despair.

We waste our pain when we turn our hearts against God, not realizing that our pain is a means for God to be glorified in our lives.

We waste our pain when we don’t use it as opportunity to be drawn to God and see that His power can do the impossible!

 

As we walk through the valley of suffering, we have a choice, we can either curl inward; not allowing God to use our brokenness as a channel in which His holy love can shine, or, we can use it as a means of the healing power of God to bring us to a place of reflecting His glory through praise and thanksgiving.  

Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design

 

We can allow the touch of God to change us and use our brokenness to reveal Christ to others who need comfort and healing.

When Christ power shines through our brokenness, our pain will be used to draw mankind to Christ. The world will see the power of God work in the unbearable, impossibilities of our lives, and know that their brokenness can have purpose as well.

Prayer 

God, it’s not easy to endure suffering. I pray that I will have a heart of gratitude even when I am walking through difficulties, disappointments and trials. May my attitude towards suffering allow others to see your goodness and be drawn to You. May I use my brokenness as a means in which I can identify with the loss, pain and bereavement of others; and come along side of them with comfort, encouragement and grace.

God, your pain was not wasted. You offered up yourself as a means of redeeming all mankind to Christ. May my life be a living witness that also draws others to the redeeming work of Christ.

Give to me the opportunity to share my suffering, and the courage to enter the suffering of others. May my brokenness become a means to listen well, identify and bless others; and mostly of all, to glorify Your name.  

In Jesus Merciful Name. Amen

Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design
Photography by Linda Jane Dingeldein

 

Linda Jane Dingeldein applauds the majesty of God shown in the fall foliage of Warren, Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Touch of Mercy for The Oppressed

Over the past seven years I have traveled to many local places throughout Manila, Philippines.

Drawn to all things cultural and Filipino, I find delight in: a simple trike ride through local streets, a walk through the center of a neighboring Barangay, a trek along steep pathways where simple clapboard homes teeter precariously along cliff edges, a ride on a crowded unairconditioned train in which I am sandwiched shoulder to shoulder with the locals whom I have grown to love, a handkerchief covering my face from the polluted black belch of a jeep-nee I am riding in, the church that meets outside whose congregants greet me warmly with smiles that welcome despite our many differences.

Even though I live far from the edge of physical need, my heart is often drawn into the simplicity of life of the physically poor, and poverty of heart.

So, when I was asked by a friend to tag-along to enter a new-to-me part of the city, I jumped at the chance. I wanted to get out of the rut I had been in recently, and a day off to venture deeper into the city was just what I needed.

I admit, that at first, I felt nervous not having my husband as our directional expert; as I lack greatly in the GPS department. Yet, to my delight, when we got to the train station I quickly found the ticket counter and could read the signs correctly telling us where to go.

This pleased me, as it made me realize that in the future I could do this by myself; but for today it was more fun to share this local excursion with a friend!

Getting off the crowded train and exiting the station, I again had an instinctive direction of where to go, as it all looked vaguely familiar from past travels.

As we stepped down into the busy street we were immediately assaulted with the mayhem of honking horns, push cart food vendors, bottle-neck traffic, pedestrians weaving their way to safety and the endless whistle of a traffic enforcer trying to bring order from chaos.

As we dodged and ducked our way through the dissonance of humanity I felt puzzled, as something in me came alive.

Alive?

At first, I couldn’t pin-point this incompatible feeling; as it seemed greatly unsuited for what surrounded me; putting all my senses on high alert.

Inside I knew that I would never want to live in this level of filth and foulness; therefore, how could this degree of poverty possibly make me feel so alive?

After I gingerly stepped around cavernous potholes in which I could vanish from sight, broken chunks of ankle-turning cement, puddles of unknown substances, food for sale on tables right beside open sewer grates, fresh excrement and black belching motorcycles; a slow dawning came to light in my mind, as I realized that in this distressing situation my soul was able to see mankind through the eyes of God’s love, and a heart overflowing with mercy.

A woman sleeping on the narrow curb on a piece of cardboard, a baby stripped of its clothing, a child alone on a busy street playing on a phone; all made me realize that God is no respecter of persons. He doesn’t love the one who has monetary wealth, any more than the one sitting in physical poverty.

As I gazed at the many toothless smiles, watched as bugs were being picked from tatted hair, listened to the constant cacophony of sounds around me, and took in the entire scope of sights and smells which assaulted my senses; my heart of compassion was struck with a deep life-altering spiritual and emotional recognition.

As I took in my surroundings I sense the Holy Spirits whisper; “Linda, each one of these Filipino’s are soul carriers.”

