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I just turned 25 December 14th. At 25 I am having my second child, over 600 miles from my hometown. I got married at 21. I became a mother at 17. I repented of a worldly way of life at 19. I defended myself in court with no lawyer at 22— and won. I have been through hellfire, and I’m still here. I have learned a lot. I am unrecognizable some days, even to myself, in a good way. I give glory to Abba Yahuah.

Today’s article is more so a personal reflection. Think a diary entry that I’ve decided to make public. I thought it very important to sit and think about what 25 years has looked like for me, and what gems I’ve picked up along this tumultuous journey of life. And I’m grateful to be able to share them.

These are 25 lessons that I’ve learned from 25 years!

Yahuah is in control

There have been times where I didn’t know what I would eat, where I would lay my head, if I would have clean clothes to wear… and Yahuah showed me He was my keeper, He had all control. There were times where I planned evil, and Yahuah made goodness prevail. There were times where others wanted evil for me, and He got the glory through His goodness then, too.

This is probably the most important lesson of them all for me. I had plans for my life: to be a stripper, or go to dental school, become a beekeeper, start a nonprofit private school… some of these were bad, some were okay, and none of them were meant for me. I thank Yahuah that He was in control, because who knows what I would be if I had my own way?

Relinquishing control feels really good. And whether I see it in the moment or not, it always ends up being the best thing for me. He is in control.

It’s okay to be slim/skinny/lean

I have been through a lot of bodily changes and body dysmorphia. From puberty, to childbearing, to the changes of birth control. I’ve looked in the mirror some days horrified, other days enraptured. Through the years, however, my main struggle in this has been accepting that I’m not a naturally curvy woman.

I’d always wanted to be. As an Israelite, that was what I was told was the epitome of beauty. To have a full figure, a pear shape, a round bottom and wide hips. I’m sure it isn’t hard to imagine how devastating it is for a young girl to realize that she will never live up to such a standard, without surgery.

But I’ve learned to embrace my body type, and recognize my strengths. I’m naturally more athletic, it’s easy for me to maintain my weight. I can keep up with my kids and everyone elses. My metabolism is pretty strong. I’ve literally bore children in this body and that is a miracle. Not only is it okay for me to be lean, it is beautiful. I’ve certainly evolved to love myself with the help of modesty. Funnily enough, when even I can’t see my body all day every day, I find it more difficult to constantly ridicule myself or compare to other bodies.

Never run from your purpose

Oh the plans I had for me! The denial I experienced when told I would be a mother, a wife, a homeowner, a teacher, a vessel of Yahuah’s glory. I did not accept His will for a long time as a teenager and a teen mother, and I paid the price.

I justified it by convincing myself that His will would lead me into bondage. That I would end up in roles that were fundamentally not pleasurable to me, the opposite of my own desires.

But when I finally began to submit, I felt more pleasure than I ever have with any of my own pursuits, and that’s real. For the longest, I just didn’t want to accept marriage, motherhood and homemaking as my purpose… I was afraid to be a stereotype, afraid to be deemed useless, as though that would be wasting my life. And now that I’m here, fully living in it, all I can say is that I wish I’d went this direction sooner!

When God is calling you, answer! His will is good, pleasing and perfect according to Romans 12:1-2

Forgiveness means surrender

Forgiveness doesn’t mean I’m not hurt or angry. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that I forget about the betrayal, lies, and attacks. Forgiveness means I surrender to Yahuah’s will and continue in holiness.
I’ve beat myself up for a long time for trying to forgive others yet still finding myself bitter or angry towards them. Like, I’m trying to forgive, I said I forgive, so why won’t these feelings go away? Why do I still feel bound?

I’ve come to accept that forgiving others doesn’t negate my feelings. And often times, the choice to forgive is more so about going on a journey through Yahuah’s heart by accepting my own pain. Inviting Him into that pain, and watching Him turn a desert place into an immaculate garden.

