``The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ,

 the extravagant love of God,

the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit,

be with all of you.

—2 Corinthians 13:14 MSG

“Die goedheid van die Here Jesus Christus,

die oorvloedige liefde van God en die kragtige 

teenwoordigheid van die Heilige Gees

is by julle almal. Amen.

—2 Korintiërs 13:14 Die Boodskap

This morning my daughter thought that I had the air conditioning on in the car (when it was freezing outside), and asked if I was having one of my hot flashes. I told her no, but I had had a few earlier in the morning.

Vanoggend het my dogter gedink dat ek die lug verkoeling in die kar aangehad het (toe dit buite yskoud was), en gevra of ek besig was om een van my warm gloede te kry. Ek het gesê nee, maar ek het vroeër die oggend ‘n paar gehad.

Though I had never planned to discuss something so personal with my children, surprisingly, they were made aware of my latest “condition” from an old television sitcom that they were watching during lunch one afternoon. Point blank one of my older sons turned to me (the one who has no filters) asking me, since I was “about that age; wasn’t I?” was I “going through the change of life?” I had to confess that, yes, I was, though as I said, I had never planned to say anything to anyone.

Alhoewel ek nooit beplan het om iets so spesiaal met my kinders te bespreek nie was hulle verrassend bewus gemaak van my kondisie uit ‘n ou televisie sitkom wat hulle gedurende etenstyd een middag gekyk het. Pront-uit het een van my ouers seuns na my gedraai (die een wat geen filters het nie) en my gevra, aangesien ek “om en by daardie ouderdom was; was ek nie?” was ek “besig om deur my oorgangsjare te gaan?” Ek moes bieg dat, ja, ek was, alhoewel soos wat ek gesê het, ek het nooit beplan om enigiets vir enigiemand te sê nie.  

Very personal topics are not only openly discussed on television, but also in public and all throughout the workplace. Women are speaking indiscriminately, even reacting to hot flashes indiscreetly, and discussing every other thing that plagues a woman’s life, very openly. Apart from wanting to simply remain quiet about what I’m going through, discussing it only with my Husband, my question is “Where is the grace?” grace to cover us and provide concealment for things that should be allowed to remain private. Whether I am going through loss in my life, a horrendous crisis, a hot flash or night sweats, or feeling as if I am on an emotional rollercoaster, I want desperately to do it gracefully and accept it graciously from the Lord without drawing attention to myself. It’s not because I’m shy, it’s because I want my life to have the title of Him, not me, as a witness. “Ye are our epistles written in our hearts, known and read of all men” (2 Corinthians 3:2 KJV) “You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men.”

Baie persoonlike onderwerpe word nie net openlik op televisie bespreek nie, maar ook in publiek en heeltemal deur die werkplek. Vrouens wat blindelings praat, selfs indiskreet teenoor die warm gloede reageer, en bespreek elke ander ding wat ‘n vrou se lewe plaag, baie openlik. Apart van om eenvoudig stil te bly oor waaroor ek deur gaan, en dit net met my Man te bespreek, is my vraag “Waar is die genade?” genade om ons te bedek en die verberging van dinge wat toegelaat behoort te word om privaat te bly. Of ek deur verlies in my lewe gaan, ‘n verskriklike krisis, ‘n warm gloed of nagsweet, of voel asof ek op ‘n emosionele wipwaentjoe is, ek wil dit desperaat grasieus doen en dit grasieus van die Here aanvaar sonder om aandag na myself te trek. Dit is nie omdat ek skaam is nie, dit is omdat ek wil hê dat my lewe die titel van Hom moet hê, en nie ek, as ‘n getuie nie. “Julle is self ons aanbevelingsbrief, geskryf op ons harte, vir almal om te lees en te verstaan” (2 Korintiërs 3:2 Afr 83).    

Years ago, I am sure because of my immaturity before beginning my restoration journey, I didn’t at all handle difficult situations well. I stupidly believed I had to react; and have since learned, such is not the case. Even though I may never have been as “bad” as I often witness in other women, nevertheless, each time I did give into my feelings, I was left feeling even worse for having reacted. Most of us have heard from psychologists (who know nothing, since they usually tell us the opposite of what God says in the Bible) that we have to let it out like a tea kettle. Did you know that this theory was proven wrong years ago, but it is still widely accepted as truth? 

