Sunday, January 22, 2017

Just me and my thoughts...

[Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what's been said to me.]

...Or someone flat-out rejects me, my idea, my invitation, my kids, my project, my whatever, and it messes with me more than it should.

Relationships feel increasingly unsafe. Opportunities feel increasingly risky. And life feels increasingly uncooperative. I carry on, because that's what we girls do. But this nagging sense of rejection, real or simply perceived, is doing more of a number on me than I care to admit. Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what's been said to me.

Rejection isn't just an emotion we feel. It's a message that's sent to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others, and God. We connect an event from today to something harsh someone once said. That person's line becomes a label. The label becomes a lie. And the lie becomes a liability in how we think about ourselves and interact in every future relationship...

Excerpt from 'Uninvited' by Lysa Terkeurst

Ok.  Just keeping it real...
This book, although I didn't realize it, is EXACTLY what I needed to pick up last night.
It's been sitting in a stack since Christmas (my sister gave me a few new good ones) and I keep looking at the pile, hoping I would have time, make time, to start reading them.

So I picked this one up and, seriously, only read that first chapter.
It hit me hard.
This is where I am.
Or rather, where I have been.
Or tend to go at times.

This past June, my husband was let go of his position at our church.  Needless to say, it was a tough time for more than just our family.  After much prayer, we felt this was an end to a season and we knew God was telling us we needed to regroup and find a new place to worship as a family.  That was a hard decision and one we prayed over diligently because this church was more than just church to us, these people, they were our family.

This also came in the midst of what I consider one of the most trying seasons in our marriage; Phil's grandmother had passed away, our oldest daughter was dealing with a bully at school and in counseling for personal issues she was struggling with, health concerns for me, multiple issues with our vehicles, Phil's Dad's cancer aggressively attacking his body, my grandfather passing away, me in the middle of an enormous project at was just one of those seasons you wish you could get out of.  And as quick as possible.

And trying to be the glue that was keeping us all together, I kept pushing on.
I kept trying to be the same Jenny I've always been.
I was determined that God was teaching us something through this season and I was sure that one day we would be able to look back and say, "remember that time when..."

I was reminded with today's message at church that sometimes God doesn't take you out of your trial because He wants you to walk through it.

And...because everything tends to register a song in my mind, I leaned over to my hubby and whispered, "It's like TobyMac's song, Move...Keep Walking..."

well, ummmm, he just shook his head and gave a little smile.
Don't let him fool you though...this is one of the reasons why he loves me.

But for real.  Part of the lyrics to the song are:

I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so 

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet 

Hold on, hold on
Lord ain’t finished yet
Hold on, hold on
He’ll get you through this
Hold on, hold on
These are the promises
I never will forget
I never will forget

I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet..


What I'm trying to get at is this - I kept moving.  We kept moving.
Some days were easier than others.
And to be honest, some days were just plain tough.

You see, we went from being a big part of a church family, to just a faithful few who decided to stand in the gap with us. 
There were times I felt alone.
There were times I felt rejected.
There were times I allowed something that was said to stir up all these things I store in the deep places of my mind that scream to me, "you aren't good enough."

But here's one thing you may not know about me.
I don't allow those thoughts to stay long.
And so I would dive into scripture or devotion and remind myself of who I was and what God has called me to do.

But, then something would happen. 
One thing in particular, I would notice those who I thought were my friends had unfriended me on Facebook.  And I would question what I posted or might have done that would make that happen...because to me, I'm still the same Jenny I've always been.  Do I get on people's nerves because I share about God a lot, quote scriptures, or ask for prayer.  Because that's just me...and I won't change that.  Phil reminded me one night when I was struggling that those who really knew me and knew my heart, would never question it.
But here I was...allowing negative thoughts to take hold and tell me I was just one small person and who am I to make any kind of difference?

I have all these ideas and dreams inside this crazy mind of mine, and I truly do believe we are better together, but how could I make that happen when I couldn't even figure out why someone wouldn't want to be my Facebook Friend anymore.

Real problems, right?
shewww...that's a whole other post.

On the outside, I was doing a pretty good job of keeping it all together.
But, let's be honest, inside, I was falling to pieces, allowing my own self to feel like I had been  rejected.

It was starting to become a cycle in my head and I knew it wasn't going to lead to anything good.

So, what did I do?!?
I started daily focusing on who God says I am to lose sight of what I "thought" other people saw me as.

In the fall, we found ourselves back at the church Phil and I met and it was like coming home.
Our girls are getting plugged in and we are all excited about opportunities we have to get involved on a deeper level.

We ARE better together and we just have to keep surrounding ourselves with the people who will pour water on the fires of our fears and throw gasoline on the passions of our dreams.  We need people who are able to handle us at our worst and then celebrate with us at our best!

All this to say, in order to help someone else along the way, you're going to find yourself in seasons you may just not want to be in.  And, take it from someone who's been there, you HAVE to make it a priority to make sure you are taking care of your self, your mind, first. 

Stay strong and let me remind you as I was reminded this morning, a faith that cannot be tested cannot be trusted.
So when trials come, and I promise you they will, just keep moving...keep walking!  Sometimes you're not going to soar, sometimes you're not going to run, sometimes you're just simply going to walk.

And that's ok.

I pray that when you find yourself simply walking that someone comes alongside you and walks with you.

I pray that you can be that someone that comes alongside and simply walks beside someone in need.

Let's be a team of people who speak life into others.
Let's be a team of people who share hope with others.
Let's be a team of people who show love to others.

Let's be a team of people who never let someone walk away from you feeling rejected.

For the next 2 weeks our church is fasting.
And the intent isn't to loose weight.  In fact, you don't even have to choose food for your fast.
The point is to fast from some "thing" that takes your time and attention and replace that time focusing on God. 
Our family, daughters included, have chosen to fast from our i-pods, i-pads, phones, tablets, social media, etc.  This is something very new to them so instead of not allowing "screen time" at all, we have set back the allotted times even more so.  My hubby and I included.  And most importantly, once we're all home in the evenings, we have a basket that we'll drop them in until that allowed time so we can truly focus on each other and spending time praying for how God can use us, individually and as a family, this year.

My hope is that God will do just that - reveal to me how I can be used for Him.
How I can take what's in this head and heart of mine to continue to reach help make our world a better place.
To stop relying on social media for validation of something I may or may not be doing right and know that if I'm doing what He's called me to do - His approval is all I need. 

Thank you all for being a part of this journey with me.
Thank you for reading my thoughts when they don't always make sense to me.
Thank you for believing with me that we ARE better together!


1 comment:

  1. Jenny, you know that I know your heart. You are my daughter. You, and your two wonderful sisters, are gifts from God to you mom and me. . . .I truly believe that! Mom and I did the best we could in raising you and your sisters and teaching you what we had learned in life. From our perspective, I believe that we did pretty good because all of you have grown into incredible young women who do make a difference in the lives of those who you encounter in your lives. . . . . often times without you even knowing the impact you have on them. And, all of you have a personal relationship with Jesus. As long as you keep your focus on Jesus, all the "noise" and "distractions" in your life will be of no consequence. People who truly know and love you will never forsake you. That does not mean that they will always agree with you or that you will always agree with them. I have true friends whose core spiritual, political, or whatever beliefs, are radically different from mine, but we genuinely love and respect one another. In other words, none of us are threatened by the other. God "wires" us all differently, but he did design us to encourage, help, minister, and love each other. . . . .and He desires that we love unconditionally, like He loves us. It's like mom has said throughout our marriage, "Some people you just have to love from a distance!".