Still Standing

By Bindu Adai Mathew

I remember watching in horror as the World Trade Towers crumbled into a heap of metal and dust in 2001. I drove to work in a daze and just as I got there, news came of the Pentagon being hit and another plane crashing.

One of my good friends called me crying in panic and fear, worried about a cousin who worked in the Towers. She asked me if I thought this was the end. I said, of course not, but after our conversation, I, too wondered what was going on and if she hadn’t been that far off. And later that day as I watched the news reports and especially at all the lives that were lost, I, like many, wondered how God allowed this. I recall hearing the stories of families who lost a father, a sister, a loved one, and those who were still searching to find their bodies amongst the rubble, and I again wondered how God allowed this. Unlike others, I didn’t question God’s existence or His sovereignty, but I definitely questioned His Plan.

Now over 15 years have passed, and while our way of life has changed, it wasn’t the end of the world. Life has continued, and throughout the years, we’ve continued to see horrible acts of terrorism in school shootings, movie theater shootings, and other random, unexpected acts of terrorism. But yet, life continues. It endures.

Perhaps this morning, you’re looking at your own life. You’re surrounded by heaps of rubble. You’re enduring but you’re wondering where God is… and how He allowed something to happen in your life. Perhaps you’re looking at a dream that is in tatters… or you’re reflecting on a relationship that imploded… or you, too, have lost a loved one. You’re suffering in pain and wondering where God is…

For those of you, I share this verse I came across during my quiet time today:

“If the Lord had not been on our side–let Israel say–if the Lord had not been our side when men attacked us, when their anger flared against us, they would have swallowed us alive; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away.

Praise be to the Lord, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalms 124: 1-8

We may not understand why God prevents some things in our lives and allows other things to happen. But there is one thing we can be sure of… if it weren’t for God, we would have been consumed by our loss. We wouldn’t still be standing.

And for those of you who have been knocked to your knees by your struggles, by your loss, like the Towers, you, too, will be rebuilt.

But first we must clean out the rubble from our lives. We must make room in our hearts for something new. We must realize God is still God. And we trust him with a child-like faith.

Out of the rubble, if you allow it, God can rebuild your life. He can rebuild your dreams. He can make you stronger. He can help you stand taller.

If you allow it.

It Starts with Your Beliefs

By Bindu Adai Mathew

Do you ever feel inadequate? Like you don’t have the talents to do anything great?  That you could never accomplish your dreams? Like you will never lose that weight? That you will never get that higher educational degree?

Then you won’t.

Ouch! That was harsh, you say. But you will most likely never achieve things you feel are impossible. The statistics aren’t in your favor.  Interview any top professional—be it a top entrepreneur, lettered professor, surgeon, or inventor. They may have looked at a task that seemed impossible. But they never thought they couldn’t do it. In fact, they thought the reverse. They knew they could… they persevered despite the impossibility of it. They persevered even though they, too, had their days of doubt and days of discouragement. They persevered when the going got tough. When they themselves were tempted to give up. They persevered and didn’t stop until they completed their task.

What you accomplish in your life is in direct relation to what you believe you can achieve. If you don’t believe it, then you most likely won’t.

So what do you believe about yourself today?

Not Failed… Unfinished

By Bindu Adai Mathew


As long as you are alive, you have not failed. You have the chance to make right what you have done wrong. You have the chance to complete what you have left unfinished.

Completing a goal is challenging. It requires planning. It requires effort, consistency, and perseverance. But sometimes it’s easier to beat ourselves up and feel sorry for ourselves rather than do what needs to get done. Sometime it’s easier to just stop trying.

But that’s not what God has intended. He created you for a purpose. The fact that you’re still breathing means that you still have work to do. You have a goal to reach… a project to complete. You still have a purpose to fulfill.

Rather than looking at your past as a series of failures, realize that those efforts were just incomplete. You didn’t finish, but you still can.

One of the most powerful words that were spoken in history were by Jesus as He was hanging on the cross and said, “It is finished.” He completed what He had set out to do.