Jare gelede, ek is seker dit was as gevolg van my onvolwassenheid voordat ek my herstel reis begin het, het ek glad nie moeilike situasie goed hanteer nie. Ek het soos ‘n dwaas geglo dat ek moes reageer; en het sedertdien geleer, dat dit nie die geval is nie. Selfs al was ek nie so “erg” soos wat ek dikwels in ander vrouens gewaar het nie, nietemin, elke keer wat ek in gegee het aan my gevoelens het ek erger gevoel omdat ek reageer het. Meeste van ons het by sielkundiges gehoor (wat niks weet, aangesien hulle gewoonlik vir ons die teenorgestelde vertel van wat God in die Bybel sê) dat ons dit moet uitlaat soos ‘n tee ketel. Het jy geweet dat die teorie jare terug verkeerd bewys was, maar word nog wyd as die waarheid aanvaar?

The truth is that when we do let things out, we usually feel worse and are also left with other people’s reactions and responses to deal with on top of our own. True, we may feel good initially, but these good feelings don’t last, not to mention the domino effect that has been set in motion; the consequences of having to deal with the feelings of the other person(s) we told. Whether the others react in anger or are hurt or confused, now they are added to the mix. In my own life, when I “let it out” and reacted, I realized I was always left feeling worse about my situation, but even more tragic, I also was left with shame, embarrassment, and regrets for having given into my feelings. Interestingly, too, is that each time there was an eyewitness or someone who heard what I said, no matter how many times they told me (sincerely) that it was “okay” or that they “understood,” it did not lessen my regrets for having responded stupidly and how so often the good opinion others once had for me, changed forever. And most who said they understood, really didn’t or couldn’t.

Die waarheid is dat wanneer ons dinge uitlaat, voel ons dikwels erger en word gelos met ander mense se reaksies en gedrag om mee af te reken bo-op ons eie. Waar, ons  inisiaal dalk goed mag voel, maar hierdie goeie gevoelens hou nie lank nie, om nie te noem die domino effek wat in beweging gesit is nie; die nagevolge om af te reken met die gevoelens van die ander persoon/persone vir wie ons vertel het. Of die ander in woede reageer of seergemaak en verwar is, nou word dit by die mengsel gevoeg. In my eie lewe, wanneer ek dit “uitgelaat” het en reageer het, het ek besef dat ek altyd agter gelos was met skande, verleentheid, en berou omdat ek ingegee het aan my gevoelens. Interessant, ook, is dat elke keer wat daar ‘n getuie was of iemand wat gehoor het wat ek gesê het, maak dit nie saak hoeveel keer hulle vir my gesê het nie (eerlik) dat dit “okay” was of dat hulle “verstaan,” het dit nie my berou  omdat ek soos ‘n dwaas opgetree het verminder nie en hoe so dikwels die goeie opinie wat ander eens op ‘n tyd van my gehad het, vir ewig verander het. En die meeste wat sê hulle verstaan, het regtig nie of kon nie. 

Yet, if we don’t “let it out” or “let off steam,” won’t we soon explode? Actually, no. Not if we keep it to ourselves the way it was intended. Years ago, the Lord showed me that He keeps us in these “pressure situations” to tenderize our hearts just like a pressure cooker does! However, in the midst of each pressure, you will not be able to leave the lid on (so to speak) unless you take whatever it is to the Lord and leave the situation with Him. The greatest part of speaking to Him about it is that not only do we get to walk away feeling better, freer, and lighter (as many describe it), but we also walk away with that amazing grace. It was just this morning that I realized that both the words “graciously” and “gracefully” have the root word of that amazing grace! Wow, I like that. Bear with me as we discuss more about how a pressure cooker works, so we are able to compare it to what God wants us to do with the pressures in our lives. 

