Archives

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.

victory-and-praise1

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.

Prayer Monday- Prayer of Peace

So our loyal readers, you may have noticed that we have been dropping the ball here at Being Rebekah.  We have a goal of posting daily and it’s pretty clear that last week, that didn’t happen. We usually try to fill in for each other when that happens but everyone has been a bit in over their head. In it all though, God has been SO amazing.

sadnessIn follow up to my last post- Honor Thy Father:  after his stone cold reception of my weeping apology, I tried to hold strong, believing that God saw and loved me and was proud of me.  The next day, I see-sawed between despair and faith.  I wanted to believe my dad would eventually come around, but it was breaking my heart that although EVERYONE was so proud of me, I felt as if my own father was disowning me and saying I was beyond hope.  I remember sobbing in front of my computer, broken-hearted, and telling my friend it just hurt SO much.

The amazing part- God spoke to my dad.  God was the one who truly heard all of our prayers (including you readers who prayed for him!!!) and brought peace to his heart.  I was so proud and happy when he was asked to lead church prayer on Sunday and he was praising God for His peace.  He confessed that he recently went through a time of just not wanting to talk to anyone; in a complete pit of despair that nothing would get better or change. But GOD. God came down and brought him peace and he was proclaiming to the congregation that God could do the same for them all.  What a wonderful God we serve!!!

Readers- THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!!  I know our hope here at BeingRebekah is to be a blessing to you all- but you all truly blessed my life by praying for my father.

One thing I will say that I learned in all this- when things were bad and even my mom was still pushing my past bad actions to the forefront despite my sincere repentance and promise to try to be better- I begged her to just stop everything with me and pray.  GOD took over. He brought peace.  He brought life and re-built bridges.  He truly is the redeemer. He truly is our hope and savior.

surrenderSO much was dug up in my time of praying.  So many things all the way back from my childhood were brought up, things I blamed my dad for (but didn’t realize until I prayed through it). Once I acknowledged them, forgave him for it, and let go- THEN that’s how I just haven’t yelled. The anger is gone. The quick temper with only my dad is gone.  He has a personality where he wants peace so he’ll sometimes just not say anything, not even in defense of his children who are being put down by his own family.  I had to forgive him and when that was let out and let go, I gained even more strength to live a life that honors God and my parents.

Readers, know that this God of peace, He can help you figure out what is the root behind your actions.  Is there only one person in your life that you have an irrational anger with? Someone who has the lowest thresh-hold when it comes to getting you angry? Know that God can help you with that!! Just as I had things in my heart that I had to dig out and finally let go of, you may find that is the same for you. LET IT GO.  I am free now.  Free. These last few days have been more peaceful in my relationship with my dad than… I’m not even sure when.  Praise God! I’m glad I can finally have a real relationship with my dad.

Thank You Jesus for truly being the Prince of Peace!

Rebekah M.

Related Post:

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/06/06/honor-thy-father/

Honor Thy Father

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. ~Ex 20:12

fatherSo I have a confession to make: in everything that has happened in my life I’m pretty successful on paper, but I have had one HUGE, MAJOR flaw. Don’t get me wrong, I love my dad, but I’ve treated him pretty horrible in the past.  I just have this pre-set tendency to be angry and to yell at him.  Do I have reasons for this- yes. I honestly feel like he doesn’t hear me. I’m not even talking physically, I mean I feel like he shuts me out when I’m speaking.  So earlier this morning, my mom sat me down and we had a discussion about it. With tears in her eyes, she was pleading with me to treat my dad right.  For anyone who knows me, they know that I love my parents SO much. I praise them often and, in my mind, I think respect them. God has used my mom (and kind of my brother) to open my eyes to the fact that I haven’t been. Of every one in my life, my mom is THE person to get through to me and for God to have her essentially crying before me… it ripped up my heart a little.

angryIt is never right for a child to yell at her father. Even if she’s saying “Mashed potatoes. Hey dad, I want mashed potatoes. Just tell mom I want mashed potatoes! DAD, TWO WORDS- MASHED POTATOES YOU CAN SAY THAT TO HER! WHY WON’T YOU JUST LISTEN AND TELL HER THOSE TWO WORDS?! MASHED. POTATOES.”  lol At the end of the day if I had just opened the car door and said it to my mom versus yelling at my dad (who was getting out of the car) to relay those words when all he kept saying in response was “tell your mother,” what’s the difference?

