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Rahab Gets Married

rings“As God by creation made two of one, so again by marriage He made one of two.” ~ Thomas Adam

For those of you who have followed my Rahab series over the last two years, I have some exciting news! Hint – It’s in the title of this post. 😉 Yes, the lovely young woman referred to in these posts has gotten hitched.

This is significant because it represents a total separation from her past. As a woman who was forced to sell her body (by her own parents no less), she did not even dare to dream she would ever get out of her old life. She had resigned herself to the idea that she would have to endure her “profession” until she became too old to continue attracting clients. She often worried how she would support herself when that day finally came. The idea of marriage was so far beyond her realm of possibilities that she couldn’t even entertain the idea.

Starting when she was very young her father told her repeatedly that as a member of his family she belonged to him and had no choice but to do as he told her. He said, “Until you have a family of your own, you belong to me. And no one will ever marry someone as filthy and used up as you are. You will never find a man who is willing to marry someone like you.” He was the reason she became “filthy and used up”, but yet used that as the rationale that no one would ever marry her and that she was doomed to always be his property to be rented out as he pleased.

But God!

Oh how God can take all of man’s plans and turn them on their head! When the world saw someone who was filthy and used up, God saw a woman to be redeemed! Jesus Christ is still in the business of cleansing and making new! He took a woman of ill repute and completely turned her life around! She now knows the Lord; she has been delivered from her life of degradation, and filled with His Spirit.

God has seen fit to give her a godly man as a husband. Even by her father’s twisted justification, she is free from him by virtue of having been married. The thing she never thought possible has come to pass by way of Jesus Christ. God took a terrible circumstance and used it for both her and her new husband’s good. They met through a series of cruel tricks by both his parents and hers. He never saw the deception coming, fell right into their trap, and committed a serious mistake. By all outward appearances this should have ended very very badly.

But God!

This man repented of his sin, and became a representation of Christ to this woman who was so desperately lost in darkness. He modeled love. She was filled with anger and bitterness. She fought back at him with sharp words and a hateful attitude. He kept reaching out in the love of Christ. He ignored her hurtful behavior. Through every angry word and difficult encounter he continued to show godly love in a way that she had never seen. In fact, she had never experienced any kind of love at all. Not from friends. Not from men. Not from family members. Not even her own parents.

But God!

God used this man to show real love. And real love prevailed. Through it all God kept reaching for her. He did a miracle in her life. She surrendered to Him and it changed everything.

Her faith in Him is incredible. I have seen her grow in spiritual maturity so quickly. Her prayers are deep and strong. Her level of commitment is rare among Christians. She has already become a role model for the women in her church. She is a woman who knows what God has done for her.

There is no greater freedom than that of living for Jesus Christ!

Congratulations, Rahab. May your marriage be as strong and resilient as you have been. May the goodness and mercy of the Lord follow you both all the days of your lives. May you and your husband be blessed with a love that grows stronger every day and moves you ever closer to the Lord.

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

More in the Rahab Series:

Being Rahab (Part 1)

Revisiting Rahab (Part 2)

The Faith of Rahab (Part 3)

Praying with Rahab (Part 4)

Survived Another Childless Mother’s Day

Phew, I have survived another Mother’s Day! Honestly, I feel guilty even writing that because I know there are many people for whom Mother’s Day is a much more painful event than it is for me. Especially for those mothers who have lost a child. I cannot imagine how unbearable that would be. And don’t get me wrong, Mother’s Day is a wonderful day to honor our mothers and all that mothers the world over have done for us.

But I struggle with it, and I know I am not alone in that struggle.

I wavered about whether to post this or not. It feels whiny, oh, poor pitiful me, and entirely too self-focused, but in the end I decided to go ahead and post it anyway because we strive to be real on this blog. My feelings – right or wrong, are very real, and as I mentioned, I know that I am not alone in these feelings. Perhaps another woman will read this post and know that she too is not alone in her pain.

When I was young, like most girls, I assumed that I would grow up to marry and go on to have children. In all the times I “played house” I never imagined a scenario where children would not be part of the equation. Recently I read an article by Melanie Notkin called My Secret Grief. In it she discusses the hidden pain of circumstantial infertility. Unlike the pain of medical infertility, circumstantial infertility is not caused because of some biological issue, but rather because (as the name infers) circumstances never lined up to make motherhood a reality. Notkin put down in words many of the things I’ve never been able to say.

