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Surrounded by Love

The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. And they shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. ~Numbers 6:24-27

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My time as a medical student is closing up. I am graduating this Sunday and the church out where I’m at this month is one that I was blessed enough to be at for 6 of the last 24 months.  They have allowed me to sing a solo, a duet, and play the drums. I have been used to give messages, to increase faith, and see Him move in ways I never imagined. Last night at the end of service they gave me a graduation gift and had me speak.  As I have reflected on it and my last few years, I can clearly see just how much God has loved me and seen me through SUCH painful times of my life.  He has uplifted me when a guy who had promised a “forever” future with me shortly thereafter withdrew from me and broke my heart. He has picked the pieces up when friends have forsaken me.  He has given me new hopes, new dreams, and new people to love me.  I added the above scripture because I truly feel that from those who love me- they want God to shine upon my life.  They want good things to happen to me. They want the road to meet me.

Thank You Jesus!

Thank You that my life is surrounded by love.  As this chapter of my life closes up soon, let it be that YOU are all I need. May Your love continue to surround me as You allow others to come into my life to love me as well.  Such blessings- amazing Godly parents, friends who would never leave me, and soon, on Sunday, I will be called doctor. WOW! Thank You Jesus!

I praise You God!

I thank YOU!

Thank You Jesus for surrounding my life in YOUR love!!!

With a grateful heart,

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! 

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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:

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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. 

Prayer Monday: He is Faithful

This weekend, I have learned yet once again that He is faithful.  Let’s all pray this “praise prayer” together (even if you use your own words 😉  ).

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Jesus,

I praise You for being faithful.  I worship You that in all times, You are good!  Thank You Jesus for turning tides.  Thank You Jesus for being my constant, wonderful companion who knows best.  Thank You that all things are safe in Your hands!  There is none like You! There is no greater love, no greater power, and no greater friend than You!!! Thank You for dying for me.  Thank You for rising again in power.  Thank You for sending Your wonderful gift of living in our hearts as the Holy Ghost!!   You are the Lord, the famous one, great is Your name in all the earth!!!

With a grateful heart,

Rebekah M.

Being Isaac: Bill from Unshakable Hope “More than Just a Dream”

Editor’s Note:  Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other.  “Being Isaac” is in response to our growing number of male readers. We think it’s important that there’s a male reply to our female’s call to live in passionate pursuit of Christ. Thanks Bill from Unshakable Hope for submitting an amazing post that reminds us that heaven is our destination and it will be more than just a dream. 🙂

I had a vivid dream last night –  In this dream I was completely healed and whole.

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The dream began with me simply stepping out of bed, which is something I haven’t been able to do in over 15 years. I could walk, talk, eat, dress myself and do everything else that I was once able to do. Mary and I were so excited that we began calling all of our family and friends and then we began visiting people at their homes and offices (Mary drove the car because I don’t have a driver’s license and the only thing I’ve driven in last 15 years is a wheelchair).

The dream was so real-to-life that I was telling Mary all the places I wanted to travel to and all the restaurants I wanted to try. I was even making practical plans like getting a driver’s license and making an appointment with the doctor to have my feeding tube removed etc. As you can probably imagine, this was so exciting; more so than winning a billion dollar lottery! But that incredible excitement soon turned to great disappointment when I awoke from this vivid dream at 4:15 this morning and realized I couldn’t even uncross my feet, let alone get out of bed.

1335964_sunsetThen my great disappointment turned back into incredible excitement when I remembered that, regardless of what happens in this life, one day I KNOW that I WILL be healed and whole! One day “…there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain…” (Revelation 21:4)

There was a time in my life that I feared death and the unknown in general. I later found out that these fears are quite common. But, as strange as it might sound, ever since I committed to following Christ and began believing the promises of God’s word, my fear of death has been replaced with an excitement of what lies in store for me after this brief and fragile life is over. Christ died and rose again to free us from sin AND from the fear of what lies ahead – “…only by dying could He (Jesus) break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way could he deliver those who have lived all their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.” (Hebrews 2:14-15 NLT)

In 1996, Bill was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and the doctors told him he had 3-5 years to live. He is now completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but by God’s grace, he’s still alive and through his Unshakablehope blog he shares a message of hope in Christ.

See the original post at http://unshakablehope.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/more-than-just-a-dream/

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

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/

Restoration (Part III)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We truly serve a God of restoration!

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

Related Posts:

 

Under Control

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My good friend Scott is back in the hospital again. He has, as you may have read in past posts, a condition called Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an ultimately fatal muscle-wasting disease. He’s had a rough winter, battling pneumonia, dehydration, sepsis, and a slew of other heart and lung issues. He also had to get a feeding tube (you can imagine how slow the recovery from that surgery has been in light of all the other stuff) and can no longer eat or swallow regular food (even pureed). When he did finally come home, it was only to find that his driving hand had stiffened and he could no longer drive his wheelchair. The health issues started in December, and he recovered enough to be home from the hospital for a couple months, but not really getting out of bed. His spirit had changed. He was dealing with depression and severe anxiety, and seemed to have lost his will to live. At the very least, he seemed to lose his will to fight to live. I don’t blame him, really. This disease has taken so much from him already, and now the two things he could still enjoy – eating and moving about independently in his chair – were taken too. But now, with so much spent time in bed, the pneumonia has relapsed. So, back in the hospital he goes. This latest time, he passed out and was unresponsive. He was rushed to the hospital but remained unresponsive. He is on a ventilator that breathes for him, so I can’t say he wasn’t breathing, and he did have a pulse this whole time; he was just unconscious and unresponsive.

To be honest, I was initially torn when it came to praying for him. I know what I want – a healing. Call it selfish, but I want him here. With me on earth for as long as I’m here.  But at the same time, I know he knows Jesus and I know where he’s going when the time comes. In light of that, it seems cruel and selfish to pray for a healing for him when he seems so ready to be called home.

So what to do? In the end, I just started praying into God’s will over his life, and that all things surrounding him other than God would be removed from him. I prayed for God’s plan to come to fruition regarding Scott’s fate, and I prayed hard. I praised Him for having a plan in the first place, and being loving and attentive enough to carry it out over each of us. And as I prayed, something cool happened.

God really just wanted me to open my mouth in prayer and praise. As I did, He guided my prayers. Once I got started, words just came pouring out of my mouth, things I hadn’t even thought to be concerned about. I opened my mouth and God filled it with the prayers that Scott needed, prayers that aligned with His perfect plan.

Sure enough, later that night and throughout the day today, Scott woke up. He can’t talk right now (he is on a hospital respirator instead of his own so he can’t speak), but he has been mouthing words and communicating via eye blink.

Yes, times like these are difficult. But it’s in our own weaknesses, our own limitations, that we see how much God truly has it all in His hands. In times like these, when our very words fail and we need to be carried, we feel how much love and attention God has for us. When we no longer can control our circumstances, we feel how in control God is. Sometimes knowing that we don’t have to go it alone is the greatest gift there is, and it’s a gift that God gives to us constantly.

And that right there is reason enough, no matter how bad things seem to get for us here, to praise Him to the skies.

God bless!

~Rebekah A