The whisperings of the Holy Spirit became a prompt to courageously force my eyes to look directly into each face and smile.

Not a smile of pity or shame; but a smile that reached to my eyes; as a broad and welcoming gift to each person who crossed my path.

I was amazed that even in giving a friendly handwave to a group of Filipino women, brought in return pleased, shy smiles behind cupped hands. Only their big, brown eyes telling the story of their delight that I would stop to acknowledge them.

Taking the time to talk to a group of teenagers with my few, broken words of Tagalog was received with giggles and a stream of fast spoken Tagalog in return. They laughed outright as they quickly realized, I only knew kaunti ang, a little. Their pleasure was evident as we posed to take multiple selfies and I walked away with their friendly voices calling after me.

A gathering of men called out cheerfully from behind their stalls bursting with electronic devices, gadgets, and an assortment of mismatched hardware. Their jostling and good humor was contagious. It was quickly rewarded as they elbowed and pushed together for a quick photo shoot; immediately gifting me with their unashamed, toothless proud grins. They laughed and poked one another as I showed them their faces on my phone; calling after us as we moved on, waving our good-byes.

As we wove our way through this area of the city, my heart continued to feel alive. How was it that so little could be given on my part, to evoke such a genuine reply of gratitude?

Even an unexpected tip, in response to a kind gesture, seemed to bring such pleasure to the receiver. “God, maybe they can afford a bowl of rice today.” I whisper as I extend the coin.

As we wound our way down alleys and side streets I found myself repeatedly asking the question; “What it is that makes my soul feel so alive and uplifted on days like this one?”

It was as if God was whispering to my heart; 

“Linda, I have given to you the gift of mercy. On days like this I allow you to lift your eyes away from your own circumstances, and to generously lavish mankind with compassion. When you extend a hand, a smile, a touch; you are living freely as the woman I created you to be and in these simple gestures, you become the extension of Jesus Christ to the lost world around you.”

“We become alive when we live as the woman God created us to be!”

Linda Jane

Different by Design

Even though no personal reward of this extension of my gift is needed, it seems that God tenderly caresses me with His love; as I capture a smile of delight on a child’s face, a quick selfie with a group of teenagers, the fun of being the white skinned woman with whom they can try to chat, a knowing that when I walk into their circle of friends my white skin breaks the monotony of their long, tedious day.

This alone is enough for me; yet how it hurts my soul to be elevated because of my skin color. To be elevated because I carry a purse that has money in it. To be elevated because I am called American. When in my heart, I know that God has not created one to be above the other; yet in this culture I am called rich, privileged, advantaged.

May I, in this richness, take the time to extend a moment of kindness that changes the outlook of one soul, for this one moment in time. May my mingling in their crowded midst, be like Jesus walking through a throng of Samaritans; willing to stop and listen, willing to heal the broken in body, soul and spirit; willing to touch a heart with a broad-genuine smile.

May my presence alone be a cool refreshing salve that liberally administers healing to a festering blister of sorrow, that reaches out in joy to a deep well of loneliness, that extends a coin for those whose purse is lacking, to be the hand that touches the lips of a thirsty soul with a much-needed bottle of cool water given in Jesus name. All because I am woman of mercy, and in this, I gift what I have been given by God. His gift of compassion and love.  

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted    and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” Isaiah 61:1

Spiritual Reflection: 

  • What emotions rise to the surface of your heart when you encounter others who don’t have as you have?
  • How can you begin to see others as soul carriers, equally loved by God and in need of the gospel message?
  • What gifts has God given to you that you can use to minister to others?
  • How can you give a “cup of cold water” in Jesus name?

Often when we help others in need, we choose to do things that make us feel better about ourselves.

What would it look like to give without the promise of receiving anything in return; but knowing that you have met a true need in the other person’s life and were obedient to the calling of Christ?

 Prayer: 

God, it ultimately is You who takes care of the poor around me. Show me how I can be an extension of your mercy and compassion to those in need. Bless those who don’t have as I have.

May I learn to be a woman who freely extends a helping hand to the poor around me, and graciously opens my arms to the needy. May I have a heart that eagerly helps those less fortunate than I am.

God, give to me a heart that is generous and full of godly compassion. Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.

Teach me how to show mercy to the oppressed and to practice righteousness-right living before those in need.

Thank you, God, that the LORD is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble, those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for You.

As your righteous daughter, teach me to care about justice for the poor. Raise up in me a heart full of concern to meet their needs in a way that adequately provides for them what they need most. May I learn to see those around me as soul carriers in need of the life-giving food of the gospel message.

God, I may not be poor in the physical sense of the word; but what about my heart?

Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

God, I recognize that I am often poor and needy in spirit. Thank you that you promise to hurry to my aid, because You, O God are my helper and my Savior. You will not delay in helping me. In Jesus Name, Amen!

The following prayer scriptures are taken from the New Living Translation of the Bible (Proverbs 31:20; Psalm 82:3-4; Psalm 9:9-10; Proverbs 29:7; Isaiah 1:17; Psalm 70:5; Psalm 139:23-24)

 

“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9 (ESV)

Photography by Linda Jane Dingeldein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stop the Masquerade: Unveil the Masks

 

 “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.”

Oscar Wilde 

Unveiling the Masks

By continuously covering up God’s good and perfect design, we are shouting out the message; “God, your masterpiece is not good enough.” “God. You messed up when you made me!”

As Christ followers I don’t think any of us would really believe that message; yet we subconsciously say it when we masquerade as something we were never meant to be, in order, to gain the appeal and approval of others.

 “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)

Do we really believe that we are God’s master-design; His finest work?

We are the design of perfection, created beforehand that we would walk in Christ Jesus. We contain His stamp of delight and approval.

We are lovingly marked by the signature of the greatest Artisan this world has ever known. He knows us intimately, and He calls us precious, beloved, daughter, friend, royal priest, holy and chosen.

We need to look back at the endorsement that God places upon us and not allow this world to stamp and squeeze us in its mold to find validation and approval when we already have it in the loving eyes of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We can only live with passion and purpose if we allow God to scrape, lift and peel back the layers of the masks we have been wearing.

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Psalm 139:14

The masquerade must stop!

Personal Reflection: 

Think through the following questions. 

  • How is God speaking to your heart right now?
  • How have you been portraying someone other than the one The Master Designer created?
  • What would it take for you to live true to the design God made you to be?  

Living with purpose and passion 

“In masking your greatest potential and passion,

you steal the reflection of Christ

from the world around, you.”

Linda Jane

Different by Design 

God created us to reflect His glory. When we cover up our unique differences we cover up God’s special and perfect design. There is only one you; and the world needs you to be the woman who God designed, so you can point the way to Christ.

It is God’s desire that each of us live fully out of our own potential, purpose and passions to reflect Christ to the world around us; and to be an encouragement to the body of Christ.

We veil our talents, creative skills and gifting from being used to its full potential, when we disguise our true-selves. As we live out of our God-given design we will live rich abundant lives that are free of people pleasing, posturing, and posing as something we are not. We become truth-tellers and obedient to Christ’s call for our lives.

Exhaustion, discouragement and discontentment can often set in when we continuously live as someone whom we were not made to be. A tremendous stress is placed on us when our heart longs for freedom; but we continue to hide and masquerade.

Is it possible that we cheat ourselves and others from knowing and receiving our true selves as God intended, when we hide behind our man-made disguises?

Christ calls us to freely give; but we cannot, if we are covering up what needs to be given – Ourselves!

Our masks cause us to live as if the lie is truth. In so doing we snuff out the voice of the Master who says: “You are Precious in my sight.” “You are the apple of my eye.” “You are the Beloved of God.” “I created you in my image. I gave my life for YOU!”

“Death is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive — the risk to be alive and express what we really are.”

Don Miguel Ruiz  

Unveiling the masks

The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is not just coming to maim us, trip us up; but to wipe us out. He is going straight for the juggler vein. The life-giving vein.

As woman of faith, designed by God; unveiling our masks means we must know who we are in Christ. These truth messages will set us free. The belt of truth will become our weapon against the enemy who seeks to steal our joy, rob us of pleasure in ministering out of our Christ-given gifts, paralyze us with fear, cast a shroud of shame and guilt over us; and keep us from bringing God the glory He demands and deserves.

As we gain confidence in knowing who God is, we will entrust our masks to Him, to lift and peel away. Throughout this process we will begin to have renewed confidence that God is the One who validates us. God is the One who gives us worth. God is the One who will lead and guide us in the right pathways to take. God is the One who does not treat us as our sins deserve. God is the One who calls us friend, the apple of his eye, precious in His sight and His beloved daughter.

As our confidence in God grows and we change the lies into truth messages, we will find that we no longer need to pose as someone we are not. A new joy comes in, embracing who we are in Christ Jesus and enables us to minister out of who God created us to be. Different by Design! 

“People cannot endorse who I am.

God gave me His stamp of approval and that is enough for me.

I am God’s Masterpiece!”

Linda Jane

Different by Design

“God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27 

 God created us in His image. God gave His life for each of us. God paid the highest price for us – because he knew our worth.  May we praise Him as we are fearfully and wonderfully made! 

