Some friends come and go like the seasons. After wrestling with who I was and discovering who I really am, my eyes were also opened to who my real friends are. Then came rejection. Maybe it was a part of God’s plan that I walk through rejection the way I have, so I could see how others feel when we, as Christians, do it to them. I’ve been thinking about who I was when I was ‘accepted’ and it made me realize they never really did accept the real me. They only accepted the me they thought I was. I would imagine once they saw the real me peeking through they figured I was fake and dropped me like a hot potato. Yes, I was fake and I was doing the best I could to survive in their world. I can’t help but to wonder though, if they only accepted me because of who they thought I was, what does that say about them?
I couldn’t keep up with the requirements anymore. The requirements to be accepted were too difficult, because they weren’t who I really was. I didn’t go into that tribe trying to be fake. I was told that is how God wants me to be…to live by those requirements. In my heart I believed I needed to live up to those requirements and so long as I did I found myself fitting in a bit better. Yet, I never felt all the way ‘in’. It became too burdensome to keep running in circles and never arriving. I was never enough. I longed for the liberty of authenticity. Authenticity comes with a price, rejection.
I now realize my identity isn’t in whether or not I’m accepted by people. My identity is not in the rejection. My identity is in Christ. I know others may disagree with what that looks like in my life compared to theirs and isn’t that the problem?
I wasn’t put on this Earth to attempt to live up to the expectations of others in order to fit in. Neither were you.
We already fit in.
Though not in that other realm, that earthly kingdom. No, not there at all.
We are not of this ‘world’.
We are citizens of the Kingdom and that’s where the real me (and you) fits in perfectly.
I’ve noticed something about myself that I still wrestle with. Why does it bother me that I’m rejected by people who don’t like the real me? Is this a self centered mindset? Am I thinking too much of myself in desiring relationships with people? Why would I want to have friendships with people who don’t like me? (pulls hair out)
I feel like I’m torturing myself.
Maybe the greatest act of love I can give them is the freedom to reject me without the guilt of doing so.
A reminder to myself of God’s love and the living words of my King,
“Father, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”
A depth of love so amazing that it frees us to walk away without the guilt. He didn’t force me to love him, he gave me the freedom to choose on my own. He didn’t threaten me into a relationship with him. He gave me a freedom that made me desire him all the more. Then I discovered something so incredible, so unbelievable, it’s mystical. Even though he gave me the freedom to walk away, he never left me.
He didn’t walk away from me.
It’s not that I couldn’t escape his presence, it’s not that I was forced to have him by my side. It’s just that real love says, “I’ll stay with you even if you reject me and I’ll always love you and accept you as you are.” Herein is the truth of why I wrestle as a friend, as a woman who’s been rejected by some… I’m not Jesus.
I can’t be.
- Why do I suffer with this whole in my heart, this longing to be loved?
- Am I not fulfilled with His love for me?
- Can we still feel lonely even though he never leaves us?
Yes, indeed. We have the freedom to feel.
We have the freedom to live.
We have the freedom to be human, just the way they created us.
“Let US make man in OUR image.” ~God
And he saw that we are good.
In all our human frailty, he embraces our feeble frame. He’s with us when we feel sad, lonely, rejected, and even angry. He collects our tears and saves them in a bottle. He forms our experiences into something valuable for a larger purpose. He fashions us for something new, something useful. Off with the old and in with the new. A new fashioned us who always was to begin with, because of Him.
Christ in us, the hope of glory.
If it weren’t for loneliness, rejection, and sadness would we reach out for hope? Would we realize our need for it? Would we enjoy the hope that is given to us?
Hope keeps us going and gives us something to look forward to. Something we can’t see in this tangible realm.
It’s fine for the time being that I’m rejected by them, it won’t always be this way.
There is coming a day when we’ll be reunited at the banquet table, fully reconciled to one another in Christ.
I look forward to that day when we will embrace one another without the prejudices that have kept us apart for so long.