A conversation over breakfast with my parents.
Mom: In all your pictures with Tobias, your face is always radiating gladness and peace. I never see this in other couples.
Later that day, a longtime-no-contact friend shared with me about her marriage.
She: Honestly, when I first heard you married in Germany, I assumed that you were lost and your marriage wouldn’t last long. But look at you, happy!
Me and my husband often fight over simple things. We yell at each other. Yesterday he slapped me in the face, and I hit him back. Tonight I locked myself in the bedroom. Every time we fight, he says he wants a divorce. I now feel numb. A christian man is not a guarantee for a good husband.
::: RELIGIOUS HYPOCRISY
I remembered in the past,
being an ‘asleep at the wheel’ christian,
I was spiritually awake but not awake.
In life, at the workplace, in the household,
I was physically-sophistically operating,
but mentally I had completely checked out.
When things became routine and dull,
I lived perpetually in disengagement.
I didn’t sense any kind of vitality in my connection with Jesus,
I became so self-absorbed, so tuned-out,
apathic, numb, and unaware.
I made people around me suffer,
I became a relational wrecking ball in their lives.
A religious hypocrisy.
I played with the grace card.
A deep contradiction of faith and decision,
between what I say I believe and how I actually live.
Everybody can see it but me.
It’s a tragedy,
I was drawn in on myself,
I was withering as a human being.
::: RELIGIOUS PRIDE
A conversation with my dad, while watching the Indonesian news.
Dad: I started attending some churches with your mom. I went to “A”, to “B”, to “C”. Big churches, so crowded and they have cool music bands.
Dad: Church is not the place to talk bad of other groups. But one church I attended talked about politics, and think they’re better than people outside their church and religion. I felt uncomfortable.
Sometimes we’re engaging in sabotage,
we hate some groups of people,
we think that the world is much better off without them existing,
we’re physically there with them,
but verbally ensuring them,
that they won’t have hope and grace.
We hold ill will, grudges and bitter talk.
A religious pride.
Sometimes when we feel angry,
when our comfort corner gets taken away,
we tend to fixate on what our enemies did to us,
or to the people we care about,
we reduce their humanity to a trait.
we wish those who offended us,
to be destroyed with their wrongdoing.
Then, when God is compassionate,
gracious and abounding in loving-kindness towards our enemy,
who doesn’t deserve it,
it feels like a strong punch to our face.
looks as if offering love and forgiveness as a sign of weakness,
instead of spiritual strength.
::: THE SCANDAL OF GRACE
This is the scandal
of the liberality of God’s grace and mercy.
The wideness in His mercy
to us but also to the person we despise.
This is the fundamental issue
of the gospel.
Forgiveness for those who wronged us.
That’s what God is doing for us and for them at the cross.
This is the announcement,
in the Kingdom of God.
This is the new way of living,
in God’s world that has arrived.
Fully reconciled to God and to other people.
The fact is we were all enemies of God.
God moved towards us with grace.
is the only place,
that stops all the spiral of people wronging each other.
We lived differently,
not because we think we’re better,
but because we’ve been shown grace and compassion,
because we’ve been treated with God’s loving-kindness.
Our friends seldom show us our flaws,
because they ignore it.
But enemies hold a mirror to us,
show us our brokenness.
Could it be people who offended us,
who wronged us,
is in our life precisely,
because God is inviting us
into the deeper experience of His grace.
Could it be?
::: WAKE UP TO THE GRACE
I’m not in the business of trying to get you to be religious.
Because even for myself,
I didn’t do anything to wake up spiritually,
I have only thrown my hands up,
and God meets me with His grace.
I am still learning too.
“Jesus went on to say, ‘I say this to you who are listening carefully to me: Love the people who want to hurt you. Do good things to people that hate you. Say good things to people that say bad things against you. Pray for people who give you pain.” Luke 6:27-28 EASY
“Do the good things for other people that you would want them to do for you. Do you only love people who love you? God will not praise you just for doing that. Even bad people love those people who love them. Do you only do good things to people that do good things to you? God will not praise you just for doing that. Even bad people do the same thing. Do you lend things only to people that will give your things back to you? Will God praise you for doing that? Even bad people lend things to other people when they believe that they will get them back again.” Luke 6:31-34 EASY
“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:10-11 NLT
::: UPDATE ABOUT ME
1 Year 10 Months Post Biopsy
Midline Pontine Glioblastoma/DIPG Grade IV
My MRI results showed that the tumour is stable! It is the same size as in the last MRI from December before re-irradiation, but it takes up less contrast, which indicates less blood supply to tumour cells. Probably an effect of Avastin.
Today I received the 4th round of avastin. Still no news from our health insurance regarding our appeal to their rejection to cover the costs for this drug.
My parents flew back to Indonesia on Monday. I was very happy for the past three weeks. We did many trips to surrounding sights and I could show them how happy I live in Germany with my husband who loves me.
Thanks for keeping me in your prayers 🙏
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