Sunday, August 13, 2017

God never ceases to amaze



About six years ago during my time studying abroad in Korea, when I was growing in my intimacy with God, I was prayed over by the members and leaders of New Philly church before I left to come back to the States.

Two of the symbols I remember that came up was an eagle and sunflower. Which also happened to be like my fav bird and my fav flower...how did they know...

Eagle the mascot of Yonsei university: where I studied abroad at and encountered God.
Eagle which also happened to be Biola's mascot: where I ended up going to grad school at.

Interesting interesting...

So now this sunflower...which I had of course forgotten all about..

It's no secret that I was not happy about matching to internship in Kansas. like what the hell is there to do in boring ass Kansas. I don't know anyone there. and I was so sad to leave my friends in California. so I was quite bitter for some time about it. literally to the point where I was even like I hope something really bad happens so I don't have to go.

The monday before I left for Kansas. I was having like this really deep prayer time with God. And I could feel his presence so strongly with me. I was telling him how much I didn't want to go and being raw with him and through the tears, these words came to my mind. I'm taking you there to save you. And the image of my sad little sunflower plant came to mind.

Now see I'm a very bad plant caretaker. Plant killah. Like the touch of death when it comes to plants. Even succulents and cacti die under my care. But I really like sunflowers, so I bought this grow your own sunflower thing. supposibly easy to grow. and I followed all the instructions to the best of my abilities. and little sprouts actually started springing up!

But over the weeks, the plant become very thin and frail. the leaves were brown. a very hopeless looking sunflower plant...

And as I was thinking about my sunflower plant. these words came to mind, you are like that plant. if you stay here you will not grow, but I am taking you to Kansas so you can become a stronger plant, so you can be healthy and I got this image of this fully grown sunflower plant, one that could not be easily destroyed.

These words and images were so clear, I knew that this was God's plan for me. And so my heart began to soften towards going to Kansas. As much as I didn't want to admit it. I knew I needed to go. I had been spiritually, emotionally, and physically sick for the past few months.

But just to make things extra clear. God sent me someone to confirm his plans. Later that same day, my roommate's friend brought over something for me. A fully grown sunflower plant in this potted pot.

And the crazier part was when she explained to me the meaning behind the plant. She proceeded to tell me that she felt strongly convicted by God to bring this sunflower plant to me to take to Kansas. The weak seedlings (my sunflower plant) was who I saw myself as: immature and weak. but in actuality, I'm going to very strong and mature, if not already, like the plant she brought me.

We may forget but God never forgets.

--

So far Kansas has not been bad. went to the healing room at prayer house and I haven't thrown up in the past 10 days (I had been throwing up nearly everyday for the past two months and had been diagnosed with gastritis). Things have been so low key, and I have no friends here. that I've been desperately spending a lot of time with God. growing in intimacy again.

and today!!! God gave me an amazing gift. psychologists I feel like are pretty jaded people. and over the years I feel like I've became more and more jaded to the point where I couldn't really feel excitement anymore. like it's pretty depressing when you're not impressed or shocked by anything..

I thought that Misty Edwards, my fav worship artist, was no longer at the international house of prayer (ihop) but today I just happened to go at the exact time she was there. 6-8pm. I had no idea she was gonna be there. so I was so pleasantly surprised.

6 years ago I was at the prayer room weeping as Misty Edwards sang and played like the most angelic stuff on the piano. and today I can't believe I was back in the prayer room weeping again for two hours straight as she brought us into worship. and in that I felt so loved by God. I experienced true joy and peace once again. And despite my original unwillingness to come to Kansas, I thanked him that he loved me enough to bring me here.

--

Shortly after I arrived to Kansas. One of my fellow interns at the counseling center was giving me a tour of the area and telling me about the state tree, the state bird, even the state amphibian lol...

Then I asked him. what's the state flower? 

Oh it's a sunflower! he replied. Kansas is the sunflower state. 

