Today, Rebecca speaks to us about how God helped her through grief, getting quiet, freedom and the gift of praise.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I’m a small town Midwest girl. I grew up in Indiana amongst deep green cornfields and large open spaces. I grew up going to church and have Christian parents. I am the second oldest of four. My oldest sister has Cerebral Palsy. She is the strongest woman I know. My brother was the youngest in our family and he died in a car accident 15 1/2 years ago. My younger sister lives close to my parents. I’m the only one who moved away. I recently moved to FL.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” Hebrews 10:35 Confident trust- I love that! Want to “own” that verse as my own.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Taking Him at His Word and believing Him. Accepting His truth and praising through the difficulties even when we are still in the “hard places.”
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? My life as His.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I was 12 years old at Bible School one summer. Our pastor lead the middle school section each summer because he saw the need and how important that time in life was. At the end of a really great week, he invited us into having a relationship with the Lord. I jumped in with both feet. I got involved in discipleship groups and Bible studies, and loved it. But then, I went to high school and lived for myself for awhile. My wants became greater. Encounters with Him, really started in college for me. I was hungry for Him again and growing. This is when my relationship with Him really became my own, and I was hungry for it.
How would you describe Jesus? Lord of my life, Savior, best friend, shelter…. I could go on.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? At first, it was a child-like faith, embracing His love, and learning about Him. Now, I hope it’s still remained pretty much child-like faith, but it’s also who I am. This relationship, who He is, who He says I am, it all works together to define me.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? My brother’s death was a dark period. I was going through some things personally, at the time, and then my brother passed away unexpectedly. It was a lot. I told people it was like the “terror of the night” that Psalm 91 speaks of. Heartbreaking, but I definitely saw Jesus in it. There was light even in the way people showed up and offered the gift of silent presence. My husband and kids were awesome. The community’s response both Christians and non-Christians was large. His light shined in the darkness.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Getting quiet. Being intentional to spend quiet time with Him. Listening to lots of Words of truth from the Word and listening to mentors farther along on the journey then me. Praise has been huge. I’ve really discovered the gift of praise. Amazing! Feels like having access to a video game controller in my hands.
You work as a counselor with young women and girls. What have you found to be a pattern or struggle among Christian women today? I work with women of all ages all across the country, and the one thing I find to be true is that many women don’t like themselves. They have a poor body image, or they compare themselves to others. They seek approval from others, are people pleasers, hate themselves, and many have a hard time forgiving themselves. What they lack is a healthy self-love. We are called to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. It’s like Christian women need permission to love themselves. I lead women through that journey. For anyone today, that is struggling I would encourage them to start with praying that the Lord would bind and heal the broken places within them so that they are free to love (Psalm 147:3).
“It’s like Christian women need permission to love themselves.”
Top three essentials: Jackson, Jeremiah, and Cole (my boys). 🙂
Seriously… my Bible (I’ve often said if there was a house fire I would grab my Bible), my hairspray (I have found a good one that actually holds my hairstyle), and a good cup of coffee or tea (I like a hot cup of goodness).
How did God speak to you recently? He talks with me daily in the stillness of my heart. He confirms it in His Word.
Hobby: Running, spending time with family, watching sunsets, sitting quietly with a book and my journal, looking at old photos, and sending cards (I still like doing that).
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Prayer- I joke with people that prayer is my love language. I made that up, but it is. Prayer is the way I communicate best at times. We are to pray without ceasing. That means we pray about everything. And our prayers are powerful and effective.
Worship- This hasn’t always come easy to me or been something that I have been drawn to. I like quiet. I’ll drive in the car with out the radio on. But worshiping our King through music has been a God-sent this year and useful to change my perspective. So good for me!
Praise- It’s a game changer. I spent a lot of time asking God what praise looked like instead of just doing it. When I finally started doing it, man… things happened. I’ve told God to give me a garment of praise any day. I want to wear it. It changes things like I’ve never experienced before.
Favorite person in scripture? Jesus and then Peter. I love Peter and his personality. I authored a book on impulsive behaviors in kids, and Peter was the Biblical example I pulled from. He’s fully impulsive, loves passionately, and runs to Jesus with everything that he’s got. He’s the only one willing to jump into the water to be with Jesus, and we find him again and again running into situations. Sometimes, his impulsiveness is good and other times it gets him into trouble. He’s a man of many mistakes, He cuts off the ear of the soldier, and Jesus, being who He is, fixes his mistakes. Like He fixes my mistakes and yours. Peter even denied knowing his Lord again and again and again in some of Jesus’ darkest moments. Peter is humbled from this. He’s restored, and then he becomes powerfully useful. I love his story because I think it’s so real for us today. We can glean a lot from his impulsiveness, his mistakes, and his triumphs.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? Man… I love this question. I want them to see Jesus. I pray that often. I want them to see a woman after God’s own heart. A woman being set FREE. And that freedom doesn’t mean perfect. It doesn’t mean we have it all together. And it does’t mean that I have arrived. No, I’m a work in progress. I go from glory to glory. It’s not I’ve arrived, and later I’m re-arriving again. No, it’s from glory to glory. Transformation happens best that way.
“A woman being set FREE. And that freedom doesn’t mean perfect.”
How do you engage with your community? I moved in July to FL. Back home, I was really involved in my church, attending Bible studies, teaching, leading small groups, being on community prayer teams, and volunteering in my community. While I’m excited to start getting involved in our new community, I’m just getting my feet wet and starting to attend prayer groups, and Bible studies. We have continued to give out “Blessing Bags” to the needy in our new community. But nothing formal.
Favorite holiday? Christmas. It’s Jesus birthday, but it’s also the only day the entire year where the entire world shuts down. I love that! There is something sweet about knowing that for me.
A goal you have? Watch my kids reach their goals and to walk in Truth.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: We practice doing our “7 days together” each week. Each week, we review the last 7 days together and each person in our family says the things they are thankful from the last week and looks ahead to the new week and lists the things they have great expectations for. We also pray together regularly, and that’s been fun to watch God answer those requests.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why was it Joseph and not Mary in the line of David?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I love the movements to end child trafficking. I’m a part of an organization working to end that. But I’m also passionate about inside out healing. I want people to know that God’s healing is available, God still heals, and He can heal you. He binds up our wounds and heals our broken hearts (Psalm 147:3).
What does your morning routine consist of? Waking up before everyone else. I spend a few minutes thanking God. I usually read my devotional, pray, and read my Bible. Then, if I’m lucky, I have enough time for a quick nap before my family wakes up. I really do that. 🙂 If not, I start my day serving them and the world starts moving.
What is on your nightstand? A mess. 🙂 Jewelry, my Bible, my journal, about 10 books that I’m reading, a lamp and clock.
Define Christianity in a sentence: A soul set FREE in Jesus.
For more Rebecca:
Facebook: Simply Becoming
Until next time, keep witnessing!