Archives

Sunshine Over Manhattan

So, my roommate and I got back safely from Florida. I tried to post this several days ago (via phone because my antiquated computer was having an antisocial day), but then my phone decided the antisocial game looked like fun too and just like that my post was thwarted. Well played, technology, well played. If you were following along, God was doing big things in my friend Scott’s life. He has been hospitalized for the better part of 7 months now, and is finally home but has a long road back. God has been telling me for awhile that someone needed to lay hands on him and pray for a healing – both physical and spiritual. I had a hard time facilitating this from New York, with him living in Orlando, but when I was there in person for 10 whole nights, it was game on. If you were one of the many praying for us, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Anyway, the prayer for Scott happened. The results didn’t. I could feel God moving in those moments, I could feel things getting shaken up, but nothing actually physically happened. It was sort of anticlimactic really. I am trying to shed this part of myself that looks for results when I obey and serve, but part of me still totally does it. If I’m told to lay hands on someone and pray, told repeatedly for months, I want to lay hands on that person and have them be healed. I want the disabled to get up and walk. I want my friend Scott, who has been ventilator-dependent since 1989 or so, to suddenly breathe on his own. Or at least stop feeling like he isn’t getting enough air even though he is. I want results. I want miracles. I know God is able to do these things. So I want Him to go ahead and do them. And I want to see it happen. Maybe it’s an area of unbelief in my heart. Maybe it’s a pride thing, wanting to be the one to ‘usher in’ the miracle when I know full well I have nothing to do with it. Probably it’s both.

Either way, I am working on shedding this desire, to serve for serving’s sake.  After all, I’m just delighted to be His, to love Him and be loved by Him and to let that love pour out onto the world. It doesn’t really matter what I accomplish in the meantime. Right? Right.

Since I have yet to convince my heart of this, and still have a desire to see that pesky proof, doing the work without the results is frustrating. Coming home from Orlando, with Scott still heavy on my heart, I drove my roommate in to work. Several weeks ago I’d had the chance to chat with and pray for two homeless men. Wouldn’t you know, God sent both men back into my path on this day. One was a bit disillusioned that his circumstances hadn’t really changed despite our prayer and my delivering a word from God to him. The other man was asleep but by the looks of him, his circumstances hadn’t changed much either. I know, I know, these things take time. But it still sort of tied in with my ‘results’ theme of late.

So it was that a few days later (this brings us to yesterday), I was riding home from the nursing home after visiting my roommate’s mother (she had a tough day – something was wrong and she was clearly uncomfortable but we couldn’t get to the bottom of it no matter what I did). The weather was nasty, that need for visible results was pecking away at my heart and brain, I felt bad that I couldn’t help Jimmy’s mother, and I admit it: I had a bit of a moment. A sort of “why am I here if everything I do is useless?” moment. I mean, yes I obey. But surely God would be better served with someone who actually has success when they obey?

Yes, I know better. Like I said, it was a moment. Lord forgive my unbelief.

In that moment of despondency, however, I happened to look out the window, back towards the city. And in the midst of the storm clouds, still surrounded by storm on all sides in fact, a window of clear skies opened up over the skyline. With storm clouds to the horizon in all directions, there was in that one spot, the one place I’d been told to come to and where I hear God’s voice the most clearly, the sun came out and shone over Manhattan. Sunlight in the storm. Just what I needed to see.

Yes, logically, I know that weather patterns are not formed specifically to brighten my moods. But in that moment, I could totally hear God saying “See? I’m still here. I’ve still got this. Nothing to worry about.”

That, my friends, is the mercy and attention of the God we serve. Even when I’m learning the lesson of not relying on physical results to gauge my success in Him, He still sends me little signs of encouragement. Who else can give sunshine in the storm? Every day His love continues to amaze me.

God bless!

