Tehila Gonen and I have never met, but I feel like a soul sister to her. Her written words sing in rich harmony of melodies bringing faith and truth.
“I am a thread in the vast and beautiful bride of my Lord. Privileged am I to live among those, be inspired by those, and be taught by those around me with whom I will share eternity. I am grateful to fellowship with lovers of our common Lord, who love the Word of God. Who live the Word of God.”
I stop by her blog often for life-giving and knowledgeable messages of discernment and renewal. I never leave without a seeding in my spirit of beautiful word harvests.
I AM HIS! And He has given me so much!
I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart. –Psalm 40:8
Tehila Gonen : Biography Information
Tehila Gonen is an Israeli, God-loving, husband-serving, child-nurturing mom of five sweet little ones whom she homeschools (and another one on the way!). She resides in beautiful New Zealand from where she blogs at Women Abiding – Encouraging women to abide in God and His Word.
Visit her here to receive a FREE eBook that she offers to all moms!
Tehila Gonen : Gospel Story, How She Came to Know Christ as Her Savior.
For each one of us, I think this is a long story of God working in our hearts over months, years, and even decades until He brings us to the point of surrendering to His salvation plan and Lordship.
I was born in Israel to a Jewish family. At the age of two, we moved to South Africa. I always believed in God, but felt that He was way up there in the sky, and with me being all the way down here on the earth, it was impossible to ever actually reach Him.
Fast forward – At the age of 17, my parents got divorced and my mother, two sisters, and I moved back to Israel, while my father remained in South Africa.
A couple of weeks later, at a concert in Jerusalem, a stranger asked me whether I was a believer in Yeshua (Jesus). Shocked and horrified, I replied, “No, I’m Jewish and am forbidden to believe in that man!”
When asked whether I was willing to receive literature regarding faith in Yeshua, for some reason unbeknownst to me, mustering up all courage, I responded positively.
As the books and workbooks arrived, I secretly read each one. The amazing part is that I instantly realized that what I was learning about was indeed the truth of God! I even felt angry at why no one had ever told me these facts before.
Eventually, I was sent a Bible. I opened the package at our local post office, and was stunned to realize that all that I had been reading was actually in this awesome book which I now beheld – the Holy Bible.
It was around the same time that I noticed that my mother had been disappearing each Saturday afternoon. I finally asked her where she had been going. Her answer blew me away!
She shared that she had begun to believe in Yeshua as her Messiah, even though she had always forbidden us girls to believe in Him. She confessed that she had been attending a local congregation where other Jews who believed the same way were assembling.
Standing almost speechless before her, I pulled myself together, and confided that the literature that I had been receiving, and hiding, had indeed also been about Yeshua! We rejoiced, and I accompanied my mother to the fellowship the following meeting.
A couple of weeks went by. There was a lot to take in. Much to learn and understand. With the little that I had grasped, I decided to take the step that I knew God wanted me to take.
I finally understood what A.W. Tozer put so well;
“Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.”
One night, as I lay in my bed, I asked God to forgive me for all the sins that I had committed against Him. I told Him that I wanted to live for Him, and acknowledged that my desire was for Him to be the Lord of every area of my life forever.
The following morning, I awoke, and was surprised to immediately notice a vast
difference within myself. The best way I know to describe it, is that before I had a raging sea of hatred, unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger in my heart; now the sea was as calm, still, and peaceful as could be. I hardly recognized myself.
It took approximately a year and a half for God to take me through the process of forgiving others and changing many of my ways.
He is not finished with me yet, but I have never been the same since that night that I uttered my first prayer!
Her Favorite Verse and How It Became Important to Her
I’ve never really claimed a life verse for myself, to be honest.
During each season of my life, God lays different passages of Scripture, and specific verses on my heart that encourage and sustain me.
I’d say the verses that have been a constant blessing to my heart and that affect every area of my life would be Isaiah 26:3-4:
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Our God will keep us in His perfect peace as long as we are focused on and trusting in Him wholeheartedly, no matter what we go through.
Her Blogging Story
The Truth? 🙂
I started blogging because I knew I wanted to share a message of hope and Life with the world, and I had on my heart to do that through writing books. I had researched the requirements for being an author, and one of the main recommendations was to have an “online platform.”
What I never expected was what a blessing blogging would be! How I would almost immediately adopt my readers into my heart and how deeply I would care for them. I was taken aback at how selfish my initial motivation was, when God wanted me to reach out to others with no self-interest or ulterior motive.
I haven’t written any books yet, as so much of my spare time is invested into my blogging community rather than following through with my own initial plans… (I still hope to write books when the Lord allows me to, though ☺).
