This is Good

live

A lot has been changing lately and it is truly an incredible and refreshing season to be in. New. Fresh. Alive. That’s how I feel. God is changing me and it’s amazing. I feel as if there have been things in my life that I’ve known about and things that I wanted to change, but I didn’t know how. And I told God that. But He has His perfect timing for everything. Whatever the reason was for taking so long to get to this point, I’m grateful for it happening now.

For so long, I’ve worried about the future. Everything. And I’ve felt like I was missing something… Somehow I felt that I had missed the “normal” train and I was now watching friends and others who were my age, and now, years younger, getting married, having kids, staring their careers, making homes, and obtaining everything I thought we were supposed to have in life–everything I wanted to have in life. And it was hard. Painful. Somehow, I was left out of this life bubble and just watching, alone, from the outside.

But I do believe God has sovereign timing. Somehow, I knew that if I was in that season, one that I had not exactly planned, I was there for a reason, no matter how hard it was to accept. Over the past two years or so, I started to feel like a total misfit–like there was something wrong with me. But then God… When I would start to think that way, I could feel His words on my heart. “This season is good and it’s for a reason.” …even though it felt lonely, like I was the only one it it. I believed it though, and kept going. This is a good season and it’s for a reason. It was and it is true. And I feel like I have finally come into a season of breakthroughs and healing. I don’t know why it’s taken this long, but I’m so glad I hung on. Maybe the waiting was to teach me to lean in–to listen a little closer to His heart and His voice. Maybe it was to teach me that His ways are always higher. Maybe I won’t see why for a while. Whatever the reason, it was good. It is good.

Life hasn’t changed in the sense of obtaining or accomplishing any of the things that I thought I should have, but I have changed. Well, God has changed me. I couldn’t change myself. I know this because I tried. After much frustration, I came to a point when all I felt like I could say was God… Here I am. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I’m doing. And I really don’t know who I am… And that’s when would I break. After keeping everything together and bottled up for so long, I realized how much I needed Him so desperately to come into my life and change my heart. I can’t even describe exactly what happened, but two months ago, I had a beautiful moment on a Saturday morning. The weather was gorgeous so I had decided to take a walk at a nearby park. I usually listened to music, but on this particular Saturday, I decided to listen to a podcast about love and marriage (Love, Sex, and Marriage: Part 1). I laughed out loud (yes, in front of other people in the park) and then I teared up. I felt like truth was washing over every pain and every disappointment and I felt alive again. I felt new.

Things had begun to change…

Things are different now. Life hasn’t changed yet, but seasons have and man is it a beautiful one! I’m learning that God loves me. I’m loved. That’s who I am. I’m His. I’m me. And it is GOOD!

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I Can’t.

I can’t. It’s something we don’t say enough.

Blasphemous. *smile* I know, some of you are thinking it, but hear me out. (Dad, don’t worry, I’m not depressed.)

About an hour ago, I was in my car driving and I just felt… overwhelmed. Information, deadlines, expectations, success… It’s a lot to think about when it all hits at once. Sometimes I get this feeling that I just want to go hide in a corner and cry. Why? Why do I feel like this? I don’t want to feel like this

Ironically, it all started this morning as I was reading, writing, and praying (which for me, all seem to blend together). One thing that was on my heart that I was conversing with God about was having a spirit of excellence for lack of better words. Honestly, that term, for some reason, makes me cringe. Maybe it’s because I think of old mean people–not that all old people are mean, or that all mean people old. I don’t know. But anyway, as I was sitting and thinking and praying, I felt like God just started showing me that if I want to be successful later on in life, I need to be successful now. And if I want to be successful at all, I have to be faithful with what I have in front of me because if I don’t learn to be faithful with what I have, I won’t be faithful with bigger things–and MAN do I want bigger things! (Like, you have no idea how big I dream.) This was something that I feel like He really taught me a few years ago, but somehow I’ve started to drift from this. I want to be faithful in the little things so that I will be trusted with bigger things.
So I started thinking about all that’s going on in life now. Sometimes I get frustrated with the way things are turning out and I feel this little bad attitude start to develop, which, I know, never happens to you. I really don’t like it and I don’t want it. I hate it and I hate the way it feels, but nonetheless, I still get frustrated when I get overwhelmed and when I get overwhelmed *inhale* … I lash out. It may not even get to the point that it’s evident to other people (though I’m sure it makes a difference), but it still feels crappy and who wants to feel like that?

