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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.

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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.

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.

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/

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/