I realized the difference and why I didn’t just go the more peaceful route is because I just feel unheard. And in thinking about it, I realized that I HATE feeling like I’m not heard. For so long, a huge part of my life, I felt SO ignored and looked down upon. Not necessary by my parents, but I have had moments where I felt I had no voice and the memory of that feeling has never left me.

So as time has gone on and more and more incidents have occurred that left me feeling like I’m not heard (not always by my dad), it caused me to become quick to anger and yell at my dad. Was it right? NO. A big “N.” “O.” Am I justifying my actions? No because I have truly broken one of the 10 commandments.  I have endeavored from this day forward to honor my father even when I feel like he doesn’t hear my words.  However, I am saying that the biggest key in everything that happened today was to recognize within myself the “WHY” behind my actions.

I sat down with both my parents earlier today to talk things through and my dad actually literally did EXACTLY what I said was the reasoning behind why I acted the way I did- he shut me out. He literally would not hear my words. I was saying “I’m sorry for how I acted, it was unacceptable behavior and I’m sorry. I reflected and realized it was because for so long now, I have felt as if you don’t hear me and I’m sorry that my frustration about that has come out as yelling.” His response? To say that I’m moving in a few short days so it doesn’t really matter and all I was saying to him was that yet once again, it’s his fault- always his fault- none of mine.  Miracle of miracles though- even though he was literally proving my point- I didn’t yell. I actually prayed. “God, give me wisdom to know how to reach my dad. Help me mend this bridge that I have broken with my anger and yelling. Forgive me and help me honor him.”

Sometimes we’re called to swallow our pride and just keep apologizing until the other person accepts it. If that never happens though- I know that today, I honored my father like I never have before and I know that God is smiling. So dear readers, pray for my dad? I know he loves me, but I also know that he has SUCH a weight on him from everything else going on and this only added to it. I allowed myself to be an instrument of further burden to my dad. My brother’s job has been in the balance lately, my “sister” has been in a spiritual battle, I’m moving away officially… there’s a lot weighing on his heart. He needs God’s peace. He needs God’s love to shine on him more than ever.  So in advance, I thank you for your prayers for peace over my dad and I pray you all do a better job at honor your parents than I have done in my past 🙂

In Him and to a new future of truly honoring my parents,

Rebekah M.

Prayer Monday: Purge Me

I haven’t been doing so well lately.  Something in me is restless. I found myself easily angered by stupid things. I found myself frustrated beyond belief unnecessarily. I found myself recently failing a trial. Today while driving home, I just poured my heart out. Sobbing to the One who can comfort me, I told Him just how much I was sorry for failing once again. I told Him how much I just wanted to be free of the things that seem to trip me up.  I was torn up and broken before Him. In that time though, of truly allowing my heart to be open before Him, I found Him just going in and dumping out all the muck. He dug in, taking out the things that I have no power to take out on my own. As He did His work, I felt His incredible sorrow that I wrote about ME feeling for a friend of mine (in the post God’s Sorrow)… but His sorrow was just as deep and directed AT ME.  Then… as I poured more of myself out, I felt Him opening up my heart and letting His light shine. To bring back life and hope. So that I could feel His forgiveness. To see His divine purpose.  To realize that He had more things to burn away from my soul, but that everything is allowed in an effort so that I can be His light. So that I will be ready for the ministry He has in store for me.

So reader, if you feel led to, join me in this prayer:

Jesus, 

I’m desperate for You. I’m longing for You. Come like a flood, purge me of myself, and saturate me now with You. You’re all I want. Clean out everything within me, burn out the bad in me, and make me whole and new in You. As my dad once prayed for me, give me a new bottle… all the different kinds of bottles that hold all the different kinds of promises- of family, of jobs, of friends, of ministry… give us all new bottles- ones filled with hope and YOUR blessings. Things that seem dead and stale in our lives and hearts, purge them, and replace them with YOU.  Be everything in our lives. Fill every last crevice that was cleaned out as You purged us. Fill it with Your love, Your purpose, Your plan.  Use us to share Your good news! You are alive! You want to give us good lives! Praise You Jesus! Praise You God! 

Rebekah M. 

