Empty

I am so thankful for parents (and thus a mother!) who love me very much. I am thankful for a God who sends messages through a prophet to my parents about me when I need it most. I am thankful for their and His love when I don’t deserve it.

But I have to say that to myself because I just don’t feel it. I am empty, broken, poured out with nothing left within me. I am not being successful at work like I should be. I am constantly plagued with feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.

I have this God but He feels so far away at times- I know He’s reaching out, but why can’t I feel it? What is wrong with me that i cannot seem to reach back out to Him? I feel as if I am holding on by a thread that is breaking.

I recently was diagnosed with major depressive disorder. As I was diagnosing a patient with that last week, every answer she gave I responded in myself with a resounding “me too.”

I have been hiding this emptiness I feel within myself from almost everyone. I cannot do this anymore. I would never commit suicide since Toshi’s death was one of the hardest things I have ever had to come to terms with, but I am the walking dead.

I have been told I hide it well. I have been told no one would suspect since I am still bubbly and smiling while in public… but that is mainly because it takes every bit I have within me to do that then I go home, go to bed, and only leave when I know I would be discovered.

It feels as if I am running a marathon to shower, brush my teeth, or do any other number of normal activities of daily living. It feels so nice to only think of “this next bite, I can do that. I can handle that.” Thankfully I’m not gaining weight like crazy but mainly because I have a hard time going to the grocery store so it ends up being that I go only when my cabinets only have my unsweetened cocoa powder left essentially.

Part of me knows that God is my answer but I don’t even feel the energy within myself to pray or seek Him. I just want to lay in bed and wish that somehow, it will get better. That I will be home with my parents and the world will be right again.

That this void within me would stop overwhelming my every move.

Rebekah M.

 

Reflections

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. –Psalm 27:14

When we first started this blog, I was a single woman still grieving a breakup that had happened a couple years prior. I struggled to move on from that relationship even though I knew it wasn’t God’s will for me. Every year that went by became more distressing as I saw my chances at motherhood waning.

There were times during this period that I was blissfully aware of God’s presence and provision. I was content to wait for His best for me. I recognized that my singlehood brought unique opportunities to serve Him. Yet, there were painful stretches of time where I failed to see Him through my loneliness and despair. There were many difficult days. The years of being alone weighed on me. I constantly felt guilty because I knew that He was everything that I needed, and yet I still desired human companionship.

Today I am a married woman with three beautiful step-children. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God for these precious gifts in my life! My husband is so loving and caring. He is very attentive to my needs and treats me far better than I deserve. He treats me so well that I have trouble accepting it. I never quite believed that anyone could care about me enough to treat me the way he does.

My step-children are sweet and respectful. They accepted me into the family almost immediately. Growing closer to them has probably been the most fulfilling aspect of my life to date. It was the day I met them that I knew my relationship with their father could work. I would not allow myself to fall for him until I knew I could love his children too. Really love them. It would not have been fair to the children or their dad if I could not.

I wish I could go back and tell my single self that she will be okay. I would tell her that the years of singlehood will be worth the wait. That God is setting everything up and not to lament the period of preparation. I would tell her that I couldn’t have met my husband sooner because neither of us were in the place we needed to be yet, but that it would make our meeting that much sweeter when the time came. People tried to tell me this, but I struggled to believe them.

That’s not to say that marriage and step-parenting is all sunshine and rainbows. It’s hard work. It’s draining. But it’s so rewarding. It is so beautiful. It is everything I hoped it would be.

God has been by my side through all of it. Through the lonely days that came before and the sometimes all-consuming days I experience now. God truly has our best in mind. He sincerely takes care of our every need. He loves us more than anyone else ever has or ever can. He is all in all. Every good and perfect gift comes from Him.

If you are single (or in some other period of waiting), please believe me, God is working things out for your good. He sees your struggle. He knows your tears. He’s allowing this trial in your life because He knows you are growing through it. Lean into Him and give Him all your cares. Put your trust in Him. His timing is impeccable.

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

 

Burnt Out

I recently admitted to a colleague that I feel like I have nothing left in me to give.

I feel like often you give and give and give and you just get patients hating you b/c you won’t give them the pain medication they want to destroy their lives or the heparin drip they insist on b/c they “just know” they have a clot (when they don’t and actually their blood is too thin).

They insult you, calling you honey as if you don’t know anything (while they, who have two master’s degrees NOT IN MEDICINE clearly know better).

They refuse to leave the office when you won’t give them the pain medication your fellow resident stopped previously and they let their dogs pee all over your office.

They abuse your staff, telling them to “F-off!” if they don’t get exactly what they asked for.

They won’t take their advair but they want their oxycodone every month exactly at the end of the month without fail.

And sometimes, when they finally do listen and make changes, it’s too late and they die.

