I met a 5yr old walking miracle

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Let me introduce you to Biswas. He is 5 yrs old. But he’s not like most 5 year olds. Biswas can’t speak or communicate, he struggles to walk, and his teeth prevent him from eating any solid food. Biswas has been born into a society that doesn’t just disrespect individuals born with special needs, but actually believes that their disabilities are a sign of a curse on the family. In a country where over 80% of the population is Hindu, mothers and their disabled babies are often completely disowned by their families due to this superstition.

But little Biswas was born into a Christian family. And even before his birth, God began revealing what an incredible plan he has for this child’s life. Even during his 5 short years, God has used Biswas countless times to display His love, faithfulness and power to people in Nepal.

Neesha was filled with fear and dread when the doctor told her that her unborn baby would be born with severe developmental disabilities. Neesha and her husband were Christians living in a predominantly Hindu neighborhood. She knew the stares and rude comments she would receive if she were to go out with a disabled child. She knew that it would be a struggle to care for a child with special needs with so little support available. Neesha began to feel overwhelmed by the army facing her. She even planned to take her own life…

A few weeks later however, Biswas was born. Immediately the critical nature of his condition became evident. He was born with twice the volume of blood as normal, suffered severe meningitis and digestive issues. He was also both blind and deaf.

Neesha didn’t understand why she seemed to be up against such a powerful army.

Throughout all the hardships, Neesha remained obedient to God in prayer. When the doctors told her that Biswas had been born with too much blood, her response was to fast and pray together with her women’s group. And God healed her son. The doctors were astounded.

When it became evident that Biswas was suffering with meningitis, Neesha cried out to God in prayer, and her son was healed. The doctors simply couldn’t explain it.

When a doctor told Neesha that her son was blind and would never be able to see, she went home and prayed. When she returned to the hospital the following day, carrying little Biswas, her child with perfect vision, the doctor was speechless.

And when another doctor informed Neesha that Biswas was completely deaf, she went home rejoicing. She praised God for making her son deaf, because she knew that God would perform a miracle to lead this doctor to faith in Christ. And what do you think happened? You guessed it; Biswas’s hearing today is perfect!

I had the privilege of being predominantly responsible for Biswas in my class at a Special School in Nepal where I volunteered 3 days a week. And I can tell you that he truly is a little blessing. He grins and makes clicking noises, clapping his hands. He is fascinated by the simplest of things and is completely content to just watch the other kids in the class all day long. Oh, and he adores the camera!

It upsets me and angers me to think of how negatively strangers view and judge Biswas when they pass him in the street. God truly calls the unexpected to further His kingdom. God is working so incredibly powerfully through this little boy who can’t speak.

It was so amazing to get to know Neesha and Biswas, we’d be a the bus stop and she’d come and tell me of another answer to prayer, or what God had told her that week. She really inspired and encouraged me to be persistent in prayer and to trust in his faithfulness when things were difficult. God is faithful when it seems like stuff is impossible. Sometimes I find when I read Bible passages about huge battles, or some of the Psalms where David is talking about being up against his enemies and I think, I don’t have thousands of soldiers on my doorstep. But if you replace the word army with things like stress, fear, anxiety, depression, money troubles, family issues, exams, illness, future uncertainty, work problems. What armies are you up against in your life today? Are we willing to trust, to let go, to ask God help us to trust Him? Because he can and will use you to do the most unexpected things if we persist in prayer and in trusting his faithfulness.

Hope

x

Disclaimer: All information in this post is true, except I have changed the individual’s names for their privacy

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Self Care Ideas

Screen Shot 2016-08-04 at 16.33.44.pngIt’s great to have a bit of me-time now again, especially if you’ve been feeling a bit under the weather.

I’ve compiled a little list of ideas to inspire you to practise some self-love ❤

  • have a bubble bath
  • light some candles
  • do a facemask
  • paint your nails
  • make a cup of loose leaf tea
  • bake something new
  • do some mindfulness (I recommend the Calm app)
  • do some yoga (Yogawithadriene on YouTube has some great videos to follow)
  • put on some music and dance
  • write letters to friends
  • colour in
  • take a walk outside
  • call a friend
  • play a musical instrument 

Above all, remember to love and accept yourself for who you are ❤

 

Hope x

Having a boyfriend has changed me..

It’s almost half a year since my last post.. And I have changed immeasurably since then..

I am such a different person to the girl who last updated this blog. I have been through so much, learnt so much about myself and about the world. I feel stronger now than I ever have felt before, and I’m so excited for the adventures that lie ahead of me.

It’s my hope that this post might encourage some of you out there. Two years ago I was held captive by my anxiety and depression. The smallest task took so much effort. I lived in a constant state of fear, stress and exhaustion. I hardly ever saw friends outside of school, it just took too much energy for me. To go a single day without crying was a big achievement. I looked to the future and only saw stress of exams and eventually having to live on my own.

And what has changed? I am now in a happier place than I have ever been. I’ve graduated school, finished my IB. In October I’m travelling to Nepal to do charity work there for six months before heading to Uni. I’ve even begun to reduce my antidepressant meds 🙂 I’ve integrated into a new group of friends, we hang out several times a week..

