This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s Uninvited Book Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, click here.
Its like a hang nail. It hurts desperately. You can’t leave it alone so you poke, prod, and pull on it. But it gets worse. You finally distract yourself from the pain, but the slightest bump of your finger and it all comes back in an instant! You know you need to take care of it, but instead you just pick and pull. And you repeat this process again and again until you break down, sometimes in tears, and go grab the clippers. When its clipped off you still feel the hurt, but eventually it heals.
Rejection tends to linger in our souls. We know its a part of life so when we face it we file it in the mental cabinet under as “Experience.” Until we trip again and the file flies open to expose how much we didn’t deal with it the first time around. I recently went through a time where every rejection I thought I handled came bursting out like water in a water balloon fight. I stood there, drenched in defeat and dripping with hurt. Too shocked to move, I simply stood still and prayed for God to come and show me how to deal with this situation and all the things I carried from the past.
A flood of sound bytes circled in my head. A coach yelling across the field, “you’re too fat.” A college professor scolding, “you’ll never amount to anything.” An old friend saying, “you’ll never find someone to love you with all your issues.” The tension of my body stiffened as I remembered the times I was shoved in a locker in middle school and physically hurt at the hands of a high school coach. These clips of the past swirl together with a set of words spoken by a trusted man in my life: “You should never have been in that ministry.”
I shed tears of grief for days. I had given nearly five years to ‘that ministry.’ I loved every moment and I pursued steps to make it my career. And just like that- it was gone. “You should never have been in that ministry,” carried with it, “you mean nothing. You’re worthless. You’ll never amount to anything. You’re not enough.” I took everything that had been said to me in times of rejection and felt it come true with his words. And I let it weigh me down. I couldn’t function for weeks… even months. I let all the hurtful times of rejection keep me from being me.
I let his words envelope all the rejections of the past, and I let it keep me from moving forward. Lysa TerKeurst’s new book, Uninvited, put it this way: “Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.” For a long time the best of who I am, who God made me to be, has been hammered to the floor of the past because of what was said to me.
As I began to process all the weight those words carried it became clear I have some things in the past I need to face. And so I began this long journey to ease past rejections and heal open wounds.
I wish I could tell you I let it all go. The truth is it got worse before it got better. I had to walk some dark paths and deal with deep pain. I had to walk away from a group of people I loved dearly. I struggled to see what God was doing with me. Yet I walked on praying for God to show up, and believing He would.
And he did. He still does.
As for those words that started this journey? Yeah, they still hurt. A lot. But through prayer I am beginning to think those words weren’t meant to be harsh. Perhaps they were said out of love and care in hopes of sending me in a new direction of ministry. Maybe one day I’ll have to courage to ask him.
Until then, I’m digging deep into Uninvited. Its just what I need to boost this healing process.
Even when you’re overlooked by others, you are handpicked by God. In her new book, Uninvited, New York Times bestselling author Lysa TerKeurst will help you live like you really believe that truth! You can get your copy by going to www.uninvitedbook.com.