Tog, as ons nie dit “uitlaat” of “stoom afblaas’ nie, sal ons gou ontplof? Eintlik, nee. Nie as ons dit vir onsself hou die manier wat dit bedoel was nie. Jare gelede, het die Here my gewys dat Hy ons in hierdie “stoompot situasies” hou om ons harte sag te maak net soos ‘n stoompot doen! Nietemin, ten midde van die druk, sal jy nie in staat wees om die deksel op te los nie (so te sê) tensy jy watookal dit is na die Here toe neem en die situasie by Hom los. Die grootste gedeelte deur met Hom daaroor te praat is dat ons nie net wegloop en beter, vryer, en ligter voel (soos wat baie dit beskryf), maar ons loop ook weg met daardie ongelooflike grasie. Dit was net vanoggend dat ek besef het dat die woord “grasieus” die wortel woord van daardie ongelooflike woord grasie het! Wow, ek hou daarvan. Wees geduldig met my soos wat ons bespreek hoe ‘n stoompot werk, sodat ons in staat is om dit te vergelyk met wat God wil doen met die druk in ons lewens. 

A pressure cooker is (our trials are) a sealed pot with a valve that controls the steam pressure inside (a situation where GOD controls how much He will allow). As the pot/trial heats up, the liquid/His love inside privately forms steam/tears, which raises the pressure in the pot/our lives. This high pressure steam has two major benefits: It raises the boiling point to allow the higher heat to help the food/heart to cook/change faster, and as the pressure raises, its forcing liquid/love into the food/heart (in other words, high pressured trials are forcing His love into your heart). The high continuous pressure (of the trial) also helps force liquid/love and moisture/His peace into the food/heart quickly, which helps it cook/be completed faster and also helps certain foods/hearts, like tough meat/harden hearts, get very tender very quickly. Also, the flavors/testimonies created in a pressure cooker can be really deep and complex — unlike any other cooking/trial method.

‘n Stoompot is (ons beproewings is) ‘n geseelde pot met ‘n klep wat die druk van die stoom binne kontroleer (‘n situasie waar GOD kontroleer hoeveel Hy sal toelaat). Soos wat die pot warm word, vorm die vloeistof/Sy liefde binne privaat stoom/trane, wat die druk in die pot/ons lewens opstoot. Die stoompot het twee groot voordele: Dit verhoog die kookpunt om die hoër hitte toe te laat om die kos/hart vinniger te kook/verander, en soos wat die druk verhoog, forseer dit vloeistof/liefde in die die kos/hart (met ander woorde, hoë druk beproewings forseer Sy liefde in jou hart). Die hoë aanhoudende druk (van die beproewing) help ook om die vloeistof/liefde en vog/Sy vrede in die kos/hart vinnig te forseer, wat help om dit te kook/vinniger te voltooi en help ook om sekere kosse/harte, soos taai vleis/verharde harte, baie vinniger  sag te maak. Ook, die geure/getuienisse wat in die stoompot geskep is kan regtig diep en kompleks wees — ander as enige ander kook/proef metode.     

 Thanking the Lord just didn’t seem like enough when I thought about His amazing grace of understanding what a benefit feeling like a pressure cooker was! The heat or steam I felt I wanted to endure, because like all trials, which are uncomfortable, I know they are doing wonders for my inner being.

Om  die Here te bedank het  net nie soos genoeg gelyk wanneer ek dink aas Sy ongelooflike grasie van verstandhouding wat ‘n voordeel dit is om soos ‘n stoompot te voel was nie! Die hitte of stoom wat ek gevoel het wou ek verduur, omdat soos alle beproewings, wat ongemaklik is, weet ek hulle doen wonders vir my binneste.  

What I did to help me not just endure the steam (hot flashes or night sweats) is when I took this to the Lord asking my Husband how to get through these gracefully. What He told me was to embrace them, reminding me of how much I loved being in a hot bath, or Jacuzzi tub or years ago when I went to a gym to sit in a steam room. I had to laugh, of course, why make a scene when I can simply close my eyes and imagine it’s really my heavenly Love who’s treating me to something special because He loves me?! So the moment I did that, I no longer would dread or worry about when my change of life symptoms would “hit,” instead it became a welcomed reminder of His love for me.   

