“Rejection steals the best of who we are by reinforcing the worst that’s been said to us.” – Lysa TerKeurst
I owe you an apology. For the last month or so I’ve found myself on a hard path that took me on a journey in my faith that I didn’t expect. Where I once worked out of love, I found myself working from a place of pride. I mixed up my calling and God-sized dreams with selfish desires. A little bit of opportunity went to my head and my expectations grew to a place where all I could see where all the things I thought I deserved and none of what God really had planned for me.
And although it had been mentioned that when these opportunities come, the enemy would like nothing more than to rip apart what God had built, I didn’t listen. I thought I would surely be able to see and stop anything coming my way before it was too late. I was wrong.
The enemy of our souls is out to seek and kill and destroy. And he knew exactly what to use, turning beautiful, God-given parts of my personality into traps.
- Progress for pride.
- Encouragement for envy.
- Dreams for doubts.
- Joy for jealousy.
- Community for comparison.
- Longing for loneliness.
So when rejection landed on my doorstep – kindly and without malice – my heart simply wasn’t in a place to handle it graciously. Every negative thing that had ever been said to me, or by me about myself, came washing over me until I couldn’t see anything hopeful. I dug down deep into work and shut myself off from community in the name of “processing” and “healing.” Sometimes even our best intentions, done outside the will of God, are lies.
You all prayed me through my recent trip to California, and I need to tell you that I felt every prayer. I had peace. I was excited! And when I arrived and got to spend time with family, my heart felt settled. The next few days were full of laughter and quiet time spent with God that I rarely make time for at home. There was worship and great food and sunshine and small moments with just a few people at a time – all the things that make my soul feel joy. I came home from that trip feeling like I belonged again. That I had a place, and feeling assured that God wasn’t done with me yet.
Oh friends. He’s not. He has so much more real, true healing to do in me. Because that settled feeling in my soul was a gift – a way to prepare my heart to do some deep, serious work on some long-held habits, patterns, and choices that I’m ready to be done with. So I’m taking the steps He’s guiding me to, but know this.
If, at any point, I have appeared stand-offish, I’m sorry. I could tell you that it’s because I’m an introvert who pretends to be an extrovert until she can’t and then everything shuts down for a bit. I could say it’s because I get overwhelmed easily in crowds, speaking publicly scares me more than I’d ever admit, and sometimes shutting down on the outside looks like a whole lot of prayer on the inside. But that doesn’t make it any less difficult for you to experience that side of me.
If, at any point, I have done exactly what James tells us not to do, running “hot and cold” – I’m sorry. I could tell you it’s because I will always and forever believe God’s truth for YOU, but struggle to believe it’s for myself. I could tell you that I don’t want to overwhelm you, take up too much of your time, bother you, or take up too much space. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t make me any less the reason that James calls it “the hard work of getting along.”
If, at any point, I’ve seemed uninterested, I’m sorry. I could tell you that it’s because I don’t know how to share about myself or my job or my projects. I never want to make anyone feel envious or hurt or not included or think more of me than what’s true, and so I don’t share. And sometimes I work on things I just can’t share about and instead of making a mistake and accidentally sharing, I stay silent. I could tell you that I don’t know that I’ve ever developed the tools to be genuinely happy – for myself or others, without jealousy creeping in – so I smile politely while my brain goes a hundred miles a minute to process. I could tell you that I’m a super private person (funny, for a blogger who loves social media) who never wants to be the center of attention (until she does, and then it’s a mess). But that doesn’t make it any easier for you to want to share with me.
And, if, at any point, I’ve stopped engaging with you on social media, I’m sorry. I could tell you that it’s because I saw how many “likes” and comments your posts got and assumed you’d never notice mine. I could tell you it’s because I was focused on other projects, other commitments, etc. But at the end of the day, I wanted what you had and noticed when my posts weren’t liked by you, so I stopped trying.
If, in the last year, I have caused you hurt or pain or confusion or anything else, I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?
I am, if nothing else, a work in progress. And instead of running away, I’m choosing to take a slow crawl forward to see what true processing and healing looks like. Because I’m tired of giving up, temporary fixes, and all this baggage I’ve been pretending I’m strong enough to carry for far too long. Every bit of hope, encouragement, or truth I’ve shared on these pages or anywhere else – it’s all been for you. And I’ve believed it all for YOU. Now I’m ready to believe it for me.
God is not done with me yet. Today, I will find joy in that.