Sometimes I just can’t see where else out of my soul they can rip out of me b/c it just feels like it’s already gone. . . I am beyond frustrated with this culture that makes being too obese to breathe an actual working diagnosis on a patient we had that died (gained over 100lbs in less than 6 months binge eating thousands of calories nightly on top of high caloric intake during the day).

A society that has taught our patients to expect that their pain can and should be completely taken away with medication when sometimes pain is to PROTECT- don’t rip those stitches open, don’t walk on that broken leg that should be non-weight bearing.

And then I’m stuck with fellow, lower level doctors to supervise who openly admit that they didn’t bother to look up how to calculate something b/c they knew it would be faster to ask me instead of looking it up- IN FEBRUARY. (btw- a 30 second google brought me to an online calculator which did the same but didn’t have the burden of 18 patients to oversee).

How did we end up with such a lazy, broken, soul sucking society here in America where ingesting 9,000 salty fatty calories in half a day is a real possibility and landing in the ER with oxygen levels in the 50s (it should be AT LEAST high 80s) b/c you are now attempting to lift a large child’s amount of weight off your chest every breath is a real thing?

I don’t know how many readers we have left since we’ve been so MIA, but if any of you are out there reading this and have a verse to lift me up or a prayer to give, this broken, burnt out doctor would be grateful.

Rebekah M.

Meeting Isaac

I have been woefully neglectful in keeping up with this blog. In fact, it has been over a year since my last post! And what a year it has been! I have MUCH to update you on. In my last post I was lamenting my long time single status and sharing that I was intentionally putting myself “out there” a little more to better position myself to be found by the one God had chosen to be my partner in this life.

Amazingly, just days after that post was written I met him! It was sort of by accident, though not by coincidence. After waiting years for the right guy to just show up at my church, I dreadfully joined a couple of Christian dating sites that espouse the doctrines of my local congregation. I was always against meeting someone online, but being very introverted and having no single guys in our church I finally started opening up to the idea. It was a pretty horrible experience. I talked to several men, all of whom were clearly not the one. There was the guy who outright told me that I was ugly. There was the guy who upon a Google search (yes, guys, we google you) was found to be on several porn sites in addition to the Christian dating site. There was the guy who rejected me because I wasn’t a virgin (I didn’t become a Christian until my mid twenties). He told me that he knew my past was under the blood, but he just couldn’t get past it. Then there was the guy who seemed great on paper, but in all of our conversations, he never asked me a single thing about me. I was good enough to date, but not good enough to actually get to know. His thinking was that I would be his helpmate which meant that I would be helping him with his ministry and therefore my dreams and goals in life didn’t matter. He was not interested in who I am as a person at all. I was very frustrated by these encounters and had almost resigned myself to being single forever.

Then one day one of my friends (who writes tech reviews for a living) asked for some volunteers to download a new app and tell her what we thought of it so that she could write a review. It was not a dating app, it was just a platform where ideas could be exchanged.  I decided to help her out and give this new app a try. Someone on the app posted something and I posted a response. While I was responding, someone else also responded. This sparked a conversation between the other responder and myself. The original poster never returned to the thread, but I hit it off right away with the other guy that had also responded. We talked all night long. In that very first conversation he already knew more about me than the last guy had learned in all the time we had been talking. We chatted for hours the next day too. And the day after that. I vacillated between being utterly drawn to him and holding back out of fear. There were a hundred different times that I almost ended the conversation because it seemed crazy that I was talking for so long to a stranger. He could be anyone. He could say anything and I would have no way of knowing if he was telling the truth. I was very nervous about the entire thing. I always jump ship even when there is no sign of a leak so I kept having to remind myself that he hadn’t said anything wrong yet. I kept reminding myself that I had committed to putting myself out there a little more and that until he gave me a legitimate reason to end the conversation there was no need to do so. He didn’t know where I was or any identifiable information about me. The worst thing that could happen would be that I would have wasted a few hours of my life.

I learned that this man was raised an Orthodox Jew, but had converted to Christianity in his early adulthood. He had attended Bible College only twenty minutes from where I lived and that he lives only about 15 minutes from where I go to church. I was intrigued! Eventually, I gave him my number so that we could text directly. After a while he asked if he could call me. I said yes, and then didn’t answer the phone when he called! At this point, he still didn’t know what I looked like. I was sure once he saw me that he would run for the hills. I didn’t want to get my hopes up only to have them dashed. We ended up connecting on Facebook. It was after we connected there that I could see he was probably being truthful about the things that he had told me so far. His Facebook page had been created years prior so I knew it wasn’t likely to be a fake account. It also confirmed the things he had told me and it started to put me at ease. Amazingly, he wasn’t scared off by my profile picture. Ha! Eventually, we met in person (in a public setting of course). That’s when things got real. He and I were a great fit! Only a couple of weeks before we connected I had made a list of all the qualities I would like in a husband. I wrote down 32 items and he perfectly matched 31 of them! Interestingly, the new app didn’t last long. It was shut down only days after we met. We like to think it only existed for that short time so that the two of us could meet.