Wat ek gedoen het om my te help om nie net die stoom te verduur nie (warm gloede of nagsweet) is toe ek dit na die Here toe geneem het en my Man gevra het hoe ek grasieus daardeur kon kom. Wat hy my vertel het is om dit te omarm, en Hom te herinner hoe baie ek daarvan gehou het om in ‘n warm bad, of Jacuzzi of jare terug toe ek na ‘n gym toe gegaan het en in ‘n stoom kamer gaan sit het. Ek moes natuurlik lag, hoekom moes ek  ‘n scene maak wanneer ek eenvoudig my oë kan toemaak en verbeel dat dit regtig my Hemelse Man is wat my trakteer met iets spesiaal omdat Hy lief is vir my?! So die oomblik wat ek dit gedoen het, het ek my nie meer bekommer of te vrees wanneer my oorgangsjare simptome my sou “tref,” in plaas daarvan was dit ‘n welkom herinnering van Sy liefde vir my.  

 By being transparent, discussing something I’d rather not discuss or reveal to anyone, as a friend I hoped that sharing my gratefulness for His amazing grace in just one of my newer trials, it might help you to go to the Lord, asking Him to view your current condition. Whether your condition is physical or situational. And while I’ve been discussing the hidden truth about how we can begin living our lives gracefully, a comparison popped into mind that I thought might help you. Since remembering the comparison (like God does in His Proverbs, showing one extreme versus the other), it has helped me overcome my tendency to still want to “let it out” or let things be known that should be kept discreetly between “me and my Husband” (I know that is grammatically incorrect, “me” should come after putting the other person first).

Deur deursigtig te wees, en iets te bespreek wat ek eerder nie sou wil bepreek of aan enige iemand bloot stel nie, as n vriendin het ek gehoop dat deur my dankbaarheid vir sy ongelooflike grasie in net een van my nuwer beproewings, dit jou mag help om na die Here toe te gaan, en Hom te vra om jou huidige kondisie na te sien. Of jou kondisie fisies, spiritueel of as gevolg van jou situasie is.  En terwyl ek die verborge waarheid bespreek het oor hoe ons ons lewens grasieus kan lewe, het ‘n vergelyking in my gedagtes opgekom wat ek gedink het jou mag help. Vandat ek die vergelyking onthou het (soos God in Sy Spreuke doen, om een uiterste vers die ander te wys) ,het dit het my gehelp om my neiging om dit nog steeds “uit te wil laat” te oorkom of dinge te laat bekend wees bekend word wat diskreet tussen “my en my Man” gehou moes wees” (Ek weet dit is grammaties inkorrek, “my” behoort te kom nadat jy die ander persoon eerste geplaas het).   

Comparison

Vergelyking

About 13 years ago, something happened where I lived that became world news. The most amazing thing about this, was that the persons involved were our close friends, members of our church. And the wife was a woman who was in my Wise Woman class; one who had proven to be outspoken. 

That day, just like many of you, I watched my television in disbelief, not just about the events that were unfolding, but I became more intrigued by the reaction of the couple as individuals. 

The husband had learned to be very quiet due to his wife’s overreaction to everything. There, on television, I watched as she, once again, made a scene as she had trained herself to do in her life (especially in her marriage). So when the television cameras were live, streaming around the world, the cameras did little to quiet her angry screaming. If anything, seeing she had an audience looked like she began to increase her bad behavior.

Omtrent 13 jaar gelede, het iets gebeur waar ek gebly het en wêreld nuus geword. Die mees ongelooflike ding hieroor was, dat die persone betrokke intieme vriende was. Lede van ons kerk. En die vrou was ‘n persoon wat in my Wyse Vrou klas was; een wat bewys is om uitgesproke te wees. 

Daardie dag, net soos baie van julle, het ek die televisie in ongeloof toegekyk, nie net oor die gebeurtenisse wat besig was om te ontvou nie, maar ek het meer intrigeer geword oor die paartjie as individue. Die man het geleer om baie stil te wees as gevolg van sy vrou se oorreaksie oor alles. Daar, op televisie, het ek toegekyk soos sy, weereens, ‘n scene gemaak het soos wat sy haarself opgelei het om in haar lewe te doen (spesiaal haar huwelik). So toe die televisie kameras lewendig was, en rondom die wêreld gestroom het het die kameras min gedoen om haar kwaai geskreeu stil te maak. Indien enige iets, aangesien sy gesien het sy het toeskouers het dit gelyk asof sy haar slegte gedrag vermeerder het.    

