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If I had to use one word that best described my childhood, which affected my adulthood and has been a raging battle for me all the days of my life, it would be “rejection”. Using this word is not unjustified, for surely I have earned its battle scars.
I learned very early not to cry. Well maybe, in a way. In rage and frustration. Now and then. In a shower. In a closet. But always away from people and their judgment. Their reminders that I am a “big girl” and I simply need to “suck it up and carry on.” Oh, the tears of rage. They don’t heal. They are just a minute pressure valve, while the pressure cooker keeps puffing away. There I was, year after year putting band aids upon band aids, all the while wondering if they would ever find a cure for rejection.
The other night I was attacked by the enemy in a dream. A dream that left me shaken and sick deep down in the reins of my being. I was attacked in a precious, vulnerable area. A place of my only joy. A place of my only sure footing. I awakened with such deep sorrow, that I didn’t ever want to get up. Not depression. Oh trust me. I know about that. I know about manic depression. No. This was crucial to my very foundations. I sought comfort in the Lord and in my husband. Somehow I made it through the day.
The wound that needs to be healed is not a disease of rejection, it is a disease of betrayal. Rejection is a manifestation of betrayal. Not by what we have done, but as the result of betrayal. God never planned for us to be born and filled with rejection; we came into this world without it. Rejection is a noun. That means that sickness was given to us, and only through betrayal, a verb. There is nothing in the flesh which can cure it, only the Lord can.
Step #2. Rejection [noun] – state of being rejected [implanted in us through betrayal].
Step #3. Reject [verb] – refuse to acknowledge; throw away as useless [we must reject the rejection and forgive the betrayal].
Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot. Once that betrayal was in place, Jesus felt and knew rejection. He showed the way for us how to handle the worst rejection we could ever imagine. What did Jesus say to Judas? “Go, do what you have to do.” Judas fled from the room. Jesus, the son of God was not going to move Judas to change his heart or actions. Jesus was not responsible for Judas’ actions, nor impure heart. All Jesus could do was to handle how He received it and how He dealt with it. It was crucial to the salvation of all mankind. He told Judas to leave. Later, in the garden Judas took betrayal so far as to place a kiss on our Lord. Oh the shame of it! Jesus acknowledged that betrayal by asking “Would you betray me with a kiss?” Nowhere does it say in the Bible that Jesus ever spoke to Judas again, nor did Judas return to Jesus to ask forgiveness. Yet Jesus forgave him from the cross.
My dream, as dreadful and painful as it was, allowed the Lord to open the festering wound of rejection deep inside me, and He is letting all that pour out of me. He is cleansing me. He is healing a malignant growth within me, a growth which has hampered me all of my life. I know there are others suffering this way. So here we are my friends. At a crossroads. A place where we can let our Great Surgeon do His work, or continue to suffer. I sit here typing these words, trusting the Lord, and hoping you will be blessed by them.
[PSALM 41:6-13] …and when they come to see me, they utter empty words, while their hearts gather mischief; when they go out they tell it abroad. All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me. They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me, that I will not rise again from where I lie. Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me. But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them [with love and forgiveness]. By this I know that you are pleased with he; because my enemy [who was my beloved] has not triumphed over me. But you have upheld me because of my integrity [in repaying with love and forgiveness], and set me in your presence forever. Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.