If you are childless (not by choice), it can be difficult to express the feelings that go along with it. If you try, well-meaning people will say all kinds of things which sting and cut at you in ways they cannot comprehend.

As a Christian I struggle with the sadness it brings me. I know that I should be content with what I have (see Philippians 4:11, 1 Timothy 6:6, Hebrews 13:5), and mostly I am, but there are hard days. Really hard days. For the last few years, Mother’s Day has ranked among the top for really hard days.

I vacillate between trying to face reality so I can move on from my desire to be a mother and trying desperately to hold on to the hope that it may one day still happen. I don’t know how to give up my hope of being a mother, but I think I might be happier if I could figure out how to. The Bible says that “hope deferred maketh the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). As a never married, single, childless woman I know the truth of that verse all too well.

As My Secret Grief points out, when you get to a certain age if you are still childless it is assumed that you either never really wanted children or you just didn’t try hard enough. I have had countless people tell me I should just go out and find a guy to make a kid with. “Why wait for marriage?” they say. This world doesn’t understand the concept that fornication is a sin. Or they tell you that you should just get a sperm donor, or adopt.

Here’s the thing: I honestly think my child deserves to have two parents. They should have both a mother and a father who is present and active in their childrearing. I understand that this is not always possible and there are many many wonderful single parents out there, but it seems selfish to purposely put your child in the position of only having a single parent. Again, please do not think I am disparaging single parents out there. The majority of them work tirelessly to provide good lives for their children and should be commended for that. But to deliberately deny a child a father just because I would like to be a mother is unfair to them. Perhaps I could manage to get pregnant (this is still medically questionable) or adopt (financially prohibitive) without the presence of a husband, but for the sake of my children, I wouldn’t want to do that. In the eyes of the world this is seen as not wanting it bad enough. Trust me; I’ve heard enough comments to know the reality of this view. The truth is that I do want it that badly; I just don’t want it that selfishly.

I struggle with how heart-broken I am over being childless. I feel guilty because I think my desire shows an inherent lack of gratefulness for what I do have. And I have been blessed! Abundantly blessed! But the sadness and longing remain. God designed women to be mothers and most of us feel that pull to our very core. The Bible gives us seven examples of barren women in the Bible who later went on to give birth. What strikes me about them is that they all cried to the Lord over their situation. Granted, it was tougher in Biblical times because women were mandated to give their husbands children and those who could not were seen as cursed. It was a much more dire situation, but I have no doubt that the tears they cried were much like my own. The Bible says that Hannah prayed with great weeping (I Samuel 1:10). The King James Version says that she was in “bitterness of soul” and that as she prayed she “wept sore”. This was a woman who knew the heartache and sorrow of being childless.

Yet, all seven of these women had husbands. I cannot cry to the Lord for a child (though I have) until I first have a husband. And time has so quickly passed me by. I had to give up an ungodly relationship when I was saved – knowing confidently that the Lord would provide for me. I waited five years to meet a man in the church, but there just weren’t any. I found a sweet man who became a Christian. I wasted five more years of my life on that man and he ended up getting another woman pregnant while we were together. Heartbreaking.

We are told not to be unequally yoked, but there are literally NO single men my age in my church. I know of a total of two single men (both younger than me) in our entire church district. I know dozens of single women in this same age group. And I am not confining myself to a man within a few years of my age. I’m talking within a 15+ year age range; there just aren’t any available men. Let alone a man that would be a good match for me and I for him. It’s difficult to remain hopeful.

Well-meaning friends and relatives tell me that they miss the single life. They wish they had more time for themselves and for the Lord. I have no doubt this is true. If I were married with children, I too would miss my current single life at times. But most of the people who have said this to me weren’t single for all that long. They moved out of their parent’s houses and within a few short years they were married. They never had that much time to themselves. I moved out of my parent’s house seventeen years ago. Seventeen long years ago. I’ve come home to a silent, empty house day after day, week after week, month after month, for years and years and years on end. Most of the time, I’m okay with this. Most of the time, I am content in the Lord. But there are days. Really hard days.

