Welcome back to our interview series! Today’s interview is with our sister in Christ, Rebecca Washburn.
1. When did you accept Jesus, and what was that experience like for you?
If you’ve heard the song “All This Time” by Britt Nicole, my story is very similar. I had been in pain for several months and every once in a while it’d be too much at night and so I’d sit there crying and begging to God that He would make it stop. Finally one night I was desperate, I couldn’t deal with the pain. I was crying and begging for the pain to go away when I remembered hearing about people accepting Jesus and so I did. The pain didn’t go away, but all of a sudden I felt calm, the tears stopped running, my nose stopped running, and finally my breathing evened out. He was there, just waiting for me to accept Him instead of letting Him in just to kick Him out; which makes sense as I would let Him come to me, but as soon as I didn’t get what I wanted I would shoo Him away like a servant.
2. Who or what has had the most impact on your spiritual journey?
This is hard, I’d say that my pastor and youth pastor have had a huge impact. They both have such a light and have taught me so much. My youth pastor has shown me all sorts of resources and we could talk for hours about how to grow in faith and about the Bible. My pastor has such a passion when we talk, that it’s hard not to be passionate and it’s hard not to believe. God has given me these two amazing pastors that have shown me ways to grow and continue to help me learn about God. I’m spoiled to have the two of them as mentors.
3. Why do you personally continue to seek Jesus? In what ways has He changed your life?
I keep pursuing Him because I know I can’t do this without Him. He’s the reason why I’ve made it through so much with a more positive attitude than I would’ve had without Him. I’ve seen Him work in my life and the lives of others and everytime I come to His word with an even deeper desire to know God.
He has done so much for me, the thing I notice the most is coming out of each battle. I have two areas of chronic pain, so when my pain eases even for a moment, I know He’s changing my life. I’ve been complimented for how well I’ve dealt with the pain and I know that I don’t have this spectacular willpower that people think I have, but I have Jesus.
4. What is the hardest struggle for you about being a Christian and/or believing/obeying the Bible?
I think the hardest part is being able to stand up for my faith. I’m the type of person that flees from any form of conflict, so when I have to let someone know that I won’t agree with them because it goes against my faith, it’s hard.
5. What characteristic of God do you appreciate/connect with the most?
I’d say I most appreciate His grace and mercy, but I connect the most with His creativity.
6. What are your favorite books of the Bible and why? Any specific verses that are special to you?
I love Esther, Philippians, and Ephesians. Esther is a reminder to me that we as Christians should speak out, even when it might cost us our lives. Philippians is a favorite because of how applicable the verses are, but especially Philippians 4:6. Ephesians is special because of the last few verses – not to mention my church is currently reading through it – the verses about putting on the armor of God. There’s something about the imagery of those verses that just gives me courage.
7. What does spending time with God/reading the Bible look like for you? Any resources you’d recommend or advice you’d give to someone struggling in this area?
I’ve done the 30 day challenge (didn’t finish it though, so it turned into a rest of the year challenge). I tend to read books like Psalms on a daily basis, but it’s a pleasure to read it cover to cover. If you’re struggling to read the Bible, try listening to it. I hated the idea, but sometimes just hearing it out loud is so powerful, and now I love it. I spend time with Him by just sitting with a notebook and writing down prayers. I’ve found that I’m more focused when I write things down; but I also take a few minutes to just sit and listen before I stop. Those few minutes I’ve found to be very important as it’s a chance to just be, sometimes I come out of those few minutes with an idea of what I feel Him calling me to do, other times it’s just a moment in His arms.
8. What are some unique ways you’ve found to connect with God?
Well, I have a little reminder of God usually, I tend to paint my nails with a word/phrase that reminds of something about God. For example, right now I have “Choose joy.” on my nails – I usually come up with these from songs, this one came from the For King and Country song “Joy.” I’ve had times where I couldn’t read much, so I’d just listen non-stop to Christian music as it was the only thing that didn’t make the pain worse.
9. Can you share a time (or two) you’ve experienced an answer to prayer, or seen God in your life? Any particular moments you just knew He was there? Nothing is too small. 🙂
Every time that I’m healed. I’ve been battling chronic pain for the past 5ish years, and so every little victory is where I see Him. In particular is when God gave me a way to lessen and to pretty much eliminate the pain.
10. In contrast, can you share a time in your life when you experienced great fear/doubt/opposition in your walk with God? If it was in the past, what helped you get through it?
I had a lot of doubt and hatred every time I had a pain flare. I’d question whether He was there and sob and slam my fists at night. I’d go to bed and just be so angry and doubted that there is a loving God. I got through it by doing any form of worship. I would cry and rage, but what calmed my doubts and anger was prayer and listening to Christian music.
11. What has God been teaching you and/or been doing in/through your life in this season?
God has been teaching me to step outside my comfort zone, not just by standing up for my faith, but also by stepping into the workplace. He’s showing me how to connect with people and to talk with people. He’s teaching me that I can choose to be like Moses and give an excuse or I can come and willingly work at what I need to.
12. Is there anything else you’d like to say to the person reading this? Any words of encouragement or advice?
No matter where you are, He is there. Even if you feel broken, He is there and wants to use you. You have a choice, will you become more like Him or will you flee?
13. Where can we connect with you?
Rebecca Washburn is a young writer. She battles chronic pain, but refuses to let that hold her back from God’s plan. When she’s not writing, she loves to read, crochet, code, play games with family, do puzzles, and just enjoy the beautiful world God has made. Most importantly, she loves the Lord and tries her best to walk in His ways.