I will not leave you orphaned
You know what it is to lose
To lose such precious life
But I tell you, I have come
To give you life
On those days your heart begins to ache
On those days you feel forsaken
Lean into Me
Tell Me all your pain, be not ashamed
But share your yearning deep.
I will not leave you orphaned
Cry those tears and share those fears
Pour every doubt into My waiting bowl
And I'll reflect My Truth there back to you
I'll place My hand upon your shoulder
Not turn away, but turn toward.
Your friend for life
Not just for here, but into all eternity
I'm in you now and I'll never leave
Even when you tell Me
You can't take that one more step.
You see, I know you can't
And that's why I'm here
To lead You here on Me to rest
To lay your head between My shoulders
To sleep secure, knowing I won't leave.
I will not leave you orphaned
When your body, mind and soul here give away
I'll hold you tight
My water to your lips so parched I'll raise
My bread to famished body gift.
I've chosen you.
I've always wanted you.
This path I've set before you
Is the path I have entrusted you.
It's yours to walk, but not alone.
The God of glory, He'll secure your passage
My righteousness will pave your way.
When you pray, I'll answer you.
When you call for help, then I'll say
"Here I am." (Isaiah 58: 6 - 12 MSG)
I will not leave you orphaned
Even when all you see
Is no way through.
Don't grab the reigns or blame another,
But turn to Me.
And know that as you give
And as you share
Your empty, nothing
My full and plenty here becomes.
I'm all you'll ever need.
No, I will not leave you orphaned,
For I've adopted you for life
To live and move and have your being
For My yoke of love is easy
And my burden, light.
Today, my thoughts have turned to answered prayers. As I reflected on Easter, I thought about Jesus being the answer to generation upon generation of prayers. And how that answer to all those prayers came in such an unexpected way that many missed the answer. They missed our Savior’s coming, misunderstood or even helped bring about His death and couldn’t believe in His resurrection.
But what a gift Jesus was and is to those of us who, through the touch of the Holy Spirit, have recognized His coming, His death for us and His resurrection to give us new life. As we walk toward Easter weekend and remember Christ’s death on the Cross and His resurrection, may He open our eyes, ears and hearts to recognize the many answers to prayers He has brought. May we also become His answer to the prayers of others as we obey His calling. And may our ears continue to hearken to His promptings to pray in the Spirit for the return of His children and the coming of His Kingdom.
May the beautiful answers He brings us, through His Presence with us, also become answers for others also. May we share the hope and comfort He has given us with those He places before us.
Happy Easter! As you celebrate Jesus this week, may this poem and song encourage and uplift you:
Where it was once want
Leading to Light we now see.
Always so near
He never abandons
Ever so patient, remains.
His palm branch
Blessed of grace that we are.
Coming in splendor
Sun streaming glory
Bathing us here in His Light.
No longer weighted
Our burden Lifter
Always He’s breathing to Life.
Promise in bruisèd
And smoldering wick
He will not break or snuff out.
Justice He brings
In captives He frees
Hope’s strong Voice in us lifts.
Thankful we raise
Our anthem of praise
Casting abandoned our cares.
Raising His children
Hand lifting faces
Shining, His radiance us glows.
No longer shame, here our name.
Called and He’s chosen
Redeemed and belovèd
Nothing His love can destroy.
All dark and hopeless
Purposed for Living
Christ in us be raised.
Our eyes He gives us
“It’s finished” gifts us
Whole and His Perfect to see.
Wings in His timing unfold.
His thoughts above ours
Master’s own brushstrokes
Poema loved, we are His.
Let us not draw back
Hide or strive fearful
But come as children restored.
He will not shun us
Remove or shame us
But only break open to Life.
Give thanks for the bread broken
His Body saved us
Living, His blood in us streams.
And every ache
Sin and our weakness, He’s borne.
Search here and know us, Lord
Let Your holiness draw us
Your will in grace, Christ fulfill.
Send us and teach us
Cross here to carry
Your Kingdom come to proclaim.
Loved first, we love
All You have given, we shall release.
Sharpened by iron
Hands clasped together
One in Your Spirit: we each belong.
Let us not shirk
Or fear filled withdraw now
But in Love’s own perfecting grow.
Our battle He’s won
Our hearts now are His
Nothing shall stand in His way.
Cheering us on
Hope beckoning us homeward.
An allegorical short story by Lisa Enqvist
First published at: https://lisaenqvistroots.com/allegory-searching-for-my-tree/
A friend recently went through my Facebook background. Even to me, my life looks chaotic, though I have spent years trying to make sense of the various stages, places, and situations of my life.
