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The Land of His Presence

babieI have a coworker who has a four-month old baby at home. She has never been shy about sharing the fact that she did not want this baby. She did not expect to get pregnant so quickly (within days of her birth control running out) and loudly resented the fact that she was too new of an employee at the time to qualify for short-term disability so she had to take her maternity leave unpaid. After she gave birth she struggled with post-partum depression and has had difficulty adjusting to life with a newborn.

Incredibly, she is already eight weeks into a second pregnancy! She did not want to be pregnant the first time and REALLY does not want to be pregnant this time. She has cried to me multiple times already about how she is too overwhelmed with her newborn to deal with another baby. To compound matters, she has had debilitating morning (all day) sickness to the point where she can hardly eat anything and has missed quite a bit of work because she never feels well. She has complained that she has the worst luck and it’s so unfair for this to be happening to her. And guess what? She just had her first ultrasound and surprise, it turns out she’s having twins! TWINS! Considering that twins are often born prematurely, she will very likely end up with three babies under one year of age at the same time.

It is very understandable why she would be stressed out about this. Having three babies that were unplanned so close together is enough to overwhelm anyone. I have expressed compassion and sympathy towards her. I have tried to convey hope, offered to pray for her, and have given her a shoulder to cry on. But inwardly, I am struggling a bit with her reaction to all of this. Everything (and I do mean everything) out of her mouth regarding her baby and her pregnancy is filled with negativity. She has so openly expressed the fact that she doesn’t and didn’t want any of them that I have trouble not feeling a little angry about it. A child is a blessing from God. How can you resent such a beautiful gift?

Granted, much of my reaction is clouded by my own disappointment. I have a chromosomal disorder that makes it extremely unlikely that I will ever get pregnant. Being the oldest of the Rebekahs on this blog, even if everything were working as perfectly as it should, the chance of my getting pregnant is rapidly decreasing because of age. And there’s still no husband in sight even if those first two things weren’t true.

I had a guy a couple of years ago who promised me the world. And one of the things he promised me was a baby. He went on and on about the storybook life we’d have once we got married. He said there was no price he wasn’t willing to pay in terms of fertility treatments, supplements, adoption options, etc. to make this dream a reality for us. He assured me that we had a secret weapon – the power of prayer, and that He would make me a mother. He took my hurting heart in his hands and promised me the thing it most desired. But things don’t always go the way we plan and sometimes promises are broken. Rather than give me a baby, he got another girl pregnant instead – while we were still together.  For some reason the end of that relationship represented a dying of my hope of ever becoming a mother.

Listening to my co-worker complain incessantly about a gift she’s been given that I will likely never experience has been difficult. I wonder why God blesses people who don’t want children with them, and withholds them from people who do. In the end, I remind myself that God knows what is best and it is not for me to judge. He knows what is best for me; He knows what is best for my co-worker and what is best for her children. I work to remain compassionate to my co-worker who truly does have a lot on her plate. I am quite sure that if I were in her position, I would also be very overwhelmed. I would likely also express some fear and negativity, but I would never feel that I didn’t want them.

I know that my feelings border on covetousness, occasionally even camping right in the midst of the Land of Covetousness. Sometimes I even get stuck in Selfishness and Despair. During times of repentance, praise, and gratefulness, I’m able to wander far from that land, but I’ve yet to leave it completely behind. The truth is that I spend far too much time there, living right on the border. And it’s dangerously close to another border – the border of Bitterness.

Bitterness is a very dangerous place. The Bible says that a root of bitterness can trouble you and defile many (Hebrews 12:15). That means that it doesn’t just wound the person who is bitter, it also wounds the people around them. Bitterness can take on a power all its own. It can act as a poison, gradually choking many aspects of our lives without us realizing it. We are supposed to love one another. Bitterness smothers love.

Bitterness is a cancer.

It spreads. It damages and tears down. It destroys. It is not of God. It creates a rift between us and God and we cannot have a right relationship with Him if we don’t deal with it.

So it is clear that the lands of Covetousness and Bitterness should be avoided at all cost. Thankfully, there is a simple (though not always easy) solution for the problems of covetousness and bitterness.  For both, repentance is in order. It takes admitting to God that our feelings are wrong and that we need some direction to get out of those ungodly lands.

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When I start feeling bitterness, I know the cure is forgiveness. There is hurt in my past that still needs to be dealt with. When I start feeling covetousness, I know the solution is to start counting my blessings. I need to praise the Lord for His goodness. I need to focus on all the wonderful things I have, rather than the few things I lack.

Sometimes we make things more complicated than they need to be, but God has laid out a clear plan to live in the land of Contentment, Peace, and Praise – The land of His presence! I am praying that my co-worker will find her way to the Land of His Presence and that it will change her. I am praying that He will grant her peace in this situation and give her a deep, unconditional love for her children. Let’s all commit to spending more and more time in His presence.

