This has been an incredibly busy summer! My husband and I moved into a house (!!!) in July while it was over 100 degrees most days. The house is wonderful / moving in such intense heat was not. But all in all, it was a great summer and I feel very blessed to now be living in a bigger space while paying half as much as we previously were.
I feel like I’ve also learned a lot this summer. Not necessarily book knowledge – more like life experience. Know what I mean? For example, I learned that you don’t always get the apology you need from the person you need it from. Sometimes you just have to heal yourself without the satisfaction that they’re sorry for how they hurt you. I once heard forgiveness explained as something you do for yourself, not the other person, so that you don’t grow angry and bitter with resentment. And…I get that now. It’s true. You have to let things go and forgive people even when they don’t care if they hurt you – because you have to move on.
The other thing I’m in the process of learning is how to “live loved.” Ok, so let me back up a bit: I quit my job at the library halfway through the summer because I was just really struggling with a lot of things, one of them being the fact that I had such sparse hair from pulling so much that I was mortified by having to show up to work every day. (Run-on sentence! Sorry!) So I quit. I just…really needed the time and space to be able to breathe and put myself back together. One thing I knew I was missing down in my soul was being able to attend church (my schedule at the library conflicted with nearly every church service!) It’s not that I just love going to church, it’s just that the world is so evil and full of hate and suffering that I can only handle so much of it before I’m so weary and depressed, and going to church and remembering Who is in control and that I’m not alone – well, it really helps. Being reminded that I serve an Almighty Savior who loves me so much He died for me…it gives me the strength to go back out and face this crappy world again. So when I quit my job I was able to start going back to church regularly, and at that same time, the young women’s class I attend started a new study on a book by Lysa TerKeurst called Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.
Wow. Did this woman speak directly to my heart or what?!?!?! It was as if she had read the pages of my journal and then written this book specifically for me. When she talked about her struggles with the feelings of rejection and how she’d blame herself for being less than good enough, I’d think, “Yeah, that’s my initial reaction, too,” and “Yup, I berate myself like that too, girl.”
There are so many powerful sections in that book – sections that just jumped out at me like, “Hey! Pay attention to this – it applies 100% to you!”
Basically, our value is not dependent on what other people think of us. We are not slaves to our past and the mistakes we’ve made, and we don’t have to keep reliving the rejection we’ve felt by people who have hurt us. We were each fearfully and wonderfully made by God and He loves us so fiercely, He died for us so we could be with Him – so we could have a relationship with Him! If that doesn’t mean we are valuable to Him, I don’t know what does. I mean, how amazing is it that the God of the universe looked at us with such love and compassion that He sacrificed Himself to be able to be with us? That’s insanely amazing!
Anyway, the major phrase TerKeurst repeats throughout her book is to “live loved.” She talks about how we should live our lives every day knowing God loves us and delights in us. We shouldn’t ever question our value because to God, we are priceless. We should never get hung up on feelings of failure, self-doubt, and rejection because the King of the universe adores us!
(My words don’t do the book and Lysa’s insights justice. Buy the book and read it for yourself – I promise you won’t be disappointed.)
I need to live loved. You need to live knowing how loved you are. The love God has for us is not based upon us, instead it is placed upon us. (I definitely stole that line from the book! And I’d give you the page number but my copy of the book is in the other room and I just don’t want to go get it…! I know – super lazy.) Meaning, it doesn’t matter how good we are or how much stuff we do for God, He loves us immeasurably either way. He loves us. He loves me. He loves you. We are cherished by the almighty God – so why should we ever give someone the power to make us feel rejected?
Goodness knows I struggle with this. Probably more than almost anything else. I think back on all the rejection I’ve faced in my life constantly, and with much sadness and regret. (And bitterness and resentment sometimes…) Guys who didn’t want to date me, friends who constantly left me out of the group, jobs I was passed over for, etc. Those rejections hurt deeply and I believed the lie that I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or smart enough. I believed it. But not anymore. It’s time to start believing the truth – that I am loved and cherished by God.
I feel like I’ve just said the same things over and over again in an attempt to drive the point home. But seriously, don’t believe the lies society feeds you – that you’re somehow lacking. You’re not. You’re exactly the way God made you, which is perfect.
It’s going to be a lot of work for me to change my way of thinking and my initial reaction to rejection, but I’m going to keep laying this down at Jesus’ feet over and over until the new perspective sticks. I don’t want to be a slave to the people who hurt me and rejected me in my past any longer! Do you? And maybe if we live like we are loved, we’ll start treating other people with more love as well…and that couldn’t hurt things, could it?