Before I can explain feeling God’s call to study Nehemiah, I must first explain some of my own personal history. As a child, I was sexually abused by my dad. My faith in God was strong, even as a child, which was started my personal healing. Over the years, God healed the wounds the way only He could and our relationship grew stronger. Since my earthly father did not show me what a father should be, I clung to the promise that God said in Psalms 68:5 “A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.” Through that process, I found myself praying for my dad, and by the time I was in college, I found myself dropping the burden of unforgiveness toward my dad.
My dad was an alcoholic and was emotionally abusive toward the whole family, which left us a broken family after my parents divorced. There are members in my family who do not speak to each other, which is not what God intended for the family. Being a wife of a children’s pastor, I feel a strong desire to see healthy families raising children with deep roots in God. I have ministered to children and parents alongside my husband and have prayed over my husband and children; however, God has recently shown me that I had given my own family up as a lost cause.
In Isaiah 61:3-4, God says, “…and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” I had always looked at this selection of scripture of how God has healed me and turned what was meant for my destruction and shame into beauty. I always felt that the rebuilding started with my own family - by not passing on the generational sins of my childhood family, and by raising my children to have a relationship with God. I still believe this; however, God has recently pointed out to me that I was not taking a look at a much larger picture. He asked me why I haven’t been praying for my childhood family.
With that conviction, I felt God leading me to study Nehemiah, which chronicles Nehemiah’s call for the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem. I felt led to fast during this time of study and to ask for others to lift me up in prayer. I have three women praying for me and also studying Nehemiah. The following posts will be a documentation of this journey that God is leading me through.