Food is life

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is being mindful of what I eat. Each of our cells gets its energy, composition, and ability to communicate with the brain and perform it’s function from… our food. Everything we are, all of us, is comprised of what we eat.

From my ability to think clearly, the quality of sleep I get, how easy it is for me to go up stairs, the quality of my sex life, the ease with which I can give birth, and even my connection to Yahuah, is all deeply affected by my food choices.

And in the last few years has Yahuah shown me how greatly food impacts hormones. And that hormones are responsible for managing every function in the body. Hormones are literally the mediator between the brain and body. Yes, our brains tell our bodies what to do. But when they want to get this message out, hormones are like their speaker system, their phonebook. When hormones are out of wack, we can’t ever feel right. And the best way to get hormones on track is to eat balanced, whole and real.

Prayer changes things

One prayer can change your whole life. I remember at about 15 years old, I could only cry myself to sleep one night. I was trying to envision my life, my future, but I had no hope. I just wept and wept. I remembered my school director (something like a pastor to me then) guiding the class to the verse “Weeping endures a night but joy comes in the morning”. I asked Yahuah to prove it. I could hear him telling me this weeping will be over in the morning. I didn’t believe it and fell asleep, wishing the pain would go away.

But when I woke up, it was like I was high, floating on a cloud, and that every cell in my body had been elevated. I was amazed, and started thinking to myself… Okay, maybe this is real, maybe there really is a God who cares about me.

I’ve learned to pray without ceasing, too. It is the answer for everything.

Yahuah keeps His Word

He’s never made me a promise He hasn’t kept. Ever. Even when I broke mine. How faithful is our God! I prayed for him to heal me of an STD once, and I promised that if he did, I would turn away from promiscuity for good! Chile, not even 7 whole days after He completely healed me, I was back to doing me. And He still hasn’t let me go.

He told me I would be a wife, I didn’t believe it. That I would be wealthy, I didn’t believe it. That I would have baby #2, I didn’t believe it. He told me I would reach many of His daughters from all nations and all corners of the world, and I didn’t believe it. But my life is the fruit, the proof. I’ve learned that if He says something will come to pass, then it will come to pass. And that all I’ve got to do in times of confusion and darkness is remember His Word.

Many harmless pleasures are fruitless

I’m a good writer. At least I like to think so. Outside of writing on this blog, sometimes I do ghostwriting, sometimes I write fiction. I’ve been paid quite well over the years, to do something that I could do in my sleep. But Yahuah has shown me that He didn’t give me this gift to make money, He gave it to me to give Him glory.

Is it evil to write fiction? Evil to earn money writing for other people who will pass it off as their own writing? I can’t say, though I don’t think so. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t wasting my time. It doesn’t mean that’s what He wanted for me. It doesn’t mean it produced the kind of fruit that lasts for eternity.

Such is the case for any other ‘harmless’ pleasure or pursuit. I’ve come to accept that just because it doesn’t result in sin, doesn’t mean it’s purposeful to Yahuah. I’m learning to choose how I spend my time more wisely.

People will be jealous

Family, friends, strangers. People who are doing better than me, people who are struggling more than me. Humans struggle with envy. Even I do. Envy was the reason for the first murder (Cain and Abel). I’ve attempted to mitigate this envy, jeaousy, and covetousness by proving that I’m lowly, that I’ve struggled, that all I have comes from Yahuah not from me. And still, people hate.

They wonder why it’s me and not them, no matter how many times I explain it’s really GOD. They stab me in the back, lie on me, steal from me, try to destroy what Yahuah has built. Try to tear down my confidence in my beauty, in my journey, in my marriage, in my blogging… I accept that this is a part of life. And I accept that there’s nothing I can do but keep shining Yahuah’s light.

Never compare yourself or life

This is probably the lesson I’ve learned through the most painful process. It has taken me years, and only recently have I begun to accept that comparison is like a little spark that if not contained, can burn down an entire forest!

