“You can’t do that.” ; “She’s incompetent” ; “How did you even get this job?”
“Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.”
― Lysa TerKeurst,
It happens to the best of us – we are often told that we are not good enough – not good enough for a relationship to last, not good enough for a job post, or even good enough to be treated decently as a human being. And while I know of an exceptional few (my niece, Franzea, and younger brother, Carl being two of the most indifferent people I know) who are oozing with confidence and deal with these comments head on, using them as fuel to do better.
Unlike them, however, I have always been thin skinned. I am as emotional as emotional can be and to be told that I am not liked or that I will fail at something are two things that cripple me. Now that I am 28, I can honestly say that half of my life has been lived in the desire to be liked, to be popular, and to be right. It was an extremely naive perspective that led to many disappointments and heartaches.
Up until recently, I have never been placed in an environment where I was told that I couldn’t make it or where I was questioned. But of course, as in anything in God’s kingdom, I was pressed down and shaken together in a way that I have never been before.
From the moment this year began, I have been told numerous times in countless ways that I couldn’t. Switching careers from PR to Accounts showed me that there were still many things that I didn’t know so the pabiba girl that I am, I put up my sleeves and got to work. No matter what was said about me, no matter how many people thought I wasn’t qualified for my post, I kept going to work. And while I still had so many mistakes, God has blessed me with gracious bosses who didn’t finger point, didn’t castrate me for my mistakes, nor punished me for them. Instead, they held my hand, showed me the consequences of mistakes, and taught me how to avoid it in the future.
Truth be told however, I am not the most gracious person when it comes to accepting criticism (especially when it is riddled with malice) but slowly, I am learning. I no longer question the intent of criticism hurled towards me, instead, I learn what I can from it and then move forward.
Most importantly, I use it as a chance to revert back to what God says about me — which is the only opinion that matters.
“I’m not who that guy says I am. I’m not who that girl says I am. I’m not who social media likes and comments say I am. I’m not who the grades, to-do lists, messes, and mess ups say I am. I’m not who the scale says I am or the sum total of what my flaws say I am. I’m going to stop flirting with the unstable things of this world so I can fall completely in love with You. I am loved. I am held. I am Yours. I am forever Yours.” The more intimacy like this that I have with God, the more secure my true identity is.”
― Lysa TerKeurst,
By completing surrendering to the truth of who God says I am, I am completely free of what the world says about me. It’s not easy especially since I have been ingrained by this reality but at the end of the day, when we live out of the truth that it’s only what God says about me is what matters. I may be challenged from all sides, I may be belittled from all sides but if there’s one thing I have learned it’s this: if I choose to give my truth to God and respond to what He thinks of me rather than what the world thinks of me then the rest would be taken care of.
Through the many tears I’ve cried in the past few weeks, God has chosen to mold my heart and to stop seeing myself as a victim by not immediately reversing my circumstances. Instead of changing the circumstances, he chose to change my heart and see that God can work everything around for good.
And as I rested in this truth, I have come to understand that God is sovereign and in His truth, I am free.
“David started this stunning soul declaration with the assurance that with God there is fullness. There is no lack. Nothing can be added or subtracted with human acceptance or rejection. With the fullness of God, we are free to let humans be humans—fickle and fragile and forgetful.”
― Lysa TerKeurst,