They said he can’t come over because our family isn’t their type of people.
Not their type of people.
I’ve replayed those five words time after time. Suddenly, I wasn’t hearing “Not their type of people.” I was hearing, “You aren’t good enough.“
The sting of those words set in quickly. Almost instantly memories came flooding back.
Maybe it was the time I was told I couldn’t be friends with someone because I was adopted, and that means you “don’t know where she comes from.”
Or maybe it was the time my birth-father said “I won’t be there for Christmas“, and I’ve never heard from him again.
I’ve been on the receiving end of painful words, words that cut to the bone and that pierce your heart and ache deep.
Words that leave you unable to breathe for the pain.
Time after time, words have pierced my heart and I’ve experienced the sting of rejection from them. Those words, safely tucked away, to be pulled out later and replayed. As I grew older and replayed the hurtful words said to me, I began to expect that eventually those closest to me would hurt me. I began reading it into the actions and expressions of others. I told myself I was essentially unlikable and helplessly flawed. Perceived rejections only confirmed that conviction.
Words are powerful.
Words are so powerful that God used them to form the earth and breathe life into humans.
Our words carry immeasurable significance y’all. God tells us in Proverbs 13:3 Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. Our words can do two things: bless others or curse them.
Words can’t be unheard after they’re said. While sometimes people do say hurtful words on purpose, it’s just as likely they aren’t even aware. They don’t even realize your heart has been bruised by their words or actions.
When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don’t get to decide that you didn’t. How true that is. It’s not about our intentions, it’s about the impact of our words and actions on others.
Throughout this process of hurt, rejection, healing and working to overcome the pain from others actions and words there are reminders the Lord has whispered as He brings healing to my wounded heart.
He is faithful.
God will never hurt me or reject me. And God is not rejecting me just because my loved one has. One of Satan’s favorite lies is that because my loved one is rejecting me, so is God. The truth is God loves me no matter how people treat me.
When I am rejected, and hurting, I can assure you my first response isn’t godly. I’m the first to admit I have a hot head and a fat mouth. And I’ll be honest with y’all, my words aren’t always as sweet as a honeycomb. I would spit hurtful, mean words back at them. Words I knew would hurt them as much as they’ve hurt me.
This, my friends, has taken a lot of prayer on my end.
And with gentle prompts from Him, I’ve heard be silent and keep your eyes on Me. My first response was the opposite. My goal was to hurt them just as they hurt me. God is showing me how to let mercy and grace lead the way. Ending the cycle of destruction by pouring out grace to those who have or will hurt me with their words. And responding with grace, kindness and encouragement.
I’m going to be honest, I’m not a good forgiver. If there is one thing I’m good at, it’s holding a grudge. Actually, I might even be considered a professional grudge holder. Forgiveness, no matter who it is directed to, is something that just doesn’t come easily to me. Add in someone rejecting and hurting my children as well and it’s doubly as hard.
How do you forgive the one who caused such pain and created those deep, searing wounds.
What does Jesus say about holding a grudge? He commands us to overlook sins and forgive those who hurt us. He doesn’t ask us to do that, the Lord commands us to do that.
But somewhere buried in our subconscious, we think the rules don’t apply to us. The pain we know doesn’t fit the requirements of forgiveness. We (read this as me) rationalize and justify our pain over and over again, talking ourselves out of forgiving.
And then we become resentful, angry, unforgiving and cold.
I am beginning with one simple statement…this is my opportunity to show them Jesus through me. To be kind and tenderhearted, to offer words that build them up, expecting nothing in return.
This one is hard for me. Whether I want to admit it or not, this girl can be so proud! That certainly isn’t an endearing quality. God’s Word has much to say about pride.
When we love our relationships, we should have no room for pride and arrogance to creep in. Regardless of who is to blame, when we are really serious about reconciling a relationship, we put aside our pride and sometimes that means being the first one to take the step towards restoration.
Forgiveness doesn’t always equal relationship.
Sometimes relationships flat-line and some are just toxic. Or maybe the other person, someone you loved and shared life with, disappears without any explanation. I honestly just don’t know how to take a single step forward in a relationship that has dead-ended. Ones where there is no earthly way of moving forward. Where I just don’t know which way to go.
All I do know is this, we are to love one another.
I have to believe that forgiveness and love doesn’t mean we’re required to have a relationship.
Love doesn’t mean we walk back in. It doesn’t mean we forget. It doesn’t mean it didn’t happen and we aren’t thankful that the journey brought us out.
It means we continue to love, even from a distance. We choose the best for them, for us, for this time. We refuse bitterness. We refuse anger. We refuse to keep allowing our heart to stir. We become aware of our pain and we seek and find healing.
When you don’t know how to move forward, choose love. When there seems to be no earthly way of moving on, choose love.
When we find ourselves in the midst of ripped pages and the reflection of a broken heart, it’s comforting to know He is already there. In all my broken places, God has turned a my mess into a holy offering by pouring Himself right in. He has never left me down. And now those cracks allow Him to pour right out.
I know in the middle of my messy mascara days, He’s busy writing an amazing story.
Beth Moore, in Praying God’s Word, said:
The rejected person who turns entirely to God and His Word can find glorious restoration and acceptance in Christ no matter what happens.
In this world we will no doubt experience hurt and rejection again and again. I will have words said to me again that make me catch my breath. But if we keep our eyes on Him, He will restore our broken hearts and turn our troubles into triumph.
Today I’m celebrating God’s faithfulness in bringing me through every deep hurt in my life and keeping me connected to Him. Oh how He loves me – and you.