Finished Chapter 6. This Chapter really hit home to me more than the others for 2 reasons:
- It was part of the talk Renee gave at the RefresHER conference; and
- Within 2 pages something jumped out at me and I knew then that THAT is where my hurt and my low self-esteem comes from and what I have felt all my life and fear more than anything
I have had a fear of rejection as long back as I can remember-even now I fight that fear. And that fear has always had control over me and has always determined my moods, my happiness, my self-worth, my value – my everything! It has determined every action I ever had!
Rejection – the act of rejection. Reject: 1A~To refuse to accept, consider, to use. 2~Obsolete, to cast off. 3~Repulse.
To refuse to accept or consider – that pretty much sums it up. I have always felt I wasn’t good enough to be accepted as I was for who I was. I felt this way at 4 years old. To cast off/repulse – yep that’s what I thought would happen if I didn’t live up to other people’s standards.
Rejection ~ As a little girl of 4-6 I felt I was a disappointment because I wasn’t a boy. Even my nickname was a boy name. Growing up my parents NEVER called me by my birth name. I remember being insecure even at the age of 4. I was very shy and clingy. I was afraid of a lot of things. I was afraid of the dark, storms, noises I couldn’t identify. I was afraid of screaming, yelling and crying. I was afraid of making my dad mad or my mom cry. I was afraid I wouldn’t be loved when the new baby came along. I was afraid of being alone.
Rejection: As a girl of 7-10 I felt in order to be liked, loved and accepted I had to do what others expected of me. I wanted to be a girly girl ~ I loved princesses and everything girly girl (the more frilly the better) but my mom as so not a girly girl and neither was my little sister. They liked climbing trees & monkey bars; they liked football & baseball; they didn’t cry when burning themselves getting off the Harley. My sister she no fear of anything and rarely cried. I was afraid of being hurt, afraid of heights, afraid of many things.
My sister made people laugh and was the cute one. I remember when my mom died several people told me “your sister was always the cute and fun one – you were always the pain in the a$$…so dang needy for attention. You wanted attention so much you would throw up.” I couldn’t tell them even then that I didn’t make myself throw up for attention….I threw up b/c I was always so unsure of myself and always wondering when the yelling would start that would lead to lots of yelling, walls being hit and my mom and dad hitting each other.
I wasn’t good at anything: never picked for any teams at school, had no artistic talent – my dad was an exceptional artist. I wasn’t creative – wasn’t even allowed to help with the Christmas tree decorations. I wondered if I would grow up to be pretty like the girls in the “magazines” dad and his friends liked.
Rejection: Pre-teen years. My parents divorced. I was very shy, a misfit when it came to social situations, compared myself to everyone, realized I would never be pretty, was very jealous of my sister who was absolutely beautiful, fashionable and very social. Had two friends but always felt left out but I wanted to be liked and included so I allowed them to treat me horribly. I was desperate to feel wanted, valued, included, important – I did whatever it took. And yet I was always excluded. I turned into a perfectionist – I did whatever I could to feel less invisible.
My mom often told me I was loved – as a matter of fact I was told probably 100 times a day ever since I was little. But I still never felt that unless I was being praised and I found by being the “perfect” one I got praise and in my mind love. It had a huge consequence – my sister and I became rivals and my sister grew to never like me.
Rejection: Motherhood and Adulthood. I have always felt inadequate as a wife and mother. I have always believed my husband deserves a better wife ~ someone better, prettier, talented, socially skilled, someone who wasn’t abused…everything I am not. I never would discipline my kids as much as I should for fear they would grow to hate me. I looked to my possessions, my job, my kids, my husband to determine my value and worth. I formed friendships that weren’t the best for me and made excuses for their treatment of me. I bought lavish gifts for everyone so they would like me. I compared myself to everyone! I sought position and importance. I was tired of being invisible. I wanted to be somebody! and the more I tried the more worthless I felt.
And today? I still feel invisible, not pretty enough, not good enough. I still compare myself to others, I still want to be liked and included. I still let other people’s determine my value. I still want my friends to like me, need me and include me. I still wish I was a better wife and mother. I am still in my mind, a social misfit, I worry about what I say, how I look and needing that pat on the back and yes at times attention.
So how am I any better? I am not – I AM a mess, but today I am God’s beautiful mess. When I think about ME those are my thoughts and don’t get me wrong I have some of them each and everyday but b/c of God’s love, mercy and grace I don’t allow ALL of those to control me each and everyday. And when the majority of them do — then I know as I discovered 2 weekends ago it’s because I have put myself and my wants before God. It’s a reminder to stop and get my priorities in order.
For several weeks now I have felt overwhelmed, resentful, alone, lost and invisible. 2 weeks ago God spoke to my heart loud and clear: I was focusing on ME. I quit looking to Him for my value, my worth, my importance. I was looking at the world for those things and the more I chased after th world’s approval the more distraught and unhappy I became. the weekend of the RefresHER I had a favorite verse come to me in different ways 33 times in 3 days! And some things Renee spoke about were things in my heart that I told no one! And then Leah’s testimony on the conference call spoke to me as if it was God on the phone – just the two of us.
Rejection is a powerful thing and I now have a word for what I have feared all my life. but my story doesn’t end with Rejection. Why? Because I have a more powerful word to replace rejection — my REDEEMER!!! And my Redeemer tells me:
‘I know the plans I have for you’ declares the LORD ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future’ ~ Jeremiah 29:11
8 years ago this was the first verse I ever memorized and it’s one I will turn to all the time. It will replace my current life verse as of today.
Oh, and guess what? I have always been a princess, I have been His Princess!!!!