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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...




Rebekah On Assignment

By Brenda Adams
Jan. 19, 2014

At 10:05 a.m. on July 19, 1985, my husband, Frank, and I were overjoyed at the birth of our daughter. She was a miracle in every sense of the word.

Because of extensive damage done by an ectopic pregnancy 14 years earlier, I had nearly given up hope of becoming pregnant. Frank and I had adopted our darling Miranda four years earlier. I was perfectly content with being Miranda’s mother.

But God’s purpose for sending this baby of miraculous conception was for an entirely different purpose. She would be the instrument in the hands of a loving God who would purify our lives, open to us a new awareness of who God is, and take us on a journey of revelation of His character.

Frank and I were totally unprepared when the doctor came into my room with the news. He had called in several pediatricians who had all concluded our baby was born with Down syndrome. We were advised to place her in an institution where she could be cared for and we could go on with our lives.

I had waited so many years for this moment. Finally, at the age of 35, I conceived a child and had a wonderful pregnancy. Our little family was thrilled we would be bringing a baby home — and now this.

In anguish I turned to Frank and asked, “How did this happen to us?”

“Honey,” he said, “we will just have to keep walking, and God will be with us.”

We named our baby Rebekah Renee. We would learn much later the name Rebekah translated means “a noose, to tie up.” This tiny little girl would confine me to a place where I would hear the voice of God speaking things to me He had tried for so long to make me hear and understand.

We took Rebekah home. She wasn’t at all what the doctors had said about her. Rebekah was very high functioning. At 3 months old, she was performing 4-month gross motor skills.

But at 2 months, it was discovered Rebekah had a hole in her heart that would require surgery. We would try to wait until she was closer to 18 months old for the surgery.

At 3½ months, Rebekah was hospitalized with an upper-respiratory infection and ended up on life support. We were advised to remove her life support and let her go. Our lives would be destroyed, we were told, if we tried to continue caring for her. But we chose life for Rebekah. God sent us a third-year resident pediatric cardiologist who convinced the doctors Rebekah would come off the respirator if she had heart surgery.

Rebekah had her heart surgery and came off the respirator within 24 hours; in four weeks we brought her home. We were grateful for her life, but the next three years were a difficult journey. There was pain, suffering, blindness, seizures, a G-tube for feeding, and other complications.

After two years, I came to a point of complete physical and emotional breakdown. I questioned God’s character. How could He have allowed this to happen to our baby?

One Sunday, Frank said to me, “Honey, why don’t you go to church this morning. I’ll stay with Rebekah.”

I didn’t want to go, but the opportunity to leave the house for any kind of diversion was appealing.

I can’t remember the sermon or anything else about the service, but I can remember my conversation with God. I looked up into heaven and asked, “What do You want?”

God’s voice spoke back to my heart quickly and clearly — I want you to surrender. I want your whole heart.

I didn’t comprehend what all that meant, but I knew I had to respond in obedience. I surrendered myself to the complete lordship of Jesus Christ.

Over the next several months I came to a place where I could pray, “Lord, for the rest of my days, whatever Your will is for my life, the answer is yes.”

Soon, the intense pressure enveloping our lives stopped. A peace came over Rebekah. She no longer had bouts of pain. She began to sleep at night, and we could sleep.

We had Rebekah for another year and a half. A year and a half to love her, to hold her, and to be captivated by the sense of purpose that radiated from her very presence. God told us of His plan to take Rebekah home where He would bring justice to the pain in her life. He told me that as soon as she got there that He would tell her everything.

Frank and I had been in the ministry for 10 years prior to Rebekah’s birth, but we had grown discouraged and had left the ministry. We thought life would be easier in the secular world. Rebekah helped us rediscover that fulfilling the call of God in your life is the only thing that can bring true happiness and fulfillment.

We returned to ministry, and a pastoring position opened for us. While pastoring that church, we spent our last months with Rebekah. We loved on her, kissed her, and held her tight. We knew we would not have her much longer.

Our journey was painful, but it was God’s great gift to us as well. Sometimes we find freedom through our greatest pain and struggle. God loves us too much to leave us in our bondage. He wants us to discover the life Christ died to give us — a life of peace, joy, abundance and victory.

At 10:05 a.m. on July 19, 1985, Rebekah came straight from the heart of God into the lives of people who desperately needed her. She did a work of eternal worth, and at 4:45 a.m. on Feb. 25, 1989, she returned to the loving heart of Father God.


BRENDA ADAMS and her husband, Frank, pastor First Assembly of God in Triangle, Va.

 

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