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Freedom from Harassment

For the past two years I have been dealing with blatant sexual harassment from a co-worker. It started when this man asked me out on a date. He was a pastor of a denomination similar to mine and had always been very friendly with me. Although not well known by the English speakers in my company, he was highly respected among the Hispanic employees (He is Latin American) and I was intrigued by him. I agreed to the date.

We had a nice time and I readily agreed to a second date. I began to wonder if it might be God’s plan for us to partner together for the work of the Kingdom. I wanted him to be the one, but I couldn’t shake this feeling in the pit of my stomach that something just wasn’t right. It was after the fourth date that I found out that he is married! He never wore a ring and had never mentioned a wife so I really had no idea. This was not even a case of him being separated, he is a fully married man! Obviously, that was the end for me.

But it was not the end. Not for him. Not by a long shot.

He refused to accept that I was no longer interested in him. He refused to back down. He would not leave me alone. He would beg me to give him a chance. He would come to my office and tell me the explicit things he fantasized about doing with me. He would tell me that I was in his heart and mind. He would plead with me to have sex with him “just one time. Just one time, por favor.”

Suddenly the man who had always seemed so friendly became aggressive and frightening. It didn’t matter how many times I said no, he wouldn’t stop. He began purposely trying to intimidate me. He would block my exit from my office. He would follow me into the women’s restroom. He would be waiting at my car when I tried to leave for the day. If I wrote all of the things he said and did over the last two years, you would be amazed (and perhaps judgmental) about the fact that I did not do more to stop it. For a while I was paralyzed by it. It was scary to me. I didn’t know how to handle it.

I determined in my heart that I didn’t want to be the reason that this man lost his job. He has a family to support. I kept praying that God would have mercy on him and grant him a heart of repentance. I prayed that he would get a revelation of God that would change his behavior. When things didn’t seem to change I began to pray that God would get this man away from me. I didn’t really care how it happened; I just wanted it to happen. I prayed he would repent and leave me alone. When it seemed he wasn’t going to do that I prayed he would transfer to another location in our company. When that didn’t happen I prayed he would find another job or quit. I just kept praying for God to get him away from me.

It took a while, but eventually I began to see things differently. God helped me to fight the battle spiritually. He helped me to recognize that this man is under the influence of Satan and he needs deliverance. He never changed his behavior, but the effect it had on me changed. I stopped being afraid. I stopped letting it linger in my mind. I just kept giving it to God. Somewhere along the way, the peace of God began to replace the negative thoughts and feelings I had. I began to focus all my prayers on his soul. He is a man who is spiritually in a very dangerous place.

Yesterday I got notice that this man is being laid off. Finally, he will be away from me. I pray that he is able to find another job quickly, but I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I feel relief. I find it interesting that it wasn’t until I found peace in the situation that the answer to my prayer came. I’m not saying that he is being laid off because of my prayers, but it is an answer to my prayer. I could have had him fired a long time ago, but I didn’t want to be personally responsible for him losing his income.

I have mixed feelings about this. I rejoice in my deliverance, but I grieve for his continued bondage. I pray that he does not become a problem for someone else. May God have mercy on his soul.

Have you ever experienced something like this in your walk with God?

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

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Resisting the Enemy

Here is a truth: the devil has power.resist devil

Here is a greater truth: the only power the devil has is the limited power that Jesus Christ has allowed him access to.

All power in heaven and earth belongs to Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18).

As member’s of Christ’s family, He has given us authority over all the power of the enemy (Luke 10:19).

When we submit to God, and resist the devil, the enemy will flee from us (James 4:7).

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

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.

Peace in the Land

“For they that be with us are more than they that be with them.” -2 Kings 6:16.

 
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If you read my last post, This Too Shall Pass, you know that I’ve been struggling a bit recently. I have a ways to go, but God is fighting a mighty battle for me. Truly, the Lord is doing a wonderful work to restore peace in my life and give me new hope.

Last night I had a dream. In this dream a man began quoting Scripture to me. I did not immediately recognize it as something out of the Bible because the man was speaking in another language that I have pretty limited knowledge of. When I awoke, I used Google Translate to plug in the sounds I heard to try to get a frame of reference around the words I already knew. Working to put this puzzle together, it suddenly occurred to me that it sounded a bit like Scripture. So I pulled up biblegateway.com and began plugging in the words there. And I found it! I found what the man spoke to me in the dream!!

It was these verses from Leviticus 26:6-8:

“I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid: and I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. and five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.”