This picture reflects my first eight years. I’ve written one book in English which covers these eight years: MISSIONARY MOTHER – Around the World with Five Kids. (Available on Amazon and other sources).
The following story was born at a writers’ course. As I read it aloud, someone exclaimed, “That is your life!” It is a metaphor for my life. As I continue writing my blog in the weeks and months ahead, I hope to discover and uncover other treasures, just as this Bible verse from Isaiah 33:6 promises:
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
I searched for the grove where someone said I would find my tree, but the road was no longer there. Great excavators had mutilated the landscape. I sat down on a big rock and cried. How could I find my tree? Was it there, or was it destroyed? A little child came and stood by my stone. She looked at me with her big, questioning eyes.
“Why are you crying?” She held out her hand.
“Come with me. I will show you something.”
She led me past the big rocks that the excavator had left. We went past the familiar railroad, the river, and the mountains.
Palms swayed in the wind by the ocean. The crabs fled from the foam in an eternal game of hide-and-seek.
Was the palm my tree?
No. It was too lonely. I didn’t want to be alone.
The girl led me on. We came to a road that led to a schoolyard. Around the sports-field flamboyant trees spread their branches. During the hot summer, fiery yellow-red flowers burst out of the twigs. They were beautiful, but the fire that shone from them scorched my heart. The flame tree was not my tree.
There were trees with the tastiest fruits. But neither the mango tree with its dark leaves and its juicy fruit nor the guava tree with spiky branches and seed-filled fruit was my tree.
The little girl led me on into the middle of a park. When I finally found my tree, I sat down under it. I did not yet understand that this might be my tree. It did not look like any other tree I had passed earlier. All the other trees had a trunk and a crown of branches reaching for the sky. Their roots were not visible. This tree had roots growing down from the branches, as though it needed extra support from every side.
The wind whispered through the leaves. I heard it say to the tree,
“Tell your story so that even the little girl will understand.”
The tree began its story.
“Long, long ago, I sprouted up out of the ground in a country far away. The air was clear, and the sun shone brightly. The birds flew around me, chirping and singing their songs. Life was good.
One day the gardener came from the King’s Palace and began digging the ground around my root. I was terrified.
“I’ll die! I’ll die if you move me from here.” I cried.
The gardener did not hear my cry. He did not explain anything. Maybe he thought I would not understand. My root broke when the gardener pulled me up. I was sure I would die. There was no way I could survive. My heart was bleeding.
The gardener rolled a bunch of damp hay around my root and put me into a sack. I did not know where I was. I didn’t care anymore. I just wanted to die.
Many days later I saw the light. I was in a strange country. I was still alive. I heard someone digging with a spade. I heard a voice saying:
“I plant this tree as a symbol of friendship and justice. May it grow tall and give shelter to many children.”
The man who spoke held me very gently. I saw a tear run down his cheek. I did not understand anything. He put me down into the hole in the ground and filled the gap with soil around my roots.
I was sure I would never grow big. My roots were still hurting. I did not want to know where I was.
I didn’t care about the touch of the wind. Nor the freshness of rain, nor the warmth of the sun.
I thought stubbornly: I don’t belong here. I don’t want to be here.
One day an older woman came alone into the park. She stopped beside me and looked at my drooping leaves. I felt the warmth of her empathy flow towards me. I wanted to tell her my story.
She sat down on the ground and listened to my complaint. She understood. She felt my sorrow and longing. It was enough.
After that day, I began to see again. I was in a park designed by a king.
I grew tall, taller than the other trees. I stretched my limbs so birds could build their nests in them. I noticed that I had aerial roots growing down from my branches. I thought then I would make a swing of them for children. I want to show all the children who find me that I am here for them.”
The tree did not have to say more. I understood. It was my tree.
I stood up and looked at the tree again. The aerial roots covered its trunk. Dead brown leaves covered the ground. The tree had died many deaths, yet it lived. It still gave protection to the birds and the children.
The little girl began to gather the leaves in big piles. Suddenly she was surrounded by a crowd of children. They were playing and hiding under the dead leaves. I heard them laugh and shout in joy. They rolled around the on the ground, so the leaves rustled.
The big boys climbed up in the tree. The younger children clung to the swing.
Everyone had a place in my tree. After playing, the children were tired. They returned home to their parents.
I realized that I must leave my tree. I have to move on. I have to plant trees for other children in other countries. The wind followed me with its whispering melody.
As a teenager, Lisa Enqvist decided she would never be a missionary, never return to her father’s Gospel ship “Ebeneser,” never marry a missionary, never have kids who might feel as rootless as she was. And, she prayed, “Please, God, don’t ever send me to India.” But God knew Lisa better than she knew herself and gave her what her heart truly desired: all the things she asked Him not to give her, healing her heart more and more through the process.