Mother’s Day is especially difficult because I feel I am mourning the family I never had. My pastor, bless his heart, loves to make a big deal out of Mother’s Day. I actually really appreciate him for this because mothers deserve to be recognized for their endless hours of tireless sacrifice for their families. The work they do is acknowledged far too little. Mother’s Day is the one day that people set aside to honor them. It is wonderful and important. But it is difficult. More than once I have been the only adult woman left in the congregation after he calls all the mothers to the front. I want to sink into my seat and just disappear when that happens. I don’t want anyone to see me sitting there by myself and pity me. For the last couple of years, I have made it a point not to be in the sanctuary when this happens because it is just too painful for me.

Is it selfish? Yes. Yes, it is. Mother’s Day is not about me. I should be there to encourage and honor the godly women in my life who give so much for their children. But I hide. I hide because I can’t stand the feeling. I can’t stand how every year someone will say to me, “Next year” when next year never seems to come.

But the day comes and goes and I find after it’s over that I have survived. I’m still breathing. I’m okay. The Lord has granted me strength to get through another day. He is my Provider. He is my Comforter. He is my All-in-All. And after all the feelings have passed, I am reminded that faith is not a feeling. I am blessed. The Lord is MIGHTY in my life. He is my Strong Tower. He is my hope. He is my Loyal Friend and Husbandman. He is enough. I so love and appreciate Him for that. When I feel I am alone, I am never alone. He is with me day after day, week after week, month after month, for years and years and years on end.

And He is with you too.

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

Praying with Rahab

Today’s post is a continuation of the Being Rahab series. If you aren’t familiar with these posts, I encourage you to read parts 1, 2, and 3 by following the links.

I began the first post on this topic by discussing a woman who was forced into prostitution at a young age by her own family. At the time, it was my prayer that she would be like Rahab; a person with a questionable past, but an honorable future. I requested that our readers pray for her that she would have the faith of Rahab to believe God and allow Him to transform her life.

God has answered these prayers in an amazing way. She now regularly attends church, has thrown out all her former idols, has stopped worshipping at Buddhist temples, has committed her life to Christ and been baptized in His name. Truthfully, she is so far removed from her degrading past that I don’t really even like using the word Rahab in the title of these posts anymore. It was difficult for me to include it on the last update, and even more difficult on this one. Even though this is an anonymous blog that she knows nothing about, I feel she deserves better than to be identified by her past rather than by the incredible future that God is building in her. Yet, for the sake of continuity so that our readers are able to recognize and follow her story, I will continue to use it for now.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to pray with this woman a few times. She lives on the other side of the globe from me, but with modern technology she is only a click away and we’ve been able to video chat and pray together that way. Think about that for a minute, we are literally a few clicks away from evangelizing the world! Satan uses technology to put all kinds filth on the airways, violence in the media, and pornography at our fingertips, but we have the power to take technology and use it for good. Use it to witness to someone, use it to reach out and evangelize places you can’t physically get to. Use it for creating worship songs and Bible Studies. Use it for God! But I digress.

This woman has poured her heart out to me in video chat. I’ve been able to tell her what God has done in my own life and then to pray with her about her hopes, her fears, her past traumas, and I’ve been able to feel the burden lifting off of her as we pray. If you had told me a year ago that I would be having these conversations with her, I would have thought you were crazy. Even just a few months ago I would have thought it was impossible. Nothing is impossible to God! Nothing!

If I had stayed angry with her, if I had allowed my own hurt and bitterness to get in the way, I would have missed out on the incredible blessing that she is now bringing to my life. She is a remarkable woman who is learning to pray to the One True God. She is learning to trust in the Almighty. She is giving her life to the Savior. And I am being allowed to witness it. Truly truly humbling.

If you are having trouble forgiving someone I encourage you to ask your heavenly Father to give you a genuine love of God for that person. Ask Him to help you allow a love of God to grow in your heart. He may answer that prayer in the most unexpected and beautiful of ways.

If you pray for that person, you may find one day you are praying with them!

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

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.