It’s amazing. I can’t even wrap my mind around the goodness of the Lord!! He gave me Scripture in a dream that speaks directly to my situation! I am personalizing and holding on to the promises in these verses:

  • I will have peace in the land.
  • I will lie down to sleep without fear.
  • God will rid the beasts out of my life.
  • I will chase the enemies (not the other way around).
  • The enemy will fall before me.
  • Five of us (my prayer & support team) will put a hundred to flight!

When I struggle this week I am going to remind myself of these Scriptures. I am going to remind the devil of them too. Rejoice with me. We serve a wonderful God!

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

This Too Shall Pass

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I’ve been struggling a bit over the last couple of weeks. For the most part, I’ve kept this completely to myself. I tend to share the good things going on in my life and hide the not so good things. Last week when it was my turn to post on Being Rebekah, I just posted a simple prayer because I wasn’t ready to let the blogging community know about my struggle. Indeed, I’m still not ready.

But as things have a way of doing; my struggle has come to the light. I whispered a text to a friend to let her in. God Himself whispered a word of knowledge to several others. I’ve alluded to these struggles before on such posts as: Confident in His Love, Disquieted, and When Sadness Creeps in.

The amazing thing is that since things have come out into the open, God has rallied a wonderful support team around me. They have offered godly counsel, a shoulder to cry on, prayer and have even fasted for me. I am truly blessed. And yet, I’m still struggling. I feel incredibly guilty about that.

They give me good advice: you need to worship through it, you need to praise through it, you need to choose God, you must choose to hold on Him, don’t try to overcome by your own strength; you need to rely on Jesus etc. etc. It’s all wonderful advice, it truly is. But what I hear is: You’re screwing it up, you’re doing it wrong, you’re doing it wrong, you’re doing it wrong, you’re doing it wrong. The problem is not with the advice, the problem is with me.

They are all working so hard to support me with love, prayers, and fasting that I feel pressured to report that things are magically all better. I feel if I admit that I’m still struggling that I’m letting them down. I’m failing despite everyone’s best efforts. I owe them better and I owe God better.

I don’t know what the solution is. I’m not writing with my grand spiritual revelation on how I got beyond my struggle with the help of the Lord. I have no idea how to get beyond it and this blog post is simply my attempt at not sugar coating it the way that I’m tempted to do. Here’s what I do know: through Jesus, this too shall pass.

In His Love,

Rebekah L

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.

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Two Rooms

doorsToday while at work I started with two patients in rooms beside each other. The contrast was so amazing that I felt almost as if it was a gift from God Himself in lessons and encouragement.

In one room was a woman who was living with her boyfriend, currently unemployed, and in for a condition essentially caused by her years of smoking.  As I spoke with her, it was evident that she was in a bad place mentally and in her life.  Not suicidal, but constantly berated by her boyfriend and his mother. Everything she said about him felt so reminiscent of my first boyfriend- from how it felt like originally one had just stepped into a storybook romance to it falling apart with the facade fading away.  Painful moments of emotional abuse scattered throughout, and yet being so in love with the other person that one felt locked into the relationship. I still remember the night I was berated for almost 5 minutes straight on how stupid it was to even suggest the ring bearer be a ninja.  It wasn’t even a loving scold, it was an angry, yelling, tirade on how “stupid and retarded” of an idea it was. By the end I was sobbing, asking him if he could just not call my ideas stupid and instead he became angry that I was crying stating that I “must be on that time of [my] month.” This woman continues to endure living with a man who refuses to go outside to smoke because “it’s my house, you can’t tell me what to do.” She allows a man to yell at her for becoming sick and needing to go to the hospital- as if that is something one can control.  The more I talked to her, watching as she repeatedly broke down and cried when she talked about her home life, I felt God whisper to me that that could have been me. Maybe with the slight variant of being married, but that could have been me- miserable beyond words, an broken shell of the woman I once was. I thank and praise God for His mercies and rescuing me from myself when it came to my first boyfriend.

In the very next room was my other patient who we had to tell potentially had a mass in her belly. As I started talking with her, she began to cry and I ended up talking to her about God. Come to find out she knew Him and it was SO encouraging and amazing to speak with her. I was able to encourage her to read Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyers and I could feel that she was drawing strength just by being encouraged to put it all in God’s hands. In the end when she left, I could feel that she was resolved to leave it in His hands. She knew that part of her game plan was to have a support system that would pray with her. She was ready to face come what may with God at her side.

What a contrast! What a stark contrast from the “might have been” in one room to the other who was putting her trust in God.  May I be the one who chooses God. May I be the one who chooses His ways.  May I be the one in the second room when the time is down.

Jesus, 

When we have two rooms in our lives, which will we choose? Will we choose sin, and find ourselves a shadow of who we should be? Or will we choose God and shine brighter than the day? Lord, may I choose You always. 

Rebekah M.