All it takes is one glance sometimes at another woman’s maternity photos, her home, or her family… then boom. “What about me God?” “Why don’t I have that?” Or worse… “I’m going to get that, too” and then deciding to do whatever it takes, even at the expense of what I already have.

My life is precious, and I have many treasures already. I don’t need to compare, and if it happens, I’m learning to rebuke it without delay. My journey is my own, and just as I believe no one can walk a mile in my shoes, I wouldn’t want to walk a mile in anyone elses.

Sometimes multitasking is counterproductive

I can testify that multitasking can be quite fruitful. Especially in homemaking. But there are some tasks and times which require our total focus. Like when we’re spending time with family, cooking a multi course meal, listening intently to a friend in need, or engaging in self care. I’m learning that it’s okay to slow down, do one thing at a time, and be fully present while doing so. Sometimes this is the best way.

Do things in order

We don’t put on our shoes before our socks. So why do I think I can enjoy fruit before even watering the seed? All things have their time and season. I’m learning to appreciate order and embrace Yahuah’s timing.

I prayed to conceive baby #2, and got right down to the nitty gritty LOL wondering why it wasn’t working. Yahuah showed me that I was skipping all the other stuff, like cleansing my heart, changing my diet, taking better care of my body through exercise, and examining my budget and spending. I’ve learned not to be in such a rush. Because now I’m having baby #2 soon, and I wish I’d saw how He was preparing me. I would have paused sooner.

Yahuah is the final authority

He gets the final say. Sometimes this feels good, sometimes it doesn’t. But it always works out for my good.

Be willing to wait on Yah

I’m so willing to wait. Yahuah told me I would be a wife. I met my husband online in 2018, and after a month, I knew he was going to be my husband. But I didn’t realize I’d have to wait. We remained long distance for years. We had a virtual ceremony in 2020 to officially become husband and wife, and I still had not yet met him in person. I did not see my husband face to face until April 2021… and before then I had questions, I was angry, I was impatient, I was afraid I was wasting my time. But that moment, i felt Yahuah. It was like walking through the gates of heaven. All the pain had totally been worth it, and I would do it all over again.

Now when I’m in a waiting season, I just remember how I felt when I met my husband, how grateful I was to have waited. I’m not in a rush to obtain any of Yahuah’s promises because I know that sometimes the hardest task He gives me in this life, is to simply wait. And I don’t know about you, but that is not too burdensome for me.

Journaling is a vital tool

I have to journal. If I don’t I might go crazy. I might say something I regret to someone I love. I might harbor my feelings and end up growing poisonous fruit. I might become overwhelmed and lash out. Or I might invert and clam up and shut down and suffer for it. Journaling has become as vital to me as bathing, and I know that if I go long periods without doing it, I start to smell.

I journal for gratitude, for remembrance, for prayer, for Bible study. I write letters to people that I will never send. I pour out my heart. I plan my days, and I ask important questions. It’s a safe space for me that sometimes doesn’t exist elsewhere, and I take advantage of it because I know how powerful a resource it is!

Have consistent quiet-time

Even more important than journaling, is spending time in The Word, fellowshipping with my Lord, surrendering my heart, opening my ears, preparing my hands for work and my mind for rest. I’ve noticed the difference in quality between the days where I spend time with Him, versus when I don’t. It’s astounding.

I’m more patient. Things go smoother. I communicate better. I pray for good things and good things happen. I receive my portion for the day. I have to have quiet-time because my life is too busy for me not to!

Never pay full price for anything

Honey, please! I never pay full price for anything except underwear!!!!! I get mostly everything second hand and I’m not ashamed. Or, I ask for discounts, use coupons, or wait until things are on sale. Furthermore, I never buy new things just because, and I definitely don’t upgrade when I don’t need to. I still have an iPhone 7, that I bought in 2020 USED, still works great!

I don’t do this just to save money, though. Often by buying used, I’m not giving my money to a greedy corporation but instead to a local business or thrift, or a family in need. And, I’m doing my part in caring for the environment, something that is very important to me as Yahuah said this is our domain and He has left it in our care.

