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Hang on hang on – everything is gonna be all right.

We have been going through a difficult time, but oh how God is changing the bad situations into something of beauty! These hardships just bring us so much closer to our King. You see, the enemy knows the capabilities of the power that can flow through the life of someone who has had an encounter with the Lord, and the effect it can have on those who witness the resulting “glow” upon their faces. Therefore he is determined to make people feel hopeless and despondent. He will do his best to keep us busy, fearful or anxious – he will do anything to keep us from entering that place of intimacy with our Lord.

 Tinus flew home to Harties on Sunday night and so I was alone with Aldo and the other kids for the rest of the week. Well, I can tell you that in spite of the little sleep I had this week, I had amazing times with our Most High God during those hours that I had to stay awake with Aldo. I read the Word aloud to Aldo while trying to keep him calm and peaceful when he couldn’t sleep; and in those times when I cried out to God I could feel Him stretch out His right hand and the arm of His strength towards me. I soaked in His presence with tears rolling down my cheeks – just enjoying Him – until I saw the sun come up at the break of day. I just worshipped the Lord in the beauty of holiness. The next morning the girls would come out of their rooms and the day had to go on as normal. Josh and his cousins had such a good time. They went to the beach every day and played with the other kids they met there. Chans was, and still is, such an amazing help to me. We took turns to shower, to walk on the beach, to blow-dry our hair... because Aldo couldn’t be left alone for one minute. Every morning after breakfast we took Aldo for a walk and I would hold his one arm and Chans the other.

One of the cousins brought an i-pod with her, and one of the song’s lyrics says the following: “Early in the morning, late at night, I will wait for You... on my knees I will wait for You. Create in me a clean heart O Lord so that I can live to honour You.”

Aldo was listening to this song while we were walking with him one morning, and the next moment he fell to knees on the tar road and started praying. Well yes, this is my life. When Aldo is going through such a season as he is going through now, his actions are more impulsive and difficult to control.

The cousins don’t feel embarrassed anymore when he does things like this, they are always quick to come and help. An old man came driving past and stopped next to Aldo and said, “Shame, poor boy! Can I help you?” One of the cousins replied, “You don’t have to feel sorry for him Sir... He is busy praying!” Chans and I had such a good laugh. Josh was running and playing a bit ahead of us with Moya (his dog), and every now and again he would run back to me and ask if everything was still okay. Before he ran ahead again he would give me a hug and say, “Everything is going to work out, Mom. Just wait and see.” He reminds me so much of the Holy Spirit – our Comforter.

To be an overcomer you will have to finish the race. There will be many valleys and hills that you have to cross in order to get to the finish line, but I know that God is calling a remnant to walk on this road – they will have clean hands and pure hearts and they will be free from the bondage of sin. (Photo: Retah and one of the cousins, Elisma)

This desperate search for answers only makes the desire for fresh manna every day stronger and stronger. I am looking for first hand revelations from God, where He teaches me Himself what I need to know. Tinus and I know that God is busy training us, and we are determined to run this race until we cross the finish line.

Early one morning Tinus phoned me from Harties, “Retah, I didn’t sleep a wink last night.” ‘Join the club’, I thought to myself, but I didn’t want to complain to him, because I know that on the nights that he is alone with Aldo when I am away ministering, he is the one who sits up till dawn.

Tinus excitedly explained further, “Abba broke open so many new things to me last night. I can’t wait to tell you everything! I think I can see the strategy of the enemy more clearly now!” Typically like a man he looks at it from a military point of view. This battle that we are facing together has brought us so much closer to one another. We are living in total dependence of God. People don’t understand why Aldo has to go through all of these things. Let’s forget about Aldo and God’s promises concerning his life for a moment – he is just a normal boy who got hurt seven years ago in a car accident and suffered immense trauma and pain because of it... But what about you and me? How are we dealing with our hurt and pain?

Do you know how many people choose to live with their “episodes”? They choose to stay a victim, rather than praying and getting set free from whatever it is that is keeping them in bondage. And when you pray and things don’t happen immediately, don’t think it is because your faith isn’t big enough. Keep on praying! The Lord said that our faith only needs to be as big as an mustard seed... it may be that your prayers are still in seed form under the ground and the time has not yet come to see the result. It is because so many people give up praying and trusting God when they don’t see results immediately, that the breakthroughs never come.

