Guest Posts, Uplifting and Encouraging

Release

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This is a poem that reflects the courage that one may need to step out, let go of old things and embrace new beginnings; it is dedicated to anyone who is on the verge of change. 

The child stood alone for a time,
Balloons in hand,
And quietness flooded the place,

Could she dare to let them go?
Blue, Yellow, Green.
Would she ever see them again?
Where would they go?

When would they arrive?
What adventures would they have on their way?
She could not know,
She would never know!

She only knew that the time they had spent together
had come to an end. 
With trembling hand, she raised up the first,
be blessed wherever you go!
So, gently was the string let loose
a gust of wind and it was gone. Forever.

The second seemed easier, a flash of yellow,
blurred by the sun.
Then it too was gone.
Drifting lazily along and up

With confidence now, the last balloon was raised,
and, with a small pause of reflection
and a thoughtful stare, 
it too was caught up by the breeze.
And its final course was set.

Still, she stood there, time being still,
contemplating,
remembering,
then, at last, she turned – and there they were,
the new balloons
orange, red and purple.
How beautiful they looked!
Waiting and bobbing in the breeze,
waiting just for her!

Slowly, she reached out
and took hold of the strings,
stepping forward
she let them move in the breeze,
ever so carefully, not letting them go.
Then, moving faster, she let them bob behind her
as she ran down the hill, 
into what the new day would bring.

 

The Jerusalem Series

What greater friend than a brother?

Click here to read more stories from Jerusalem.

 

“If you could have one extra thing in your life, what would you have?”

“A brother,” I said.

How could I know that in a few years my wish would be answered?

It was a sunny January morning when we headed to a new city for the first time. Ola and I were exploring. Our kind friend had invited us to stay at her house overnight.

My friend had three sons and they met us in the city. We all went for our very first KFC meal together and tried the famous local Ice Cream made from sugar cane.

It did not take long for us to become friends, even though our communication was limited. At this point, I could not speak Arabic and they could only speak some English.

Time and time again I would return to their house; whether to eat delicious maqloubeh or to sit drinking coffee on the balcony watching the golden glowing sunset over the hills of the neighboring villages.

Within a matter of time, I became a sister and they became brothers.

We would often find ourselves sitting together, laughing together and yes, even dancing together. It was certainly not unusual for us to study together and there would often be many Arabic, English, Maths and Science books scattered across the table. We learned together, practiced together and worked together.

When I returned to England the learning did not stop – it had only just begun.

Every few days my phone would ‘ping’ with pictures of homework assignments and questions about English vocabulary and grammar. I would often answer their questions by sending a voice message on my daily morning commutes to University.

In return, I would also send them pictures of my homework assignments and ask them questions, which they faithfully answered on a daily basis.

Since those early days, seven years have passed – I can barely believe it! How beautiful those years have been and I am so very proud of all three of them.

Bader is starting his second year in University, he is a high achiever with exceptional English skills and he is on the way to achieving great things. As a talented, skilled and motivated young man, I am certain that Bader will reach the heights of academia.

Eyad has just graduated from his tawjihi (A-Levels) and he will start his University degree in a matter of weeks. Eyad has worked hard and he is a key example of resilience and determination. His skills in business are phenomenal and I can not wait to see the fruits of his hard work unfold.
Hadi is an explorer by nature and he still has a few years ahead of him before he will complete his tawjihi (A- Levels). Therefore there is nothing but time for his inquisitive and curious nature to grow. Hadi learns by experiencing and he never misses an opportunity to question and challenge his abilities.

I consider myself so very honored to have these three fun-loving brothers in my life. I am grateful for all of our shopping trips, outings, movie nights, Bollywood singalongs, journeys, and phonecalls. Not to mention of course their constant help and support with my studies and their support of my writing.

It really has been beautiful to watch how simple-hearted kindness and hospitality can lead to friendships which are stronger than words.

How humbling to witness such a great willingness to help and support a sister to achieve her dreams!

My brothers, I only hope to be able to help you in the same way that you have helped me over the past seven years.

You mean so very much to me and I will cherish our conversations and memories forever.

.الصدّيق يحب في كل وقت. اما الاخ فللشدة يولد

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.