P.S. Below I’ve put a video up of a song I recently put on facebook. This song is still resonating in my heart today, even stronger actually.

Restoration (Part III)

“So David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away, and David rescued his two wives. And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them; David recovered all” (1 Samuel 30: 1-8, 18-19).

Four years ago I went through a very trying time in my faith. My spiritual family and I were hurt very deeply during this time. My godparents were falsely accused of many terrible things. Through much prayer, I eventually made the decision to leave that church and within a few days my god-parents were asked to leave as well. By the end of that year I had lost several close friends.

frriendsOne of these was a dear friend to me that I had defended repeatedly in her time of trouble. Yet when my time of trouble came, she turned her back on me. She sent me disparaging emails, unfriended me on facebook, and disconnected from me socially and spiritually. I was heart-broken.

Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me” (Psalm 41:9).

All communication between us stopped – with one exception. Every year on her birthday I sent her a one line email wishing her a good year and a happy birthday. Occasionally, I also tried to encourage her in other more subtle ways; for example, leaving uplifting comments on a mutual friend’s post in reply to one of her comments. We were no longer “friends”, but by way of mutual contacts I knew that she could see some of those things. For the most part, my efforts were ignored.

I admit it was difficult for me. I was hurt that she rejected me. I was angry that she was judging me without knowing or understanding what had really happened at the church. I was sad that we were no longer friends. I missed her.

It took me some time, but eventually I forgave her. She was doing what she felt she had to. In shunning me, she was following the direction of her leadership. I understood that to go against the church leadership is rebellion; she was trying to do the right thing. Yes, I had defended her vehemently to that same leadership when they were falsely accusing her of things, but she never knew that. Yes, she believed the false reports spoken about us, but they were constructed in such a way as to be very convincing. In the end I felt badly for her that she was still in that situation when I had found my way to freedom.

Indeed, while that was the most difficult time I have had to endure since becoming a Christian, it was also the catalyst for helping me to grow in Christ and to dig deeper into Him. I have been incredibly blessed in this last four years. I now attend a wonderfully loving church with very supportive leadership. I have been able to attend Bible College, coach the youth in Bible Quizzing, be involved in a Chinese Home Church and meet many wonderful new friends. Everything that I lost was restored to me and then some! Is the church I attend now a perfect church? No, of course not. But it is exactly what I need in my life and it has afforded me many opportunities that would have been closed to me at my old church.

“For I will restore health to you, and heal you of your wounds, says the Lord, because they called you an outcast saying: This is Zion; No one seeks her.” (Jeremiah 30:17).

I have learned that truly all things work together for good (Romans 8:28) and that going through that time helped to bring me to where I am now.  I also have a greater love and appreciation for those around me because I understand that things can change at any time and I know what a blessing it is to have them in my life.

Today, my dear friend that I lost four years ago sent me a friend request on Facebook. This may seem like a small thing, but I assure you, this is no small thing! Tears instantly welled behind my eyes when I saw it. Perhaps we will never be able to recover a friendship like the one we used to have, but I gladly welcome her back into my life. I pray she is well and that God is blessing her.

We truly serve a God of restoration!

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

Related Posts:

 

God’s Sorrow

A few weeks ago a closer friend of mine was messing up. Calling me on the phone while she was drunk, she told me she was messing up.  We kept talking and it was clear that she was driving while intoxicated. I felt SUCH sorrow like I have never felt before.  It wasn’t even disappointment, it was just such a deep, loving sorrow because I knew that it was her fear of her current circumstances and doubt in God’s love and protection that drove her to the state she was in at the time.  I didn’t judge her, I wasn’t angry, I was just deeply sorrowful that she was making these destructive choices for herself and worried for her safety.  As I felt those feelings go through me, I felt SUCH kindship with how God must feel when we mess up. I cried on the phone as I continued to talk to her but felt compelled to ask God in my heart to forgive me…. realizing how I must have made Him feel like that when I was messing up with [the guy I was unofficially dating who is not in church] but on so much of a deeper level since God loves more than I ever could.saddened

Are you doing something today that brings sorrow to God’s heart? Are you in a place where God is weeping over the choices you are making, not from anger or judgement, but because He knows you are only bringing yourself potential destruction? My friend, God watched over her.  She made it home safe, she repented, she’s not gone back to any of that.  More than that, God used that time to show her things that had never been fully understood by her before.  Just as she allowed God to mold her time of fear and doubt into a faith building moment when everything was turned over in His light, let it be so for you as well! Turn from your actions! Don’t go back! You are stronger than all that THROUGH JESUS!   Know that His love for you is unfailing, it is forever and without regret! Jesus Christ loves you with all His heart and what a mighty, vast heart it is!!!! There is no end to His love!!! You don’t have to try to find peace from the things of this world- for they will never bring you true peace and true happiness- it will only be found in Christ!!! Know that His love is SO deep and it is for YOU!

