Sunday, March 6, 2016

When You Just Can't Do It

HE GOES BEFORE! Be this thy consolation!
He goes before! On this my heart would dwell!
He goes before! This guarantees salvation!
HE GOES BEFORE! And therefore all is well.

--J. Danson Smith (from Streams in the Desert)

I didn't think that I would be able to do it, and I was right. 

Coming here, to a tiny town in the Midwest, moving away from everyone, everything that I held dear--

I came here weeping. 

I didn't think that I would be able to do it -- to be without the constant loving interactions with my family members in my day-to-day life--

Moving away from the home that I had called home for 33 years -- the home that I have lived in all of my life -- first as a baby and a little girl, then with my husband and children -- We lived with my mom after we married. 

I didn't think that I could do it. 

And I left with the physical ties cut, bleeding -- it felt like a death--

The death of the things that I love most, cherish most, hold the most dear--

Beloved family, beloved friends, beloved New England, beloved memories. 

To come here where nothing was familiar. To come here where people do things differently -- where the buildings and the houses and the landscape are so different. Where everything is farther apart, where I can't find all the familiar things that I'm used to. 

I didn't think that I could do it--

Do what the Lord had called me to do -- years and years ago, pressing a burden on my heart to begin a ministry here with my husband. 

And before I left, my little daughter curled up beside me on blankets on our floor -- our bed was packed, ready to go -- I took comfort in the closeness of her little person beside me -- close to me -- and I held on to the promise that the Lord had given me months before. 

That His Presence would go with me. 

My brother-in-law pressed a notecard into my hand as we left -- a promise written in his beautiful calligraphy--

My Presence will go with you and I will give you rest.

And I couldn't do it -- but God could--

He could do His work through me--

He could give me the strength that I needed to face changes and separation and uncertainty and fear.

Because He promised to go with me -- and He is greater than all of these things. 

Just before we made the decision to come here and the Lord opened doors in miraculous and unusual ways--

I was still pleading with Him not to go -- not yet

I was listening to a message given by Ravi Zacharias -- about the missionary David Livingstone--

The Lord spoke to me powerfully through it; his words pierced me--

Zacharias shared a quote from David Livingstone--

God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours.

The Holy Spirit spoke to me through his words -- Weeping, I surrendered my will to the Lord and knew peace.

I knew that He would go with me. 

And I went. 

The pastor at the church that we've been attending said this in a sermon recently, and his words touched my heart--

"The idea that God never gives us more than we can handle -- He does -- God gives us more than we can handle so that we can run to Him and cry out to Him, so that we can see His magnificence in it all -- when I am weak, then I am strong."

The Lord gave me more than I could handle. 

Called me to do something that I didn't think that I could do -- so that I could see His power worked through my weakness and know His sufficiency in it all and depend upon Him in my loneliness and trust that His Presence has gone before me. 

These months have been some of the most difficult for me and some of the most blessed. I have held on to His promises and He has held on to me. He has given me His strength and His joy -- an indescribable joy and peace in my heart -- through a Midwestern winter in a drafty rental house -- a knowing that I am where He wants me

Joy. Strength. Peace. Only because of Him. 

And when we surrender and feel like we are falling and losing and dying--

We find His arms beneath us,

We find our hands full of His promises,

We find His life.

As I keep explaining to my little daughter -- the trees lose their leaves during the winter so that they can be clothed in fresh new leaves and life in the spring--

Spring is coming.

And I know that I am here with Him, 

And He is with me.

