I guess I’ll start by explaining how this all started…
We come back from overseas, have a week in Redding, CA for debrief and then we officially completed our YWAM experience. Thinking by now we would have an idea of what the next season looked like, we confusingly pack up our life (having no clue what was next) in the 2wd Kia Sorento. What we did know, was that we were going to take a 3 day sabbatical in Napa Valley, debrief with each other, pray about our next season, enjoy some wine, and then head down to Ventura to visit/stay with some friends that just moved there. We made a list of things that we felt like were potential next season worthy ideas and spent a day praying separately and then coming together to pray and see what the Lord said was next.
Our contacts overseas were amazing and they created an outline to read through the entire bible Genesis – Revelation in 40 days. We tried to start when we were over there but it was to time consuming for our schedule we had.
As we headed down to Napa we felt like adding the 40 day bible read to our idea list as our 9th guy off the bench. After praying separate we came together and of course, you could’ve guessed it, that bench player just got his first starting position (not to sure where my sport analogy came from, but its working right now). So we knew our next season is spending the next 40 days going through the Bible, cover to cover. The Lord said we couldn’t get jobs, couldn’t pursue any dreams or ideas (like we both wanted to – because sitting around reading just doesn’t suit our normal idea of living). Almost dreading the next 40 days, we knew this is what the Lord lead us to do, and then on top of that he added the cherry on top…
The Lord: Hey lets add a Daniel Fast to these forty days.
Us: But we just got back from overseas and are in California with our friends and amazing places to eat.
The Lord: Yea I know.
So we embarked on our 40 day journey and now looking back, I can’t get anywhere close to explaining how amazing of a time it was, how much more growth we had and wouldn’t trade these last 40 days to do anything else in the world. As we read through the number 40 pops up everywhere, so we did a little google search to see the symbolism behind the number and found this little bit of info. 40 is a product of 5 and 8, (5) signifies grace and (8) is ending in revival or a new beginning. So when 40 is referenced in a period of probation it coincides with the meaning of the 5 and 8 factors. I feel like this sums up the last 40 days for us.
Well worded, Bebeh!
I figured, as he explained what we’ve been doing exactly and how we started doing it, I can give a little bit of insight into how we’ve changed, grown and the goodness we found.
We’ve changed entirely. Honestly, we both feel like completely new people. New creations, if you will. In saying that, i’ll start here;
2 Corinthians 5:17 (“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone and behold, the new has come.“). I’m sure you’ve read it a time or two, as had we. But after 40 days of reading through the Bible, we’ve met our new selves.
Starting the Bible from Genesis to Revelation was… interesting. Because God is interesting. In the Old Testament, you travel through this character unfold of God in His might, justice, honor and wrath, all the while still trying to believe He is love. It was challenging and conflicting. What we discovered though was this – He IS. In the middle of it all, He is love. It’s impossible to fully understand, probably ever. We can’t make sense of a God who orders His people to plunder cities with women and children, etc. (especially not as humans with finite, earthly minds). All I can say is, we have a new found fear for Him that comes solely from loving Him, in ALL that He is.
Especially after our Asia missions trip, our eyes had opened to how much our Western culture shapes God to be this wimpy, overly-lovey (I said it!), gracious guy. We make a version of Him specifically to fit our lives and what we want from Him. With little bits and pieces of Him that we agree with, we understand, and we need, we create a custom-made God.
We forget His sovereignty. We forget that what is most important about Him Is WHO He is, not what He does for us. Surprisingly enough, the Old Testament took our “blinders” off. After finishing the New Testament, we could finally see Him for who He is, regardless of the parts of Him that are “harder” to read about. Getting the full picture makes Him more mighty. He’s a God that is easy to have faith in, there is nothing wimpy about Him. His story is better, more intense, brutal, reconciling and satisfying than… Game of Thrones (lol not kidding).
Everyone keeps asking what the best things we learned were. As impossible as that is to fully answer, discovering the true God would be at the top. Through that, we have unraveled who WE are. What better way to figure that out than figure out more of the One who made us?
I’m sure a few blogs will come out of the more specific treasures we found through our read, but for now I’ll stop here. He’s good. So good.
Name change explanation for whoever was wondering!:
My full name is Rebecca Danielle Andazola. My mom wanted Danielle to be my first name when born, but she didn’t think it sounded good in the order of Danielle Rebecca! From when I was born up until 1st grade my name was Danielle. As a first grader, lol, I decided I wanted to change it up and have everyone start calling me Rebecca. My parents (sweet sweet parents) went along with it, and my name has been Rebecca (Becca, Bec, etc.) ever since.
During our debrief/graduation week at YWAM, we were in worship and I randomly pictured Samuel walking up to me and calling me Danielle. It made no sense to me, so I went up to Samuel and asked him if he would ever actually call me that. He said yes.
So sparking Samuel (and a few of the people we know) starting to actually call me Danielle. As it began to stick, we talked about the possibility of making it official. Yes, for a fun little social experiment, but also for whatever Jesus wanted to do with it (considering it all started with a vision from Him).
Interestingly enough, one of my favorite books out of the entire Bible during our 40 days was Daniel. Right after we finished that book Samuel’s Aunt asked me what my favorite thing was about it. I said, “God was so intentional and adamant about Daniel knowing he was greatly loved by Him.”. I love Daniel, everything about it.
Another wild part of the name change was what I have been discovering about myself from January to the end of our 40 days this July. God started revealing to me my gifts as a defender of Him, of His glory. There is not ONE thing in this world I care more about than God being glorified. He created us to glorify Him. Two of the biggest traits of a prophet biblically (Ephesians 4:11-13) is the desire for justice and the loyalty to truth vs. people. If you know anything about me, you know this is my soul. This who I am to the core. Has it taken a lot of Holy Spirit’s temperance and correction? Yes (lol). But every ounce of my being is clung to truth and to justice in the name of the Lord.
So here we are, no longer Rebecca, Becca or Bec, but Danielle. Danielle in Hebrew meaning; “God is my judge/ judge of God”. “Judge” in Hebrew meaning; to contend, defend, plead, reason and avenge. New found life, new name. It’s exciting!
VIDEO LINK FOR PAST 40 DAYS//