today, i am thankful for:
- my family - my supportive parents and my four siblings who never fail to amaze me with their character and their love
- my hands - to serve
- life and all that it has to offer
martha hoang | bayarea to losangeles | apu '17 | my purpose is to live a life worthy of my calling
today, i am thankful for:
As I walk the campus of Azusa Pacific University, I can’t help but be thankful. Thankful for God’s provision, thankful for Jesus dying on the cross for me, thankful for life.
There’s something different about this semester. There’s something about it that makes me think to myself, “Wow. God’s doing such awesome things. 2014 is going to be the year that the kingdom expands and the body of Christ will be strengthened in numbers. This is going to be a year of revival!” But then, I think to myself, do I just say this? Or do I sincerely mean it? Do I truly believe that there is power in the name of Jesus? Of course I do, but how do I live it out?
How do I live it out.. Martha, what are you saying! It’s easy. You don’t have to do anything! Grace and mercy has already done it for you. And then the words, be a disciple come into mind.
B E - A - D I S C I P L E
Hmm… What can I do differently this year to be a disciple?
- my family
- mika’s ability to have both dog and human qualities
- stella and maxine, because if not for those two, mika’s sadness would be too much for me to bear
- grace, the unconditional and undeserving grace that I am so grateful for
- clean water
- the ability to sit in my yard and read and enjoy sunlight
- self confidence
- the capacity to love others
- my doodle book and new pack of pencils
Last week, I received some upsetting news regarding my skin disease, psoriasis. Now - not only do I just have psoriasis, I have psoriatic arthritis as well. My joints and muscles are weak from the pain. I ache when I wake up and am unable to move. I can’t sit in class without shaking and cramping up.
I have had psoriasis for 7 years now. This arthritis was unexpected.
I find myself asking the question, “why me?” But, I know my God has a plan. I know my God has a reason for placing this psoriasis in my life. I know my God is using my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis as my living testimony. I know my God is great and He is my healer.
Regardless of the obstacles and challenges that may come, God can and will carry you through it and give you His strength. The best is yet to come when you’re living in God’s presence. He is not done with you yet. Trust in Him!@12 months ago
The day that changed my faith, in the best possible way.
In the morning, I could not get out of bed. My body ached, I could not move. My very first psoriatic arthritis flare. Aw man, this sucks. My life sucks. Darn. When I was able to get up, I did. I went to the health center: “your very first psoriatic arthritis flare.” Darn. This is realistic. This is happening. This is what I’m going to struggle with for the next however many years. Darn.
Later in the evening, around 7:30, I sat down at my laptop, and I researched. I researched about psoriasis and about psoriatic arthritis. Man, this is what I’m going to be battling next. Darn, this sucks for me. Why me? I broke into tears. Hardcore tears - causing me to leave my dorm room, storming out crying because I was so upset. I went out to the patio, called my sister, and cried to her for about 10 minutes. “Why me?” “It’s okay, Martha, don’t cry. You’re the strongest person I know. I don’t know of anyone who would handle this situation better than you are.” Cry, cry, cry. Why me, God? Why me? My roommates came out to comfort me. And when I felt better, we went inside - back into the dorm room.
Around 8:27 is when my brother, David, texted me. Man oh man, did this turn my day upside down. Apparently, three months ago, when I gave my testimony at church about my health issues and about how God has been there for me through it all, there was a man, Brent, in the audience, listening to my story. He did not believe in the Lord, but after my sharing of my testimony… Brent gave his life to the Lord. David sent me a text message picture of Brent sharing his testimony at Bible Study.
MAN, did that feel awesome! How cool is that? How awesome is that, that I was the one to encourage him through my story? That God chose ME to carry this disease and all of these problems, so that I could touch people with my testimony? Man. I will go the rest of my life with this disease if it helps people truly see the grace and the awesome power of the Lord’s name.
From my day starting off terribly, and me making it all about myself. “Why did God choose me? Why is this happening to me? Me, me, me.” It turned into, “Beloved daughter, Martha. I chose you to carry this disease so others would know who I am from and through your story. I gave you this testimony to share.” God’s timing is awesome.
I am so blessed and so thankful for something negative that has become so positive in my life. Truly, “a blessing in disguise.”@7 months ago with 1 note
A simple reminder that holds a significant volume of meaning. If we are empty - empty of love, joy, patience, grace, and/or of any other quality of Christ - we can’t hold it against ourselves to extend those qualities of Christ to others. When we are empty of these things, it’s not up to us to fill that void. In order to become full again, as Christ followers, we need to allow God to fill that void - to fill that emptiness.
How am I to shed unconditional love on those around me, when I can’t seem to find God’s unconditional love for me enough to live on for the rest of my life? How am I to pour out Christ’s love on others when I can’t seem to make accepting and finding Christ’s love sufficient the number one priority in my life?
What other way to do this, than to do a
little lot of seeking? I pray that I and equipped and ready to have the boldness, faithfulness, and heart to seek God’s presence, to seek God’s guidance, and to be overwhelmed by and full of His love. ”Seek, and you will find.” Today, I seek for the satisfaction and fullness of God’s grace. I seek to be filled, so that I may overflow and pour out onto and into others.
And while it may seem that I am taking a step backwards, I reckon I am one step closer to truly finding Christ, and truly understanding the undeserving grace that is still extended to me. I am humbled that He opens his arms with all of the things that He wants for me, and gives it to me freely. He fills me for free - with no requirement of a payment, with no request of a favor in return. How awesome is that?@8 months ago with 1 note
God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.
Wow, how humbling it is to hear these words. God doesn’t care about your circumstances or the situation you’re in. He loves you regardless, and will love you regardless. You are called into His kingdom, and you didn’t have to apply or be accepted. He called you because He loves you and He wants you to know that you are chosen, and that you are His beloved. He doesn’t care what skills you bring, or don’t bring, to the table. He’s after you and your heart, and He wants you to run after Him and His heart.
Seek first the Lord, and He will fulfill the desires of your heart.@12 months ago with 2 notes