My mind was beginning to race with responsibilities and decisions that need to be made and future and possibilities and… *sigh* Too much. Do you ever just feel like you’re failing. For me, even the thought of failing terrifies me. As I pulled up to my apartment, I knew only one thing: I needed to find a quiet place to be alone to pour out my heart. I needed to talk to God. Someone said it perfectly in Kid’s Church this morning. In a nutshell, you feel better when you talk to God about the things that are getting you down even if it’s just the fact that someone is listening. I needed someone to listen. And He did. So I talked and talked to Him. Mostly just Ugh, why do I feel like this? I really don’t want to feel like this, but I don’t know how to change this feeling. I feel like sometimes life is asking for more than I am able to give and I don’t know what to do and it’s just overwhelming and I don’t like it. Holy Spirit, help me change. Then the heart of it all, I feel like I just can’t do it–

I stopped, shocked at my own confession. And then… Then it hit me hard. can’t do it on my own. I can’t. Suddenly, I felt better–like that weight wasn’t so heavy anymore. The best part is, I don’t have to do it on my own! I was never expected to do it all on my own. I’m not alone even though I may feel like I am at times… I’m not. It was like I was picked up and swept up from the burdens of life.

Life didn’t change, but I felt different.

Acknowledging my helplessness without God helps me to understand how much I need Him. And I love that. I love being dependent on Him because I know that He is a faithful father and protector and provider and He doesn’t let me down. It frees me from feeling like I have to do it all on my own. Life is just better that way if you ask me.

-Rebekah

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Closer

Lonely…

It’s that word that surfaces every so often–that feeling–when you least expect it… You’re driving and you realize that life just feels… weird. There’s a funny feeling that takes time to identify, but when you do, you realize you feel… alone. Surely you’ve felt this.

To me, it’s not that I feel like no one cares about me or that no one could possibly understand me. I’m not really sure when, then, it feels lonely, but it does.

I was pondering this today as I was walking with my hands full of groceries. What is this–this feeling–and why is it here? I walked some more with my head down, deep in my own contemplation when an idea came to me. I’m being conditioned. Odd. But not really. To me it seemed as if this was a part of training to prepare me for something bigger, something more challenging. The more I thought about it, the more I began to imagine my future and an unsettling thought occurred to me. What if there will always be times scattered throughout life when I feel out of it, out of the loop, or just straight up unsure of what is going on? What if times life this are… good? What if it’s the times like this that cause me to stop and… just stop. To step out of the loop of the chaos of life and remember. Remember why I’m here. Remember that this is not the end. Remember what it means to love. Remember that there is a Light that is stronger than darkness… that there is Hope… that there is a Father who does, in fact, care.

Suddenly I felt excited and not so lonely. Yeah, life is still life, but it looks a little different now. It looks brighter and I feel a little closer to the Reason I’m alive… to the Hope of Glory himself.

Filled with Hope and pressing on,

Rebekah

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I Lift My Eyes Up

Dream girl

I’m baaack. I know it’s been a really really long time–like possibly even a year–but this is just a little of what’s been on my heart. Enjoy!

***

“You’re the glory and the lifter of my head.”

That line has been resonating in my heart over the past week. It’s been a gentle, yet very strong reminder of how I’ve seen God’s hand on my life over the past year.

From times when I found unexpected favor in starting a new job (a much, much better job) to my moments of extreme panic when I didn’t know how I was going to be able to fix the hood of my car after the minor accident I was in, and even to my times of pain and frustration and questioning why things were happening… And yet still in those times of extravagant dreaming and loving life… He has been there and He has shown Himself so very faithful and true.

He’s the glory and the lifter of my head. I lift my eyes up.

The new job: working in the children’s department at my church. It was totally unexpected. It has been one of the biggest blessings and answers to prayer. Not only to I get to do what I love to do, I get to work with friends and amazing people! Even if there is a great transition taking place, I’m glad I get to be a part of it with my Encourager family.

I lift my eyes to Him.

After the accident, I felt completely overwhelmed and frustrated that just when I felt like I was finally starting to get on my feet and get a good grip on life financially, this had to happen. I felt like life was against me… then something awesome happened. I started to feel people rally around me.  Family and friends—my Houston family immediately came to me in my time of need and suddenly I felt overwhelmed by gratitude and love! I had never felt such relief. From rides to borrowed cars to financial help, all of these things began to show me this one thing: I am so loved and taken care of, not just by the people in my life that I care about, but also by my Father. I was blown away at the way God moved in my seemingly depressing situation. It ended up warming my heart.

