Acknowledging Need or Lack

I have seen a few facebook statuses recently that have asserted the idea that God has provided for all our needs and we should not focus on what we lack but should believe that we are complete, whole, fulfilled and blessed in Christ etc.

Ephesians 1:3 says we have “Every spiritual blessing in Christ.” It does not say “Every physical blessing.” It goes on to list these blessings as forgiveness, reconciliation, holiness, blamelessness, sonship etc. These are wonderful spiritual blessings. There are other verses that talk about God providing for needs and blessing us, but, in my opinion, the Bible does not guarantee all our needs will be met in this lifetime on this earth.

There are orphans starving to death and their need for food has been left unmet. I’m forgiven for all my sin and it does not affect my relationship with God, but it still affects my relationships with other human beings. People sell children as sex slaves, wage war and put on self-protective facades to avoid intimacy, because this world is in lack and the need for love is often not being met.

I’m going to be embarrassingly honest and admit that my greatest area of lack … is sex. I’m not married and I generally don’t have sex. I’m waiting for love.

Being raised as a Christian, I was taught that “God is all I need.” I struggled with this idea because I experienced needs like affection and attention that I believed I lacked greatly at times and less so at other times.

Now I hear arguments that God has provided for all needs and again I feel frustrated because my experience says otherwise. When discussing whether or not my experience lines up with God’s word teaching that I am forgiven and don’t need to feel condemned (Romans 8:1) I totally agree. But the word of God does not guarantee that I will ever get married or that all of my physical, emotional and sexual needs will be met.

In the past I have tried to alter my perspective and convince myself that I don’t need what I need. I have learned to be more content in my singleness and much more accepting of myself as a person. However, what I am learning now is that I have to embrace and validate my own needs despite anyone’s opinion that I have no lack or no need in Christ. I disagree with this and I own the fact that I want a partner in life. I want more hugs, more massages; quality time with a man who can hardly keep his eyes off me, deep discussions and someone to live with long term. I accept my need and I will no longer apologise for it 🙂

If you would be interested in reading more about my struggles in singleness and sexuality, let me know and I will write more on this topic in the future.


Today (05/05/13) is the anniversary of my mother’s passing two years ago. To mark this occasion I want to share three things that I have learned in the past two years that I feel are somewhat related to my experience of grief and how that has affected my expectations (meaning: my hopes, dreams, desires etc.) in life.

Failed Expectations
The first thing I learned was that some expectations end in disappointment. I grew up with the expectation that I would get married, and my mum would be at my wedding. I didn’t know how much this meant to me personally until after mum was gone, when I had this massive realisation that my dream wedding would never happen. It was … impossible.

This set me on a new trajectory to becoming more realistic, not by necessarily lowering my expectations, but by becoming more accepting of things that perhaps I cannot control or change, like my past, or other people, for example.

I think we all have expectations in life and I don’t think expectations are right or wrong. We experience disappointment because of expectations and this is not right or wrong either. The problem I identified was in thinking that life or reality should be something other than what it is. My mum should be at my wedding. Or someone could say the opposite: because your mum is gone, therefore she was never meant to be at your wedding. In my opinion, neither of these statements is true. It is not that my mum should or shouldn’t be at my wedding. Accepting reality is accepting facts, not should’ve-could’ve-would’ves. I accept that I did not marry while my mum was alive. I will still be disappointed on my wedding day, but I accept that not all things are realistically possible.

Futuristic Expectations
If you think that when I talk about reality and acceptance, I’m talking about giving up on dreams and expectations, you couldn’t be more wrong. There is a common saying: “Life is short.” I think this came alive to me when I thought about the dreams my mother had – some of which came true, and some which did not – whether because she died younger than she expected to, or perhaps there are no reasons.

I watched my mum struggle to be more and more the person she had always wanted to be and do some of the things she’d delayed doing, in the last year or two of her life, and I realised that, like her, I had put on a front many times in order to be more acceptable to people. That’s why, for the past 2 years I have been more honest about my beliefs, I’ve shared more of my emotions and I’ve fought harder for my dreams (like having a book published and recording a song).

The only time we have is right now. So if we expect certain things to happen in the future, those are the things we should be creating for ourselves in the now.

