It is a lie that I have believed my whole life. Whispered in my ear from a young age.
A lie that determined my steps and influenced my decisions. An overbearing weight, controlling my thoughts and the person I was to become. One word, diligently spoken by the devil himself… rejection.
For 20 years I have listened, and as each year passed my belief strengthened. By the age of 14, I had no doubts, I was rejected, unworthy, unwanted. The next six years would be controlled by this false view of myself. Until my YWAM Discipleship Training School, where God would completely break me apart.
It would occur at the end of my third week. I stood in front of 16 strangers, no knowledge of what I was about to share. What was in my life that caused me shame? What was keeping me from truly experiencing God as my Heavenly Father? Every defense wall inside of me was up, armed, and ready to fire. A voice inside of me telling me to sit down, hold onto your shame, it is the only ammunition you have. Do not surrender, do not be vulnerable, do not let the defense walls down. If you clear the road to your heart, God’s love will find its way in, and with love comes pain.
I opened my mouth, most likely with the intention to excuse myself from the front and sit down in my designated seat. Instead, I began to tell a story, my story. Each plot twist, scene change, climax, the entire theme was seeping with rejection.
It was my identity, my DNA. Worthless, no good, that’s all there was to me.
My parents divorcing, my mom remarrying and moving across country, my step mom leaving, my step dad’s verbal abuse, my sisters leaving, my dads bipolar and depression, always feeling like the odd one out, the black sheep of the family. The endless taunting and comparison I received from the boys at my school, friendships ending. Every last bit of it all pointed in one direction. It was my identity, my DNA. Worthless, no good, that’s all there was to me. I tried to hide it with many personas, with sarcasm and humor. Nobody else may have been able to catch on, but I believed every word. I hated everything about me. I gave up trying, and I almost gave up living. God, then, grabbed me by the hand and pulled me from a broken state.
Here I was, standing in front of strangers and I still felt that rejection like a gash that just would not heal. I was saved though, pulled out of distruction, I was chosen and died for. How is it that rejection still echoes through every hollow of my body? And thus, the healing began.
My view of God was one that his love would someday end, that He too, would leave.
God had to pull me out of my prideful, self-righteous state in order to show me my prideful, self-condemning state. From week three of my DTS, He diligently began to reveal how this false view of myself effected my walk with him and my effectiveness in ministry. I was fearful, always worried about how others portrayed me, I was not able to step out in boldness and trust in God. I doubted every good thing said about me, I did not believe the words that God spoke to me. My view of God was one that his love would someday end, that He too, would leave. I strived for perfection in my relationship with God, for fear that I would not be good enough and “someday” would come much too soon.
I fought God on every unveil, unwilling to give up my control, unwilling to release these lies to Him. My fear was, if I am not rejection, than who am I? I began to push God out, but He pushed harder. Reluctantly but lovingly, God never walked away. Until week six of my DTS when He broke the door down and ran to me, catching my trembling body in His arms.
He tore me apart, dissecting every lie spoken by Satan, and built me back up again into his adored daughter.
I stopped fighting, I started listening to the words God had to say to me as my Heavenly Father. Words of acceptance, words of affirmation, words of identity. My Lord slowly began to show me who I am, who he created me to be. I am valued, I am precious, I am cherished by Him. He tore me apart, dissecting every lie spoken by Satan, and built me back up again into his adored daughter.
Since being home from my DTS, I have been attacked daily by the devil. Again, with the same old tricks and the same old lies, he tells me I am unvalued, that what I have to say is unimportant, I am the black sheep of the family, I do not fit in, nobody truly loves me, and because of the choices I have made I am too scarred for God’s work. God cannot use me. I will be honest, when Satan began planting these thoughts I nearly believed them. For days, I was discouraged. How I had fallen! All that work that God had done, was now wasting away. But God is stronger than any lie from the serpent.
“Pray, when you feel attacked, pray. Spend time with me. Come sit alone in the quiet with me and I will refuel you, I will recover your strength for this battle.”
One night, after being home for a month, I was bombarded with evil, self-pitying thoughts. My past mistakes filled my mind, my family history replaying. Hopelessness set in. I stood in front of the bathroom mirror, I began to hate the face in the reflection. Worthless. Screw up. Self-hatred spreading. I was believing the lies. I ran to my room, tripping over the piles of clothes and books to reach the other side, and scrambled for my bible. I tore the pages open and read the first thing my eyes landed on. On and on I read for hours, filling my impressible mind with the truth, with life and hope.
I do not share this story to brag, no I share this story to show what God has done for me, how he has fought for me. Rejection was never a part of my DNA. It was never who I was, it was a lie placed in my mind from a young age, continually told. A lie supported by circumstances and experiences. But rejection was not the only word whispered in my ear, no there was one more. In the background of all the other noise, set on repeat, over and over. A word built on truth and grace. Rightly gifted by blood and sacrifice. A word echoing for years and years… redemption.