And, I have a boyfriend. We’ve been together for almost three months now, it’s my first proper relationship. He is such a blessing. A constant support for me (he once sat outside in the middle of the night with me for 2.5hrs whilst I cried and had a panic attack). He is simply amazing. And I feel that I have grown so much as a person since we got together. My self confidence has really improved.

When I think back to the anxious girl I was six months ago, I am so proud of how far I’ve come. I feel strong and more independent. Sure, I have bad days, but they are now few and far between.

So I want to encourage you. Recovery is possible. You just need patience. I know it’s hard. But just keep going, climbing one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll look back and realise you’ve climbed the whole staircase.

Hope x

 

 

 

 

Little Life Chat 1

Countdown to Christmas: 17

Hey guys, I’m so sorry that I missed another day yesterday! I feel bad, I don’t think I realised just how much time and energy would be required for daily posts. So as not to skip another day, I thought I’d just write a chatty post today, let you get to know me a bit more. Please feel free to leave comments as well, I love chatting with you guys 🙂

How have you been doing recently? I’ve had a quite a bit of school pressure, I guess that’s what your final year in IB does to you! However, tomorrow is the last day of term, and I’m really looking forward to the holidays 🙂 On the whole I’ve been handling life’s stresses much better than last year, I seem to have managed to get my depression and anxiety more under control, which is great.

I had a bit of a cringey day last week, and I’m in a real dilemma, if you could give me any advice it would be much appreciated!! One of my friends confessed his love for me. Literally, it was so cringey. He’d asked me out in February, and I had assumed that he would’ve lost interest by now, so we had begun to hang out more, I invited him to my youth group a couple of weeks ago. He’s a nice guy, but I’m not attracted to him in that way.. And it makes me really anxious because I feel like I can’t fully trust him. I had panic attacks in February because of this.. Should I continue taking him along to my youth group? I don’t know.

What are your plans for Christmas? Our cousins are coming to stay. I love this time of year, everyone is in such a good mood 🙂

I’m sorry for the lack of imagination that went into this update, but I wish you an amazing day. Never stop smiling, because even if things feel tough now, days will get brighter, I promise.

Lots of love and merry Christmas!

Hope x

 

What defines your worth?

Hey guys, I haven’t posted for a really long time. Life has been pretty stressful at the moment. I thought I would just write this little impromptu piece to hopefully inspire you.

What defines your worth?

Think about it. Really, think about it. Do you believe that you will be worth more if you get into that friendship group? Have that boyfriend? Lose those 10 pounds? Get that A* grade?

Well I’m here to tell you that that’s untrue.

I suppose this is topical at the moment with Essena O’Neill quitting social media. She “had it all”, but felt worthless. How can that be? Now, I don’t know what it’s like to be internet famous, but I do know what it’s like to get good school grades. I’m in my last year of the IB, and I’m predicted 45 points. People have always viewed me as “the smart one”. My life must be so easy, I’m likely to get into any university and be successful, my life must be awesome right?

Well I’m depressed. I’m suffering from depression and anxiety, which is largely related to my academic work. Yesterday I went into school to practise my English oral exam with my teacher, it went horribly. I came out and started crying, even though he told me my grade would be 5 out of 7, and he told me that my essay achieved full marks. I hated myself. I felt utterly worthless.

I guess that was a wakeup call for me. I can’t let my worth be defined by the grades I get. Just like being a millionaire won’t make you happy, neither will top grades, I can assure you. So what should define our worth?

Your worth is not defined by someone else’s inability to see your worth

Self esteem comes from within. You need to believe that you are valuable, that you are strong, that you are worthy.

I’m here to tell you today that you are special. You are loved. You are valued and you are worthy. No matter who you are, what you do, or how you feel, you are precious. You are not a mistake. And you are not helpless. You have the power to make a change, in the lives of others, to the world. And don’t forget it, you are worthy of being loved. And no one can take that away from you.

Hope x

If you are going back to school/uni/work read this!

Hi there guys. I am aware that my posts have been irregular recently. I started school last week, my last year of school. I thought I would write this quick casual post for those of you going back to a new year of school/uni/work in order to give you a bit of motivation 🙂

I read this extract a few years ago and I love it so much. I currently have a copy on my bedroom wall to motivate me now and again:

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If you’re at the beginning of the academic year thinking “Woah, there is no way I’m going to get through this”, there are some things I want you to know.

Firstly, your track record so far for getting through situations has been 100%. Don’t let fear of the future overwhelm you, that won’t help at all. What will help is staying focused. Concentrate on completing things one day at a time and before you know it, it will all be behind you.

Secondly, remember that this year is a marathon, it’s not a sprint. Pace yourself. If you go flat out on the first stretch you will never finish the race on time. Write yourself a motivational message and stick it on your wall above your desk or on your mirror. My one for this year simply says; 1. Decide where you want to go. 2. Take steps to get there. It’s important to stay dedicated if you want to achieve your best. It’s the same with anything; a diet, fitness goal etc.

Thirdly and perhaps most importantly is balance. Learn how to balance your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. I recommend The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers by Sean Covey. And Make lots of lists! This is the best way to stay organised (plus the satisfaction of ticking items off is great!). Don’t dismiss the importance of taking some time out for yourself, reading a book, going for a walk or having a bubblebath. If you don’t care for all aspects of yourself then you’ll soon run out of steam. Surround yourself with people who support you. Identify toxic aspects of your life and slowly eliminate them, it will do you good I promise.

And lastly, make a longterm goal. Right now, go and fetch a piece of paper. Got one? Good, now draw a picture of yourself in the middle (it doesn’t have to be a piece of art!). Now write down all things you want to achieve in the next five or ten years. It might be; start a family, be happy with my exam results, travel, inspire people, use my skills to help others, to name a few. Refer back to this sheet regularly so that you can have a vision of your future self in mind.

I hope you enjoyed this short post and hopefully feel encouraged and motivated for the year ahead. Let me know what you are most looking forward to about this coming year! I love you all so so much and wish you all the best!

Hope x

How to Improve Your Self Esteem

self-love2So many people in this day and age struggle with self esteem issues, myself being one of them. If you are one of these people, then you know just how hard it is to break free from that cycle of criticism and to build your self confidence. I’m not saying it’s easy, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone, but it will be worth it.

I still struggle with my self esteem, but I have come a long way from where I used to be. I am the sort of person who sets high expectations for myself and then beats myself up if I don’t achieve those goals. This has led to many problems, including being partially the reason for my anxiety and depression. With the help of counselling and my own determination, I am making steps towards learning to love myself for who I am.

As I’ve already said, it is not easy by any means. But if you are serious about changing your mind and self image, this post is for you. I have compiled a list of tips and activities to help you along your way 🙂
  1. Positive Self Talk
    • Don’t underestimate how much what comes out of our mouths can influence what goes on in our minds. This has been a big obstacle for me. I’m constantly telling myself and others that I’m not good enough, from “I know I’m going to fail this test” to “none of these clothes suit me”. One day I suddenly realised how this must sound to other people. I realised that they don’t like hearing me beat myself up all the time, they may even see the behaviour as attention seeking, which for me it isn’t. So I decided that it had to stop.
    • So, how can you break the cycle of negative self talk? Identify the areas that you’re most likely to criticise yourself in, then don’t allow anything negative to come out your mouth.
    • Task: Rehearse some practise sentences, for example, replace “I understood nothing in that test I’m going to fail” with “the test was challenging, but I tried my best”
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others
    • How many times have we heard this one right? But seriously, it is so important. I struggle with this in many aspects of my life.quote_alberteinstein
    • It’s very important that you firstly notice when you are consciously comparing yourself to other people. It’s not a bad thing to have individuals that you look up to, but when that is causing you to feel insecure, you need to change something.
    • Task: divide a piece of paper in half. On one side, list all the situations or traits that make you feel inferior to others. On the other side, write down a list of things that you’ve achieved and are proud of. Then rip the paper down the middle, destroy the first side (rip to shreds, through off a cliff, burn, your choice) and stick the positive piece onto your mirror to read every morning.
  3. Be more positive
    • For me, the defining turning point was when I decided to believe that I am strong. If there is a certain situation that makes you feel self conscious, like being in a certain group of people, you can imagine yourself in that situation acting self-secure and confident. I really recommend you try this technique, it has helped me a lot with exam anxiety.
    • Surrounding yourself with positivity is a great way to improve your self esteem. Surround yourself with people who make you feel valued, read blog posts about self esteem and scroll through Tumblr for motivational quotes.
    • Task: Make a list of small achievable goals. Tick them off as you complete them and reward yourself.
  4. Spread positivity
    • A great way to boost your self esteem is by helping others.
    • Task: meet up with your friends and stick a piece of paper onto the back of each person. Spend some time writing down compliments and things you appreciate about that person on their back. This is a great way to boost their self esteems as well as your own
  5. Learn to forgive yourself
    • Try to show yourself some compassion, you are only human after all! You cannot hate yourself into a version of you that you’ll accept. Hatred fuels hatred, not personal growth.
    • Engage in acts of self care. Have a pamper evening, exercise, get a good amount of sleep and eat a healthy diet.
    • Task: At the end of every day, write down something that you have achieved, or a compliment you have received onto a post-it note. Store the notes in a jar to read back when you’re feeling down.
  6. Distract yourself from negative thoughts
    • This can be hard, and takes a lot of determination, but try to focus on something else whenever you begin to give yourself a hard time for something.
    • Task: If your insecurities are about your physical appearance, try to look in the mirror less. When you do, put a big smile on your face. It is scientifically proven that your brain will associate smiling with happiness and this will help you to accept and value your body more.
I hope you found this long and wordy post helpful. I just want to encourage you and let you know that it is possible to improve your self esteem. This time last year, I hated my body so much that I never wore shorts, and this year I have been walking around in my bikini without a care in the world! haha. Have a wonderful day, lots of love,
Hope x