Moreover, I will give you a new heart

and put a new spirit within you . . .

—Ezekiel 36:26

Ek sal julle ‘n nuwe hart 

en ‘n nuwe gees gee . . .

—Esegiël 36:26

It was just last week that I was marveling at how the Lord had healed me from a most horrendous “wound of the heart” that had been festering for years. Most of you are also nursing deep sores or dealing with painful scarring from your past: some from your childhood, others from your difficult marriage. Some of you, I know, are seeking help from psychology methods that may seem to work, but in the end will result in being healed superficially.

Dit was net verlede week wat ek my verwonder het hoe die Here my genees het van ‘n verskriklike “wond van die hart” wat vir jare gesweer het. Meeste van julle verpleeg diep sere of reken af met pynlike littekens uit jou verlede: sommige van jou kinderjare, ander uit jou moeilike huwelik. Sommige van julle, weet ek, soek hulp uit sielkunde metodes wat blyk om te werk, maar aan die einde sal die genesing oppervlakkig wees.

“They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ but there is no peace” (Jeremiah 8:11).

“Hulle het ‘n goedkoop raat vir die wonde van my volk. Hulle sê net: “Alles is reg! Alles is reg!” Maar niks is reg nie” (Jeremia 8:11).

Though I never tried any sort of psychology or their methods, I did try in vain to get help from someone other than the Lord, so my pain and sores oozed for many, many years—it was tragic—tragic because I could have gone to the Lord when they were fresh and been completely healed. Even now I wonder why I waited to take it to the Great Physician. Dear one, have you been suffering with something because you have neglected to take it to the One who can heal you from the inside out?

Alhoewel ek nooit enige soort sielkunde of hulle metodes probeer het nie, het ek tevergeefs probeer om iemand anders as die Here te kry om hulp vandaan te kry, so my pyn en sere het vir jare gesyfer, baie jare—dit was tragedies—tragedies omdat ek na die Here toe kon gegaan het toe hulle vars was en heeltemal genees was. Selfs nou wonder ek hoekom ek gewag het om dit na die Groot Geneesheer toe te neem. Liewe een, ly jy omdat jy versuim het om dit na die Een toe te neem wat jou van binne af buite kon genees?

Personally, my pain stemmed from not being accepted by my husband’s family since the day that we married; I actually had never even met them when we eloped. When he telephoned after the ceremony, my excitement grew to dread as I could hear him consoling his mom; then he put me on the phone and all she did was cry. His father and brother also “welcomed” me to the family about the same way minus the tears. 

Persoonlik, het my pyn ontstaan omdat ek nie deur my man se familie aanvaar was van die dag wat ons getroud is nie; ek het hulle eintlik nooit ontmoet toe ons weggeloop het nie. Toe hy hulle geskakel het na die seremonie, het my opgewondenheid gegroei na vrees omdat ek kon hoor hoe hy sy ma troos; toe sit hy my op die telefoon en al wat sy gedoen het was huil. Sy vader en broer het my ook in die familie “verwelkom” op dieslefe manier  minus die trane.

The first time I met his family it was almost a year later when I was already pregnant with our first son. Though they tried to be nice . . . well, we all can sense when we are not accepted or wanted. It didn’t take long to hear that they had wanted my husband to marry someone else, but more importantly to them, they wanted him to finish college first before settling down. There were many other issues they had, all of them were valid; nevertheless, the rejection and lack of acceptance played a major role in our marriage troubles and woes.

Die eerste keer wat ek sy familie ontmoet het was amper ‘n jaar later toe ek alreeds swanger was met ons eerste seun. Alhoewel hulle probeer het om vriendelik te wees . . . wel, ons kan almal aanvoel wanneer ons nie aanvaar of wanneer ons ongewens is. Dit het nie lank geneem om te hoor dat hulle wou gehad het dat my man met iemand anders moes trou nie, maar meer belangrik vir hulle, hulle wou gehad het dat hy Kollege moes voltooi voordat hy sig vestig. Daar was baie ander geskille wat hulle gehad het, almal van hulle was geldig ; nietemin, die verwerping en tekort aan aanvaarding het ‘n groot rol in ons huwelik moeilikhede en smart.   

To add to the dilemma, we lived hours away by plane, which only helped to keep the obvious rejection to telephone calls and infrequent visits, but it also served as a way to keep me from gaining that place of acceptance since we did live so far away from each other.

Om by die dilemma te voeg, het ons ure ver gebly per vliegtuig wat net gehelp het om die klaarblyklike verwerping van telefoon oproepe en ongereelde besoeke te hou, maar dit het ook gedien as ‘n manier om my weg te hou om daardie plek van aanvaarding te win aangesien ons so ver van mekaar af weg gebly het.