Lisa is a co-founder of a Children’s Home in Thailand. She grew up in China and Sri Lanka as a missionary kid. She now lives with her husband in a small town on the West Coast of Finland. She and her husband adopted four Amerasian children in Thailand. They have given Lisa and her husband Håkan eleven grandkids.
Today, Lisa writes personal and family stories based on saved letters, documents, and personal memories. Since receiving her mother’s old letters in 1983, she has written four memoir books in Swedish and one in English: MISSIONARY MOTHER – Around the World with Five Kids. Rheumatoid Arthritis has challenged her since writing her first book.
Lisa is a registered pediatric nurse. Her earlier writing experience consisted of newsletters to sponsors of children at the Bethany Children’s Home and regular letters to family and friends scattered around the world. She has saved numerous family letters.
She attended several Swedish writer’s seminars in Finland. After reverting to English in 2011, she completed a course in writing for children and youth at the Institute for Children’s Literature and a Memoir Writing Course at Creative Writing Now. She also wrote articles for FaithWriters Challenge.
She is a member of Everything Memoir Private Group and West Coast Christian Writers. She has attended two Online conferences with the WCCW.
Her book MISSIONARY MOTHER – Around the World with Five Kids, is available from:
and other online bookstores.
Lisa blogs at: https://lisaenqvistroots.com/
This is the third installment of Anna Smit’s personal testimony to the love and mercy of Jesus. These installments of her testimony are God’s answer to all of us who have walked a path of trauma and heartache, believing our God has abandoned us. For He has never ever forsaken us and He wants us to know it, and to see the fingerprints of the Cross – and His unending love for us – all over our lives. For the first installment see: Love Never Ends.
And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. (Hosea 2:15 ESV)
Memories are funny things. Sweet memories linger. Scents of summer’s breath, Grandma’s perfume, Granddad’s soapy bristle as he leans in to give you a tender “peck” on the cheek. But then there are the memories seared into the brain. Locked away, too painful to linger. Hidden deep.
And yet Jesus came to give [us] hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that [we] may know that [He is] the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons [us] by name (Isaiah 45:3 NIV). For me, this gift came in the return of a piercing silence, in the lingering pain He began to draw to the surface, that I had known so well as a little girl.
More than anything
It cuts and maims
And holds me bound.
To then be met
By slicing silence
Is too much for
This one heart to bare.
Teach me Your wisdom
LORD, to keep on giving
Even with heart torn and bled.
Even when lying tongues
Speak shame and press me far away
Where I begin to question
Who I am.
Help me even then to return
And rest in who You are
Inside of me
Strong, where I am weak.
Hold me, each and every broken piece
Safe, in Your whole hands
And place me where You
Would have me be.
Be my strength, when I have none
My courage, where lies speak loud
My thoughts, my words and deeds
That I may once again:
Turn toward You, my Rock
My fortress and deliverer
That Your heart may gush
As living water from this:
Your holy Temple
And dwelling place
A living stone among many
Being built upon the Rock.
Upon the cornerstone
Rejected by man
But chosen by God
And precious to Him.
As that little girl, God first called me to partake in His suffering. He set me apart from those I loved most, calling me to stand with Him to intercede for the healing of His Body. But, as that child, I allowed the enemy to convince me that this setting apart, that caused such deep pain in my heart was proof of my evil and my disobedience, rather than proof of God honoring my heart’s desire to know the depths of His grace.
Yet, even in that unbelieving and distrusting child, His grace gushed forth, breaking open my hardened by sin heart that I was too afraid and too ashamed to bring into the open. Sadly, though, as I saw the responses of those around me to the Holy Spirit’s touch upon me and my open confession of my weakness and sin, I reeled in shame.
Yet, rather than condemn me as I bowed before my idols, God led me out and away from the environment, where the enemy prowled and bound me in perpetual fear and shame. Then, many years later, His Holy Spirit once again poured out upon me. This time, I was surrounded only by mountains, walking my baby girl to sleep, as I grieved my mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis.
Through my life story, God is showing me that His call upon our lives is irrevocable. When we keep silent in the breaking, as His longing for us individually, and for His Bride corporately, pierces our fearful and prideful hearts, we let our bones waste away through our groaning all day long (Psalm 32:3). And yet, amazingly, even then, in our silence to our Father’s call, our Savior continues speaking tenderly to us through the desert. Piece by piece, He breaks open the wilderness of our hearts to gush forth His grace, proclaiming through the breaking that our hard service has been completed, that our sin has been paid for, that we have received from the Lord’s hand double for all our sins (Isaiah 40:2).