God never ceases to amaze.


little miss Rebekah as a Sunflower








 

The Single Life

A good article I found on the single life

https://misseves.wordpress.com/2014/02/14/the-single-life/

Prayer to pray:

Father God, I thank you that You are a God of order. With you there is a time for everything and a season for every activity. Forgive me for not fully embracing the season I’m in. I repent for trying to hurry through it or fantasize myself out of it. Every good gift comes for you, Father God. I choose to see being single as a gift. Help me to make the most of this season.
I ask you, Holy Spirit to wash me – body, soul, and spirit – from any trace of shame that’s taken root in my life because I am single. Your word says it’s a good thing. I choose to stop contradicting your Word. Cause my emotions and desires to come into alignment with the season You have me in. I ask for Your anointing so that, whatever the future holds, I can present myself with purity to You, Jesus.
 I step into everything You have for me right now. Forgive me for any times I’ve held back – discrediting myself because I’m single. You do not discredit me. You have specific assignments that I’m only able to complete in this state of singleness. I chose to open my eyes and my heart to see all You have for me.
Instead of looking for a spouse, I vow to look for You – Lord Jesus. I present myself to You today. Walk with me. Reveal Your heart so that I can love you better – and in turn be ready to love my spouse if that is where this journey leads me.
Regardless of the outcome, I declare Your love is enough. You are enough for me. You delight in me as I am. In this season, in this state of being single, You see me as complete. I am completely Yours. Thank you Jesus for the invitation to be wholly and completely Yours. I accept. Amen.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Unexpected grace

God it's almost time for my trip to Maryland to be over but I just want to say thanks.

In the past month, I've been crying almost everyday. Idk if it's just that I feel more emotions being a therapist or I'm depressed or all the changes or my health or combination of everything. 

In the past week I've felt pretty hopeless and worthless. And it broke my heart that I didn't want to live anymore. Because I feel as though as I get older, life just becomes more painful. Don't get me wrong, I'm not gonna end my life or anything...I just wouldn't mind dying peacefully now. because I feel as though there isn't much to look forward to. 

But one thing that always keeps me going is family and friends. And I'm grateful when you speak to others or touch the lives of my friends through me, especially in the most unexpected ways. I didn't expect you to allow me to be a part of your work but that's when I am the happiest at times and feel your grace. That you would allow me, in my ridiculousness, to do your work. Even in my bitterness. By simply being myself. 

In life I have been realizing. Idk if this right but this is what I've been learning in this beautiful and painful. broken but also purposeful thing called life. That what's truly important is to be free. to be vulnerable. to be genuine. and to love. 

I want to go back to being the woman you uniquely created me to be. To be happy with myself. And to genuinely love you and love others. That's all I want to focus on. 

And to heal. Because despite all the mess and pain in this life, I want to believe that your ability and heart to redeem is greater. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Reflection Paper for my Integration Class

My last reflection paper I wrote for my integration class regarding integrative issues in my own training therapy.

---


Integration Case Report 4- Personal therapy reflection
            Integrative issues in my personal therapy have been more salient than I imagined they would be when I began therapy during my second year at Rosemead. I particularly sought out a Rosemead graduate psychologist because I assumed that she would be Christian and it was important for me to have a Christian therapist so that I could discuss my faith in session comfortably.
 The issues and topics related to faith and my experience of my therapist as a Christian was different than I expected.  My therapist challenged me regarding my faith and at times I felt as though I had to defend myself. For example, I felt this sense that my therapist thought I was using religious defenses, much like I would consider some of my clients at Biola to be religiously defended. Or times I would say answers that appeared to sound too “Christianese” to her as she had this look on her face that she wasn’t buying it and would challenge my statements. In this way I felt guarded but it also made me wonder if I was actually being genuine about my faith and my beliefs; my therapist challenged how much I held onto beliefs that were taught in church and if it was something I genuinely wanted.
One of these examples was when I talked about my ex-boyfriend for about a year in therapy. The issue with my ex-boyfriend was that I thought that he was the love of my life, but I broke up with him and could not be with him because he is not a Christian. In church we learned as scripture says “do not be yoked with unbelievers” and my relationship with my ex-boyfriend was explicitly discouraged by my former church leaders and peers. I reluctantly ended the relationship prior to beginning therapy and felt a sense of regret since then. I also assumed that my therapist, being a Christian, would also not be supportive about my relationship with my ex-boyfriend, who at the time I was debating if we should get back together. This conflict was causing me distress because of the moral tension and the uncertainty about my future with my ex-boyfriend as we were talking frequently at the time.
It was surprising to me that my therapist encouraged me to take the risk and tell my ex-boyfriend that I wanted to get back together with him. She seemed to not be fazed that he was not a Christian but instead seemed to be more focused on me pursing what I actually wanted. So I talked with my ex-boyfriend and it turned out that he was no longer interested in getting back together. It was painful but also freeing. I had spent the past three years, unable to get over him because I blamed everything on him not being a Christian (i.e., if only he were a Christian, we could be together, we are perfect in every other way), and I idealized him and our relationship. After being confronted that I could go after what I wanted, without being conflicted about his non-Christian status, and then have him be the one to not want to commit, I was finally able to move on from the relationship.
My discussions with my therapist regarding topics of faith allowed me to experience my faith with more freedom. It was in therapy that I was able to express at times my anger towards God and raw emotions that I have rarely experienced in the past. At one point I even mentioned that I feel like I don’t even know God at all, like what’s his favorite color? I think my therapist, who always appeared to value what is “real”, allowed me to desire a “real” or genuine relationship with God and reconsider what I actually believe and hold to be true. She didn’t give me the typical bible study or church answers but challenged me on what I believed and was not shocked when I brought in something raw or unconventional. I think from these experiences I learned that a part of integration is to be genuine with your emotions, values, and desires.               