In my ignorance and stupidity (for over twenty years) I had tried in vain to get help from my husband to close the gap with his family. Since I had helped him gain a great relationship with my family (who initially didn’t accept him), I figured that he should do the same for me. Yet I never realized the principle until I took it to Him, when He showed me, “They for their part may turn to you, but as for you, you must not turn to them . . .” to which the Lord then led me to add “for help or healing” (Jeremiah 15:19). Even with this verse, I did not get it at first.

In my onkunde en onnoselheid (vir meer as twintig jaar) het ek tevergeefs probeer om hulp van my man af te kry om die gaping met sy familie toe te maak. Aangesien ek hom gehelp het om ‘n goeie verhouding met my familie te koester (wie hom nie in die begin aanvaar het nie), het ek gedink dat hy dieselfde vir my sou doen. Tog ek het nooit daardie  beginsel besef totdat ek dit na Hom toe geneem het nie, toe Hy my gewys het, “ Die mense moet jóú volg, nie jy vir hulle nie . . .” tot wat die Here my toe gelei het om by te voeg “om hulp of genesing” (Jeremia 15:19). Selfs met hierdie vers, het ek dit nie in die begin gesnap nie. 

By going to my husband for comfort rather than the Lord all those years, instead of help, or sympathy, or support, I got (time after time after time) insults added to the injury. He blamed the problem on me and justified his family’s opinion of me. I truly believed what my husband said about me until I took it to the Lord and asked if it was true. The Lord immediately opened my eyes and asked me if I was able to get along with people. As I pondered this, the Lord then asked me who I had failed to get along with (other than my in-laws) and I was not able to think of even one other person who I was unable to win over. It was then that He told me that this issue was on their end, not mine, but it still hurt. I know that you know what I mean. 

Deur na my man toe te gaan vir troos eerder as die Here al daardie jare, in plaas van hulp, of simpatie, of ondersteuning, het ek (keer op keer) beledigings wat by die beserings gevoeg was gekry. Hy het die probleem op my blameer en sy familie se opinie oor my regverdig. Ek het werklik geglo wat my man oor my gesê het totdat ek dit na die Here toe geneem het en gevra of dit waar was. Die Here het onmiddellik my oë oop gemaak en my gevra of ek in staat was om met mense oor die weg te kom. Soos wat ek daaroor nagedink het, het die Here my toe gevra wie ek gefaal het om mee oor die weg te kom (anders as my skoonouers) en ek was nie in staat om te dink aan selfs een ander persoon wie ek nie in staat was om oor te haal nie. Dit was toe dat Hy my vertel het dat hierdie probleem aan hulle end was, nie myne nie, maar dit het nog steeds seergemaak. Ek weet jy weet wat ek bedoel.

Looking back, today I am totally baffled that I failed to understand that no one could help me gain their acceptance or to get a better relationship with them. And there was no one who could heal my past hurts: not me, not therapy, not even gaining their approval would heal the deep wounds. It was the moment I’d hurt enough that I finally ran to God, my Father, in my suffering. Are you there yet my love? Even if you can bear a bit more, why suffer when you can begin to heal right now?

Deur terug te kyk, vandag is ek totaal stom geslaan dat ek gefaal het om te verstaan dat niemand my kon help om hulle aanvaarding te win nie of om ‘n beter verhouding met hulle te bekom nie. En daar was niemand wat my seerkry uit die verlede kon genees nie: nie ek nie, nie terapie, nie eens om hulle aanvaarding te win kon die diep wonde genees nie. Dit was die oomblik toe ek genoeg seergekry het dat ek finaal na God toe gehardloop het, my Vader, in my lyding. Is jy al daar my liefling? Selfs al kan jy ‘n bietjie meer verduur, hoekom ly wanneer jy nou dadelik kan begin genees?    

To begin the healing process God opened my eyes to such incredible wisdom about my situation. “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5). First, God reminded me that my husband and I were very different people with different personalities. I had expected him to build me up in his family’s eyes as I had done for him with my family. Seems logical, but once I asked, once I came to Him for help, He showed me that in my family I am the peacemaker and am sought after to smooth things over; my husband was not like that (very few men are). So all those years of assuming he could or should help was foolish.

Om die genesings proses te begin het God my oë oopgemaak vir sulke ongelooflike wysheid oor my situasie. “ As een van julle wysheid kortkom moet hy dit van God bid, en Hy sal dit aan hom gee, want God gee aan almal sonder voorbehoud en sonder verwyt” (Jakobus 1:5). Eerstens, het God my herinner dat my man en ek baie verskillende mense was met verskillende persoonlikhede. Ek het van hom verwag om my op te bou in sy familie se oë soos wat ek vir hom gedoen het in my familie. Klink logies maar toe ek gevra het, toe ek na Hom toe gekom het om hulp, het Hy my gewys dat in my familie is ek die vredemaker en ek word gesog om dinge glad te maak; my man was nie so nie (baie min mans is). So al daardie jare van aanneem dat hy kon of moes help was dwaas.