And you can, too. In Christ, you will.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13


Silence the Heckler

By Bindu Adai Mathew

How many years have you promised to lose that weight, learn that new language, to be more organized, to read your Bible more? I think the hardest part of trying to make changes is the letdown we feel when we don’t complete what we set out to do.  We feel like a failure. And whether it’s a new year’s resolution or a goal we make at any time of the year, we are reminded of all the times we made them before and failed.

Well, today is the day when you just look forward.

 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Today is the day when you say, I can… and I will.

Because today is the day when you realize you are a new creation. But there is a caveat to that statement. IN CHRIST, you are a new creation. IN CHRIST, the old things have passed away. IN CHRIST, new things have come.

I want you to be aware of your power IN CHRIST. I don’t want you to feel powerless in light of your past failures. I want to you to feel powerful in light of our Savior.  You are not alone.

Easier said than done. I get it. It’s hard for me to forget my past mistakes, too. My inner voice is like a heckler in my head. Sure you’ll do that… like you did so many times before (Snort!) Yes, my inner heckler snorts with sarcasm! Or maybe your inner heckler says nothing to you but just laughs and shakes her head as you then cringe in shame and give up before even starting.

It’s hard to think you can do anything when your inner heckler is telling you that you can’t do it. When she or he is reminding you of all the times you didn’t succeed in the past.

But when that inner heckler speaks, snorts, or shakes her head, I want you to repeat the following: “In Christ, I am a new creature. In Christ, the old things have passed away. In Christ, new things have come.”

That inner heckler will speak at all times of the day. When you wake up in the morning. When you’re drinking your morning tea/coffee. When you’re deciding whether to do something productive or just spending another evening in front of the tv. When you get on the weight scale and don’t see any changes and are tempted to give up.

Each time the heckler speaks, you repeat:  “In Christ, I am a new creature. In Christ, the old things have passed away. In Christ, new things have come.”

Yes, every year is a new year to start again. But so is every day. So is every minute.  Even if you slip, don’t beat yourself with shame. Start again. You are a new creation. The old has passed.

We have much to accomplish this year. You are not alone. You are IN CHRIST.

It Is Time

By Bindu Adai Mathew

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

It is the dawn of a new year. In Christ I am a new creation. You are a new creation. The old things have passed. Now let them go.

Thank you, Lord for where I’ve been. For what you have done, for how you’ve provided, for how you are going to use everything from my past–the good, the bad, and the ugly–for Your good. For Your glory.

It is time. Time to put away the excuses. Time to use my (our) gifts to glorify You. Time to put into practice every Truth you’ve imparted. Time to forgive others. Time to forgive myself. Time to stop being negative. Time to stop complaining. Time to look forward.  And time to stop talking. It is time to be still. To listen… to hear… Your voice. To meditate on Your words. Your Truth. Until that is the only Truth I measure my life by. Until Your Voice drowns out my own.

It is time.

Let’s do this together, FemmeFuel readers!  The journey begins.



God, Disney World, and Unanswered Prayer

By Bindu Adai Mathew

Every year my company rewards its employees with a two night stay at 5 Star hotel and two tickets to any of the Universal or Disney Parks in Orlando. It’s one of my favorite company perks and always a good time to celebrate and relax. This past year’s trip was no exception. It was November, and November is typically a time in Florida where you can finally brag about living in Florida. After a rainy, hot, humid summer that often stretches well into mid-October, November is a reminder of why we all live here. The temperatures drop to the upper 70s and low 80s… the sunny is shining brightly… cool island breezes… aaaahhh… yes, life is good.

Except that Friday night at the Welcome reception one of my co-workers told me that the forecast was to be cold and rainy. I was aghast! What?! Nooooo! How could that be?! I almost laughed when she said temperatures were supposed to be in the upper 60s and low 70s! Cold?! Ha! I’m from Texas and while it rarely snows there, temperatures are only considered cold when it hits the 40s and 50s.  But rain… yes, that was going to definitely be a bummer since Disney’s Magic Kingdom is basically an outdoor park. Later that night, I told my 4 year old daughter, “Honey, we may not get to go to the park tomorrow because it’s supposed to be stormy and rainy.”  Her face immediately fell. I smiled and patted her hand, “You want to pray to God about it? He can stop the rain.” She nodded her head and together we said a short prayer.