Her Blogging Mission
My blogging mission is to encourage women to abide in God and His Word. There are so many blogs out there today that deal more with the practical aspects of being a woman – which definitely meets a need, too,. Blogs about recipes, crafts, home decorating, and even parenting are plentiful.
But I feel as though it’s not easy to come across a blog that actually speaks to the spiritual needs of women. Our hearts, our faith, our inner struggles, and our desire to be holy, though we fall so short, are areas that are often swept under the rug, even in the Christian world.
My mission is to be a voice to women seeking to wrap themselves in Truth, Righteousness, and Holiness, and to help them to go deeper with the Lord, to see Him in every aspect of their lives, and to view His Word as the very source of all wisdom.
Her Top Three Posts Based on Readership Statistics
If there was ever any proof that God uses the darkest moments in our lives to bring Himself the most glory, it is my most popular post. When I went through a miscarriage three years ago, and wrote this post, I never dreamed it would have such an impact and draw women to Himself as much as it did. My most viewed post since the beginning of Women Abiding is by far:
In second place:
In third place:
Her Three Favorite Posts
Hmmm. Had to think about this one for a few moments…
I really love, The 3 Daily Sacrifices Of A Homemaker, since this is a topic so close to my heart and was written out of my own experience.
Are You Ready To Meet Your Maker? My Dream is one of my favourites, too, since this comes from such a strong conviction that I have; for women to truly know the Lord, and live ready to meet Him at any given moment.
I couldn’t leave out 23 Life Skills I Wish My Mother Had Taught Me and That You can Pass On to Your Daughter, since I believe the legacy that we leave our children is so crucial.
What Inspires Tehila Gonen to Write for Christ?
Knowing that I will one day give an account for every word spoken, thought, and written. I desire to have each blog post, each response to every comment, and all my writing, glorify His Name, represent His holiness, and please His heart! I owe Him everything, and honouring Him through my life, and my blog, is the very, very least I can do!
Tehila Gonen’s Favorite Song
There is a Day by Phatfish – I want it sung at my funeral ☺
Authors Who Inspire Her or Motivate Her to Write
Sally Clarkson with her heart for homemaking and motherhood.
Don Whitney with his profound wisdom for walking with God day by day.
J.C.Ryle with his timeless truths on holiness and Christian living.
A Personal Blogging Story
I do! It happened quite recently actually. A lady left a comment on a post I mentioned earlier, Are You Ready To Meet Your Maker? My Dream where she confessed that she wasn’t, and asked how she can get right with God and be forgiven for her sins. After a lengthy explanation which I very carefully formed, I heard back from her a couple of weeks later that she had repented of her sins and made the decision to follow the Lord!
Tehila Gonen’s Blogging Tips
I’d say, firstly, stay true to yourself, your voice, your faith. There are so many out there who may be more flowery and poetic with their writing style, or more upbeat in their tone, or have differing theology to you – but there is only one you! And …
Don’t be afraid to swim upstream, to go against the flow of culture, and to stand up for what you believe, in your own voice!
Secondly, as wonderful as blogging is, there is always more to do on your site, more posts to write, more training webinars to watch, etc. And while this may not be popular advice in the online world, I’d like to encourage you to make your offline life your priority! The calling and responsibilities and “real” life God has given you are to take preference over your “virtual” life on the internet.
Sure, the worldwide web is a great medium where it’s more possible than it ever was in history to minister to countless others across the globe, but your first point of call is to those within your home and to those God has brought into your life and heart, right in front of you.
Last Minute Thoughts On Inspiration and Uplifting
A quote by J.C. Ryle that so well summarizes our existence as new creations:
“To be born again is, as it were, to enter upon a new existence, to have a new mind, a new heart, new views, new principles, new tastes, new affections, new likings, new dislikings, new fears, new joys, new sorrows, new love to things once hated, new hatred to things once loved, new thoughts of God, and ourselves, and the world, and the life to come, and salvation.”
If this describes our experience and our ongoing growth, we are in a good place!
May the God of hope fill you with all
joy and peace in believing,
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit
you may abound in hope.
Social Media Links
Women Abiding blog – www.womenabiding.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/womenabiding
Twitter – www.twitter.com/womenabiding
Pinterest – www.pinterest.com/womenabiding
Your turn: What inspired you most about Tehila Gonen and her blogging story? Have you read her blog and what do you find inspirational about it?
Contributing to many linkup communities listed on my Linkup Parties page,
Be sure to check out my introduction post to see more features of inspirational Christian women bloggers.