You might find me on these link-ups:

Strangers and Pilgrims on EarthInspire Me MondayLiteracy Musing MondaysThe Modest MomWhat Joy is Mine, SDG Gathering, A Mama's Story, Mom's the Word, Rich Faith Rising, Time Warp Wife, Cornerstone Confessions, Mom's Morning Coffee, Motivate and Rejuvenate Mondays,, Raising Homemakers, Hope in Every SeasonA Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman to Woman Ministries, Whole-Hearted Home, Testimony TuesdayTell His StoryA Soft Gentle Voice, My Daily Walk in His Grace, Women With Intention WednesdaysMessy Marriage, The Charm of Home, Graced Simplicity, Theology ThursdaysChildren Are A Blessing, Imparting Grace, A Look at the Book, Essential Thing Devotions, Thought Provoking ThursdayCount My Blessings, Christian Mommy Blogger, Renewed Daily, Soul SurvivalGood Morning MondaysThe Weekend BrewBlessing Counters Link PartyThe HomeAcre HopMommy Moments Link UpGrace and Truth LinkupFaith Filled FridayTell It To Me TuesdaysSHINE Blog Hop, Faith and  Fellowship Blog HopMotivate and Rejuvenate Monday Link-UpA Little R&R WednesdaysTGI Saturdays Blog HopTotally Terrific TuesdayRaRaLinkupWord of God SpeakBooknificent ThursdaySo Much At Home Link Up Party


  1. Beautiful and happy to have visited with you this morning from Strangers and Pilgrims on earth.
    Hugs from Shirley

    1. Thank you, Shirley; I'm glad that you visited! God bless you. :-)

  2. Rebekah, there are times when I too don't feel like I can do 'it'. Then God gently reminds me that on my own I am weak but with Him I am strong. Your pastor was so right! I pray and wish you many blessings, especially in the times when you don't know what's coming next.

  3. Such a beautifully, poignant post, that touched me so deeply.

    Thank you for the precious reminders that our God's presence goes before us.

    My life verse is Deuteronomy 31:8 "It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

    Blessings dear Bekki, may you feel God's presence in a profound way today.

    1. Thank you so much for your words, Karen-- Deuteronomy 31:8 is such a precious promise;that is a wonderful life verse. The Lord bless you; you are always such an encouragement to me.

      Much love,

  4. Lovely, encouraging words, Rebekah! What comfort to know that when we feel unable, He IS able. Have a blessed week! :)

    1. Thank you, Heather! Have a blessed week as well! :-)

  5. Oh it's beautiful! I do believe that God will make this season of your life the best yet! He is going to bring people to you who will become the richest of friends. I'm sure it's a difficult season, but look to the hills--that is where your help comes from (it may be hard in the mid-west to find hills but look anyway!) God has something wonderful in store for you!

    1. Thank you so, so much for your encouragement, Mary! He is truly precious and I see His beautiful ways being worked out--your words really blessed me.

  6. Just beautiful. May we always remember He is way ahead of us. He is already there preparing & waiting for us. Blessings!

    1. Thank you, Joanne! Yes; that is a precious truth to press into the heart! The Lord bless you!

  7. Such a beautiful post. I think we've all been through seasons where we want to cry why instead of what. I have clung to God's word, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." There is such a comfort in knowing that no matter what, He is with us. Thanks for sharing at Testimony Tuesday.

    1. Yes; that is such a great comfort, that He IS with us! The Lord bless you!

  8. Rebekah, I say "amen!" to your pastor's words: "God gives us more than we can handle so that we can run to Him and cry out to Him, so that we can see His magnificence in it all -- when I am weak, then I am strong." Those are the times we find He is enough. Thank you for sharing your journey. May you continue to experience His sweetness.

    1. You're welcome! Thank you so much for your words, Debbie! The Lord bless you!

  9. Such an encouraging post, Rebekah! A great reminder that in the face of change and adversity comes strength. And nothing in life comes to us without purpose. Thanks so much for sharing such a beautiful piece with us on #shinebloghop!

    1. Yes; that is so true, Maria! His strength is made perfect in our weakness. The Lord bless you. :-)

  10. So many pieces of this ministered to me in my uprooted and transplanted state. Thanks for sharing this part of your journey. I never expected a simple cross-state move to rock my world the way it did, that I would find myself in a place where people would do things so differently. His presence indeed does go with us. I'm your neighbor at Thought Provoking Thursday and grateful to be so. Thanks!

    1. Oh, you're welcome, Natalie! I know what you mean! The truth that He is with me is truly what gives me peace and strength. He is truly a merciful and compassionate Lord. I pray that He would bless you as you serve Him!