The next morning I woke up to a very wet Saturday. Our hotel concierge advised us that the rain was supposed to let up around mid-morning so we decided to head out for breakfast and then to Disney. But an hour later the rain was still going strong and looked like it wasn’t stopping anytime soon. Disappointed, we decided to save our free passes for another day and drove around Orlando looking for an indoor park. Ava was understandably the most disappointed and turned to me with her sad, puppy dog eyes, “But mommy, we prayed. Why didn’t God stop the rain?”  I shook my head and shrugged. “I don’t know, baby, but when God doesn’t do what we ask, that means He’s going to do something better…” While I believed what I said, I, too, was disappointed that God hadn’t answered our prayers.

In the meantime, we decided to make a pit stop at a luxury theme hotel that we had heard a lot about and we spent the next hour exploring their Florida-themed atrium that resembled Key West, St. Augustine, and the Everglades. Before we left, the hotel concierge advised us that the rain had mostly lifted and that this was probably the best time to visit Disney as the lines wouldn’t be as long. I frowned as I glanced at my watch. Shorter lines, yes, but it was already past 1… I recalled the previous year how a posted 30 minute-wait time at Dumbo ended up being a two hour wait for a 2 minute ride. I sighed as I just knew that with half the day almost gone, we’d probably not be able to go on many of the rides. The previous year, we’d gone on less than half the rides available at the park even though we’d gotten there at 9am and stayed until 10pm. I resigned myself to the situation, trying to remember to be grateful that we were even here.

Eight hours later

We shuffled into our car, exhausted, and collapsed happily into our seats. Although it had been overcast, it had still been a great day. It had only drizzled twice, and only as we were leaving the park did the rain start coming down heavily again. But due to the morning rain, luckily for us, many other people had obviously cancelled their plans to visit the park so even though we only had a half day there, not only had we had a shorter wait time, but in the end, we probably went on more than twice as many rides.

I glanced at Ava, who sat quietly, probably from exhaustion, in her car and seat and stared out the window. “Ava, did you have a good time?”

She turned to me and smiled from ear to ear, “I did, mommy. It was a fun day!”

I recalled the mini kids roller coaster we went on five times, the spinning tea cups we rode on four times, and the countless other rides we never even touched the previous year. I then recalled what I had told her earlier that morning, and I smiled as a small light bulb went off in my head. “Ava, remember how we thought God didn’t answer us when we prayed that the rain would stop? See, if it hadn’t rained all morning, then we would have waited a long time in line and wouldn’t have ridden on all those rides. So it looked like God didn’t answer our prayers, but He did something better than what we had asked!”

I smiled to myself and said an internal thank you for the reminder that we shouldn’t fret when God doesn’t answer our prayers in the exact way we prayed then. We should always trust that He truly wants the best for us.

More than twice the rides in less than half the time. I love how God’s math works.


By Bindu Adai Mathew

The torrid rains of April are falling.

A flashflood into my emotionally overwrought soul.

Tears fall from my eyes like overfilled buckets,

Like Noah, I watch as the waters rise above my head.

I choke on the hurt and gasp for air,

But unlike Noah, I see no salvation, drowning in my own despair. 

There is nothing.

No God. No hope. Nothing.

Except more rain.


I imagine this is what hopelessness feels like. I imagine that possibly this is what the son of Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life, felt like before he committed suicide in early April.

Depression isn’t prejudiced like we are. It doesn’t pick and choose based on gender, height, or financial status. It doesn’t care if we are Christian or not…even if we’re the child of a famous pastor…depression hits us all. And it can feel overwhelming. At times our depression is the result of a situation and can be temporary. For some, depression can be clinical and an on-going life struggle.

Most of us are fortunate to rise above the rising waters and find our hope again. And some continue to fight. If you’re fighting depression today, I encourage you to let go of the cloak of shame. Don’t let it prevent you from seeking the help you need, the help you AND your loved ones deserve. Because no matter how hopeless it seems and appears, it is a lie, no matter how real it may seem. With God, we always have hope. And that is something we all need to be reminded of.

 “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”  Psalms 30:5