Jerusalem series

Uplifting and Encouraging

Hope, can you hear me?

Click here to read more encouraging and uplifting content.

I made a mistake today, like yesterday and the day before.

I imagined that I was not lovable.

One thought triggers another thought.

Before I knew what had happened, what I had imagined became a belief.

I am unlovable.

The silent contemplation of my broken soul and the whisper of fear in a dark night’s dream had convinced me.

So I began to fear.

With each night’s painful turn, I summoned a cry with all of my might, in the hope that someone, anyone, would hear me.

And all I saw was a faint silhouette.

A man, perhaps?

A ray of light.

And thus it continued.

Once or twice a rare flicker of light lit up the darkness like a burning flame.

But still, nothing.

There were no answers to my prayers and there was no comfort for my tears.

Only bravery.

BRAVERY.

Call it what you will, it is all that I have.

And faith, the faith to believe that as impossible as the situation would seem…

I am lovable.

We are lovable.

You are lovable.

And for the brave soul that is holding on for the answer that they so desperately need.

You really are loveable. 

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119: 50

Uplifting and Encouraging

Listen, even the silence is whispering!

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It had been a long month. Come to think of it, it had been a long few months. I leaned against the sea wall and stared out into the distance. The blurry waves were dancing along with the wind. The winter sun had long since hidden himself behind the clouds that touched the surface of the horizon. The sky was a fusion of unsuspecting colours – shades of blue and red which blended into each other like a piece of artwork.

I wish I had been able to appreciate the landscape more, it was beautiful, but my mind was a mess of tangled thoughts.

An empty, lonely, frustrated mess.

I closed my eyes and asked my heart, how would I define myself at this moment?

My heart answered within seconds.

I am pain’s captive, my feelings were the product of a hope that felt too big and a dream that was too easily shattered. I had grown accustomed to the voices of those whom I had loved, and the time had come for them to leave.

Some voices left quickly in the night, like a strong puff of breath onto a flickering flame. Gone in seconds.

Others left over time.

Once they had left it was necessary to gather the moments and the stories – all that had been shared and convert them into memories to be stored away for a rare reminiscent occasion, such as today.

The first few stars were shining in the sky.

I missed the old me, the girl who danced in the rain laughing and singing. I missed the girl who had the energy to soar through her dreams. I missed the girl who always knew the words to say. The same girl who drew big smiling faces on the steamed-up windows of cars. She seemed like a distant memory, one never to return.

I lifted up my head and watched the birds, flying in unison, shooting into the distance. Like some sort of orchestra, the waves lept higher into the sky and crashed down into the water beneath them with a magnificent voice. More stars were starting to appear. The moonlit up the sky like a flame and it’s shattered reflection danced across the water’s surface.

Within a second or two, a shooting star swept the sky.

I swear it was for me!

Everyone knows how much I love the stars.

Pain is a captor, it’s deadly grasp is very real. It convinces you that you are alone, that you were never loved and that you never will be loved. It snarls and tells you that you were an accident, a mistake and that what you are feeling is normal. It tells you that every beautiful thing you thought you had – every gift, skill and life lesson was and still is worthless. Pain says yes to hate and revenge and tells you how to fire the weapon. Pain knows what it needs to grow.

I don’t know where I am in the course of my life and I don’t know what will happen in a few days. But I do know that pain is an antonym of peace. I know that pain is often a response of the harsh realities of life, a natural response that needs to heal. Pain can lead to fear of the unknown future – the one that was not hoped for. I know that pain can often lead to anger, the antonym of love.

And I know that there is no fear in love.

Love is something pure, something often undeserved. Like it’s antonym anger, love is a choice. Love is stronger when it addresses the truth. Love chooses to protect, it chooses to trust, it constantly hopes. Love is not inward-looking, but it looks outward and pushes onwards towards a higher purpose and greater glory.

Pain is real, hope is often very distant, trust requires insecurity and waiting takes time. Everything needs time to grow. Take hold of your memories, acknowledge the losses, record each triumph and count every blessing.

Spring is coming.

I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of his glories and grace, I will boast of all his kindness to me. Let all who are discouraged take heart.  Let us praise the Lord together and exalt his name. (Psalm 34)