All posts tagged: hope

Bullied and teased to the point of despair

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Here, Aaron Summers shares a snippet of his story. Throughout my school years, life was tough. I was teased and called many names; ugly, freak, you get the picture. I was a bully myself at times too. At the root of it was a constant struggle with self image. I didn’t feel I was good enough for anything or anyone. I felt that no one wanted to hang out with me, and that I was always on the outer. I remember tearing up my leavers dinner photos because I felt so ugly and down on myself. Depression got a hold of me and I was in a very dark place, in and out of church at Summerhill Baptist and Door of Hope. My mum encouraged me to keep coming along to church. It was a hard time for her, seeing me go through this, but she kept spurring me on. I was going home most days from school turning the lights off and going to bed. I’d just basically given up. …

“Indescribable peace” in the midst of cancer battle

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Here, Matt Kuipers of Launceston shares some of his story. Being a Christian, I always thought I was a pretty ‘good’ person, who contributes well to society. As far as I can remember I have always been assured of belonging to God’s family, which gives me comfort and assurance in a life after death. However my faith had never really been significantly challenged. In December 2016 I was diagnosed with rectal cancer at the age of 34. After many scans it became apparent that the cancer had spread to my liver upgrading it to stage four. Through chemoradiation and surgery the cancer was successfully removed from my rectum but the tumours in my liver continued to grow in both size and number. Throughout the whole crazy journey, including diagnosis, never have I questioned my faith. I do not put this down to having a really strong, well-developed faith. In fact, I think the opposite is true. To sit there in total peace while one of your doctors is telling you that …

Trusting Jesus with my self-worth is a daily decision

This article is part of the #flamfaces series. Say hello to Sarah Haberle of Launceston. My life is a tapestry of God’s love – He has been present throughout every challenge, hardship and joy. I have experienced miracles and bear testimony to the truth that Jesus is alive. My early and late teenage years were up and down times – one minute Jesus was my everything, the next I was enjoying a life spent completely on myself and on whatever I wanted to do. One night, I was out at a pub. It was around 1am and I suddenly felt myself snap into the sober. I looked around the room and realised I hardly knew these ‘friends’ and just as suddenly I knew I was done with a life of emptiness without Jesus. I drove to a friend’s house at 2am and they welcomed me, clothed me and held me as I cried and made the decision to leave that life behind for good and choose Jesus and His love. God is always, always, with me I grew up …

Why We’re So Intrigued By Injury

Every parent knows that a Bandaid on a child is so much more than an adhesive strip to mop up blood and keep dirt out of a scrape. The power of these magical stickers should never be underestimated. What’s more, the colourful cartoon characters printed on the more expensive varieties are a novelty du force. The humble Bandaid is a gallant defender of the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ maxim that most parents cling to. Have you noticed how the fine motor skills required to tear open the packet, peel away the fiddly leaves and then smooth the apparatus across the lesion without touching the site of grief brings a beautiful distraction from the trauma of the incident itself? Wonderful invention. But the most perplexing result is observed beyond adult supervision, in the playground, with another little mate seated beside. They are peeling the Bandaid away to, “Come look!” and “Awww!” and to boast “I cut it on dad’s fishing lure!” Yep. There’s the little blubbering mess suddenly dry-eyed, ripping off the dressing to show …

The Nativity Pig

There’s a pig in our nativity.

My makeshift Christmas scene is made from plastic animal figurines bought from the local toyshop. They sit on the mantelpiece beneath a glass cloche with a hessian star hanging from the top – an idea from one of those home-decorating mags. Jesus is a little piece of rolled-up cheesecloth sitting atop half a bird’s nest.

Porky is the latest addition.

Loving Floyd – a Story of Hurt and Hope

You know when a friend does something really amazing and you just want to scream “I KNOW HER! I KNOW HER!” to ride on the coattails of their success a little? That’s what I’m about to do. Chantelle Pitt is a friend of mine and she’s also a newly published author. The hard story of her son Floyd’s short life and the profound journey God has taken this family on is now a book with real pages, chapters and even some photos! The book is titled ‘Loving Floyd’ (Ark House Press) and here’s the blurb: “Is it possible to experience unimaginable pain and loss and still want to talk to God? Is it possible to come to a place of surrender and acceptance regardless of the outcome? Is it possible to learn so much about God, yourself and others through the grief of the most precious gift now gone? LOVING FLOYD is the remarkable story of one couple who fought to the end to save the life of their unborn son. Relying on her raw …

Where Ordinary and Extraordinary Collide

“Do not ask your children to strive for extraordinary lives. Such striving may seem admirable, but it is the way of foolishness. Help them instead to find the wonder and the marvel of an ordinary life. Show them the joy of tasting tomatoes, apples and pears. Show them how to cry when pets and people die. Show them the infinite pleasure in the touch of a hand. And make the ordinary come alive for them. The extraordinary will take care of itself.” – William Martin. We were sitting on the lounge room floor shelling broad beans, my son and I. He was engrossed, tongue hanging out the corner of his mouth as he manoeuvred each bean from its pod. We talked about how some were big and some were small – how the smaller ones were sweeter. But mostly we just shelled beans, my three-year-old and I. They were probably the most peace-filled moments of the day. I noticed things; like the downy lining of each broad bean pod and that whoever designed these things …

The Antonym of Selfishness

The sunny, smiling face of Jack Duffy being piggy-backed by his equally smiling and sunny-faced father Chris is a wonderful picture of parenthood. I’ve been following his story – maybe you have too. Jack, eight, has cerebral palsy spastic quadriplegia and can’t talk or walk. This small detail has not stopped his parents from imagining new adventures that any kid would marvel at. Last year Jack did the Ross Marathon, pushed in a buggy by his mum Erin and Chris. In 2009 they kayaked 600km from Launceston to Hobart along the East Coast, raising $70,000 for St Giles Society. And in April next year Chris will carry Jack in a special backpack along the 65km Overland Track, this time raising funds for Life Without Barriers. Makes me feel exhausted just writing about it! Parenting a child with additional needs must be one of the most difficult gigs, and my hat’s off to every person who has marched that path. You. Are. Legends. When these sorts of stories surface – of parents doing extraordinary things to …

The Four-Word Statement That Australia Needs as its Motto

“Love Makes A Way,” their banners read. The people holding the banners are a movement of Christians fed up with the treatment of asylum seekers in Australia and are campaigning for change. Everyday people with families of their own have risked arrest to sit in the offices of politicians, staging non-violent protests to agitate for reform. They silently pray and urge compassion towards asylum seekers, lobbying for the release of the 789 children currently in detention. Why? Because they are followers of another refugee called Jesus. Because 2010 Australian of the Year professor Patrick McGorry has said that our detention centres are “factories for producing mental illness”. Because an Australian and New Zealand study of children who had been detained for more than one year revealed that 100 per cent suffered from some form of mental illness attributable to their detention. Because while others shake their heads at the complexity of the situation, shrugging ambivalent shoulders, they know that, “Love Makes A Way”. Please, Mr Abbott, can we take this four-word slogan as the battle cry of …