“Who we are looking for is who is looking.”

 Francis of Assisi

Prayer: 

God, help me to hold out to the world the person you have created me to be. You have given to me passions. Help me to have the courage to let go of the masks so that I can again be that woman of passion.

May I learn to live freely in this world with no apologies of who you made me to be. You tell me there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus, so help me not to cover my mistakes, hide behind a mask of guilt and shame that you never  placed upon me.

You came that I might have life and experience it abundantly. When I live in hiding it is exhausting. It is living a lie before the world and it tells everyone I am ashamed of who God made me to be.

I am sorry God that I have felt shame for the woman you created me to be. Teach me how to embrace my talents, gifts and passions and hold them out for the world, so they can see Christ in me the hope of glory.  In Jesus Name ~ Amen 

Prayer scriptures taken from: (Romans 8:1; John 10:10; Proverbs 29:25; Genesis 1:27)

Nobody brings to your team, your ministry, your home, your church or this world the set of skills, talents or gifts you have. You are not a clone of anyone else on this earth. God designed you, just the way you are for a special purpose and for His great pleasure! 

Linda Jane

Different By Design

Photography by Linda Jane Dingeldein

As no two roses are alike, we are not a clone of anyone else!

Take pleasure in being the person whom God created you to be.

May you be the fragrance of Christ to the world around you.

Photo’s taken at the Hong Kong Flowers Market.

 

 

Knowing God is Enough In The Hard Places of Life

God is Enough 

During a recent visit to Hong Kong my husband Joel and I attended an English-speaking Chinese church where two years prior we had spent a short season of ministry.

As we walked through the church doors, we immediately felt welcomed by the love of this sweet assembly of Chinese believers.

One particularly welcoming friend was Ruth. As I write this I can still hear the lilt of joy in her voice and feel the warm embrace of Ruth’s hug. It was this Sunday that I would begin to hear the beginning of Ruth’s story. Later I would email her and begin to connect-the-dots of a small part of Ruth’s life and on-going legacy.

Ruth had been raised in a Christian home and was brought to church at a very young age.

In the eighth grade, Ruth committed herself to Jesus. Later her university years would take her to Washington and afterwards back to Hong Kong to work at a local TV station. Along with her work at TVB, she became a disc jockey for Hong Kong Commercial Radio.

During her time with Commercial Radio, Ruth was asked to participate in singing for an album that the radio station was producing. In doing so, her songs became hits and landed her in signing with a record label.

“Singing has always been a way for expressing myself, so I never made it a career. Instead it has always been a major interest.” Ruth states.

After some years of working in the radio field, Ruth Chen was called to help a Christian organization; Association of Christian Musicians (ACM). It was ACM’s desire that Ruth help them to start, promote, sing and produce contemporary Cantonese Christian songs that would later became some of the most popular songs for local churches and fellowships. 

At this time in Ruth’s life, anyone would say that she had it all! Yet deep inside for Ruth, she found that something was lacking. As she faced a season of depression she knew that something was missing in her life.

She had Christ in her life; but she was still left wanting more – to feel fulfilled, validated and satisfied.

Is God enough?

It was during this time that Ruth felt God asking her, “Am I not enough for you?”

It was in answering this probing spiritual question that Ruth was able to find consolation and peace from her depression. Today Ruth praises God that He healed her of this dark season of depression.

After the birth of her son, Ruth wanted to work from home. Using her musical gifting she began to teach singing from her home studio. God richly blessed this career as many famous singers both locally, and throughout Asia came to Ruth for training. She continues this career even today.

Another difficult season came unannounced in Ruth’s life when in 2006 she was faced with the hard diagnosis of breast cancer. As she courageously went through all the usual treatments of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, she felt that God’s love was so tangible towards her.

The Immensity of God’s Love

The immensity of God’s love caused Ruth to do what she does best, write and sing of God’s greatness! Ruth released a gospel album entitle; Recovered, which gives hope to those struggling through physical pain. The release of Recovered, opened new doors for Ruth to travel to different countries to share her testimony both verbally and musically.  

During her years of travel, Ruth came to the realization that there is an invisible illness that needs special attention. To her, this illness is even worse than cancer. She notes that this illness is deeply evident even within the local church and because of this she released her second album, Embrace, dedicated to all who are facing the emotional struggle of depression.

Ruth continues to tour and share her spoken testimony and songs wherever God directs her.

The songs from her album Embrace, were written from Ruth’s personal experience to let people know that recovery from depression is a long, difficult process; but there is always hope from God.