Next, God revealed to me that it wasn’t only me that my in-laws disliked and didn’t accept—sadly, I woke up to the truth—they did not like or accept their own son (my husband at the time). So if they didn’t like or accept him, why would they like or accept me? Finally, God let me feel my husband’s pain of not having that acceptance with his own parents. He reminded me that I had been so incredibly loved by my parents and was beyond accepted—my family openly cherished me. So why did I expect more when my husband didn’t have this basic need fulfilled?

Volgende, het God aan my openbaar dat dit nie net ek was wie my skoonouers nie van gehou het nie en nie aanvaar het nie—droewig, het ek wakker geword vir die waarheid—hulle het nie van hulle eie seun gehou of hom aanvaar nie (my man destyds). So as hulle nie van hom gehou het of aanvaar het nie, hoekom sou hulle van my hou of aanvaar? Uiteindelik, het God my my man se pyn laat voel om nie daardie aanvaarding met sy eie ouers te hê nie. Hy het my herinner dat ek so ongelooflik deur my ouers bemin was en was bo alles aanvaar—my familie het my openlik gekoester. So hoekom het ek meer verwag wanneer my man nie sy basiese behoefte vervul gehad het nie?

Yet we all do, don’t we? We want it all. And that sort of selfishness and self-centeredness, for years, could have led to a slippery slope. Often while in my misery, it would trigger the thoughts of all those other guys that I had turned down when they asked me to marry them and how their family thought I was so wonderful. My goodness—so foolish! This kind of looking back to the “what ifs” just added to the pain and suffering, and as I said could have led me to acting on those feelings. It’s only by the grace of God I didn’t. These, my precious, are those thoughts that should be immediately cast down as you run to Him. However, it is clear that the Lord used this ongoing misery, along with every other suffering in my life, as His way of refining me and letting me know Him more intimately, to share with you today. Yes, all things did work out for good. Today I am free of pain and suffering with an awesome testimony! Let me continue . . .

Tog, ons doen almal, doen ons nie? Ons wil alles hê. En daardie soort selfsug en selfgerigtigheid, vir jare kon gelei het na ‘n glyvlak. Dikwels terwyl ek in my ellende was, het dit die gedagtes van al daardie ouens wat my gevra het om met my te trou en hoe hulle familie gedink het ek was wonderlik, aanleiding gegee. My genade—so dwaaslik! Hierdie soort terugblik na daardie “wat as” het net bygevoeg tot die pyn en lyding, en soos ek gesê het dit kon gelei het dat ek op daardie gevoelens reageer het. Dit is alleenlik deur die genade van God dat ek dit nie gedoen het nie. Hierdie, my kosbares, is daardie gedagtes wat onmiddellik vernietig moet word soos wat jy na Hom toe hardloop. Nietemin, is dit duidelik dat die Here hierdie voortdurende ellende, saam met elke ander lyding in my lewe gebruik, as Sy manier om my te verfyn en om Hom meer intiem te leer ken, om met jou vandag te deel. Ja, alles het teen goede uitgewerk. Vandag is ek vry van pyn en lyding met ‘n ongelooflike getuienis! Laat ek voortgaan .     

With the wisdom and God’s viewpoint replacing my own, my healing was well on its way. But before I tell you what God told me to do, you must promise to not try this “method” in your own situation (even if it’s very similar to mine) because what the Lord wants you to do is to come to Him to get your own prescription, not use mine. This is why God allows us to go through things, so that we can begin to hear Him and fellowship with Him. Agreed?

Met die wysheid en God se standpunt wat my eie vervang het, was my genesing wel op pad. Maar voor ek jou vertel wat God vir my gesê het om te doen, moet jy belowe om nie hierdie “metode” in jou eie situasie te probeer nie (selfs as dit eenders as myne is) omdat wat die Here wil hê jy moet doen is om na Hom toe te gaan met jou eie voorskrif, en nie myne gebruik nie. Dit is hoekom God ons toelaat om deur dinge te gaan, sodat ons Hom begin hoor en met Hom fellowship. Akkoord? 

What the Lord told me to do seemed so simple, too simple—He simply told me to write a short note to my mother-in-law and one to my father-in-law each week.

Wat die Here my vertel het om te doen het so eenvoudig gelyk, te eenvoudig—Hy het my eenvoudig vertel om elke week  ‘n kort nota aan my skoonma en skoonpa  te skryf. 

The first time I sat down to write I stopped and cringed, remembering how I had “tried” that to help them get to know me; only to be scolded by my husband when his mom called him complaining that I’d written to brag about my children. I was stunned, since I’d basically written the same letter to my own parents who were thrilled. So when I stopped to ask Him, He reminded me that my parents adored me, and in turn, they adored my children. Telling them every wonderful thing that they each did, therefore, was a delight. 

