Bekah's Heart, Poetry/Songs

Conflicting Calls

I don’t understand
how the call of Jesus can be so clear,
yet so confusing.

The call is grace.
Compassionate eyes seek us out and embrace
even the most broken place
of our souls.

When sin & despair,
loss & suffering,
hopelessness & addiction,
threaten to overtake,
our Savior steps in.
He covers it all.
Freedom is the call.

Yet, with that call comes another:
To look after each other
To give beyond our limits
To sacrifice.
There’s a cost,
a price.

And my heart is unsure
how to piece it all together.

The calls are simultaneous,
yet a paradoxical tension appears.

Give everything.
Receive everything.

Come & rest.
Lay down your own needs for others.

Just come and be with Me.
Go. Be with them.

Pray. Wait. Trust.
Work hard at all you do.

But perhaps it’s more of a rhythm than a contradiction.
Like tides coming in
And going out.

We give because we receive.
We’re able to sacrifice because we first know the depths of grace.
We learn to meet the needs of others
from letting the Shepherd meet ours in a place of rest.

Movement and rhythm.
Back and forth.

We come and eat.
Then, go and feed.
We come and rest
So we can invite others in
to a space of grace.
We come and see
And go tell what we’ve seen
Who we’ve seen
The One who sees us.

I’d still like it all to be a little more clear.
But for now, maybe it’s enough to know:
We can’t do this call “wrong”,
if we’re listening to and following
the Shepherd’s voice.

Keep calling, Jesus.
Keep calling.

Bekah's Heart, Mental Health, Poetry/Songs, Prayer

Whatever Marks This Season (A Prayer for a Day Away)

At the start of 2021 I marked off 4 days in my calendar, approximately 3 months apart as days to step away, regroup, and reevaluate all aspects of my life. A day to simply rest or play or “go deep” or whatever my soul needs on that day.

The first one was to kick off the year, actually on New Year’s Day, dreaming and listening to what the year ahead may hold. The first days of April took me to a nearby lake where, as I sat down on a picnic table by the water, the words below found their way to paper.

My quarterly retreats will likely look very different but I’m pretty sure this prayer will be a consistent part in any day I desire to set apart. Maybe it’s useful for you as well…

A Prayer for Days Away

Jesus, I commit this day to You.
To the shaping of my life, my soul, my body, my plans.

A day to look back and remember
to recall Your faithfulness
to notice Your presence in each step
to bear witness to friends and celebrations.

A day to be present and rest
to be still and silent
to be loud and move my body
to simply be.

A day to look forward and dream
to make plans with Your Spirit’s help
to pray over what the next few months may hold
to trust for every step ahead.

In these moments may I feel the warm summer sun on my face,
crunchy fall leaves under my feet,
or the comfort of a blanket wrapped around me on a cold snowy day.
Whatever marks this season.

May the laughter be loud or the tears fall hard.
Whatever marks this season.

May I fast and pray
or delight in rich foods
or enjoy a simple picnic.
Whatever marks this season.

May this be a day of plans to follow and lots of words written or consumed
or a day to wander aimlessly where You would lead.
Whatever marks this season.

I release any expectations in this moment except this one:
to meet You here.

Like Mary at her Rabbi’s feet
I choose the one thing needful. (Luke 10:38-42)
Like Jacob wrestling until dawn
I will not let go unless You bless me. (Genesis 32:22:32)
Like Hannah who begged year after year
I pray with perseverance expecting days of joy. (1 Samuel 1-2)
Like Peter, James, and John, lead me up the mountain
to find “only Jesus”. (Mark 9:2-8)
Like David I pray,
“My heart has heard you say,
‘Come and talk with me.’
And my heart responds,
‘Lord, I am coming.’” (Psalm 27:8)

I am coming.
I am here…

This season in pictures…

Bekah's Heart, Poetry/Songs, Prayer

New Morning. New Mercies. – A Morning Prayer

New morning.
New mercies.

The fears and failures of yesterday have past.
The doubts and dreadful moments
The sin and its stain
Washed clean.

Father, at the beginning of this new day,
we dare to hope:
hope for life abundant
hope for joy
hope for connection and community
hope for a chance to play a critical role in the story You’re writing in this world
hope for hope itself.

We cling to this hope as we remember:
Your faithfulness is great.
Your mercies begin afresh each new day and each new day You do not fail.
Your steadfast love never ends:
Love for me.
Love for those around me.
Loved as a child.
Nothing that happens today–
nothing done to us
or nothing we do–
can separate us from that love,
Your love.

