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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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Humbled by His Mercy

“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works” (Psalm 145: 8-9).

work troubleOur regular readers know that I have been struggling a bit lately. My fight is not over, but I’m happy to report that through the help and mercy of the Lord, I am doing much better. I’ve been reminding myself that faith is not a feeling and the devil is a liar. I’ve been praising my way through the storm. And it’s working! God has not given up on me, and I am not about to give up on Him.

I found myself in a heap of trouble at work this week. One of the consequences of the struggle I’ve been going through is that my performance at work has suffered quite a lot. This has been especially difficult for me because work has always been the one place where I excel. In other areas of my life I’ve always been pretty mediocre, never one to shine, always in the background; but at work I have always done extremely well. I have prided myself on an excellent work ethic and top quality work. I have been recognized for my efforts time and time again. Perhaps, all of this is a way for me to better recognize that anything I accomplish at work is only through the goodness of the Lord. Pride comes before a fall. Anyway, I’ve found myself struggling at work just as much as I am in other areas of life. In the past when I went through troubling times, I threw myself into my work as a way of distraction and while my struggle might have been apparent in other areas of life, no one was ever the wiser at my company. Not so this time.

Which brings me to today. I had to have a meeting today with two of my superiors. A very uncomfortable meeting where I had no choice but to humble myself and admit that my work has not been up to par. As uncomfortable as this meeting was, it was a moment that God used to teach me that He is with me always. He is teaching me through the difficult things, He continues to show me mercy and He will never give up on me. The meeting, although not a good thing actually went far better than expected. My job was on the line, but God softened my boss’ heart to show me mercy. By the end of the meeting we were all joking and my boss was sharing her own struggles with me. God was tender with me today. I praise Him.

He is bringing me out of this storm. The sun is beginning to shine again. I know that struggles will come, but He has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

It’s amazing. This love He has shown us, it’s amazing.

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.

Prayer Monday- Prayer of Peace

So our loyal readers, you may have noticed that we have been dropping the ball here at Being Rebekah.  We have a goal of posting daily and it’s pretty clear that last week, that didn’t happen. We usually try to fill in for each other when that happens but everyone has been a bit in over their head. In it all though, God has been SO amazing.

sadnessIn follow up to my last post- Honor Thy Father:  after his stone cold reception of my weeping apology, I tried to hold strong, believing that God saw and loved me and was proud of me.  The next day, I see-sawed between despair and faith.  I wanted to believe my dad would eventually come around, but it was breaking my heart that although EVERYONE was so proud of me, I felt as if my own father was disowning me and saying I was beyond hope.  I remember sobbing in front of my computer, broken-hearted, and telling my friend it just hurt SO much.

The amazing part- God spoke to my dad.  God was the one who truly heard all of our prayers (including you readers who prayed for him!!!) and brought peace to his heart.  I was so proud and happy when he was asked to lead church prayer on Sunday and he was praising God for His peace.  He confessed that he recently went through a time of just not wanting to talk to anyone; in a complete pit of despair that nothing would get better or change. But GOD. God came down and brought him peace and he was proclaiming to the congregation that God could do the same for them all.  What a wonderful God we serve!!!

Readers- THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!!  I know our hope here at BeingRebekah is to be a blessing to you all- but you all truly blessed my life by praying for my father.

One thing I will say that I learned in all this- when things were bad and even my mom was still pushing my past bad actions to the forefront despite my sincere repentance and promise to try to be better- I begged her to just stop everything with me and pray.  GOD took over. He brought peace.  He brought life and re-built bridges.  He truly is the redeemer. He truly is our hope and savior.

surrenderSO much was dug up in my time of praying.  So many things all the way back from my childhood were brought up, things I blamed my dad for (but didn’t realize until I prayed through it). Once I acknowledged them, forgave him for it, and let go- THEN that’s how I just haven’t yelled. The anger is gone. The quick temper with only my dad is gone.  He has a personality where he wants peace so he’ll sometimes just not say anything, not even in defense of his children who are being put down by his own family.  I had to forgive him and when that was let out and let go, I gained even more strength to live a life that honors God and my parents.

Readers, know that this God of peace, He can help you figure out what is the root behind your actions.  Is there only one person in your life that you have an irrational anger with? Someone who has the lowest thresh-hold when it comes to getting you angry? Know that God can help you with that!! Just as I had things in my heart that I had to dig out and finally let go of, you may find that is the same for you. LET IT GO.  I am free now.  Free. These last few days have been more peaceful in my relationship with my dad than… I’m not even sure when.  Praise God! I’m glad I can finally have a real relationship with my dad.

Thank You Jesus for truly being the Prince of Peace!

Rebekah M.

Related Post:

https://beingrebekah.com/2013/06/06/honor-thy-father/

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.

This Too Shall Pass

girl_on_stairs

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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