Friends’ Expectations
What you discover when you start being more true to yourself and attempting to create the future you dream of, is that people will wonder why you’ve changed and some of your friends will reject the new or the real you. On the other hand, you will attract new friends that are interested in similar things and that are comfortable with being themselves and you being yourself, even though you are both different. People who are uncomfortable with who you are, or who you’re becoming, often only feel that way because you are challenging their expectations or presumptions about you.

I can’t tell you the number of relationship shifts I’ve experienced in the past two years because I am becoming more authentic. Being criticised, judged, gossiped about, ignored and deleted is painful. On the other hand, being given the opportunity to discuss opinions and challenge one another mutually; respectfully agreeing to disagree; being honest without fear of reprehension, and experiencing true acceptance based on vulnerability (as opposed to quasi-acceptance that is based on a façade): is an emancipating journey.

In being more honest and open about who you are, you may find yourself in a battle between the expectations of others and the expectations you have of yourself. I can honestly say that, for me, the positive feedback and deeper emotional connection, far outweigh the negative consequences.

I believe this is what my mum would have wanted for me. I believe that she is proud of me and who I am becoming. I know there were times that she herself put on a people pleasing façade. And as her daughter, I believe she would forgive me for saying that she would want me to learn from her “mistakes” (for want of a better word). I hope that you can hear both our hearts (mine and my mother’s) resonating through these words and glean something for yourself. <3

Ugly Duckling: Beautiful Swan Part 1

When I was 6 or 7 years old, I remember a lot of adults saying to my parents that I was “Getting so big,” and “Isn’t she a big girl now?” and “How did she get so big?”

Looking back at photos, I was not overweight when I was 7. But I was tall. I am tall. 6 feet tall now – to be exact. Yet all I remember being called was: big. I don’t remember being called beautiful. I don’t remember being called tall. I don’t remember being called fat. Just “big” and “getting bigger” and “so big!”

When you’re 7, you don’t really know how to interpret the word “big.” Some people say it like it’s a good thing, and some people say it like it’s a rude shock or like there’s something wrong with being big. I also didn’t know that they might simply be talking about my height. As far as I could tell: they were talking about the whole of me. I’m a big girl. Eventually, I saw it as a negative and I succumbed to this idea that being me, meant being big.

By the time I got to 8 or 9, I was not only tall, but also chubby / fat / overweight – whatever you want to call it. I was also very bad at sport – couldn’t catch, couldn’t throw, couldn’t ride a bike. I found sport absolutely humiliating: like everyone was watching this “big” girl who sticks out like a sore thumb: all clumsy and awkward. Not to mention that I was left-handed being taught how to do right-handed sport or being told to put my right foot first when my body wants to move left! And I remember some of the ridiculous tunnels my school teachers wanted us to squirm through – not catering for my height! So, naturally I despised sport.
We were forced to run at athletics and cross country carnivals and I remember thinking that my lungs hurt terribly. But teachers had no empathy for me because as far as they were concerned I was fat and lazy. I think one of them called me lazy to my face. It’s interesting how when you are called something, like “big” or “fat” or “lazy” – you start believing it and living it out … They never listened to me about my lungs, so I stopped talking about it at a young age, and I decided that I could not run because it hurt too much.

As a 22 year old, I began to lose weight through walking and swimming. I did it on my own without the help of gym instructors who want to push you at some crazy pace that would have had me quit on the first day. I did it because I simply didn’t want to be big anymore. Big to me at 22 meant: ugly. I was 6 foot tall and size 18 (Australian). Now I am 6 foot and I fluctuate between sizes 12-14. I’m still a big girl, but I don’t feel ugly.

Between ages 22 and 29, there have been a few times that I have tried to push myself to run (when I say run, I really mean jog – it’s all the same thing to me. Anything faster than a quick walk has always caused problems in my breathing). But I could never be consistent about it because the pain in my lungs – if I pushed myself too hard – just seemed unbearable. I literally felt like my lungs were bleeding on many occasions and I knew something wasn’t right about that, but I never sought a doctor. I figured walking and swimming would just have to do.

At 29 I decided again that I wanted to learn how to run. I couldn’t understand why it was so easy for other people and so very difficult for me. One evening, I came home from work in frustrated mood and I decided that my anger should be fuel enough for me to run the distance of my crescent which I’m guessing is approx. 1kilometre. I pushed myself, and when I arrived home I was gasping for air – not just gasping, but wheezing and basically hyperventilating. I lay down and continued in the state of fearing that I might never take another normal breath again for about thirty minutes. And I knew then that I was having an asthma attack. I went to the doctors the next day and was told I had mild asthma and would need to use ventolin if I wanted to learn how to run.