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Trust in the Process

Dear God,

As usual I start out my journal entries with: it's been awhile since I wrote to you. 
Right now I'm at Huntington Beach in California, and I wonder where I'll be in the future when I'm reading this again. 

A client once told me that even though she's not religious, she had a spiritual experience when she first came to the beach in California as she was in awe of the beauty of your creation. She said that in that moment she knew that there has to be a God. 

It's amazing how you created the land and the sea, the ocean breeze. 

These days I've been feeling pretty restless as I think about all the changes and transitions that will take place and all the work that needs to be done. And in the areas of finances and love, more so love, I find it difficult to trust you. I want to trust you God, but after every wave or the slightest sign of trouble, I cave. 

Practicing mindfulness right now.
Feeling the warmth of the sun, sand on my toes, breeze from the ocean.
Smelling the ocean air.
Hearing the sound of the waves.
Seeing the waves rolling in. 

and in this moment I have no cares or troubles
I feel at peace
just here, you and me. 

If you were to speak to me now
and I would open my heart to listen without fear.
What would I hear. 

"TRUST IN THE PROCESS.
I AM WITH YOU EVERY STEP OF THE WAY"

These days God I've been thinking about how in trusting you, I have to trust that you know me. that you not only know what's best for me, but that you know me. 

I've always hated when people say "God knows what's best for you" because often we relate to you the way we relate to our parents. 

My parents. I am grateful for them but at times I couldn't trust them because growing up they always tried to force what they thought was best for me onto me. and sometimes they were right, it actually ended up being the best for me, but in that I felt as though my desires were overlooked and that they didn't really know me or cared about what I wanted, which led to resentment or rebellion. 

But you God, you are not my parents. I have to trust - I want to trust - that you know me and know what I truly want. A part of me wants to say: give me the freedom, help me get what I want right now, and let me learn from my own mistakes. 

But I think it would be better instead to pray for discernment and wisdom. help me to discern what is best for me and be aligned with your will and actually have the wisdom to choose that for myself willingly. 

Love,
Rebekah



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Your grace enough for me

These days I have been struggling with longings- the things I want but can't have- the unanswered areas and seemingly desolate places in my life, and it makes me question if God really is enough? If his grace is sufficient. Because there are times when it really doesn't feel that way. There are times when you don't care if this is the "best for you" or it'll make sense one day or this is part of his plan or "building character and patience" etc. etc. etc. you're just tired and in this place of dissatisfaction and hopelessness.

So I decided to worship. And write down the spontaneous song that came from that time of worship.

[Kind of like IHOP style songs where you can sing each stanza over and over again as many times as you want...]

Capo 3


C    G  D         Em
Do I only come in desperation
C    G  D        Em
Do I only seek you in pain


C    G      Em    D        C
Is it true that you are all that I need
     G      Em    D         C
Is it true that in you I find what I seek



C    G    D  Em              
Help me to see
C        G     Em    D
When it doesn’t feel that way to me
C       G  D    Em              
Lord have mercy on me
C           G       Em     D
Don’t know how much more of this I can take

 C       G  Em      D
Your grace enough for me
         C         G   Em       D
Sing it in faith your grace enough for me
     C   G   Em      D
Your grace is enough for me 
                  C        G   Em       D
Sing it in faith your grace enough for me

               
      C   G   Em      D
Your grace is enough for me 
        C        G   Em       D
Sing it in faith your grace enough for me
     C   G   Em      D
Your grace is enough for me 
         C        G   Em       D
Sing it in faith your grace enough for me


Sunday, March 12, 2017

The decisions that once weighed so heavily
In retrospect seem insignificant
Yet the slightest of change
Can alter the destinies of many
Power and powerless in one
Seizing what we long for
Only to grasp the air
Learning to let go
Learning to trust
 Living day by day
Your wisdom infinite
Your grace abundant

We petition our requests to you