~Rebekah A

 

Faith is not a Feeling

Our Mission StatemenSONY DSCt here at Being Rebekah declares that we are “real girls living real lives.” It also says that we hope that our readers will be inspired to passionately follow Christ. Lately, I feel that my “real life” could only inspire in the sense of giving the readers a guide on exactly what not to do in their walk with Christ. That being said, our blog truly does strive to show both the mountain peaks and the valleys.

I’ve been so up and down lately. I feel beaten down by Satan one minute and the incredible exhilaration of the Lord’s rescue the next. God keeps showing up in amazing ways. Unfortunately so does the enemy. Knowing the Lord is there should be enough to keep the enemy’s tactics from bothering me, but I’ve been on the edge of despair more times than I care to admit in the last few weeks.

I have wonderful people praying for me and I’m wearing them out. What’s the point of having them pray for me if I never seem to improve – or if improvement is only temporary? I’m holding the key. No amount of prayer on their part will make up for a lack of will on mine.

So what if I’m down, does that make the Lord any less powerful? Does it make His Word any less true? Does it make the devil’s future any less sure? No. No. No. I refuse to give in to my feelings. I refuse to listen to the voice of the enemy.

The following two things are true:

  1. Faith is not dependent on feelings.
  2. The devil is a liar.

Satan likes to manipulate our emotions to our spiritual detriment. Elijah felt like giving up right after a huge spiritual victory. Saul felt very spiritual right after he disobeyed God. Feelings are not a good thermometer for our spiritual condition. Being a Christian is a walk of humble faith, love, and obedience; it is not based on emotions.

I need to continue to do what I know to do regardless of what I’m feeling. Faith is action. Faith is obedience to the Word of God. Faith is not a feeling! Period.

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.

Stretch Forth Thine Hand

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. ~ Mark 3:1-5

God had used this passage of verses before to touch my heart as I wrote about back in October last year.  These past few days, God allowed me the chance to go to a ladies’ conference which has been SO good for my soul!  One of the nights, they had “prayer tunnel” created by having two lines facing each other of ministers’ wives and all the ladies lined up to walk in between the two lines. As you walked through, the ministers’ wives prayed over us. As I went through something in my so deeply prayed for a husband and for God to just do whatever else He wanted with my life- use me as He will, move me where He will, keep me with my sicknesses or take them away.  As I finished up handthe line I went to sit back in my seat and felt the need to open my Bible. It automatically fell on the above passage and instantly I felt God saying that He wanted to make the final healing in my heart.  I will NEVER be ready for Isaac without a fully healed heart.  As I allowed the words to sink in, I cried, thanking God and I stretched forth first one hand and then the other.  Tears streaming down, I let go of the things in my heart. I stretched my hands out in faith, believing Him faithful to heal me.  I post this in faith, continuing to believe that I was healed! My heart is whole- whole from Ex #1, whole from Ex #2, even whole from giving up the third guy- unofficially an ex… from consciously choosing God over the first guy to treat me like gold.  I know I made the right choice and either he’ll come to God and we’ll end up together, or God will send someone else- but I know more than ever that I did make the right choice and that I have hope.  I have hope that God will honor my choice- that He will not leave my soul in pain unless there is a plan and a reason- even if it’s because my Isaac has more to grow before he’s ready to be the man I need.  I trust you God, I trust You Jesus. I stretched forth my hand and I am healed!!!

Rebekah M.

Related post:

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/10/07/forgiveness-and-renewal-revisited/

The Visions: Loved like Gomer Was

To those who haven’t been keeping up with my scattered series, back in February I was messing up- unofficially dating a guy who wasn’t in church and it got to the point God felt the need to send a prophet to email my parents visions he had seen of me to prevent me from making horrible mistakes in my life.  With all of it fading more and more into my past and becoming more sure-footed on the straight and narrow towards God, I want to close up the series with this thought: I am loved like Gomer was.

aloneFor those who don’t know, Gomer was the wife of the prophet Hosea.  A prostitute and adulteress, she left him to go back on the streets that he had taken her off of and God told him to bring her back in Hosea chapter 3.  So the prophet bought her back. Redeemed her of her past- just has Jesus has done for me.  I praise and thank God that He found a way to bring me out of a situation that could have potentially led to me who knows? From the visions it seems that I may have slept with him eventually, even left church!  What an amazing God to save me from such BIG mistakes!