We often joke on this blog that we are “looking for our Isaac.” Wouldn’t you know that this man’s Hebrew name is Isaac! There are many things that my “Isaac” had been prophesied to be. I never put much stock in these prophesies because I think that people tend to fit them to what they want rather than what is, but here was this man fitting every one of them!

I spent much time in prayer as I was getting to know him. I kept asking God to close the door if he wasn’t the one, but every time I asked this, the door kept opening wider. He began attending my church shortly after we met and has been faithfully attending since. I watched prayerfully as he interacted with my friends, family, and brothers and sisters in the Lord. I spent a lot of time on my knees while we were dating. I took some time off away from him to be sure he was the one.

Things moved quickly for us. Within a few months he had given me a promise ring. A few months later and we were engaged. Now a year after meeting him, we have just recently been married!

I never imagined that my life would change so quickly, but it has been an amazing journey. He is thoughtful and sweet. He treats me so well that I have trouble accepting it at times. He is not without flaws, but nothing has ever felt so right as knowing he is the one God meant for me. He is the one I have been waiting all these years for.

I cannot describe how glad I am that I waited. There were many times where I considered settling. There were times that I was tempted to compromise my holiness and standards. There were times when I was so lonely that I almost wished I lived somewhere where they do arranged marriages. That thought frightens me now. I could have missed out. I might have missed all of these blessings.

If you are still waiting for your Isaac. Please don’t give up or do anything you might later regret. If God has not said no to marriage for you, keep waiting for God’s best for you! Do not give up or give in to temptation. Keep waiting!

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

Choosing to Worship… Again.

My dad was diagnosed with cancer last week.

They told me last night and my mind has been swirling ever since. I can’t imagine my life without my parents. It has felt as if the tears would never end at times. It has felt at moments like I wouldn’t be able to breathe.

Yet Jesus.

I cannot begin to explain to you just how frustrating it is to be a doctor but know I’m not the right kind of doctor to fully comprehend what my dad’s prognosis is. There are SO many factors that play into it and yet I feel God beckon me to stop looking at the “5 year survival rates” and stop trying to analyze what are his chances to make it to 70. I feel Him say to me to trust in Him.

For anyone who might have been with us in the beginning back in 2012, I started this blog and invited my friends to join me because I went through a horrible break up with my first boyfriend. I felt my world shatter at that time since I had stayed away from boys much of my life and finally, finally when I let one in he tore my heart to shreds. But God told me in that time that I could either keep crying/fearing/doubting or I could get up and worship Him. Choose to worship- the ultimate form of showing trust in the worst of times. Now, it is my world feeling as if it could splinter again, but this time I feel God assuring me “I have you all.”

That assurance in the time of storm is priceless. He truly can give peace that passes understanding. I oscillate between crying and laughter. Emotions raw at the surface. But every time the balance starts tipping towards hysteria or worry, I feel Him pull me back- my lifeline. I had a panic attack last night… I could not stop the ever increasing breaths that just wouldn’t stop their accelerated pace. At one point I thought I would never be able to breathe normal again and then I felt God whisper to me “I have you” and suddenly there was a huge release and I could breathe again. He reached down and pulled me up from the sea of fear that I was drowning in.

Most amazing of all to me? My parents. I was talking to my mom since God has opened the door for me to be home while dad’s having the surgery and their big concern in all this was? The three chinese ministries they’re involved with and what would happen while dad is recovering from major surgery. They were thankful to God that each will be on a break at the same time (unintended to be coincidental) and pointed out His hand in all of it.

What amazing people.

I can only hope to have that heart for God like my parents have one day. To look horrible situations in the eye and instead worry about His kingdom. But while I am still learning; while I am still growing in Him, I will choose to worship my way through this situation. I will choose to worship my way out of the tears and fear.

I choose to worship Jesus.

Rebekah M.

Kintsukuroi

goldpottery

Something I’ve been struggling with has been how broken I have felt after the last guy I was talking to turned around and married someone else four months after he last told me he loved me. I had even asked him to get permission from my dad and pastor to date me even though I was thirty because I believe in honoring the authority in my life.

Long story short, it was revealed that he was flirting with multiple other women at the same time to the point one felt the need to send me screen shots of his texts since she knew my side of things. I have felt SO duped. A complete and utter fool especially since on a night where he was telling one he was so sad he didn’t have a chance with my friend, I was fighting with my best friend on why he was worth my time because financially, degree-wise, and many other “wise” she felt he was vastly inferior to me.

I have been struggling ever since though with the thought of dating guys; to trust I’m not going to get played again so badly. I lost ALL hope that God could ever want for me a good, Godly man when the last one seemed so promising (seriously? He really did ask my dad and pastor to date me) and turned out to be such a monster towards me.

