I hope everyone had a very merry Covid Christmas! My crew and I did. It was very relaxing, enjoyable and not so full of here, there, everywhere. Now to ring in 2021 full of prayers, faith, love and hopeful anticipation! All while being in our comfy clothes, safe at home on New Year's Eve!
I am currently reading and preparing to lead a group on Facebook in my Love & JOYnaling group on Lysa Terkuerst's book, Uninvited. I am excited to be leading this study and to fellowship with ladies from across the country that I have connections with through life! What excites me the most is that we are a group of ladies of all different age groups, backgrounds and life stages.
As I am digging into the book and study guide, my eyes, heart and mind are being awakened and opened in so many ways. Some of what I am learning, digging into and being opened up to is scary. I am not going to lie! SCARY!!!! To face, write, admit and discover past hurts, rejections (real and somewhat imagined) is scary down to my core. I am loving the journey thus far.
Rejection is something we all deal with in life, right? I am learning just how rejection, real AND perceived shapes the ways I think about myself, speak to myself and interact or do not interact with others. The heart of the matter that I have learned is that God rejoiced at the very thought of me and continues to rejoice, sing, woo, adore and pursue me. My worth should never be based on what others think or what I think they think of me.
I want to share a few of my own experiences of rejection that I have and continue to face while learning so much about God's love for me and how to have an intimacy-based identity through, with and in HIM!
I used to say about a certain someone who I felt rejection from ALL of my life, literally ALL of my life, was that "It's his loss, not mine!" Even though deep down, I felt so many emotions in a very deep wound that even though I believe and feel is healed at this particular stage of my life, I felt terribly unwanted, unloved, unworthy and like a waste of flesh, air and space, REJECTED! How could anyone else want me if he didn't? What was it about me that he hated so much? Why wasn't I worth as much or mean as much as others? After all, I wanted just as much as anyone to have his love, approval, attention, heartfelt effort. So? Why not me but everyone else? Why was I not worthy of a promise being kept? Why was I not worthy of just a shred of pride? I suppose I was given those things, but only when it was convenient. So? Why was I an inconvenience? Why was I an afterthought? About 5 years into my own parental journey, I began to heal. No, I just chose to be numb, so perhaps healing did not begin until just a few years ago when my relationship with God began to grow and flourish. Numbness is NOT healing...….because there is always the possibility, a strong possibility, that those wounds can be ripped open time after time.
These were my thoughts for so many years of my life with no answer ever received. I wasn't entitled to answers as I was made to feel as no wrong had been done and I was to blame.
I used this rejection in healthy ways in becoming who I am, to a true fault though. My high school sweetheart always said to me, "Shalon, your biggest strength and biggest weakness is your heart!" He was right and that statement has stuck with me. I know exactly what he was talking about now, at 42 years old, with so much life experience having had and still so much to have. I love FIERCELY!!!!! I do! If you are in my "circle" I love you and you are IMPORTANT to me! NO question. I was told in high school that I "cried too much." Looking back and looking at life now, yes I did, yes I do. But, that is not a bad thing, I FEEL! And 1 week before entering high school, my Bonus Dad was tragically killed in an accident. I was 14 years old. I had only had him in my life for 7 years! The most important years were coming, high school years! I perceived his death as rejection from God, that I was not worthy of having him in my life any longer. If I had been a better daughter, kid, fishing partner, something, God would not have taken him away. I didn't know how to deal with that type of life changing loss as a teenager. I only knew that I had to be strong for my Momma. I had to pick myself up, dust myself off and go on! So, I guess in the eyes of a fellow teenage girl who had both parents and a seemingly "perfectly intact" life, I did cry too much when I felt so much emotion not only from having to deal with real life, but also deal with "mean girls" in school who looked down on me because I was from the wrong side of a bridge, loved fiercely, felt deeply and so wanted to fit in somewhere, anywhere!
Rejection is real when you are made fun of for what seems like everything. I was teased for being long-legged, high waisted, ugly feet, not being a size 3, having a single Mom, not having a "Dad," not living in the "right" place, so many things. Rejection not just from "friends," but being treating differently by adults at church, of all places. Not being invited or welcomed to activities of peers that I literally grew up with at church. Being told that I was odd, not to be allowed to date certain people because my parents were divorced, all of these experiences hurt. Being rejected for things I had absolutely nothing to do with, no control over and did not understand, "Why me?"
Not long after my Bonus Dad passed away, I was standing in a hallway at school waiting for my Momma to pick me up. A "friend" was standing there with me. I put friend in quotations because after this particular incident, I never spoke to her again and had zero urge to be in her circle. As my Momma pulled in, "friend" asked if she got a new car. I said, "Yes! She did. We love it!" Her response? "The only way you could have gotten that was with your "Dad's" money. Must be nice to have money from his accident." STUNNED!!!!!!! SPEECHLESS!!!!!! SERIOUSLY???? I know, I know, kids say stupid things, but that HURT! I would have MUCH rather have had him alive than anything else and not to mention, my Momma worked full-time, made a good living and did well supporting us! 4 years of high school, I did not speak to this person again. Just a few years ago, she passed away and I felt her rejection so many years ago all over again. I don't even know why! Because I have carried it around as a broken board supporting myself in ways I never knew before diving into this study.
Rejection stings, cuts deep, burns, leaves gaping wounds and just builds in our hearts and minds. Here is the thing about rejection. It is a weapon! Read that again, It is a WEAPON! I know who uses this weapon, why he does it and can now replace my broken boards that he convinced me I had to keep with strong, sturdy TRUE boards of support, love, adoration, ACCEPTANCE, forgiveness, always wanted, cherished of God and my identity in and through Him!
I would love to have you join me and the amazing group of ladies for this study beginning in January! Feel free to search Love & JOYnaling on Facebook, join the group and dive in with us as we fellowship together, love on each other and learn with one another! You will be welcomed, NO REJECTION!!!!
Daughter, Sister, Wife, Momma, Friend, Warrior Princess, Sold out follower of Christ. There is more to me than meets the eye. A beautifully broken, messy, loving, imperfect woman praying to inspire others to find the JOY in this Joy-ney we call life!