My hands… my past…

I thought I had left everything behind when I arrived in the UK at age 30 – a young bride. All I brought along was a small suitcase of clothes, a box of books and some wedding presents. I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t care. I was starting again with Derek.

Now, after 30 years in the UK, 6 years in Portugal, I can say that we don’t ever leave everything behind. Memories still nip at our heels. The genetic code we inherited. Recently, my hands keep reminding me of someone from the past who used their hands for harm. Their hands and mine look identical. I want to hide mine away.

But then I remember, my ‘inherited’ hands come with MY heart. I can choose to use them for good. I can choose to undo harm. And as I do, I redeem my past.


Photo by Tiana:

To begin again…

I was 27 and didn’t know how to cope. I thought my life should revolve around pleasing others, but I was never good enough. I could never be enough. Finally I had a breakdown. Sure, I acknowledged that God was all-loving. I agreed that he had created me unique and beautiful, but I didn’t know how to live it.

All pretending stopped as I lay there shivering on my bed. I could no longer be strong, brave, or even good. It was just me and God, and to my astonishment, he still loved me. And he came to me, just as he has come to millions of others, “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners” (Isaiah 63:1). I would live again.

Six months later I went back to work, and it took another three years to recover, but, I finally knew who I was – BELOVED.



He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love,” when we feel alone.

He says, “My word is a lamp to your feet,” when we get confused.

He says, “Do not be afraid,” when life overwhelms.

Because, in every problem, God will ALWAYS fulfill his promise.

Hope in hopelessness

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.