Avoid debt at all costs

Speaking of penny pinching… I’ve watched people’s lives fall apart due to debts that strangle their income. New cars, student loans, new phones, credit cards… I’ve been tempted by all of these, trust me. Then I look at people who take this route and I’m like, “NAH!” I’d rather wait on Yahuah and look “poor” while I wait because I refuse to be indebted to someone over property that is depreciating. The only asset I’m willing to acquire debt for is a house or land.  Anything else seems futile, but that’s my opinion.

Avoiding debt at all costs has allowed me to sleep peacefully knowing I don’t have to dodge anyone’s phone calls, or that something is going to disrupt my credit score. Nobody is going to come repossess anything I own, and that is worth more to me than having the appearance of wealth. I just don’t think the stress is worth it, and unless I’m using credit to build credit, I minimize borrowing by simply being willing to wait on Yah, save money, invest it better, pay tithes, and make purchases when I can actually afford it.

People notice the small things in your presentation

From my dainty little earrings, to my toenail polish. The volume of my voice, the style of my hair, whether I’ve cleaned my nose. People see the tiny details. I’m not going to say it doesn’t matter. It does. Not because I want to impress people, but because I represent my husband. Because I want to set an example for my daughter. Because I want people to know that the Daughters of Zion love ourselves, we take pride in our presentation, and that we are here to stay.

A feminine presentation is an asset

In the same way, I’ve learned to take my time in crafting my presentation because I see the difference in how people treat me when I don’t. When I take the time to dress as though I belong in any room I enter, I’m treated with dignity. Men seem to have higher regard for my husband. Women feel inspired. Little Israelite princess stare, and I’m proud of that.

I make an effort to set myself apart when I walk into a room, and I don’t just mean because I wear the face veil or the niqab. Because I don’t always wear that. I set myself apart because some people just get dressed. But not everyone puts together a presentation. I’ve learned to ask myself “What do I want to say with my first impression when I walk into a room today?” I’ve found it to be very powerful.

And beyond my appearance, this extends to my walk, my kindness and eagerness to help, the softness of my voice, how well I handle passive aggression, the way I am attentive to my family. Femininity is an asset that I wield like a sword, just as Judith and Esther did.

It’s okay for people to disagree with me

I used to be a people pleaser. I used to be so afraid of not being liked that I stopped sharing my opinion or being myself. I saw that when I was open and honest, people shunned me or avoided me. It has taken many years for me to find my tribe, people whose values and beliefs align with my own. Before now, I have felt isolated in ideology, and while this can sometimes be something good (because you never want everyone to agree with everything you say all the time), the Word says “Can two dwell together unless they agree?”

I don’t have a superiority complex about my beliefs, because I’m a personal testament to the fact that beliefs can change. So it would be unwise to feel superior over something my perspective may change about. But I do feel a sense of territorial-ness about disagreements when people insist that I believe what I believe out of emotion, despite my attempts to present facts. And I like to believe I have arguments that are founded on empirical data, not hypotheticals, and yes, I do sometimes treat disagreements like debates.

That’s where I’m learning to secede. If someone hears my point of view and then chooses to disagree instead of investigating why I have that stance, then so be it. I’ve learned that trying to prove myself is futile. The LORD will speak through me, His Word does not go out and then return to Him without first fulfilling their purpose. And He will get the final say. I accept that people have their own perception of me that doesn’t always align with the truth or how I view myself. This is a natural part of the human experience and that’s okay.

Everyone has an opinion on my motherhood

Parents, grandparents, in-laws, siblings, cousins, strangers on the internet. This is a reality. Some of it is good, some of it is unfounded, some of it is welcome but most of it isn’t. This is really just a part of parenting. Many people have desires they wish to see mothers fulfill, hoping to live vicariously through us. But rarely are the same people willing to go above and beyond to support you in the journey and trial of motherhood.