Guest Spot: MJ of The Peace Filled Life “Plan B”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. MJ’s post on contentment in our moments reminds us of the truth that “…godliness with contentment is great gain” (I Tim 6:6). Thank you for sharing MJ! 

depressed

I spent too long believing I was living Plan B. I thought that if I had just done X, Y and Z, I would be living Plan A. For now I was waiting, doing my “penance” – until Plan A would magically appear, and my “real” life would start and I would live happily ever after.

I could not have been any more wrong.

In reality, I have many blessings in my life – a wonderful husband, three beautiful children, a house in the suburbs, reliable transportation, and a good job.  My family has food, water, clothing, indoor plumbing, electricity, heat, air conditioning, and modern appliances.  I have an awesome extended family, many good friends, a great church and community.

And yet what did I find myself concentrating on? The ONE thing that I did not have. Is that not the most ungrateful thing you ever heard of?

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). John 10:10

The evil one has one goal for your life – to steal your joy, kill your spirit and destroy your life. God wants you to have life! Not just in the life to come, but in this very life that you are living now. Not just merely an existence, but to the full, till it overflows!

Living my life as if it were Plan B was not what God intended. God made life for enjoying!

If I concentrate on the what ifs, and the if onlys – I will live my life disappointed, angry and bitter. But if I concentrate on accepting the many gifts that Christ has given me, I will have joy and peace.

In May of 2011, I had enough.  I made a decision:

crosspraiseJesus

I chose joy and peace.

I chose to enjoy where I am.

I chose to accept the path that God designed for ME.

To be honest, 2011 was one of the most painful years of my life.  Yet after I made that decision –

I had never felt more joy and peace in my life.

I had never heard God’s voice so clearly nor felt His presence so abundantly.

I had never been more secure in the fact that I AM living the Plan that God intended for ME.

His Plan is good. I choose this.  Do you choose this?

*     *     *

“Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14b)

MJ is a mom, wife, career woman, and follower of God.  She is passionate in her quest to “seek peace and pursue it”.  Her blog can be found at http://thepeacefilledlife.wordpress.com

See the original post at: http://thepeacefilledlife.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/plan-b/

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

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/

Daily

Last night at church the pastor preached on how we must be fruitful. The biggest point that I took home is that we must DAILY do things and even if we don’t realize the change, there will be growth.  We cannot be fruitful if we don’t daily water what must be watered- reading our bible, praying, and being faithful to those things He has put in our lives.  When I first started this blog along with the other Rebekahs, I wrote my daily goals on here. As the months have progressed, I have fallen away from much of them.

I read my bible here and there- but not daily.

I pray but not always appointments with God type and not three times a day.

I play piano when I am able to.

I am SO out of shape

Regardless… just as I started my daily tasks before, I can do so once again.  There is nothing wrong with exercising for the bible does say that it profits *a little* so I think it should be included in my daily life, but it should not be larger than the time I give to God.  I may not always have the ability to go play piano, but I do have the ability to memorize the scales and chords regardless of my access to a piano.  The big thing though will be the praying part.  I know though, that if I could pray before without feeling anything (one of the weeks back in December), then I can pray whether I feel it or not- I just need to get to it.

God blesses even if we don’t feel it. As a child, we don’t always see how much we have grown, sometimes our own parents don’t even realize it, but when someone who has not seen us a while sees us they exclaim “my how you’ve grown!” Sometimes we don’t see how God is growing things within ourselves until someone exclaims to us “my how you’ve changed!”  The other day my prayer partner noted how I wasn’t talking about the interest in a guy in terms of looks, but in terms of his spirit.  He loves Jesus and it attracts me.  And it’s not just “he’ likes doing things for the church” but a legitimate loves Jesus. That is attractive.

Bringing it all home, daily life for Jesus- bible, praying, contentment in daily life- and we’ll grow and we may not even realize it.  Join me readers in recommitting myself to living daily for Him.

Jesus, 

Thank You for bringing this back to the forefront of my mind.  Thank You that there are changes when I look back that have occurred in my character.  Thank You that You are helping me become the woman You want me to be. I love You Jesus. 

Rebekah M. 

 

Related Post: https://beingrebekah.com/2012/01/12/embracing-the-unexpected/