In our distress, he too is distressed. In our grief, he also grieves. In our confusion, he calls to us. He waits for us, where we left him last.
There is another side to what we are experiencing now. For when we stop, we begin to see. When we are silent, we begin to hear. We begin to notice what other people feel. Stopping is just as much living, as running our marathons.
- “Jesus stopped and called [two blind men]. ‘What do you want me to do for you?'” (Matthew 20:32) He saw their pain and dared to care.
- “Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him.’ So they called to the blind man, ‘Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.'” (Mark 10:49) He enabled others to do the same.
In our lockdowns, personal and social, we can follow Jesus’ example. We can stop. And we don’t have to be afraid, for he wants us to see.
On Unclipped Wings goes deep into the heart of what it means to be free. Can the manipulation of others, their forcefulness and control, imprison us and tear away our freewill? Or can our hearts still beat with passion and joy?
This true story demonstrates that, no matter the circumstance, we always have a choice, we can always relate with God. No person, no society, no situation can stop us.
On Unclipped Wings is a testimony written in third-person about a young woman called Toma. Through her griefs she finds that God is true. And, even though her circumstances take a long time to change, she learns that she is no longer a victim, or even a survivor. She finds out that in God she can thrive.
Available on Amazon as a paperback or e-book. Here is a link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Eva-Leaf/e/B07ZMJXL8R?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1572790644&sr=1-1
A few days ago I was formatting my testimony, getting it ready for possible self-publication. But, instead of pushing the SAVE button, I pressed PUBLISH by mistake. Oh, the panic, I wasn’t ready. I don’t mean the manuscript is unfinished. That was done years ago. I’m talking about my heart.
Yet, there are times when God lets these mistakes happen, because he knows that we will delay. He knows that we will sit there, and for me that meant wanting to get properly publishing, instead of doing it myself. But there is a verse that deeply encourages me, “‘Do I bring to the moment of birth and not give delivery?’ says the LORD. ‘Do I close up the womb when I bring to delivery?’ says your God. ‘Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her…'” (Isaiah 66:9-10)
So, REJOICE WITH ME! My story is unexpectedly born, and it is now ready for you to read.
I have waited four long years for the release of my memoir. At first I gave power to the person who threatened it with legal action if I published it traditionally. But two months ago, a new realization dawned on me. God is bigger than any situation. He is stronger. He is good. And, HE is the one in control.
I don’t know why it has taken me this long to understand, but now I have a different perspective: “We wait in hope for the Lord, for he is our help and shield.” (Psalm 33:20) No more do I hope for that person to change their mind, instead I hope in God. HE is the one in charge. HE will do what is right, and HE will do it at the right time.
This spring I witnessed a river in flood. The ground shook. The noise of crashing water filled the air. Yet one HUGE boulder stood up above the flood. Sure, it had been worn smooth with centuries of troubles, but it stood its ground. It refused to budge.
I gazed at this rock and thought, “This is life. We get battered and overwhelmed, but we can still stand strong.” For, “When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down… Because I am God, your personal God… your Saviour.” (Isaiah 43:2-3) God holds us tight.
He won’t let us get swept away. He won’t let any of those troubles intimidate us. In him we can stand. In him we are safe, no matter the size of flood.
We spent this Easter walking the Yorkshire Dales and everywhere we looked, we saw sheep. But while the ewes walked sensibly from place to place, the lambs leapt about like crazy jumping beans. And those lambs kept losing their mothers, baaing with agony as they tried to reconnect.
I laughed at their antics, but then a verse came to mind: “We all, like sheep have gone astray, and each of us has turned to our own way…” (Isaiah 53:6) How often I forget about Jesus in the excitement of life, and gambol into lostness.
Jesus understands. He goes into the fields. “He calls his own sheep and leads them out.” (John 10:3) We might lose Jesus, but he always calls us back.
In January I gave a talk on hope. I struggled in the preparation and went to Derek for help. He asked me one question: “What is the opposite of hope?”
“It’s hopelessness,” I said, and suddenly I identified. I understood. Hopelessness is a deep dejection that nothing will improve, a choking fear that it will always be the same, a desperate feeling of no remedy or cure…
I am still thinking about hope, telling others, and applying it to my life. I trust this ‘Hope Hand’ blesses you as it has blessed me.
- You get to sleep – no more 1am chats about life.
- You lose weight – no more watching films together and snacking on tortilla chips.
- You have time alone with your partner – no more interruptions.
- You can do what YOU want every Saturday – no more taking them to lessons or launching water rockets in a field.
- You face yourself – no more avoiding the question, “Who am I really?”
- You encounter hope – no more little hands to hold. You can hold onto God.
Recently I scanned some illustrations I have been drawing, but the scans turned out awful. “What’s wrong with this machine?” I cried out. “They really do build some poor quality stuff!”
I blamed my paint and watercolor paper as well. I blamed my husband for not giving me wise advice. I even blamed God for encouraging me to go down this path, only to lead me into failure.
Then I remember a comment someone made: “When I was convinced that I was right, of course I thought everyone was wrong. But then one day it occurred to me, maybe I was at fault…”
I took the hit and looked at my life. “God, what am I missing here?”
It suddenly came to me. My illustrations reflected my heart. I felt like a fraud out there in the art world. I felt I had no right to illustrate a book. And how dare I go waltzing in without any training and think I could succeed.
“Boldness,” I felt God saying. “Boldness! I gave you this gift, and don’t downplay it. Use bright colors, strong lines, and make a splash!”
I did, and an amazing thing happened. The scanner worked!