The Voice of Authenticity

During the Sunday morning service that we recently attended, Ruth shared with vulnerable authenticity of her struggles with depression and then sang Today I Can’t Get Up, from her Album Embrace.

As I listened to the delicate, rich beauty of Ruth’s voice my heart identified and resonated deeply with her message; as I too have gone through seasons of dark depression.

Recently I had been personally pondering the very same question that Ruth felt God was challenging her heart with. “Am I not enough for you?”

After the service I shared with Ruth that I had lived on the other end of the continuum. I had not grown up as a celebrity or a star. My giftedness was not front-lined, and I often stood in the shadows. Yet I too longed, for the praise and applause of those around me. I yearned for someone to look my way and see something of value and worth in me, but I kept coming up with a deep sense of lack and longing.

It made me realize that it doesn’t matter what side of the ocean we come from. As women we will continually find ourselves lacking if we do not allow God to ask us this one deeply pointed question; “Am I not enough for you?”

Ruth and I are two different women, coming from two different walks of life, yet we both long to be enough. But Christ is not asking that we find our value in ourselves, in others praise, or in what we do; but in Him alone.

Is Christ enough to fill the void in your heart? A heart filled with longing. A heart that yearns to be thought of as someone of value and worth? Are His words enough? Words that call you His Beloved Daughter. Precious. The apple of His eye. Chosen. Adopted. Redeemed.

Loved in the Broken Places of Life

These are all words of belonging. Words that show that Christ has sought us out and He wants us, and loves us unconditionally.  Christ comes toward us, even in the broken, shattered places of our lives, and He looks at us with His tender eyes filled with love. A love that does not need to be earned; because Christ’s love is free, full and satisfying.

As we step out and learn to know ourselves, we will begin to discover that none of this is about us. Knowing ourselves is all about growing in closer intimacy with Jesus Christ. Through our relationship with Jesus Christ we will learn to embrace the person He has created us to be.

Jesus Christ looks at us with eyes of love. Because of the depth of His love for us, He laid down His life freely for us.

As women we can live out of our true design with freedom; because Jesus Christ created us with value, purpose and uniquely Different by His Design.

All of this was done so that our lives would reflect His radiant glory to the world around us!

Personal Reflection:

  • Are there areas in your life that you have felt that God was not been enough for you? Stop right now and ask God to be all that you need in these difficult areas of your life.
  • As you continue to learn to know your unique God-designed self, what is one way that you can grow in deeper intimacy with God this week?

Prayer:

God, you are the light of the world. Help me to remember this when I feel like I am walking in a very dark place of discouragement, despair and depression.

Teach me to put my trust in You so that I will not fear these times of darkness and confusion.

God, help me not to mask what I feel but enable me to call on you when I feel troubled. I know that you will always rescue me. Help me to cast all my anxieties upon you God, knowing that you care deeply for me.

God, thank you that you go before me and will always be with me. You will never leave or forsake me. I do not need to be afraid or discouraged. You will always deliver me from all my troubles. Amen

*The above prayer is taken from the following scriptures.  (John 8:12; John 12:36; Psalm 50:15; Deuteronomy 31:8; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Psalm  43:17)

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.”

Psalm 40:1-3 (NLT)

 

*submitted with permission from Ruth Chen’s album Embrace

Today I can’t get up

今天我起不了床

I cannot get out of bed today

今天我看不見光

Today, I can’t see the light

那黑洞已吞沒了我

I’ve been swallowed up by that dark pit

今天我看不到祢

I can’t see You today

今天我沒有力氣

I’ve lost all my strength

快樂已把我放棄

Happiness has forsaken me

祢在哪𥚃?

Where are You?

沒力氣找袮

I’ve lost my strength to find You

忘記了我,是嗎?

Have you forgotten me?

不喜歡自己

I don’t like myself

不想呼吸

I don’t want even want to breathe

祢在哪裡?

Where are You?

今天我起不了床

I cannot get out of bed today

今天我還是看不見光

I still can’t see the light today

但那黑洞沒有吞沒我

But the dark pit did not swallowed me whole

今天我感覺到袮

I can feel Your presence today

袮開始給我力氣

You have begun to give me strength

絕望已把我離棄

Despair has left me

祢就在這𥚃

You are right here with me

袮沒有放棄

You have not given up on me

從來沒有忘記

You have never forgotten me

我不能逃避

I can’t run from you

袮就住我心裡

You live inside of me

袮跟我永遠不分離

We will never separate

祢是我的唯一

You are the only One for me

我只能依靠袮

All I can do is to depend on You

 

Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design celebrates the women at Hong Kongs Flower Market who arrange and showcase works of fragrant beauty.