I used to argue, but now I know how to play my cards right. I just ask them why they feel that way, and how that’s working on their own kids (and it gets awkward if they’re a childless person offering their inexperienced opinion). I embrace the awkward, because when I used to get angry and argue, it would turn into “You’re getting angry, that means I’m right! Don’t be emotional about it!”

Now, when I let it get awkward, people are forced to sit in silence for a few minutes reflecting on their own choices and words, instead of my reaction. What reaction? No reaction. Say your piece, speak your mind, and then we are going to move on. Why? Because unless I asked, my parenting is not a conversation. End off. And if that pisses people off, then it shows me they don’t have respect for my boundaries and are not someone I would pursue a relationship with anyway.

Yahuah is #1, family is #2

After my relationship with Yahuah, I’ve learned that nothing should come before my family. And by family, I really only mean my husband and children. Sure, in-laws, parents, siblings and everyone else is included. But at the end of the day, my interests lie in my major responsibilities, which is my direct family, first.

I’ve seen how detrimental and dangerous it is to allow outside family to speak on or influence matters of my home, and I won’t allow it. I’m very firm about sticking to the vision my husband has given us, even when family doesn’t agree. Because it’s not their life and certainly not their business at the end of the day.

My family is my greatest asset and the biggest investment I will ever make, and I take pride in being a wife and mother. I want my family to remember me as someone who was there for them, who was patient with them, and who was most of all kind to them. I can’t be that person when I’m allowing anything else to distract me.

Kids notice everything

Ev. Ve. Rey. Thing. Nothing misses their eyes or ears. This is a great responsibility for the adults around them. For the world at large. A great responsibility for me, as both a mother and someone who works with children. They are sponges, as they should be. I’ve learned to take great care with how I behave, speak, and what body language I use when interacting with children.

They can tell when you’re frustrated, disinterested, or indifferent. They can tell when you’re excited, attentive, and engaged. They know when you have favorites. They can differentiate between emotions, even if they don’t have the vocabulary to prove it. They know when something isn’t right, and they know when everything is right.

Their total awareness keeps me mindful of Yahuah’s total awareness. That He sees me at all times, what I do, what I say, how I think and behave. It makes me mindful that my Father is watching and listening, and that I’ll have to come to account for what I do and say in this lifetime. He says it’s better to have a stone tied around your neck and cast into the sea than to offend one of His little ones. Even the tiniest seed of sin can be planted in a child’s mind if I’m not careful to seek holiness each time I’m present with one, and this is one of the most beautiful challenges of motherhood. It makes you want to be better, it forces you to be greater.

Always check your blind spots

There’s always a plank in my eye, even if I don’t notice it. I’m not always right. I don’t always know what’s best. My way isn’t always going to prosper. I have become willing to stop, take a second, and ask Yahuah, “What am I not seeing? What am I overlooking? What haven’t I sought your wisdom for?”

Because hindsight is 20/20, isn’t it? Sometimes I look back on trials and victories in life and I am utterly shocked at how blind I was to things that should’ve been obvious, despite in the moment feeling like I knew all I needed to know to be successful.

I am not all wise or all knowing. There is always room to grow, room to learn. The human mind is much too vast for me to assume that I am unable to learn and absorb more wisdom. Checking my blind spots is not easy, and requires a lot of humility. But I never regret it and it always pays off. As I’ve grown in wisdom, Yahuah has shown me that as long as I’m willing to stand still for a second and make sure my actions align with His will, then I can find prosperity in this world and the next.

I’m looking forward to more years, more opportunities to check my blind spots, more children, more waiting, more prayer and more blessings!

What are your thoughts?

Raabasha Alohalani

I’m a little Israelite woman with a little faith in a big Master. Through cultivating a relationship with The Most High Redeemer of Israel, I’ve overcome suicidal tendencies, body dysmorphia, porn addiction, depression, and the darkness of envy! As a wife and a mommy, it is my earnest desire to share love and open a space for Hebrew, Israelite, and believing women alike who want to help build this City on A Hill. Let's discover His New Mercies each day, and take baby steps towards Shemayim!????