When Satan tries to steal, kill, and destroy our lives this day–
if tears flow like rivers or
our souls say “everything I had hoped for is lost”
if the missteps and mistakes lead us astray
if the trials and temptations feel too much—
May we not be consumed by anything but
Your faithful grace.

For no one is abandoned by You, Lord, forever.
You show compassion
Because of the greatness of Your unfailing love.

Let us live loved today.

You are good to those who depend on you.
May we depend not on ourselves.
When we’re tempted to take things into our own hands
teach us to rest in Your loving hands,
hands that hold the world.
From that place of dependence and love, establish the work of our hands this day.
Let us ever be aware
of where You are at work around us
and joyfully say “Yes!”
to each invitation to join in.

In the morning, O Lord, You hear our voice;
in the morning we lay our requests before You
and wait in expectation.
It is good to declare:
Your steadfast love in the morning
and Your faithfulness at night.
When this day comes to an end,
may Your love still be echoing in our souls
and witness of your faithfulness flowing from our mouths.
Great is your faithfulness!

(Based off of Lamentations 3:18, 21-24, 31-32, Zephaniah 3:5, Romans 8:38-39, John 10:10, Psalm 92:1-2, and Psalm 5:3)

Bekah's Heart, Mission Work, Poetry/Songs

But, God?!?

I’ve been reading through some of my old journals and thought I’d share this prayer/poem from the Summer of 2009 while I was the Site Coordinator at a camp.  May it remind us that we are not fit to serve God, but we are called and he’ll give us all we need to do the tasks he sets before us.


I sit once again at the end of a day.
Yet heart burning inside.

God is big.
He does not fail.
I fail.

Each day, I wake up… by the grace of God.
Each day, I screw up… by my own sinful nature.
Each day… I fail.
Each day… He doesn’t.

Situations come.
“You’re in charge! Make a decision”
I don’t want to.

My final decision: Pray for wisdom.

Wisdom like Solomon.
Great insight.
A breadth of understanding.

Like Solomon, I too pray…
“I am only a little child, and do not know how to carry out my duties.” (1 Kings 3:7)

“… give your servant a discerning heart.” (1 Kings 3:9)

I don’t understand why you’ve picked me, but here I am… called to serve… SEND ME!

Equip me! Strengthen me! Use me!

I am Yours!


Bekah's Heart, Music, Poetry/Songs

The Walls that Divide

This afternoon, I found myself thinking about a lot of things.

Mostly… about the walls that often divide us… walls in schools, homes, churches, friendships, and more.

These walls often come from areas of pain in our individual lives.

Following is a musical response I wrote this afternoon… not perfect… recorded only on my computer in my spare bedroom… voice cracking at times due to the cold I think I’m starting to get… but for whatever it’s worth… here’s my prayer that God would begin to restore our lives and as he does so, restore some of the brokenness in our relationships and in our world.

(If you’re reading this in some kind of blog reader, you’ll likely have to go to my actual website to listen.)




The Walls That Divide

Verse 1: The rain outside my window
Echoes rain inside
Of souls I walk past
Each and every day
Their storms of life
Darkness looms
Shame destroys
Lord, please shine your light


Chorus: Break through the walls ’round our hearts
The hurt and the pain I see everyday
Restore our lives, I pray
Break through the walls that divide
Teach us to love, to care, and to serve
Restore our world today
Please break through


Verse 2: I am so frustrated by all the hurt I see
People caring less and less about humanity
How did we get so rotten?
How did we get so mean?
Gossip and lies
Please, open our eyes
Lord, please make us clean (Chorus)


Verse 3: Alone we are so powerless
Together we are strong
And with God on our side we will be defeated no more
Let us stand up and fight the enemy that seeks to destroy.
Instead, Lord, restore. Please have your way in me. (Chorus)


Break through.
Break through.
Break through, today.
Break through the hate
Break through the judgement.
Break through the walls that divide.  (Chorus)



First Trinity, Music, Poetry/Songs, Youth Ministry

I Believe

Below are the lyrics for the song “I Believe” written by the First Trinity Youth Band and some of the 8th grade confirmands to celebrate today.  It was so neat to lead the congregation in singing this during the processional today.