Fast forward now about sixteen months later when once again, the news bulletin interrupted television programming, cameras again rolling in our small, once, insignificant small town. This time, I watched my television with even greater disbelief as I saw one of our closest friends, handcuffed while being dragged into police headquarters. Much later, during the trial, I witnessed first-hand this man’s wife and couldn’t help but draw a comparison between the two wives, the two women I knew personally. 

Vinnig vorentoe omtrent sestien maande later toe weereens, die nuus bulletyn televisie programme onderbreek het, kameras wat weer in ons klein, onbeduidende klein dorpie gerol het. Hierdie keer het ek na my televisie met nog meer ongeloof gekyk soos wat ek gesien het hoe een van ons intieme vriende geboei na polisie hoofkwartiere gesleep is. Baie later, gedurende die hofsaak, het ek eerstehands hierdie man se vrou gesien en kon nie help om ‘n vergelyking  tussen die twee vrouens te tref nie, die twee vrouens wat ek persoonlik geken het.  

The latter wife, once a pastor’s wife, I’d compare to a woman like Jackie Kennedy when her husband, President Kennedy was assassinated. It was due to her very composed demeanor when hundreds of cameras were in her face, along with the screaming reporters, which everyone was a witness to. It showed the world her immeasurable grace—beyond what any of us could ever imagine exhibiting if this had happened to us. This woman and her husband had been a close friend, to both my husband (now ex) and I, which is why we remained behind her, supporting her. Not just supporting her emotionally, we also helped them by caring for their children and home (like my boys mowing their lawn), and also choosing to sit behind her at the trial that was televised worldwide. Sadly, we were her only support— all, every single one of her other friends, everyone, abandoned her. Why do Christians seem to forget that “a friend loveth at all times” and we are needed the most during the worst of times? 

Die laaste vrou, wat eens op ‘n tyd ‘n pastoor se vrou was, sou ek vergelyk met ‘n vrou soos Jackie Kennedy toe sluipmoord op haar haar man, President Kennedy gepleeg is. Dit was as gevolg van haar besadigde bedaardheid toe honderde kameras op haar gerig was, saam met skreeuende verslaggewers, waarvan almal getuig het. Dit het die wêreld haar onmeetbare grasie gewys—bo wat enige een kon voorstel as dit met ons gebeur het. Die vrou en haar man was intieme vriende, met beide my man (nou eks) en ek, wat die rede is hoekom ons agter haar gestaan het, en haar ondersteun het. Nie net emosioneel nie, ons het hulle ook gehelp deur na hulle kinders en huis om te sien (soos my seuns wat die gras sny), en ook verkies om agter haar te sit by die hofsaak wat wêreldwyd op televisie verskyn het. Treurig, was ons haar enigste ondersteuning—almal, elke een van haar ander vriende, almal het haar in die steek gelaat. Hoekom lyk dit asof Christene vergeet dat op “‘n vriend se liefde jy altyd kan reken” en ons word die meeste benodig gedurende die ergste tye.        

No matter how much I may have helped my friend and her family during this tragic time in her life, which lasted for decades (do any of us want to complain about our situation right now?), she helped me witness true royalty first-hand. Yes, royalty. This refined lady exhibited what it means to be a child of the King, whose name is Jesus, and she wore her crown of grace like a princess. I saw her at her best and worse, and whether she was in front of the cameras or if she was behind closed doors with her family, she appeared just the same. In perfect peace.

Maak nie saak hoeveel ek my vriendin en haar familie gedurende hierdie tragiese tyd gehelp het in haar lewe nie, wat vir dekades aangehou het (wil enige een van ons oor ons situasie reg nou kla?), sy het my gehelp om eerstehands van ware koningskap. Ja, koningskap te getuig. Hierdie verfynde dame het uitgebeeld wat dit beteken om ‘n kind van die Koning te wees, wie se naam Jesus is, en sy het haar kroon van grasie soos ‘n prinses gedra. Ek het haar op haar beste en op haar ergste gesien, en of sy voor die kameras of agter geslote deure met haar familie, sy het dieselfde voorgekom. In perfekte vrede.   