Like peeling an onion, the pain and hurt needs to be peeled away layer by layer. I don’t understand why people kick against this so much... tell me, is there a plan B? There is only one way to victory: To overcome through the blood of Jesus! Isn’t this why He paid the price for us on the cross? So that we should no longer live as slaves to sin, but have freedom in Him. It is the Father’s good pleasure to let the fullness of God dwell in Him. If it requires that the overcomers fight in His army – so be it. Therefore, I am asking the Lord to teach my hands to fight. If we keep on being full of ourselves and only offer ourselves to Him so that our sins may be forgiven and stop there, we will miss a big part of what He has called us to. He is waiting for us to come to Him so that we can receive the fullness of life; even if it takes us to war.

I know that there are some people who believe that spiritual warfare is not necessary, but from my experience God has shown me that sanctification requires me to hold my sword in my hand and fight against the foreign army so that the Lord can lead me into the Promised Land. I don’t see ‘faith’ in sitting back and looking at what the enemy can do to a helpless child like Aldo. I have to fight back! Because faith without works is dead.

The Lord is showing me that we are claiming back our inheritance and the ground Satan has stolen from us step by step through these battles. Not only that, but the Lord is using all of these trials to change us from glory to glory into His image. I walk this walk. I can see how having Jesus on your lips and even knowing a lot about Him doesn’t necessarily change you into His image. Only having His nature will bring out His character and out of that comes His power and wisdom.

The Lord spoke to me and said, “Retah, I need a voice in the wilderness. Patiently walk out your journey and tell the truth – because the truth shall set you free.”

In the midnight hours, when we didn’t have any other choice but to fight the enemy, we learned these truths firsthand. No books would have been able to teach us what we know now, it only comes by experience.

I heard the Lord saying to me, “Do you understand now that no man can teach you what I am teaching you through these trials? No man can take it away from you either.  I am teaching you first hand so that you will never doubt when human arguments try to convince you otherwise.”

As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:13-14).

I have reminded the Lord about this Scripture many times this week.

The Lord gently responded, “Retah, as you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will bear fruit that will remain and others will come to eat of this fruit and be nourished. My words are spirit and life, and My words give life – stay in My Word.”

This promise became so real to me this week. At night, when I read to the Word to Aldo when he couldn’t sleep, I was so vulnerable and desperate for the Lord. It wasn’t easy, but the anointing just kept on flowing over me as I did it. The Scriptures became living words to me – it was heavenly manna that sustained me. I know today that as we dwell in the Lord’s presence and eat His words, His words will become our strength. Every good thing comes at a price. When I get weary I remind myself that I am still holding on to two treasures in my hands: Faith in the one hand, and Hope in the other.

Abba showed me some time ago what our heavenly cloaks looked like. I was so surprised when I saw how small they were. “How will I ever fit into one of them if they are so small?” I wondered. The Lord answered me ever so gently, “No my child, you will grow into them. As you humble yourself and become “smaller” you will be able to fit into the cloak.” I think this week really seized me down a few numbers.

 Yesterday Aldo and I didn’t even leave the house; and today I told him, “You know what Aldo, life goes on. Come on, you can do it! Today we are going for a milkshake and a walk.” Late that afternoon (after we worked through another session with the Holy Spirit – much praying, repenting and dealing with his past pain), we went for a milkshake. All of the kids helped to get Aldo down the stairs. Just remember that Aldo also doesn’t get much sleep and that he is very tired after a session, so it took some pushing and pulling to get him into the car – but (eventually) we were off!

We drive a minibus so all of us (Retah, Aldo, Chans, Josh, Sammy, Elisma and Moya the dog) can fit in. As I started the car the music came out blaring loudly through the speakers. “No Authy Retah!” the girls protested when I turned it softer. “Keep it loud! This song is for Aldo!”

Hang on, hang on... everything is gonna be all right... Hang on, hang on...

When I looked back in rear-view mirror Aldo was singing along loudly with the girls. Hang on, hang on... was all he was singing over and over. After the milkshake we took a drive through our little town with the windows open and the music blaring... Hang on, hang on... everything is gonna be all right...  Josh was hanging out of the window and singing the loudest of them all!

Hang on, hang on... everything is gonna be all right... all because of the blood of the Lamb.

When we got home Josh’s voice was almost gone, but he still went outside to play a few rounds of soccer with Aldo.

Tomorrow Dad Tinus is back, and I tell you – I appreciate my beautiful husband more than ever, because I know what he has to go through alone with Aldo when I am not home. Looking after Aldo is not always this challenging, it is only for the time being, but I praise God that we can deal with his pain as well as with the strongholds that have formed because of his pain. The cousins have also taken up a session where they speak Scripture into Aldo’s spirit so that new patterns can form where strongholds previously held his mind and thoughts captive. And everyone gets a session where they have to bless him. We are working to together like a team – and all of us are growing in Christ.

Love from everyone here at the sea,

Retah and the kids.

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