I Believe

This is what I believe:
Jesus died giving life to you and to me
This is what I believe:
By grace alone we are saved, in Christ we are free!
I stand here today.  I stand and proclaim: “This is what I believe.”


God, You’re my Father, I am Your Child.
You’re the Great Shepherd looking after His sheep.
Help me to follow You, each and ev’ry day.
As You reveal Your love so deep.   (CHORUS)


In Your compassion, You gave Your life.
You saw my need and said, “you’re worth dying for!”
Then, after three days, You rose from the grave.
Now I’ll live with You forevermore!

As I go through my life ev’ry day
Guide me and lead me, Lord.  Please stand by my side.
You are my light, my refuge, my strength.
For in my heart Your love will reside.  (CHORUS)

I stand here today.
I stand and proclaim:
”This is what I believe!”


Written by Sarah Bissell, Jake Collins, Josh Collins, Rebekah Freed, Matt Mogensen, Christian Peth, Abbie Stone, and Becky Whited

Bekah's Heart, Joy, Music, Poetry/Songs

Free to Be Me

A couple places lately the idea of making decision following God’s will has come up in discussion.  We kind of talked about it a little at Lifegroup last night.  Its common conversation among all of us interns as we each are in different situations with calls and interviews and placement (oh my).  I’ve had more and more conversations with high school seniors trying to decide where to go to college.  And I’m just in those young adult years where big life decisions are made. 


This morning I was thinking for some reason (not sure why) about the idea that when someone says “no” to something, that means they are saying “yes” to something else.  I was contemplating how the reverse is sometimes true as well… saying “yes” to one thing, can, at times, automatically mean no to something else.  All of these thoughts together this morning exploded into the following song.  Maybe eventually I”ll get a recording of it up on here, but for now, I’ll let you in on the lyrics to the “new song” in my heart right now.  What freedom is found when we say YES to the person God desires us to be!!!


Free to Be Me

Questions filling up my mind
Yes or no? Help me decide.
No or yes, make the answer clear
As You strip away any doubt and fear


Lord, please teach Your way to me
Guide, me lead me, help me see
The person You want me to be
Let me walk in Your steps,
And follow Thee


Saying “yes” to this may mean
Saying “no” to another thing
But saying “no” to this, I see
Says “YES!” to who You want me to be


by Rebekah Freed
Copyright 2011

Africa, Bekah's Heart, First Trinity, Haiti, Poetry/Songs

An (Un)divided Heart

Wow! What a week!  I had an absolutely WONDERFUL time in Haiti with the FT team and plan to tell you all about it here (and hopefully in person) in the days to come.  What’s standing out to me most right now is best described in a comment a friend posted on my Facebook wall yesterday that read:


“How many places can you leave a piece of your heart?”


I am beginning to wonder this very question myself.  The comment was prompted by the fact that I had received an e-mail newsletter from Musana Children’s Home in Uganda, where I spent the month of June.  My week in Haiti brought up so many memories of that trip.  The other exciting connection between these two experiences is that the newsletter outlined all the building projects that have taken place and been completed in the months since I left Musana… new verandas for the cabins, a beautiful new church, a dining area, a kitchen and more.  To hear of how these things have come together so quickly gives hope for the process that has begun at the Children of Israel Orphanage in Torbeck, Haiti.


In this all though, I agree with my friend, that my heart can quickly become divided…and even broken.  Not only would I still rather be in the WARM weather wearing a skirt in Haiti, I would love to still be there loving on those children, twisting wires on the cabin that they will one day live in, learning new words in Creole in order to better be able to share the love of Christ with them. 


Yes, a portion of my heart remains today in Haiti.  And a portion of my heart still remains in Uganda.  And a portion of my heart is in Seward NE and Wichita KS and at camp and more.


When I stop to think about it, I start to wonder “REALLY… how many places CAN I leave a part of my heart?”  But earlier today I was reminded of a quote by Elisabeth Elliot that seems to fit this situation:


"One morning I was reading the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand. The disciples could find only five loaves of bread and two fishes. ‘Let me have them,’ said Jesus. He asked for all.  He took them, said the blessing, and broke them before he gave them out. I remembered what a chapel speaker, Ruth Stull of Peru, had said: ‘If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces of me will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad.’"


If I experience brokenness in my life when I give all I am and have to Jesus, it’s really an okay thing.  It’s because pieces will feed many, whereas, if I prefer to keep up a mentality of self-preservation, I may not feel as broken or torn in moments like this, but I certainly, will not feel “whole.” 