God sees us in our worst light- moments where we are turning from Him in doubt or despair – and loves us anyhow.  We are beloved of God! As with Gomer who ran away and committed the ultimate betray and Hosea still took her back and loved her- so is Christ with us!!! Turn back to Jesus today if you are running from Him for you are running from the very being that loves you more than anyone or anything in the universe!!! Jesus paid your debt of sin so that you could have a real relationship with Him!!! Find, as I did, that no matter how much I turned away from Him, blamed Him, and disobeyed His Word, He still loved me and He still loves you!!!!

Know that YOU are God’s beloved and He just wants to love you,

Rebekah M.

Related posts:

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/01/28/praying-monday-pressing-on/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/01/29/a-daddys-chastisement/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/14/the-visions-part-1/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/02/28/the-visions-part-2/

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/04/12/the-visions-part-3/

Guest Post: Heather Mertens “The Light Is Just Where We Need It”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. We are excited to be able to bring you all this encouraging post to just keep walking where God lights the way. Included with this post is a photograph taken by her daughter! 🙂  Thanks for sharing both Heather and her daughter! 🙂 ~Rebekah M. 

40YearWanderer_Heather_Mertens4

Aren’t you used to walking into a dark room and flipping a switch to see a flood of light show you where you are and what the surroundings include? We don’t normally have lights that just light up the spot we are standing in. We don’t buy flashlights that just light up the immediate area around the flashlight. Instead we want lights that go as far as possible so that we can see what is way ahead of us.

But God doesn’t always work that way and He IS the light. His light is a lamp just at our feet, waiting to show us where to step out on faith next.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105

For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness. – 2 Samuel 22:29

He wants us to explore our faith – be it as small as a mustard seed or largely filled with praises to no end believing in the miraculous healing needed at the moment. Explore our faith, yes! We tend to be stuck in the faith we know. I was stuck once in my life { one LONG period in my life! } where the only faith I had was the faith I knew. But when God opened my eyes through working in my life and through His Word, I started to see that I could explore that faith to expand it. I could even ASK FOR MORE. Even when we have a tiny amount of faith we have enough to ask for more.

There was a man who went to Jesus for something. He asked Him to save his son ‘if you can.” They had just enough faith – still inside doubt – to ask Him for help. His response?

And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” – Mark 9:23-24

He asked. He received.

Even the apostles asked for more faith.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” – Luke 17:5

So what happens when we take that little bit of faith and we ask for more and we just… LET HIM?

He works. That’s all it takes. He moves on our behalf. He shines the light in the darkness. He wants us to trust and ask because he desires for us to know how much He loves us.

So let’s dig even deeper, shall we friends?

Why do you think He only lights just the portion of the path right in front of us?

I leaned in deep to find out, to listen to Him, and I saw His light shine right where I needed it. I believe He does it so that we will know without a shadow of a doubt { the light casts out the shadows, right? YES!!  that He wants and desires to take care of us, to guide us, to love us. He said that.

And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them. I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them. – Isaiah 42:16

When we are leaning in and looking is when we see more. There are times in our lives when He reveals something – just a portion – that is further into our future but it always has to to do with His plan and calling on our lives. And although that doesn’t happen often, He does reveal Himself in a light that shines out further along the path. I’ve had this happen more and more in the last several years. Why? {I think the answer is more simple that we humans want to admit.}

Why?

Because I asked.

The Light is just where we need it
and it always awaits us.

I am running after His light to show me where I am headed. Whom to touch. Whom to bless.