Die eerste keer wat ek gesit en skryf het het ek gesidder, en onthou hoe ek “probeer” het om hulle te help om my te leer ken; net om uitgeskel te word deur my man toe sy ma hom geskakel het en gekla het dat ek geskryf het om oor my kinders te spog. Ek was verstom, aangesien ek basies dieselfde brief aan myieie ouers geskryf het en hulle was verheug. So toe ek stop om Hom te vra, het Hy my herinner dat my ouers my adoreer het, en op hulle beurt, het hulle my kinders adoreer. En om hulle elke wonderlike ding te vertel wat hulle gedoen het, was ‘n genot.   

So, dear one, here is another point in your healing: be sure to tell the Lord any apprehensions that you have; He is always ready with more wisdom and understanding when our hearts are open. When fear is standing in our way, again, don’t tell others your concerns—take them each to the Lord so He can rid you of your fears, helping you to do what you sensed He’s asked.

So, liewe een, hier is nog ‘n punt in jou genesing: wees seker om vir die Here te vertel van enige besorgdheid wat jy het; Hy is altyd gereed met meer wysheid en verstandhouding wanneer ons harte oop is. Wanneer vrees in ons pad staan, weer, moet nie ander vertel van jou bekommernisse nie—neem elke  een na die Here toe sodat Hy jou kan bevry van jou vrese, en jou help om te doen wat jy aangevoel het Hy gevra het.  

For me, the Lord remedied this uneasiness of not “bragging,” by showing me a vision of the tiny note cards I had in my drawer. He said that by using something very small, that it would easily not allow for much writing at all. All He said I was to do is to “keep in touch.” So I wrote my first two notes, put them in the mail and felt better. And so I wouldn’t have to think about it, He led me to set up a notification on my computer so that every Wednesday I would write without fail. Another immediate change in me was that I finally felt no need to speak to my husband about the plan. This was a huge change. I realized, after going to Him again and again, that this was between the Lord and me. What a turning point, not to feel I needed to mention when I discovered something that I knew would change my life. I’d finally realized that to share the Lord’s plan with anyone else would often result in others mocking the simple idea or tell me what I should do instead.

Vir my, het die Here hierdie ongemaklikheid om nie te “spog” nie genees deur my ‘n visioen te wys van die klein nota kaartjies wat ek in my laai het. Hy het gesê dat deur iets baie klein te gebruik, dat dit maklik sal toelaat vir nie baie skryfwerk nie. Al wat Hy gesê het om te doen was om “in verbinding te bly.” So ek het my eerste paar notas geskryf, in die pos gesit en beter gevoel. En sodat ek nie daaraan hoef te dink nie, het Hy my gelei om ‘n aankondidging op my rekenaar te sit sodat ek elke Woensdag sonder faal sou skryf. Nog ‘n onmiddelike verandering in my was dat ek uiteindelik nie nodig gehad om met my man te praat oor die plan nie. Dit was ‘n groot verandering, ek het besef, nadat ek oor en oor na Hom toe gegaan het, dat dit tussen die Here en ek was. Wat ‘n keerpunt, om nie te voel dat ek nodig het om te noem wanneer ek iets ontdek het wat ek geweet het die res van my lewe sou verander. Ek het finaal besef dat om die Here se plan te deel met enige iemand anders sou altyd veroorsaak dat ander die eenvoudige idee sal spot of my vertel wat ek in plaas daarvan moet doen.   

So for almost two years, each week, I wrote my little note cards. The results began just a few weeks later when my mother-in-law began writing in return; however, she would not send them directly to me, but would address them to our family. This, at first, made my husband wonder why she was writing instead of calling like she’d always done, but again I had finally learned, too, about the blessings of that quiet spirit in so many situations where I’d always said far too much instead of just remaining quiet.

So elke week, vir amper twee jaar, het ek my klein nota kaartjies geskryf. Die resultaat het net ‘n paar weke later begin toe my skoonma terug geskryf het; sy het hulle nie direk aan my geskryf nie, maar het hulle aan ons familie adresseer. Dit, in die begin, het my man laat wonder hoekom sy skryf eerder as om te skakel soos wat sy altyd gedoen het, maar weer het ek ook finaal geleer, oor die seëninge van daardie stil en sagmoedige gees in so baie situasies waar ek altyd te veel gesê het in plaas daarvan om net stil te bly.  

My father-in-law, on the other hand, never acknowledged my letters at all, which surprisingly was really fine with me. It didn’t matter what anyone else did at this point, what I knew was that this was God’s prescription for my healing—nothing more, nothing less. It wasn’t until my husband was visiting his dad that he saw my letter at the top of a stack of his mail and was a bit shocked when he handed him the letter from me, and his dad said, “Oh, she writes every week,” and put it down without opening or reading it. Once my husband got home he questioned me about it, to which I gave a very short response since the Lord told me to prepare an answer. When he asked why I hadn’t told him, I simply said, “Oh, because it was between them and me to gain a better relationship.” Not only was I healing, but also the Lord was giving me more of that “quiet spirit” that I longed to have since it was so precious in the sight of God, along with wisdom I’d learned but didn’t really know how to apply like from 1 Peter 3:13-15, “Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed and do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”