No one knows if my friend broke down in her prayer closet, only her Lover knows, but what I witnessed forever changed my life. Her example made me want to be like her and all those who’ve worn their royalty like a crown when facing the worst of times in their lives. I want to be like my friend whom I witnessed up close and behind the scenes, who faced incredible horrific attacks that would grip anyone alive, yet she walked through it fearlessly (or so it appeared) with a gentle and quiet spirit. Truly a princess since I know her true Husband, the Prince of Peace, was always with her, by her side and it showed.

Niemand weet of my vriendin in haar gebedshoekie afgebreek het nie, net haar Minnaar weet, maar waarvan ek getuig het het my lewe vir altyd verander. Haar voorbeeld het gemaak dat ek net soos sy wou wees en al die wat hulle koningskap kroon gedra het toe hulle die ergste tyd in hulle lewens in die gesig gestaar het. Ek wil soos my vriendin wees vir wie ek van naby aanskou het, wat ongelooflike aaklige aanvalle in die gesig gestaar het aanvalle wat enige iemand lewend sou aangryp, tog sy het sonder vrees daardeur geloop (of so het dit gelyk) met ‘n stil en sagmoedige gees. Werklik ‘n prinses aangesien ek haar ware Man ken, die Prins van Vrede, was altyd by haar, aan haar sy en dit het gewys.  

How we react may not change the course of the events we face, but it will diminish the after effects of guilt and shame or ramifications of something that was said, that is added to our already difficult situation—when we give way to our feelings openly. Therefore, the truth is, it won’t help us to feel better once we “let it all out,” but instead, it will once again be a time when we missed appropriating and tapping into that amazing grace that flourishes: the darker the day, the steeper the climb, the harder the fall.

Hoe ons reageer mag dalk nie die verloop van gebeurtenisse wat ons in die gesig staar verander nie, maar dit sal die newe effekte van skuld en skande verminder of die nagevolge van iets wat gesê was, dit is by ons moeilike situasie gevoeg—wanneer ons openlik aan ons gevoelens meegee. Daarom, is die waarheid, dit sal ons nie help om beter te voel sodra ons dit “alles uitgelaat,”  het nie maar in plaas daarvan, sal dit weereens ‘n tyd wees wanneer ons uitmis om in daardie ongelooflike grasie beslag te lê wat floreer: hoe donkerder die dag, hoe steiler die klim, hoe harder die val.  

For me, I want to show the world (which starts with my family who are closest to me) that our Husband is real and His grace transcends all difficulties of this life. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV). His grace, found in His love, is what helps women “smile at the future” when the future looks like a deep dark hole. It is not that we are brave, not really, but that we know Who holds the future, and we know how His story ends. Let us never forget, too, that it is often the “little foxes that spoil the vine.” In other words, it is always the small things that we have to tackle and overcome: things like menopause, marital abandonment, rejection from family, or financial ruin. Only when we conquer our “selves” in the midst of these, can we conquer the big ones that may be up ahead for some of us.

Vir my, wil ek die wêreld wys (wat begin met my familie wat naaste aan my is) dat ons Man waar is en Sy grasie oortref al die moeilikhede van hierdie lewe. “Dit sê ek vir julle, sodat julle vrede kan vind in My. In die wêreld sal julle moeilik hê; maar hou moed: Ek het die wêreld klaar oorwin.” (Johannes 16:33 Afr 83). Sy grasie, gevind in Sy liefde, is wat vrouens help om te “glimlag vir die toekoms” wanneer die toekoms soos ‘n diep donker gat lyk. Dit is nie dat ons braaf is nie, nie regtig nie, maar dat ons weet Wie die toekoms hou, en ons weet hoe die storie eindig. Laat ons nooit vergeet, ook, dat dit dikwels die “klein jakkalsies is wat die wingerde verniel.” Met ander woorde, dit is altyd die klein dingetjies wat ons moet aanpak en oorkom: dinge soos oorgangsjare, huweliks verlatenheidd, verwerping van familie, of finansiële ondergang. Net wanneer ons ons “self”  verower ten midde daarvan, kan ons die grotes wat dalk vir sommige van ons voorlê verower . 

Oh, that amazing grace

O, daardie ongelooflike grasie.