That was more than six months ago and truth be told, I didn’t try to run for quite a while after that because the asthma attack really worried me. This year I tried a new approach. I decided I would ease myself into running the way I had eased myself into swimming and would not let some macho gym instructors (thinking of programmes like the “Biggest Loser”) force me to do things at their “No pain no gain” psycho-pace! It’s true: no pain no gain, but if you throw a non-swimmer into the deep end: they’re likely to drown!

I started jogging on the spot in my lounge-room in front of a mirror with music playing. I would look myself in the eyes, sing positive music to myself and jog through a few songs. That was easy. I had no problems breathing on level ground. The good thing is this strengthened my leg muscles even if it did nothing for my lungs.

Since then I’ve taken my jogging outside on three occasions. The first time I forgot to take ventolin beforehand and was desperate for it when I got home. I almost ran my entire crescent on that trip. The next time, I took the ventolin beforehand and I ran the entire crescent without stopping. And let me tell you: I cried for joy.

Today, I packed a small bag with ventolin, a drink bottle of water, my iPhone and headset so that I could listen to music instead of having to listen to my breathing. Amazingly, with the help of that music and the ventolin, I ran / jogged what I am estimating to be about 3 kilometres!!!

Don’t let being branded “big” or “fat” or “ugly” or “lazy” or “clumsy” stand in your way.
Don’t let being super-tall or left-handed or asthmatic stand in your way.
Don’t let the world stand in the way of becoming who you are.
Every “ugly duckling” has a “beautiful swan” inside of them.
Including me.

My Beliefs as a Christocentric Universalist

Q & A
Topic: Heaven
Do you believe that all roads/religions lead to heaven? No.
Do you believe Jesus is the only way to relationship with Daddy-God and to Heaven? Yes (John 14:6)
Do you believe Jesus will get everyone in to Heaven? YES
(John 12:32, Rom 5:18, 2 Cor 5:19, Col 1:19-20, Isa 45:23, Phil 2:10)

Topic: Hell
Do you still believe in Hell? Yes.
Do you believe that Hell is separation from God? No
(Psalm 139:8, 2 Thes 1:9 KJV).
What is Hell?
Our God is a consuming fire (Deut 4:24, Heb 12:29).
God is love (1 John 4:16).
His love is a passionate fire (Song of Songs 8:6-8).
Fire purifies and cleanses (Zeph 3:8-9, Isa 6:6-7).
Hell is the refiner’s fire (Mal 3:2).
Why do people go to Hell? Disbelief only
(John 3:16-18, John 6:29, Eph 2:6-8, Heb11:6).
Can people repent after death? Yes
(John 5:25, 1 Peter 3:19-4:6, Rev 21:24-26; 22:14, Ezekiel 16:53).

Topic: Jesus’ Death
Why did Jesus have to die?
To save us from DEATH and resurrect us to LIFE
(Gen 2:17, Rom 6:23, 2 Cor 5:14-19).
Did Jesus die to save us from sin? YES
(John 1:19, Rom 6:6, 2 Cor 5:21).
Did Jesus die to save us from Hell? No (there are no verses that speak of the cross in conjunction with hell).
Who did Jesus save? The whole world / ALL
(John 1:19, 3:16-17, 4:42, 6:39-40, 12:32, 12:47, Rom 3:23-24, 5:18-19, 11:25-32, 2 Cor 5:19, Col 1:19-20).

Topic: Judgement & Salvation
Is there a futuristic judgement of the world?
Both judgement and salvation happened spiritually before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4, Rev 13:8).
They happened in time at the cross (John 12:31-32, 16:8-10).
They are happening and will happen in the future until all believe (Heb 10:30, 2 Peter 3:7-9).

Do you still believe in the Trinity? Yes.
Do you still believe in Satan? Yes.
Do you still believe in Jesus? Absolutely 100%
Hence my use of the word Christocentric: Jesus at the centre.
It’s all about Jesus.
Jesus is saviour of the world.
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.
Jesus is all in all. Amen.