My skoonpa, aan die ander hand, het glad nie my briewe erken nie, wat verrassend reg was met my. Dit het nie saak gemaak wat enige iemand anders op hierdie punt gedoen het nie, wat ek geweet het was dat dit God se voorskrif was vir my genesing—niks meer nie, niks minder. Dit was nie tot my man sy vader besoek het dat hy my brief bo op die stapel van sy pos gesien het en was ‘n bietjie geskok toe hy vir hom die brief van my af oorhandig het, en sy vader het gesê, “O, sy skryf elke week,” en het dit neergesit sonder om dit oop te maak of te lees. Toe my man by die huis kom het hy my daaroor uitgevra, ek het ‘n baie kort reageer en eenvoudig gesê, “O, omdat dit tussen hulle en my was om ‘n beter verhouding te win.” Nie net was ek besig om te genees nie, maar die Here het ook vir my meer van daardie “stil gees” gegee waarna ek gehunker het aangesien dit so kosbaar is vir God, saam met wysheid wat ek geleer het maar ek nie geweet het hoe om dit toe te pas nie soos uit 1 Petrus 3:13-15, “Wie sal julle kwaad aandoen as julle beywer vir wat goed is? Maar selfs as julle sou ly omdat julle doen wat reg is, moet julle dit as ‘n voorreg beskou. Moenie vir mense bang wees of julle laat afskrik nie. In julle harte moet daar net heilige eerbed wees vir Christus die Here. Wees altyd gereed om ‘n antwoord te gee aan elkeen wat van julle ‘n verduideliking eis oor die hoop wat in julle lewe. Maar doen dit met beskeidenheid en met eerbied vir God.”

How many of you, precious ones, continually, as I did for so many years, share your heart and your pain with others only to add more pain and suffering, then often adding insults to your injuries? Once again, what He longs to do is be gracious to you, to help you, to heal you and to comfort you. Then, when we have spent time with Him, laying it all out, even concerns we have for following His prescription, our healing will begin. Then, just as important, we must hide, treasure and ponder these things in our hearts, rather than sharing them with others—giving us time to heal. “But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19).

Hoe baie van julle, kosbare mense, voortdurend, soos wat ek vir so baie jare gedoen het, deel julle hart en julle pyn met ander net om meer pyn en lyding te ervaar, en dan dikwels meer beledigings by jou beserings te voeg? Weereens, wat Hy begeer om te doen is om grasieus te wees vir jou, om jou te help, jou te genees en jou te troos. Dan, wanneer ons tyd met Hom spandeer het, dit alles uitgelê het, selfs bekommernisse wat ons het om Sy voorskrif te volg, sal ons genesing begin. Dan, net so belangrik, moet ons hierdie dinge in ons hart wegsteek, koester en oor hierdie dinge in ons hart dink, eerder as om hulle met ander te deel—en ons tyd gee om te genees. “Maria het alles wat gesê is, onthou en telkens weer by haarself daaroor nagedink” (Lukas 2:19). 

If we fail to keep these treasures hidden until our healing is complete, it can be compared to having a broken bone set, then having it re-broken by cruel words or mocking. Or having a gaping wound sewn up, only to have those delicately placed stitches torn apart. 

As ons faal om hierdie verborge skatte weggesteek te hou totdat ons genesing voltooi is, kan dit vergelyk word deur om ‘n gebreekte been te set, en dit dan weer te breek deur wrede woorde of ‘n gespottery. Of om ‘n gapende wond te hê wat vasgewerk is, net om daardie delikate steke uitmekaar te trek. 

Instead, learn from Mary, treasure and hide what the Lord tells you, hold it deep in your heart and ponder the truths often. And, once again, it will be the gentle and quiet spirit that wins out above all else, “But let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God” (1 Peter 3:4).

In plaas daarvan, leer by Maria, koester en steek weg wat die Here jou vertel, hou dit diep in jou hart en dink dikwels na oor die waarhede. En, weereens sal dit die stil en sagmoedige gees wees wat bo alles wen, “Nee, julle skoonheid moet dié van die innerlike mens wees: blywende beskeidenheid en kalmte van gees. Dit het by God groot waarde. 

One day my prescription of weekly note writing ended, it was the day after my husband walked in to our bedroom to announce he was headed to the attorney to divorce me. As it had done for almost three years, my computer notification came up to write to my in-laws. So I stopped to ask the Lord if I was to continue writing to them, to which He answered, “It is finished.” To my utter amazement, I realized at that moment that there was absolutely no more pain, no more sorrow. There was no open sore, nor was there even the tiniest scar from years and years of pain beyond hope!

