“Consider it sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
-James 1:2-4 (MSG)
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You are mine. When you’re in over your head, I will be there with you. When you’re in the rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re in between a rock and a hard place it won’t be a dead end. Because I am your God, your personal Savior.. . I paid a huge price for you. That’s how much you mean to me, that’s how much I love you. I’d sell the whole world to get you back, trade creation just for you.”
–Isaiah 43:2-4 (MSG)
When I was younger, I hated, absolutely hated being “it” when my six year old friends and I played tag. I also hated being the “fat girl who eats the coconut” whenever we sang Coconut by Smokey Mountain. I ferociously hated not being chosen to be a majorette when I was in fourth grade because I could not twirl my baton correctly (the baton landing on the head majorette-r or whatever you call her didn’t help much either)
As I grew older, rejection came in all shapes, sizes, names, missed job opportunities and even something as traumatizing as being the last girl being asked to dance during the prom.
But nobody talks about rejection.
Everyone wants to feel that they are chosen, that somehow they are special because out of all the “girls in the kingdom, the prince chose her.”
So I did what any normal person would do, I hid my long list of rejections in the back of my closet to be forgotten.
But every once in awhile, its ugly head manifests and for the past two months it has been ferociously hunting me down, reminding me of emotions I’ve felt all these years whenever it came knocking on my door.
This time around, rejection was not just a little monster I could push away, this time around rejection was big monster. It was so big that it threatened to consume.
I have been rejected again and this time around, it wasn’t something that would go away instantly.
I’ve been battling with it for quite a few weeks now and I’d like to think that I was too prideful to let anyone know about it.
I was relentless for weeks, hiding behind the premise that ‘nothing was impossible’ and although I know that that is true, I still believe that nothing is impossible with my God, but I was also living in denial.
I wanted my way (a lesson I never quite learn the first time around so it’s been handed to me over and over again). I wanted this to be “it”. I wanted it so bad I’d cry in the morning because deep down, from the beginning of this illusion, I knew that it wasn’t what God has for me.
But as I’ve said I was “relentless” and foolishly believed that I could “positive think” my way through it.
I’m not saying positive thinking should be the way, but I was a fool thinking that just because I wanted it, it would come to me on a flying carpet.
It didn’t come to me and rejection continued to rub it in my face once again, I wasn’t “good enough”, I wasn’t “pretty enough”, I wasn’t, I wasn’t, I wasn’t.
And the pain was hazardous as well and threatened to shake everything that I’ve been building my life on for the past year. I was afraid to be back to square one; that was an ugly place full of bitterness and hatred, yes I was in pain from this stupid rejection, but I’d rather be there than be full of hate.
I’ve been there, done that but I can’t shake the pain away. Where do I go?
So I stopped. I stopped trying to do it on my own. And I stopped holding back the tears and for the first time in months, I stopped my wishful thinking.
I was afraid to stop believing that something good was going to happen because I was afraid that meant I didn’t have enough faith to hold it together.
But believing for something specific to happen isn’t the same as knowing that whatever happens I will survive because my God is good and even though I’m going through the most painful situation now, I will move forward in faith knowing that all of this will lead to something beautiful, that one day the few months spent in darkness and eventually into the light will lead me to a story of God’s restoration.
I know that I’ve made choices that led me here; I chose to live a lie because I thought I knew what was best for me.
It also had a lot to do with pride. For once I wanted to be the chosen one. I wanted to be the fairest one of all.
I failed to remember that God already chose me, that God already loves me. I was unknowingly looking on to someone else to fulfil me in ways that only God can. I forgot that the Most High God already loves me for who I am and I didn’t need anyone else’s validation to make me feel loved.
It was a dark, dark place and it’s just now, as I write this that I realize that no matter how much tears I cry, God will not give me something that would only make me momentarily happy and that would not develop my character in any way.
Now that the blinders are off (Praise God!), I have come to realize that if he gave me that relationship; the world would have gotten its way inside of me again.
I would have been lost in the make believe world of feeling good just because I was with someone important. I would be a walking time bomb once again.
And that was a person I didn’t want to be again.
It hurt. It still does in a way. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything because I know God has something better and something better doesn’t necessarily mean a person stepping in, but rather something better means being completely secured in who He is and who he made me to be.
He wants my faith unshakable and I’ve come to realize that without going through the ugly terrain, I wouldn’t be unshakable, I’d just be walking around, pretending to have unshakable faith but in reality I was simply a walking house of cards.
God is good.
He will always be good and the great thing is, He will always love me. Whatever my circumstance is, it does not change how good and how beautiful He is. He will never leave me, no matter how stubborn I get and He will work with me, through the messy and unstable parts of me to make me whole.
He is patient. He doesn’t hold my mistakes, my anger or my bitterness against me, He just wants it out of my system so He can create something beautiful.
The pruning process is never without pain, tears or momentary insanity. It takes time, but it’s okay, in areas where I can no longer move forward, He will carry me until I am well- enough to walk again.
I know in God’s book, I’ve already won. We’ve already won. So let’s not give up, we are on our way to victory.