I’m going to try to get this out fast because I have found that I put off pouring out the things that God puts on my heart because of time constraints. So maybe the message here for me is that brevity and succinctness is something to strive for.
So here’s the deal. What God has been teaching me is something that I just flat out don’t want to talk about, but I don’t seem to remember Him giving me an option when He was talking to me about it. The bottom line is that over the past 24 hours He has been telling me a lot of things about myself that were hard to hear. He explained to me the reasons I didn’t even understand behind a lot of bad decisions of my part. The light at the end of the tunnel on this hard conversation was the promise that for having learned this, I would be freed from some of the twisted motivations in my heart to grasp at something with the intention of increasing my value to myself and to others.
Some say that rejection is one of the most wounding human experiences because it not only is felt so deeply, but also because it is interpreted as a reflection on our most basic worth.
Every person experiences rejection on some level. Small ways. Big ways. and the results and effects on each individual is unique. I think that from an early age i tried to define myself by my achievements and accomplishments because i just wanted to know that people thought that i was something special. What i discovered was that with every accomplishment, there was yet another challenge to tackle and prove myself against. Then I met this thing called “in love”…
Marriage was never something I really thought about or dreamt of. When I fell in love with my husband, I was kind of blind-sided. I completely derailed my career aspirations because I had found someone who had made me his world. No one had ever done that before. I mattered to someone more than any other person. I sought after education and a career because I thought it gave me value, and then i sought after my marriage because it gave me a value that I had never experienced before. I threw myself into it like I had with my education. But all the while God we being dethroned little by little in my life.
The story of rejection that follows left wounds that I am still recovering from. I just didn’t realize exactly what that meant until the other day. The lens of rejection can shadow the way we perceive our whole lives. We can refuse to trust, or love, or receive them. I desperately found myself looking for new fulfillment. I learned all new insecurities.
God is the only source of fulfillment and healing after rejection. He has done so much in my heart and my mind to heal me. Put me back together again. But what I did not realize until the other day was how strongly the undercurrent of the need to be valued still was and how torturous it was to me. I know now that is why this secretarial position has been so hard for me to joyfully engage every day. I want everyone who looked at me like I wasn’t worth much to be wrong. Mostly, I wanted to look at myself and believe my own headlines.
I had to have a good chuckle at my own expense last night when the roommies and I were watching Dowton Abbey. We watched the premier of season 2 (yes, I realize we are a tad behind) and they introduced a character who was a new maid. I think her name was Ethel. Anyway, all she talked about was being and doing something else (like a fabulously glamorous actress) and she bred a lot of resentment from those around her. I said, “hey, it’s me at work!” Even if I don’t say those things out loud, I say them in my heart, and my heart is bent by it. I appreciated the gentle revelation….
I have been left with nothing short of a desperate need for God to be all that I need in this life. I want to type of heart so badly. I have two daughters that I am totally in love with. One day, I am sure they will scream “I hate you” and slam a bedroom door. My value cannot rest on their acceptance of me. I have a broken marriage and a messy clean up. My value cannot be found in either the relationship or in my inability to have a good marriage. I have people who loathe me because of how things went down in the marriage. I cannot find my value in their opinions. I have friends who love and adore me. But even there is not where I go for my identity. Sometimes my boss thinks I am great; sometimes she is pretty clear that I am grating on her nerves. I cannot define myself by how she feels about my job performance in the moment.
I thank God for His greatest gift in my life: Redemptive Grace. I am defined by His work in me because when I became a Christian, He traded my broken identity for His. It’s why we have the tradition of taking on a new name in marriage. I do not have to walk around dragging my mistakes with me in life. It’s why it’s called BAGGAGE. It is cumbersome, and heavy, and not actually a part of who you are. You can drop it at the gate at any time. I am certain that this is why Matthew 11:28-30 is such a well-loved verse. Read it with a freshness that allows the understanding of it to be new and to speak truth over you:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Jesus was the cornerstone who was the rejected in order to give us total acceptance without requiring us to earn it. When we fail to realize and cling to this truth, we enslave ourselves to earning our acceptance from the world. The image in my mind is a homeless person winning the lottery but still insisting on meandering through cars at red lights asking for spare change. Go on a vacation! Get a steak!! You don’t have to hold your hand out to those around you and beg for them to throw pennies into your life. God has millions for you, just waiting for you to come to Him and let Him be the one to tell you who you are. You are beloved. You are His. You are precious. You are acceptable. In Him, you lack nothing. Go live like a child of the King. 🙂