Een dag het my voorskrif van weeklikse nota skryf geëindig, dit was die dag na my man in ons slaapkamer ingeloop het om aan te kondig dat hy na die prokureur se kantoor op pad was om van my te skei. Soos wat dit die afgelope drie jaar gedoen het het my rekenaar aankondiging opgekom om vir my skoonouers te skryf. Toe stop ek om die Here te vra of ek moet voort gaan om vir hulle te skryf, waarop Hy geantwoord het “Dit is klaar.” Tot my uiter verbasing, het ek op daardie oomblik besef daar was niks meer pyn, niks meer smart. Daar was geen oop seer, nog minder was daar slegs die kleinste litteken van jare en jare van pyn bokant hoop.

Having everything “work out for good” falls so short of my gratitude to the Lord. Hundreds of times since my divorce, I have thought about how easy it has been to not be emotionally tied to my in-laws since, now that I am no longer married to their son. Many of you, however, are close to your in-laws, and to lose them has become doubly hard. For you, dear one, come away from this chapter feeling how easy it would be if you were like me and not attached to the in-laws. Don’t rehearse or share with others how you miss them—falling into self-pity for your loss, which is very dangerous. Instead, realize that your cure, like mine, comes directly from seeking God, and also your Mighty and compassionate Physician, who has your perfect prescription written and waiting for you—if you would simply sit at His feet and ask. “Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him” (Isaiah 30:18). 

Om alles te hê wat “ten goede uitwerk” val so kort van my dankbaarheid aan die Here. Honderde kere tydens my egskeiding, het ek gedink hoe maklik dit was om nie emosioneel aan my skonoure gekoppel te wees nie aangesien, ek nie meer met hulle seun getroud is nie. Baie van julle, nietemin, is na aan julle skoonouers, en om hulle te verloor het dubbel so moeilik geword. Vir jou, liewe mens, kom weg van hierdie hoofstuk en voel hoe maklik dit sou wees as jy soos ek is en nie gekoppel aan die skoonouers nie. Moet nie herhaal of met ander deel hoe jy hulle mis nie—en in self-bejammering vir jou verlies val nie, wat baie gevaarlik is. In plaas daarvan, besef wat jou geneesmiddel is, soos myne, kom dit direk daaruit om God na te streef, en ook jou Magtige en medelydende Geneesheer, wie jou perfekte voorskrif geskrewe het en wat vir jou wag—as jy eenvoudig by Sy voete gaan sit en vra. “Tog is die HERE gretig om julle genadig te wees en wil Hy Hom oor julle ontferm: Die HERE is ‘n God wat reg laat geskied, en dit gaan goed met elkeen wat op Hom vertrou” (Jesaja 30:18),    

Now for the epilog: The title for this chapter was already on my notes when I had the most amazing thing happen. It has been more than sixteen months since my divorce was final when I got a letter from my ex-mother-in-law begging me to forgive her. She said that I would always be her daughter-in-law, and that she wanted us to begin writing to each other again. Have you ever noticed that it is not until we no longer are desperate for something (apart from desperate for the Lord and His love) that we finally get what we thought we could not live without? 

Nou vir die epiloog: Die titel vir hierdie hoofstuk was alreeds op my notas toe die mees ongelooflike ding gebeur het. Dit was meer as sestien maande sedert my egskeiding finaal was toe ek ‘n brief van my eks-skoonma gekry het en my gesmeek het om haar te vergewe. Sy het gesê dat ek altyd haar skoondogter sou wees, en dat sy wou hê dat ons weer vir  mekaar moes skryf. Het jy al agter gekom dat ons nie meer desperaat is vir iets nie (apart van om desperaat te wees vir die Here en Sy liefde) dat ons finaal kry wat ons gedink het ons nie sonder kan lewe nie?

Not knowing what to do about this letter, I went into my bedroom to talk to the Lord about what He wanted me to do. Ladies, that’s when I realized I was set-up (see chapter 8). Rather than writing back to her, the Lord told me to send my ex-husband an email asking him to handle this with his mom. Since forgiveness also means that we forget, I was shocked when my ex-husband wrote back with the same venomously cruel words I had experienced for years! Baffled, once again I retreated to my bedroom to seek the Lord for wisdom (and comfort this time) to know where I’d gone wrong. Lovingly, the Lord told me that, yes, indeed I was set up so that the pain of rejection was fresh so that I could easily write this chapter with much more feeling—but that is not all. Now that I understand and live the principle of overcoming evil with good, going the extra mile, and really blessing my enemies—I was also being set up for a blessing— by blessing my ex-husband and my ex-mother-in-law!

Ek het nie geweet wat om met die brief nie te doen nie, ek het in my slaapkamer ingegaan om met die Here te praat oor wat Hy wou gehad het ek moes doen. Dames, dit is toe wat ek besef het dat ek opgestel was (sien hoofstuk 8). Eerder as om terug te skryf, het die Here vir my gesê om vir my eks-man ‘n epos te stuur en hom te vra hoe om die ding met sy ma te hanteer. Aangesien vergiffenis ook beteken ons moet vergeet, ek was geskok toe my eks-man terugskryf met dieselfde giftige wrede woorde wat ek vir jare ervaar het! Weereens ontnugter, het ek na my kamer toe gegaan om die Here vir wyshed te vra (en troos hierdie keer) om te weet waar ek verkeerd gegaan het. Liefdevol, het die Here vir my gesê dat, ja, inderdaad was ek opgestel sodat die pyn van verwerping so vars was dat ek hierdie hoofstuk maklik kon skryf met baie meer gevoel—maar dit is nie al nie. Noudat ek verstaan en die beginsel uitleef om die kwaad met die goede te oorkom, die ekstra myl te gaan, en regtig my vyande te seën—was ek ook opgestel vir ‘n seën—deur my eks-man en my eks-skoonma te seën!