God bless you readers and may you feel the depths of His love today,

Rebekah M.

The Lord Fights Our Battles Pt 2

champion

About a year ago a guy messaged me multiple times trying to make a case for how I could not possibly be in the will of God because God would NEVER call anyone to do anything besides being a saint of Christ and that a woman’s place is in the home while her husband’s place is to work outside the home. That He would never call anyone to be doctors, lawyers, or policemen.  He did this knowing that I was in medical school, soon to be a doctor, and unmarried. I posted about this a year ago and how he never responded when I said that God cares even about our professions for everything can be used as an opportunity to witness. Last night, I received an interesting message from him on Facebook:

I need to apologize to you for being judgemental and critical of you. I was wrong and I am sorry for that. Sorry to cause you any stress or anxiety. I hope you can forgive me and you don’t hate me.

My reply:

I don’t hate anyone and of course you’re forgiven. God’s Word says that we should pray that God would forgive us as we forgive others, so to be freely forgiven we must freely forgive. I do have a word of caution for you for the future though.

One of my best friends actually recently asked who you were since they noticed that we were linked on facebook and according to them, you were telling their cousin they were going to hell for liking sports. Whether or not that is Biblical, the biggest problem with all of that was that his 11 year old daughter was dying of cancer. He is now a heartbroken man because she died and yet in the middle of the time of her dying, it is said that you were telling him he was going to hell.

I honestly told them you were the same person who told me I wasn’t in God’s Will and my friend then wrote you off as judgmental and urged me to speak with [Bro. ____/Bro. ____] about you. They said that someone who would say something like that to a man who’s daughter was dying of cancer must be brought to the attention of the pastor. I did not feel like it was my place to say something to the pastors, but my family did put you on our prayer list for a week for God to give you more wisdom with your words.

We must be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Use wisdom and love when seeking to help people on this path towards Christ. Remember that Paul said (I Cor 12:31) to “covet earnestly the best gifts [of the spirit]: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” He then went into the love chapter (I Cor 13):

1.Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Your words will never be heard if you don’t temper your wording and timing with love. Christ does want us to be a witness to all, but we must make sure what we say is based on scriptures and can quote their locations in the Bible. We only drive others away from Christ when we forget to temper the truth in God’s Word with grace. For the Bible says that Jesus Himself was full of grace and truth (John 1:14) and we must follow His example.

He replied

Thank you for your forgiveness. I never said though that [the father of the girl who died of cancer recently] was going to hell. I never would tell anybody that. But I did write back to [him] as i did you and asked him also to forgive me for being judgemental and critical of him. I also wrote [his wife] also and asked her the same things. The Lord did show me I was wrong just as in your case. [He] said as you did that he also forgave me. So the Lord himself corrected me in the error of my ways. 
And yes I also felt even worse because I knew his daughter was sick with cancer and he was going through alot then.
So I hope all is well with you concerning these things. 
Also thank you for putting me on your prayerlist. That is very much appreciated.

It is amazing how God works.  My friend was pushing me pretty hard at the time to say something so I started to say hello to this guy’s pastor’s wife and maybe say something, but no message would go through to her, THREE TIMES.  I knew it was God saying to let Him do it.  It’s amazing to see God convicted this man in His way in His timing. I’m kind of curious to hear the story but honestly, human as I am, I would rather just keep my interactions with him limited.

Thank You Jesus for fighting my battles for me- even if the fruit of the battle is seen a YEAR later! 

Rebekah M.

Related Posts:

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/05/28/judgement/

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/05/31/submitting-it-all/

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/06/04/the-lord-fights-our-battles/

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/08/20/a-call-to-christians-being-on-your-guard-part-2/