And then there are those outstanding dreams in my heart. They’re much too big for me, but I don’t doubt for a second that God can make it happen. I’ve seen too much not to. “Awesome sauce!” as one of the girls would say. Writing, stories, movies, Hollywood, adoption, social work… Somehow it’s all connected. You’re probably raising an eyebrow skeptically or in amusement at this point. Or maybe you’re laughing. Maybe you just stopped reading this altogether. Maybe they’re not even directly related to each other!

Whatever the case may be, this one thing I know: He is the glory and the lifter of my head! I lift my eyes up!

From a wide-eyed dreamer,

Rebekah

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The Blind Side: An Opportunity Taken

THE BLIND SIDEI’ve just finished re-watching one of my all-time favorite movies, The Blind Side, and I’m left with the idea pulsing through my thoughts and imagination: how often do these opportunities come our way and pass us right by? We act as if this story is completely unthought-of and unheard of—as if this was a once happening heroic act that only those who have been divinely crafted for such an unfathomable feat can accomplish… And I’m here just like, “…Well, I want to do that.”I’ve been an adoption fan in the making for quite some time now, and I have all intentions to become a part of a bigger family through adopting when that time comes… But there’s something about this story that seems all too subtly different. While I am basing my ideas off of the movie, the story itself stands out to me as a story of a family who made seemingly simple decisions. Yes, I am aware that these decisions were probably not, in fact, simple, but the whole gesture begins with a set-up: you’re confronted with someone in need (you’re no longer unaware and can no longer say that you didn’t know); you have what this person needs. Do you help him?

I’m aware that there are many different circumstances, but I also will not make excuses for a lack of willingness. How often do we get that gut feeling to do something that we know we should do… and we don’t do it? How often is it that we recognize a person in need—that annoying kid begging for your attention, that person in need of encouragement, you name it—you know…—and we just… don’t do anything.

To me, this movie is about a family who became an even greater family through the acting on of an opportunity. I’m left wondering how many of us have these similar opportunities every day and yet we choose to let them pass us by. How often is it that we have the opportunity to do something that we know to be right and change our courses of life?

Better yet, how often do we miss it?

THE BLIND SIDEIt’s about caring. It’s about being there for others. It’s about taking care of the widows and orphans…

Don’t miss your opportunity. Take it and trust God to fill in the missing holes.

You know it’s what you’ve been waiting for… even though you weren’t expecting it.

Just my thoughts,
Rebekah

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The Ever Changing and the Ever Constant

So, once again I’ve had one of “those” weeks. After a few strange and out or the ordinary occurrences, I’m left with a bit of an off feeling and—well, it’s just strange. I can’t quite say that I don’t like this feeling at all because I also have this underlying thought that God’s using these situations to teach and show me things. Sure, some of them I’m not entirely thrilled about, but still, have a sense of moving forward and not getting stuck where I am now. I want to move on, to be more whole. I want to learn to love—genuinely.

And so, at the end of this week, I’m left here sitting on my bed in the quiet, thinking…

And still thinking… Watching the world around. Just observing life… People. Thinking about how life could have turned out differently if only… All of that alone is a massive whirlwind of thoughts twisting about in my head. This, if not stopped, quickly overloads my senses and I find myself overwhelmed and easily irritable. I find myself frustrated. Frustrated with life, with people, with… myself. Finally, my culminating thoughts begin to close in on me and I feel pressure, and I am pushed, once again, to realize that I can’t handle this on my own—and suddenly everything stops.

And I’m back to my quiet thinking.

Just me, my thoughts, and the quiet hum of the air conditioner… and a Father who patiently cares and waits for me. He waits as I go out on my own to do things my way and in my own strength. He waits as I push aside the idea of acknowledging my brokenness. He waits with a smile in His eyes as I return and look back to Him… To my loving Father. We are so prone to wander and yet still, He is who He is and nothing I do changes Him. He is always God. He is always Father. He is always Protector and Provider. He is and His ways are always good in the midst of everything—yes, even the hard times, though we may not understand.