First, He led me to reply to my ex-husband’s email with how right he was, and to thank him for his help! In his email my ex-husband was quick to also criticize my ministry, and especially me as a minister, saying “that I was missing an opportunity to have a ‘restored relationship’ testimony to share (referring to my ex-mother-in-law.” In addition, I’d sensed he’d been watching me, so I’d asked the Lord if I was paranoid or imaging then. So, by following His lead (of asking him to handle the situation with his mom), God revealed that he had been visiting my marriage website, and also often coming to RMI to read praise reports (since he made references to both of them). This also made me realize that He was showing me creative ways of becoming more discreet. 

Eerstens, het Hy my gelei om te antwoord op my eks-man se epos hoe reg hy was, en om hom te bedank vir sy hulp! In sy epos was my eks-man vinnig om ook die ministerie te kritiseer, en vernaamlik vir my as ‘n minister, en te sê “dat ek die geleentheid gemis het om ‘n “herstelde verhouding’ getuienis te hê om te deel (verwysing na my ek-skoonma.” Ter aanvulling, het ek aangevoel dat hy my dophou, so toe vra ek die Here of ek paranoïes is of my verbeel. So, deur sy leiding te volg (of hom te vra om die situasie met sy ma te hanteer), het God my gewys dat hy my huwelik webwerf besoek het, en dikwels n HMI toe kom om die lofverlae te lees (aangesien hy na hulle albei verwys het). Dit het my ook laat besef dat Hy vir my kreatiewe manier wys om meer diskreet te word.

Precious one, I know I am not the only one who is being mocked and questioned about what you are doing. If you are not hiding things in your heart, if you are not going to Him , for your already written prescription, if you are hoping your method or someone else’s will heal you or relieve any pain, I’m hoping that what I’ve shared with you will change the way you think and act on healing your hurts. Many of you are questioning yourself right now due to what others have said to you or about you. Beloved, before taking any cruel words to heart, take these statements to the Lord to see what He says about them, just as I did (that I’m going to speak more about in the next chapter.) But for now, let me share the conclusion of this epilog…

Kosbare een, ek weet ek is nie die enigste een wat gespot en uitgevra word oor wat jy doen nie. As jy nie hierdie dinge in jou hart wegsteek nie, as jy nie na Hom toe gaan nie, vir jou voorskrif wat alreeds uitgeskryf is nie, as jy hoop jou metode of enige iemand anders sin sal jou genees of enige pyn verlig, hoop ek dat wat ek met jou gedeel het die manier wat jy dink sal verander en reageer om jou seerkry te genees. Baie van julle bevraagteken julleself nou as gevolg van wat ander vir jou gesê het of oor jou te sê gehad het. Beminde, voordat jy wrede woorde ter harte neem, neem hierdie verklarings na die Here toe om te sien wat Hy daaroor sê, net soos ek gedoen het (waaroor ek meer in die volgende hoofstuk gaan praat.) Maar vir nou, laat my die konklusie van hierdie epiloog deel... 

As I was replying to my mother-in-law, the Lord reminded me of something I’d read earlier that morning. I was ministering to a woman who, like myself, had a husband who had remarried. On the website, it said, “though we do emphasize restoring relationships, we do not encourage an ex-wife to foster a relationship with former in-laws, when her ex-husband has remarried. We, at all times, must always think of others as more important than ourselves.” “Do not be overcome with evil but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21). That’s when I knew what He was asking me, and letting me do.

Terwyl ek besig was om my skoonma te antwoord, het die Here my herinner aan iets wat ek vroeër daardie oggend gelees het. Ek was besig om te minister aan ‘n vrou wie, soos myself, ‘n man gehad het wat weer getroud is. Op die webwerf, het dit gesê, “alhoewel ons klem lê om huwelike te herstel, moedig ons nie ‘n eks-vrou aan om ‘n verhouding met haar vorige skoonouers te koester nie, wanneer haar eks-man weer getroud is nie. Ons, ten alle tye, moet altyd dink aan ander as meer belangrik as onsself.” “Moenie jou deur die kwaad laat oorwin nie, maar oorwin die kwaad deur die goeie” (Romeine 12:21). Dit is toe ek geweet het wat Hy my gevra het, en my laat doen het.  

Rather than continuing to write her, as she asked, instead I replied to my mother-in-law, and I included a check for her to take her new daughter-in-law out to lunch so she knows that she, alone, is her daughter-in-law now.

