By Rebekah Broughton
Safe & Loved, Illustration by Kathleen Utojo
My name is Rebekah and I’m 29 this year. I’m part of a working adult community in OYP called “Living Rock Community”. Encountering the Lord in a very concrete and personal way 3 years ago changed my life, and I continue to come to know the Lord and discover who I am in Him as I walk this journey of faith.
Growing up in a Catholic family, attending Catechism and joining a youth community in my parish after confirmation just seemed like things a good catholic girl should do. However, upon entering university and the working world thereafter, I started to question who God was and what it really meant for me to be Catholic. As a young adult who started to struggle with the challenges and hurts in life, it became tiring to depend on myself and my own plans. Surely, there must be more to life, and more to this God which I was supposed to be able to rely on.
In 2018, I felt a call to leave my job and attend a 2-month long discipleship program organized by OYP called the School of Witness (SOW). It took a great deal of courage to step into this unknown, but I could not ignore the prompting in my heart that this was something I needed to do. All my life I had made plans for myself or had let circumstance dictate my path. For the first time in my life, I felt that perhaps God would know better than I did, what I wanted or needed, and so I decided that I would give Him this opportunity to show me what He desired for me.
During one of the praise & worship sessions in SOW, I received an image of myself in my mother’s womb. I saw God reaching out with his finger and touching little me, and a bright light shining upon the contact. I could feel His excitement at the life I was going to live, and at that moment my own heart pounded with that same excitement. This image of God my Father was extended a couple of days later, where I saw myself as his little child carried in his arms. My head was tucked into the crook of his arm and I felt protected and safe in his loving embrace. These images stayed with me and affirmed me that God my Father loved me and that I was truly His beloved child, loved even before I was born.
God also showed me how much He desires to be a personal God to me. At SOW, I encountered the healing love of God in a very intimate way as He revealed to me specific hurts I thought did not affect me any longer or which I had chosen to bury. It was difficult to trust God with my pain and entrust myself to him, because it meant I had to directly deal with my pain and step into it again. But God continually called me into His light and invited me to surrender these hurts to Him, and He began to set me free from the pain I was carrying with me. I learnt what it meant to trust God, and that gave me a sense of security far greater than anything I have ever experienced relying on my own strength.
I came away from SOW with a deep sense of peace and trust in the power of the Lord, and a sense of freedom to live a new life in Him! My life was changed and I came to realise that my life belongs not to myself, but that I belong to Him. God continues to call me to “more” in my life, more than just trying to survive from day to day and living for the weekends, more than just a job that pays well so I can lead a comfortable life, more than squeezing out some time to try and sustain a faith that is easily doused by the stresses of the world. I recognise that God desires for me fullness of life, true joy and purpose. I am active in community because I desire to share the Good News of who God is with my peers and to learn and grow together with others who also desire to know and love God better. I praise God for this desire He has planted in my heart, and I pray that it will continue to grow and bear fruit in the years to come!