That’s when I remember how good He is—how good my life is because of Him. My life is an unbelievable adventure! Sometimes I sit and think things along the lines of, “Man, if only my life had worked out a little bit more like theirs…” but then I also have those moments when I look back and think that I couldn’t have planned a more perfect life because if I had planned it, I probably would have cut out quite a bit of the road that it took for me to get here today. And I love where I am today, but even more than that, I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Oh, exciting times. I feel like I’m living out my dreams, but also that I’m in some kind of preparation for something even bigger—something beyond my dreams. And with that much said, I am so grateful for the life that He has given me and the plans that He has for me. I am even more grateful for those that that have joined me on this journey thus far and those who will join me in the future. Family, friends, and just outright amazing people.

And so I return to my dream-living season of preparation with fresh vision and a full heart of wonder at the One who is always awesome…

Thank you for joining me on my Journey!

-Rebekah

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Sweet Home Louisiana

There’s something about the way people talk here. The way we interact, the way we socialize, the way we celebrate. Something about the locals. Something about us, something about here…

Something about home.

sunset over New Orleans

I’ve now come to accept a few places as “home”, but there will always be only one New Orleans–one Westbank. It’s the place of my growing up, the place of all my childhood memories, the place where I was shaped into the person I am today.

As I was on my way back from my sisters work yesterday, I had this irrational urge to cut over three lanes and turn onto an old familiar street dubbed “Vulcan”. Real warm and inviting, I know, but something about it seemed to be beckoning me. I had probably not been down this street in over five years, yet, while I was growing up, it had been as familiar to me as our own backyard. And so I turned onto it, passed the first street and took a right at the very next. A church we used to attend. I don’t know how long it had been since I had been in that parking lot, but as I turned in I was flooded with memories. I wanted terribly to park my car and just sit and contemplate everything, but I was a bit concerned that the neighbors, who were outside tending to their yards, gardens, and children, would grow suspicious of me… so I just circled once, very slowly. And I remembered when I was nine or ten–the first Sunday we were guided into the children’s building. Terrified, my sister and I tried to sit quietly–alone–away from too many of the other kids. Much to my dismay at the time, there were many talkative girls. Over the next few years, we began a journey, as some might say, out of our shells. The “quiet and shy” girls became the girls with lead roles in the following Christmas, Easter, and 4th of July plays. (To this day, I wonder if a large reason for that was the fact that we actually memorized our lines.) I remembered the activities we had been involved in–all the kids we used to be involved with, some we liked, others, not so much. All the play practices, dress rehearsals, “Super Kids Church” parties, and friends. And then I remembered one kid. Over the past year I had learned that he had leukemia. He was being treated in Houston, just a short way from where I currently living. It was incredibly sobering to hear of this happening to someone younger than me and it broke my heart. It wasn’t long after that I read that he had passed away. Like I said, sobering. All of this came back to me as I circled the parking lot, which honestly seemed much smaller than I had remembered it when I was younger.

As I left this street, I turned right again and ventured to find the house I grew up in. Apparently I forgot that there was another turn and ended up a bit confused, but I eventually found my way through the back roads, down the even more familiar streets, and finally, onto my old street. It felt different… Smaller… Maybe even a little bit more run down. I drove as slowly as I could to absorb the memories… the changes. And finally, our old house. Or was it? I checked the address. This was it. But it seemed so very different. All of the pine trees were gone, along with any shrub or living plants by our front windows, leaving it all too bare, too plain, too… lifeless. I could picture our front dining room with our large dining room table where we spent our days with open school books. I could still vividly imagine walking into my old bedroom with pink and purple speckled walls. And yet I knew that it didn’t look like that it was someone elses room, someone elses home. It was an odd feeling. Strange, weird, creepy… I don’t know how exactly to describe the feeling of looking at a place you know so well–but at the same time you don’t.

As I idled in my car out front of my old home, I couldn’t help but think that this is what I come from. It’s what I come from. A piece of my past. A part of who I am. It’s me. It’s family. It’s where I started.

These warm memories and strange feelings slowly began to morph into an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Everything I’ve been through, every part of my life has been perfectly woven together. It was a feeling of sweetness. I love my family. I love my home. I’m grateful for my past and the path that has been paved from it.

This was not intentionally intended to be a Thanksgiving post, but oh, what the hey.

I am so very thankful for all that life has brought my way and all that it will bring. The people–those currently in my life, those who have been a part of my life, and all who will become a part of my life.

I’m learning to trust in His ways and His timing for them. I’m learning to press on in faith, believing that nothing is impossible even when the opposite seems to be the case.

Enjoying the now and excited to see what comes next!

Thankful for people who read what I write,

Rebekah

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