Monday, September 30, 2013

An Introduction to Lessons from the Desert

Welcome to Three Bees in a Blue Bonnet and my 31 Days project. If this is your first time here, I’d like to welcome you and invite you to curl up with your favorite warm drink (or favorite comforting beverage – you may be reading in warmer climes and want something refreshing. Me, I’m writing in the PNW in the midst of a rainstorm that would make Noah proud). If you’ve been here before, I’m so thrilled that you’re back to go on this journey with me.

This is my first time to participate in the 31 Days project as inspired by the Nester, and it both terrified and excited me. But this has been on my mind and heart for a while, and I have a promise to keep.

The desert that I’ll be writing about was an-about-three-year period between 2010 and 2013 when I left a job that was killing me one day at a time (not a metaphor); I was unemployed; my husband was unemployed; we teetered on the edge of financial disaster; our marriage took some hits; my understanding of what parenting was chipped away; my idea of who I was and what I was supposed to be doing with my life dissolved like paper under acid. Calling it a rough time would be a dramatic understatement.

But it was also a time of incredible growth, spiritual deepening – awakening even, of my husband and I growing together in our understanding of who we are in this marriage with Christ at the center, and so much more. There is a brief synopsis here that I wrote from an inspiration on a recent Five Minute Friday.

There were so many times I asked God why the desert journey had to take such a long time. If you’ve ever been in the midst of a dark place or a hard time, you know that time takes on a new disposition. It’s longer and feels like it’s never actually passing. By the time it was done, it was just over three years. And I know that it all happened in God’s timing.

More than anything, I understand that the three years was necessary for me to learn the lessons He had, it was necessary for me to have the rest and recovery I required, and it was necessary so that it would be plainly, ridiculously obvious that our success and survival in that time was entirely due to Him and Him alone.

Imagine if I had been out of work for three weeks. I’m not sure anyone would have noticed. If anything, they might have envied me the little break and then not even noticed as I jumped right back into the next thing. Three months? Sure, things would have been tight, but people can get by for a few months, right? Friends and family will pitch in and you find ways to trim the luxuries and make it until things right size themselves.

But what about three years? There’s no easy explaining that away. No “oh, you were just lucky.” Or “well, you just caught some breaks and made your own way.” No. Let me just tell you straight up that there was no luck and very few breaks involved here. Just a lot of grace and miracles from a God whose resources are fathomless and who works in ways both mysterious and blatantly obvious as He chooses.  Oftentimes using others to be His hands and feet, sometimes just being a mysterious miracle, but always working, always providing. Through the three years, we kept our house, paid our bills, kept the refrigerator full (enough), kept the car running, had medical care (there will be posts on this, but some of those miracles involved medicine that is necessary for my life and awfully expensive), and so much more. All of this happened so that my story – our story – could become a signpost pointing to God and His glory and show His love for us and allow us to become part of the larger tapestry that is the love story for His people.

Towards the end of the journey early in 2013, when I could finally see the end of the desert, I was talking with my sister and said, “You know, if this turns out to be a three year thing, I should totally write a book about it or something. My promise to God.” We had spoken often about how the Lord had used the grouping of threes as a metaphor in teaching me lessons in the desert. When the timing was spot on, that casual conversation turned into a slightly panicked, “well, dang, now I’m going to have to write a book about this or something.” And while this is just my blog and not a book, it is the beginning of my fulfillment of that promise to the Lord: that I would take the lessons that He taught me during those dry times and put them out there to help others who were walking in their own deserts.

So welcome. I hope you’ll come back to hear more. I pray that this series will minister to you and bless you where you are.

Tomorrow: He Is With You

Posts will be listed here on the main page on a daily basis, but will also be available on the new 31 Days tab I've added that will have an introduction to this introduction and the chronology and links to all the posts.

I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. During the 31 Days Challenge, I'll be using the hashtag #desertjourney if you'd like to join in or follow along. Let's continue the conversation!


  1. Okay, I tried to post last night, but something went weird and it didn't stick.

    I look forward to reading about your journey. Your statement about having to fulfill your promise to God reminded me of Mother Angelica. She had been badly injured while cleaning floors and was in severe pain. One day, she promised the Lord that, if He would allow her to walk again, she would start a radio ministry in the South. She didn't know why she made such a promise. Her religious order didn't do radio ministries, she wasn't located in the South, and didn't know anything about radio.

    When she healed enough to walk, she realized that she needed to fulfill her promise. She got permission from her superiors to set up her own order, and three nuns chose to go with her. The four of them had $500 to start. Everyone said it couldn't be done, but she said she "was too stupid to believe it."

    EWTN is now the world's largest religious broadcast apostolate.

    God works in the most mysterious ways, and He sometimes reveals a sense of humor while He's at it.

    Anyway, I know you will be plumbing the depths in this project. It's great that you have a loving family for support as you go through it. Remember that there are extra hugs and encouragement here at the office when you need them.

    David o)

  2. Hi Rebekah. Stopping over from (in)courage. I love what you what you shared and I look forward to reading your book someday...I pray the Lord will bless you as you honor him with this part of your story.


    "Your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts.” ― Rick Warren


Thank you for the kindess of your comment. I pray your patience with the word verification. I've had such troubles with spammers lately. Thank you for grace. I look forward to reading all the comments and responding. I appreciate you!