Now, unlike when I was little, I can see that as our hearts harden to the seed of His sowing in our pain and unbelief, God’s power takes over. For, it is precisely in our weakness that Christ shines forth His power to save and redeem.
We needn’t be embarrassed by His power that openly displays the changing of our minds and lives. We needn’t be ashamed of the pure, white dress of repentance He is clothing us in to prove His love for us and His Body. We needn’t be ashamed of the growing fruit of His love for us and others being revealed in and through our open confession of sin and weakness. And we needn’t be ashamed of the healing leaves of His grace covering us. For, precisely these healing leaves are what God uses to silence the accuser of our brethren also, as He strips the condemnation and shame covering those around us, as we boast in our weakness to His glory.
Yes, through our every breaking and setting apart, God causes us to die to the law that has been arousing “sinful passions” in us (Romans 7:5) and to arise anew in the strength of His Spirit at work in us (Romans 8:9). He transforms our thinking so that instead of dwelling inside our lack, we begin to dwell inside the fullness and the perfect wholeness already dwelling inside of us: Jesus. It’s the heart and mind of Christ at work in us that stops us fighting to defend ourselves and stops us fleeing to protect ourselves. It’s Jesus that compels us to come into His Presence unguarded to be covered by His healing wings of grace.
As He draws us ever nearer, He uncovers our pain and unbelief. It’s then we come, as little children, whose Savior has split the veil of separation in two. We come with our anger, with our tears, with our fears and our agonizing doubts, pouring our hearts out freely at His feet.
It’s there Christ teaches us to glory in our weakness. His power unveils a new heart of faith, hope and love, beating so strongly in us: His very own heart of flesh that has already replaced our heart of stone. It is not we who must muster up the faith to believe Him at His Word. NO! He gives us this faith as a free gift. The faith to truly believe Him when He reminds us that it is no longer we and our sinful hearts that live, but Christ and His heart of flesh that lives in us, When He reminds us that the life we now live in the earthly tent that is fading by the day, we live by faith in the Son of God, who loved us and gave himself for us (Galatians 2:20), knowing that as our outward selves are decaying, our inward selves are being renewed by the day (2 Corinthians 4:16).
He stills the accuser’s voice, that we might hear His heart of flesh declare in and through us: “My beloved is mine and I am his.” (Song of Songs 2:16). He reminds us that we have never and will never ever be alone. Yes, our God is with us in each and every breaking. He is with us in each and every silence. And clothed in that knowledge and experience of His precious Presence with us, joy, peace and glorious hope begin to flow out of us with great force. Living water – the life of Jesus – begins to gush out of the rock – Jesus – living inside of us to bless and heal others also.
Now, I know that when all I could hear and feel was that piercing silence as a little girl, the Holy Spirit was in fact speaking with and in me (cf John 14:17). Precisely by setting me apart through my own and my loved ones’ weakness, He was preparing the Way to shed abroad His love, not just in my own heart and my loved ones, but many more.
Now, I know that all along, He was preparing me to live out His irrevocable calling on my life: to be a broken open vessel to His glory. Now, thanks to His perseverance, I can testify, with great joy and thankfulness, of His life at work in me. I can speak of His unbelievable mercy toward me in my sin and His deep compassion toward me, through every trigger of trauma. Triggers that He is using for good: to transform my mind and to reveal His heart of flesh in and through me.
Now, I know that nothing can stop me from speaking of Christ’s love and grace for me. Not what man may say to me. Nor any breaking Christ walks me toward. Because now, I know that the bread (the Body of Christ) is lifted up to our Father in heaven in thanks, so that He may be broken and multiplied to feed a waiting and hungry people. And I know that as we take eat of the bread of life, in our breaking apart, and drink of Christ´s cup of suffering, we declare the finished work of the Cross and His imminent coming. We declare His Body healed, whole and made complete in Christ Jesus, our LORD and Savior.
Yes, every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain (Isaiah 40:4). For, all Promises are Yes and Amen in Jesus. The mouth of the Lord has spoken it. So, it shall not return to Him empty, but it shall accomplish that which He has purposed, and shall succeed in the thing for which He sent it.” (Isaiah 55:11, ESV).
Come let us taste and see that our God is so, so good to us:
Awake, my soul!
Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
For great is your love, reaching to the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
Psalm 57:8-11, NIV YES! Jesus came to give [us] hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that [we] may know that [He is] the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons [us] by name (Isaiah 45:3 NIV). For His calling upon our lives is irrevocable! Praise HIM!!!