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.

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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 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kansas

I had set my alarm for my normal time to wake up on Fridays, but woke up naturally at 5am anyways to check the match results.
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Congratulations!  You have been matched to:

Training Site: University of Kansas

Program: Psychology Internship  

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when I saw the email, I felt a peace. the funny thing is as I was spending time in God's presence, thinking about where I will match. the words "Kansas City" was so clear in my mind. I tried to brush it away, but throughout the week I would think about Kansas. And I remember one moment actually thinking the sentence "You're going to Kansas."

It's even funnier cause Kansas was not even in my top rankings. it was number 5. and also that site was the first interview that I had, which I thought did not go well because one I was jet lagged from traveling to Maryland. Didn't even have time to prepare for the interview because it was the day after my crazy semester ended. Didn't even know the name of the site that was calling for the phone interview, which is why I kept referring to them as "your site" like "oh yes, I'm interested in ....(uhhh, crap what was the name of this place?) um...your site because...."

THE WILL OF GOD IS STRONG. lol I trust this is the place I'm meant to be...

Last night as I was wrestling with God about internship. the song "all is for your glory" came to mind and I started singing the song. the whole day I had been feeling so numb to internship thoughts. my mind and body literally went into such a strong, protective denial that I almost fell asleep a couple times throughout the day and had no thoughts about internship whatsoever.

But as I was talking about with a friend, afterwards I sat in my car and sang that song. and for the first time that day, I felt. tears came to my eyes as I sang it and I felt the presence of God.

I remember the first time I heard that song in the prayer room of IHOP-Kansas city. Laura Hackett was singing that song angelically over us. The presence of God- thick. Causing me to weep.

All is for Your glory, all is for Your name,  all is for Your glory
That in all things You may have first place
That in all things You may have preeminence

So put me anywhere, just put Your glory in me
Ill serve anywhere, just let me see Your beauty


And as I sang this song. I repented because honestly God's glory is not my priority. I don't want him to put me anywhere. I want to stay here. I want to be comfortable. My love for God is lukewarm.

So I prayed that God would give the grace to endure whatever it takes to know him. I didn't pray to love him. but to know him. because I am confident that if I know him. if he really as is great as he seems to be. I can't help but love him. I will enjoy giving my all to him, if I truly love him. I would be willing to do anything for those I love.

And the next lyrics go

My God, My joy, My delight

I want to learn and experience what it means to delight in the LORD, to find joy in bringing him glory, to seeing his beauty, to serve him, to be with him. that in the process of uprooting my life and "putting me anywhere." moving to Kansas, there will be joy.

Kansas here I come!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Grateful.

I'm in a McDonalds parking lot
Sitting in my car
And I'm grateful
Grateful to you LORD
That I'm here
In this very place
You brought me not to harm me
But for me to prosper
And prosper I did
Though at times it came with tears
You brought me out of times of darkness
And into joy
But in the valley you were with me
And still now you are
Tomorrow I may find that I may have to go to a new place
Though my heart troubled at times
I am grateful
That I get to be troubled about this
I get to be in this process
And the end is near
So no matter what happens
I am grateful
That you are here with me
And have been all along
Grateful that you care for me
Grateful that you will not let me drown
Grateful that you will finish the good work you began in me
Grateful for your mercy, your grace, your love.