Thanks Lord, for the opportunity to go speak at the convention this past weekend in Dallas. It’s been a while since I have taught, and You knew this was something I needed. I didn’t need it in a survival type of way. But I was ready for an adventure. I find it so interesting to see how You led me to go. I believe you speak to your children regularly. We just don’t always position ourselves to hear You. So, when I prayed about this opportunity, You gave me a rather odd answer. I heard, “Well, I think you would have a lot of fun.”

You know me so much better than I even know myself. I have the tendency to feel overly responsible for everything. That can take the fun out of anything. Can you relate?  I recall the verse we’ve used for years in our conferences in Acts 17:24-25. It says, “The God who made the world and everything that is in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made by hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.” You didn’t need me to go teach. But you lovingly desired that I go teach, because You wanted to bless me. Oh, how I love people and I love having fun! When you have been in ministry for over thirty years it’s easy to sometimes think your purpose is to serve. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with serving but it’s not my purpose.  My purpose is to be who God created me to be and enjoy Him.

This month I turn 65 so I sometimes wonder how much longer I will want to counsel and teach. I was surprised at my thought process. One day the thought entered my mind, “Well I probably have done enough.” Enough for what? Do I believe I am being measured in some way? Surely not!  I may never want to give up this kind of fun! 🙂

When we moved to paradise three years ago, I believed and said there was a purpose in us being in this location. I pray for the people I meet and hope to be an influence in their lives. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that desire. But I looked out at my beautiful view today and I heard the Lord say, “What if I sent you here just because I love you, and it’s solely for you? What if I experience great joy when I see you having fun? What if all the beauty that is surrounding you is still healing some of the wounds in your heart and brain?”

As I think about the weekend, I smile.  Even amongst some intense spiritual warfare, I enjoyed the preparation time as I wrote the lecture.  I could feel the steady presence of God as I taught the lecture. I enjoyed the confidence He gave me as I made lunch plans with new friends, while missing so many old friends who have retired and no longer attend. It’s sometimes hard to let go of how things used to be. (I’ve been attending since 1991!)  As I shared my thoughts on trauma in my workshop, it went better than I could have imagined. The conversations and future opportunities to work with some of the attendees with their own trauma was rewarding. Oh, and of course, it was fun! Did you know we have a fun dad?

Do you ever feel your Heavenly Father needs you? Let me share a little secret with you. He doesn’t need you, He WANTS you! He is delighted in you! Yes, He loves to help others THROUGH you, but He isn’t making you responsible for the results. It’s about intimacy with Him while serving. We are doing it together.

You may be thinking Rebekah, get a grip!  What about what I’ve heard most of my life. “It’s not about you. It’s about the glory of God. You are supposed to deny yourself. It’s not about your happiness, but your holiness.” Let’s make sure we understand what some of those statements mean. We are to deny our “flesh/old self” because walking in the old ways will bring us misery.  I Corinthians 3:16,17b tells me, “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you…for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.” (Don’t forget what He gave you in your co-crucifixion and co-resurrection WITH Him. He gave you a NEW self!)

So, let’s just love God and stay true to ourselves. It’s so much fun!  When you know your true identity in Christ, you can experience peace as you walk with Him throughout your journey.  And if trials and tribulations enter your story, He is with you there too.  He’s promised to NEVER leave us!  You do not experience anything without HIM right there with you because He’s IN you.  Lord knows I’ve had plenty of hard seasons too.  That makes this past season even more special.  Thanks Lord, for caring about our deepest needs and knowing us so intimately.