Go ahead. Ask. He will answer. And never will He let the darkness win.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:5

It may seem daunting as you run the race. But run fast ahead following that light.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

Bless you my friends,

~ Heather

You might also enjoy my similar guest post here on Being Rebekah: 10 Things Life Teaches If We Are Learning

Heather Mertens has spent 40+ years wandering through life – at first aimlessly and now at last with drive, passion, and commitment to Christ who called her out of the darkness. Her life has brought depression and healing, death and life, destruction and repair, sadness and victory – and above all else … Love.

What started as a gifted love for writing, blossomed into a ministry and a career. She penned a Christmas poem at age 7 for her father who carried it in his wallet until the day he died a few years later. She knows deeply how words can touch a life. Her writings and books can be found at www.40YearWanderer.wordpress.com ~ Life, Love, Joy… Found!

All Scripture quoted from the ESV Bible.
Image Permission granted by: EmmLe Images

Published by permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

Ambassadors for Christ

ambassadors

This week has been a tough week for the United States. Between the bombing in Boston and the explosion in Texas, many people in this country are grieving and recovering from tragedy. For those of us in New England, the tragedy is still unfolding.

Personally, I know several people who were running in the marathon this past Monday, several more who were near the finish line cheering on the racers, plus I have friends and a couple of relatives that live within blocks of where the bombings occurred. Today, most of Boston and many of the surrounding communities were in lock-down. Although my place of work was open, many of the businesses around us were not. Several of our employees could not come in to work because they live in the lock down zone and were ordered to stay in their homes. Others could not come in because the entire MBTA (our public transportation system) was shut down. Even the taxi services weren’t running for a large part of the day. Although I live a bit outside of the area that is on lock down, I must have seen close to thirty police cars on my way to work. A co-worker sent me a picture of a soldier patrolling the street right outside her window. It is the type of thing that one might expect to see in a war zone, but not in our own backyards.

Yet in all of this, heroism and selflessness abound. It is important to remember that the love of God continues to flow in calamity. He continues to reach out through the hands and feet of countless ordinary citizens; volunteers, donators, EMTs, first responders, nurses, physicians, surgeons, and law enforcement. For every psychopath or terrorist, there are hundreds of compassionate hearts that are moved to action. We have all read the stories of every day citizens who came together to offer food, blankets or a hug to someone lost in their grief. We’ve seen the pictures of untrained hands pinching off the femoral artery to keep a victim from bleeding out. Perhaps we saw the list online of the thousands of people who offered their homes and a hot meal to those displaced in the tragedy. And let us not forget the police officers who ran towards the location of the blast (not knowing if there were more bombs that would go off), while everyone around them ran away. Or what about the doctor who was exhausted from having run and finished the 26.2 mile race? After the bombs went off he immediately ran to Mass General Hospital and within 90 seconds of arriving was scrubbed in to surgery. 48 hours later, that surgeon was still performing surgeries for the victims of the marathon. He was in surgery almost non-stop for over 48 hours after he had just run a marathon! There are heroes among us. Real people, living real lives. Tired, hurting, fallible people, who go beyond their normal physical and emotional limitations to reach out to those around them.

Those acts of heroism do not negate the grief or right the wrong, but they are reminders of love and humanity. Reminders we desperately need at times like this. When we grieve, God grieves with us. I believe He feels the pain that we feel. When we are hurting, He hurts with us. When Jesus walked the earth, He was filled with compassion and time and time again, He reached out to touch the sick and hurting. He brought restoration to people.

As believers, it is our job to represent Jesus on this earth. The enemy wants us to be immobilized by fear, but God wants us to be mobilized to serve!

People can serve without knowing Christ, but can we truly know Christ without serving? If we claim to know Him, we should be on the front lines of service. When horror strikes close to home, it is then that our friends and neighbors need us the most. I want to encourage all of us to serve one another in humility and love. Reach out to the hurting, donate to the destitute, offer a couch to the displaced, pray for the grieving. Be His hands and His feet and His mouth and His listening ear.

Be an ambassador for Christ.

In His Love,

Rebekah L