Eerder as om voort te gaan om vir haar te skryf, soos wat sy gevra het, het ek my skoonma geantwoord, en ‘n tjek ingesluit vir haar om haar nuwe skoondogter uit te neem vir ete, sodat sy weet dat sy alleen nou haar skoondogter is.

When I began writing this chapter (which I started but it sat for a while), I was expecting her letters to stop. However, it continued twice more. My ex-mother-in-law began to send me money, and the second time I replied, I doubled the amount, then asked her to instead take my ex-husband’s new wife out to lunch based on, “But I say to you, do not resist him who is evil; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone wants to sue you, and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two” (Matthew 5:39-41). 

Toe ek begin het om hierdie hoofstuk te skryf (wat ek begin het maar dit het vir ‘n tydjie gesit), ek het verwag dat haar briewe sou stop. Nietemin, het dit twee keer soveel aangehou. My eks-skoonma het begin om vir my geld te stuur, en die tweede keer wat ek geantwoord het, het ek die bedrag verdubbel, en haar toe gevra om in plaas daarvan my eks-man se nuwe vrou uit te neem vir ete gebaseer op, “Maar Ek sê vir julle; Julle moet julle nie teen ‘n kwaadwillige mens verset nie. As iemand jou op die regterwang slaan, draai ook die ander wang na hom oe. As iemand jou hof toe wil vat om jou onderklere te eis, gee hom ook jou boklere. As iemand jou dwing om sy goed een kilometer ver te dra, dra dit vir hom twee kilometer” (Matteus 5:39-41). 

Isn’t it always exciting to see God at work in our lives and in the lives of others? It is not enough to simply turn the other cheek; the real blessing comes from blessing those who have for years despitefully used or persecuted you, and then continue when you thought the relationship was over. It often goes beyond reasoning—you are able, through the experience, to actually feel the Lord’s love pulsating inside your heart. And that’s when you realize that every pain and/or ill feeling is totally gone, having been replaced by a power so magnificent that it saved us while we were yet sinners—this power is His love. 

Is dit nie altyd opwindend om te sien hoe God in ons lewens werk en in die lewens van ander? Dit is nie genoeg om eenvoudig die ander wang te draai nie; die ware seëninge kom om die te seën wie vir jare ons nydig gebruik of agtervolg het, en dan voortgaan wanneer jy gedink het die verhouding was verby. Dit gaan verby redenasie—jy is in staat, deur die ervaring, om eintlik die here se liefde in jou hart te voel pols. En dit is wanneer jy besef dat elke pyn en of/kwaadgesindheid heeltemal weg is, en vervang met ‘n krag so manjifiek dat dit ons gered het terwyl ons nog sondaars was—hierdie krag is Sy liefde.  

The final letter was sent, when once again, she wrote sending me money. And as before, I took it to the Lord to know what He wanted me to do. In my final letter I doubled the double, asking my ex-mother-in-law to take her new daughter-in-law and also her four new grandchildren (my ex-husband’s step children) out for pizza. He had me end my letter by letting her know that I didn’t feel right about our writing, knowing how it could potentially hurt her new daughter-in-law and the new marriage, and then thanking her for being such a wonderful ex-mother-in-law to me. So I would lovingly think of that by no longer opening or reading any further letters from her. Thankfully, I have not heard from her since that time.

Die finale brief was gestuur, toe sy weerens, geskryf het en geld gestuur het. En soos vantevore, het ek dit na die Here toe geneem om te weet wat Hy wou gehad het ek moet doen. In my finale brief het ek die dubbel verdubbel, en my eks-skooma gevra om haar nuwe skoondogter en haar vier kleindogters  (my eks-man se stief kinders) uit te neem vir pizza. Hy het my my brief laat beëindig deur haar te laat weet dat ek nie reg voel oor ons geskrywery nie, wetende dat dit potensiaal haar nuwe skoondogter en die nuwe huwelik sou seermaak, en haar bedank dat sy so ‘n wonderlike skoonma vir my is. So ek het liefdevol daaraan gedink deur nie meer enige verdere briewe van haar oop te maak of te lees nie. Dankbaar, het ek nie van haar gehoor sedertdien nie.

What has or may transpire is not something I choose to think about because I know God is working behind the scenes, and whatever is going on doesn’t concern me. My only concern is and should be, how I remain focused on my new and beautiful Husband who also just happens to be the most awesome Physician, drenched in His love, as He continues to love me and heal me from the inside out.

Wat het of mag transpireer is nie iets wat ek verkies om aan te dink nie omdat ek weet God werk agter die skerms, en watookal aangaan gaan my bekommer nie. My enigste kommer is en behoort te wees, hoe ek gefokus bly op my nuwe en pragtige Man wat ook net toevallig die ongelooflike Geneesheer is, geweek in Sy liefde, soos Hy voortgaan om my lief te hê en my van die binnekant buite te genees.