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

Song of the Day: In Christ Alone

No guilt in life, no fear in death.
This is the power of Christ in me.
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand.
’til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand .

Thank you, Jesus for this life you have given me! Thank You for showing me that it is all through You, in You alone! I love You, Lord.

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

 

Song of the Day: Your Presence is Heaven to Me by Israel & New Breed

I’ve been asked to play drums at my new church twice already and then tonight I was asked to do a special next Saturday. I can’t help but feel that God is making my life okay. All day I was suffering from back pain and although not 100% better yet, some within says that God will make sure I have the strength to make it through my first day of work on Monday as a doctor.  I know that His presence, which is heaven to me, will be with me all day.  I know assuredly that He will walk with me through what would seem like a terrifying day of realizing that lives are truly in my hands and I’m only human. This I know that- He will never leave me and that I can do all things through Him!

So Lord, Your presence is heaven to me- assurance, security, hope, and strength.  I praise You God! I thank You Jesus!!!!!!

Rebekah M.

First Day

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. ~Matthew 6:26-34

roadToday was my first day of orientation as one of the new doctors and it was a bit overwhelming.  With all my feelings and thoughts swirling around I realized one thing: Jesus is my rock.  Everything could fade away, but I have a feeling God gave me a great group to work with the next three years.  Praise Him for His goodness. I am going to hold on to hope instead of fear of the possible problems.  Jesus is good. His mercy endures forever.

For any of you also going through a “first day” of sorts in your life where the unknown is just all you can see, remind yourself to lock out the negative thoughts- submit them to Jesus- and allow God to fill your heart with hope of good things for your future :)  Let Him be your rock and your strength.

Seeking His Kingdom first,
Rebekah M.

Surrounded by Love

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. ~Numbers 6:24-27

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My time as a medical student is closing up. I am graduating this Sunday and the church out where I’m at this month is one that I was blessed enough to be at for 6 of the last 24 months.  They have allowed me to sing a solo, a duet, and play the drums. I have been used to give messages, to increase faith, and see Him move in ways I never imagined. Last night at the end of service they gave me a graduation gift and had me speak.  As I have reflected on it and my last few years, I can clearly see just how much God has loved me and seen me through SUCH painful times of my life.  He has uplifted me when a guy who had promised a “forever” future with me shortly thereafter withdrew from me and broke my heart. He has picked the pieces up when friends have forsaken me.  He has given me new hopes, new dreams, and new people to love me.  I added the above scripture because I truly feel that from those who love me- they want God to shine upon my life.  They want good things to happen to me. They want the road to meet me.

Thank You Jesus!

Thank You that my life is surrounded by love.  As this chapter of my life closes up soon, let it be that YOU are all I need. May Your love continue to surround me as You allow others to come into my life to love me as well.  Such blessings- amazing Godly parents, friends who would never leave me, and soon, on Sunday, I will be called doctor. WOW! Thank You Jesus!

I praise You God!

I thank YOU!

Thank You Jesus for surrounding my life in YOUR love!!!

With a grateful heart,

Rebekah M.

Song of the Day: I am Victorious

So I know we’ve been doing a lot of song of the days lately… but I love this song! It’s even part of my jogging Mp3 mix track I made myself (28 mins of continuous christian music in one mp3 with even parts where I tell myself to start running or that I can walk LOL!).  There are days when we wake up singing this with a happy heart… and there are times when we sing this to remind ourselves that in the end, we win.  But may this song be with you today dear readers in which ever kind of situation you are in right now. Know that either you are living in victory and feeling it, or you are living in victory with a sense of faith- knowing that since God grants us the power to overcome evil and to be victorious, it is definitely already happening… just a little more in your future ;)

You are victorious in Him who commands the angelic hosts!

You are victorious in Jesus name for “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You are able to even move mountains!!!

Live your victory dear readers. Praise Him NOW, even if you aren’t living IN your victory at this very moment… for it will come! He will come! Our wonderful, mighty King, the Lord of Hosts, Jesus Christ helps us live “the best life, liv[e] the blessed life” :)

Rebekah M.

Prayer Monday: He is Faithful

This weekend, I have learned yet once again that He is faithful.  Let’s all pray this “praise prayer” together (even if you use your own words ;)  ).

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Jesus,

I praise You for being faithful.  I worship You that in all times, You are good!  Thank You Jesus for turning tides.  Thank You Jesus for being my constant, wonderful companion who knows best.  Thank You that all things are safe in Your hands!  There is none like You! There is no greater love, no greater power, and no greater friend than You!!! Thank You for dying for me.  Thank You for rising again in power.  Thank You for sending Your wonderful gift of living in our hearts as the Holy Ghost!!   You are the Lord, the famous one, great is Your name in all the earth!!!

With a grateful heart,

Rebekah M.