Lately there has been a (sort of) new guy in my life who laughs when I say I think I’m going to be a UPC nun- sure that I won’t be, who has gone out of his way many times to see me/get to know me better, who wants me to believe as he does- that God loves us enough to have someone for each of us.

God then for the next week pushed the concept of reviving hope and promises in our lives through sermons and multiple people. I even fasted this past Monday, seeking a revival in hope in my heart. This week has felt much more blessed that I have felt in a long time. When perusing Facebook, I saw the above photo and felt so strongly this is what God does with us. He bonds our brokenness with His blood (the product of his stripes) and in place of our wounds is such beauty that we never could have imagined. I’m thankful for a God who truly can give us beauty for ashes!!!!:)

Hopeful in Him,

Rebekah M.

Seeking Jesus

As I was in morning worship time in my room I did this thing that has worked for me in the past- I opened my Bible asking God to speak to me- I felt God say that’s not how He wanted to talk to me. I did it a second time when it didn’t make sense, however, and got this horrible verse on false prophets. I felt God say again, this is not how He wanted to communicate with me. I felt to go to my phone where a song about hope was just starting to play. It felt so strongly like God was personally telling me it’s time to hope again. As the song concluded I saw one of my many journals that I have put to the wayside but knew my list of attributes of a future husband are and decided to read it. It floored me how, so far, I can say almost all are essentially true of this newest man (that I know of so far).

  1. Love God above all else
  2. humble, but not hiding- knowing true humbleness is not that the spotlight is not on us, it is that regardless of where the spotlight is, our focus is on God (he plays drums at his church and is a youth worker/leader)
  3. willing to go anywhere in the world at any time for God’s Kingdom, for His Will; a giver of self, heart, home for God (we discussed his moving because of feeling God’s Will was not where he was at the time in a different part of the world)
  4. a rock in prayer- one who has a history of seeking Him for all things
  5. he will lead in purity
  6. a man who knows God’s Word intimately
  7. listens to preaching outside of church (the last CD in his car when we rode together to a restaurant)
  8. keeps his word
  9. does not hold back money from God but freely gives, also believing that if we freely give to His Kingdom, He provides, but is still good with finances
  10. an explorer- in food, in Christian music, in experiences
  11. calls me beautiful every day (okay, this one he doesn’t do but we’re still just getting to know each other!)
  12. loves the outdoors, is active (VERY VERY TRUE!)
  13. good with kids- wants them to serve God- especially his future children
  14. will not be alone with a woman unless in a public place (ie coffee shop just the two)- car rides are ok
  15. knows his worth is in Christ
  16. wants to share his life with me
  17. protects my heart and the heart of others

Then the next journal entry from 8/30/14 REALLY just… floored me and I had to share. I will leave you with these words that just left me sobbing in thankfulness to this amazing God of ours:

I have had a silence with God. Pulling away for my heart has hurt from feeling rejected by men. Manipulated, easily forgotten, cheap. But as I prayed for my church in desperation just now – having resolved to stop this [silence] because He is the one protecting me from those who just don’t know me like He does, I felt Him tell me to write down His Words:

You are my precious beloved. Don’t you see, I cannot just give you away to just anyone. Your soul is a rare one. You are rejuvenated by serving others. The only reward your heart truly wants is a thanks and to know their life is somehow better. My precious beloved jewel, you are so busy seeking how others might perceive you and why you might have been rejected in the past that you cannot see My hand that blocked you from those that do not share the dream you have for your life. I LOVE YOU my beloved. You cannot understand the depths of my pain during your silent suffering without me nor the joy I have had in your determination to return. To find your place at the “Well of the God who Sees Me” for I do see you my beloved. I do see you and you have to believe that I only withhold a husband because there is more to do. My kingdom needs you as is right now. Your heart needs to grow more. It needs to embrace the fact that YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL IN MY SIGHT. My beloved, don’t you see? I would bring you breakfast in bed, buy you flowers so you’d have them daily on your table and I daily tell you you are beautiful but until such a man can do so for you in person, I will protect you- even from yourself. You so easily give your heart. I love you for your selfless heart. I desire and jealously guard your precious, beautiful heart. Do not be upset when I send boys away who do not deserve it. You, at your best, are the best parts of Ruth, Esther, and Rebekah- these powerful women inspired you and helped shape who you are but not their bad mistakes. Seek Me first. Bask in My presence. In time you will finally meet him- in MY time. Despair not. Rejoice that your future is secure in me.

Rebekah M.

Related Verse:

Jeremiah 29:11

Related articles:

https://beingrebekah.com/2014/05/06/the-god-who-sees-me/

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/08/28/god-gives-me-flowers/

https://beingrebekah.com/2014/02/22/no-place-for-that-here/