Psalm 86:11 says “Teach me your way O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.” 


THAT is where wholeness is found… in seeking the One and only truth and walking in His way.  Teach me that Way, O Lord! Back in June, God’s Way took me to Africa.  This past week, that Way took me to Haiti… and yes, those beautiful children in both places stole a little piece of my heart.  Today, though, God’s Way brings me back to New York.   When my prayer is to have an undivided heart, focused on Christ, I can rest in knowing that no matter how many places I leave pieces my heart, as I take each step in the the direction of God’s way, my heart will become more and more whole.


“If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it is because pieces of me will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad.” ~ Ruth Stull

Haiti11 (373)



(A song I wrote a few months ago that seems to fit with this post:)




Teach me Your way, oh Lord,
and I will walk in Your truth.
Teach me to fear your name with an
undivided heart.


Teach me your peace, oh God,
which transcends all understanding.
In Jesus Christ please guard my heart; give me an
undivided mind.


Teach me to love, Oh Lord,
with all my heart, with all my mind,
with all my strength, with all I am, teach me
undivided love.


Undivided – perfect and true
Undistracted – focused on You
Undiminished – Constantly
Unswerving, whole hearted, giving glory to Thee

Teach me Your way, oh Lord,
Teach me Your peace
Teach me to love, Oh Lord, 
With an
undivided life.




Sitting at the gate at the Wichita airport.



10 feet away

A uniformed man holds back tears

As his parents say “goodbye”

Hopefully not for the last time

They leave

Embraced in each others’ arms

He fidgets .


Adjusting his uniform

Glancing around nervously

Trying to be strong



Seconds later

One more comes around the corner

This one with a wife

Her shoulders already shaking with grief

57 minutes till our flight departs

57 minutes of agony

Followed by months, maybe more

Of separation



And my biggest concern on this snowy day is whether or not I’ll make it to Buffalo or will have to work from Wichita, around my family, in a safe, warm house, for an extra day or so.





“Don’t Leave Messiah in the Manger”

I wrote this song a couple year ago to sing at Christmas time in my church back home.  It’s easy I think, even as Christians, to choose to do exactly what the title of this song tells us NOT to do… to leave Jesus in the manger.


Christmas comes and we get excited about that little baby that’s come to save us (and all the gifts we give and receive)… but then the rest of the year, it’s just “that God-guy over there”… Whether consciously or not, it’s easy to think, "He’s not powerful enough…. He’s not mighty enough… he’s just that baby in the barn that we sing about at Christmas.” 

Well, I wonder what might happen if we stop trying to keep Jesus confined to being “just a baby in a manger”.   I wonder what would happen if we let Jesus be the Savior and King in our everyday lives that he came into this world to be. 

As Christmas passes this year, please, don’t leave your Savior “away in a manger.”  Let him come near… who knows just what could happen?!?


Don’t Leave Messiah in the Manger

We sing , “away in a manger” There’s “no crib for a bed.”
Where our Lord Jesus Christ, “laid down his sweet head”
But those “stars in the night sky”, that “looked down where he lay,”
Are the same stars that shine on us today.


We say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
We sing “Away in a Manger” year after year
But I wonder what might happen if we let Jesus near
And don’t leave him far away in that manger


“O Little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie,”
But could really be that still with so many travelers passing by?
Yet, they didn’t seem to notice that their King was drawing nigh
As Mary laid that boy in that manger.


We say Merry Christmas and Happy New year
But that “little town,” Bethlehem seems so far from here.
I just wonder what might happen if we let Jesus near
And didn’t leave him far away in that manger


That “Silent” night, that “Holy” night on which our Savior came
How’s that fit our chaotic life… with war, hurt, and pain
I bet it wasn’t a silent night when they hung him on that cross
Made of wood, just like that humble manger.


Christ came to Bethlehem, but went to Calvary
There he died and rose again, to give life eternally
While it may not have been silent, it was completely holy
Cause our Lord didn’t stay in that manger


Yes, Christ came at Christmas, so many years past
But we forget the gift he brought before New Years has past
Let’s sing about His humble birth, day after day
And refuse to leave him away in a manger
Don’t let your Savior be a stranger
Refuse to leave Messiah in the manger.


Be near me Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever
And love me I pray.



Ps 73:28 “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds”