Rejected. Worthless. Empty. Less Than.
These are a few of the words and titles that girls often feel creeping into their minds and hearts, including me. They are the living works of the enemy trying to break you down and injure you just enough to have you taken out of the game of making God known. Because if the devil can make us believe the lies that we’re worthless or less than someone else, how can we actively be pursuing the Lord and His unique plan for each of us? The enemy knows how to manipulate us using these lies because he knows our deepest cravings. How desperately we crave to be known, loved, valued, accepted, and desired. Every single one of us crave things that only the Lord can supply. However, we turn to other things to try and satisfy these desires. We turn to relationships, titles, positions, praise, anything that can temporarily cover the surface of this gaping hole we feel. And as we are desperately clutching for anything to make us feel known and loved, the Lord stands patient, waiting. He offers the things that can not be satisfied by anything else, and He offers them in abundance, completely free of charge. Living in the fullness of God’s love and acceptance is the only way to combat the need to receive this fullness from worldly things.
So here I am. As I am reflecting on the numerous ways the world can make me feel rejected, I realize these three very important truths.
I am fully known and unconditionally loved. I am chosen. I am set free.
I AM FULLY KNOWN, UNCONDITIONALLY LOVED
For my entire life I chased after an idea of perfection. Now that that journey has come to a screeching stop due to flat tires caused by nails of rejection and an empty fuel tank of weariness from the never ending chase, I’ve realized that perfection is an impossible goal that isn’t even satisfying. What I wanted through perfection was to be known. I wanted people to know who I was. I wanted people to know that I was a good person and be validated for my work. I wanted my positions, titles, and reputation to scream to others that I was just as good as them. So what happened when I suddenly had no titles, a free schedule, and nothing to validate that I was a “good person?” What I was left with was a heart that was desperate to be known fully and loved unconditionally. In an attempt to fill this need, I turned to applications, clubs, anything and everything I thought could possibly make me feel like I was successful. Throughout each feeble attempt, the good Lord gently led me back to Him with each “rejection.” With each position that I “wasn’t good enough to get,” I began to believe that I wasn’t as good as those with positions. As those who were seemingly excelling at life. But in that quiet, broken moment of confusion, I realized that my need to be on top was so that other people would know that I was pursuing God “good enough.” My feelings of rejection and feeling less than were the outcome of a need to be known and loved for who I am. If only I had realized that I, as well as all of you, are already completely, fully, and unconditionally known and loved.
“I know my sheep and my sheep know me- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father” – John 10:11
How crazy to think that Jesus knows us as deeply as God knows Him (and keep in mind, they are one)! We are already known on the deepest level possible by the Creator of the universe. He is the one who made you from nothing. He came up with every detail of you. And better yet, He loves you unconditionally. Our need to feel known my someone has already been met in the most intimate way. All we have to do is truly believe that God fully knows us, and His love for each of us individually is never changing. What a joyous and fulfilling thing it is to say goodbye to all of the grasping for affirmation searching for someone to know and love us. His love for us is incomparable as is His knowledge of the depths of our hearts and beings.
I AM CHOSEN
My goal the past 19 years has been to ultimately be the best at everything. Now don’t get me wrong, I knew I could never be the best at sports or running. God simply just did not bless me with an athletic ability. However, it still bothered me when I wasn’t at least as good at things as other people. What was worse was that I non-stopped compared myself to everyone around me. I don’t know about you, but comparing myself to billions of other people can sure make me feel worthless, insecure, and rejected. If I was to simply love myself then I would never feel the need to be insecure because I wasn’t as good as the girl running in the gym next to me. If I really believed that God treasured me and loved me then I wouldn’t be comparing my faith with the girls in my small group. Instead, I had the thoughts that God loved me and created me to be His workmanship floating through my brain, but instead of dwelling on those truths, I listened to the lies telling me how much better others were. You see, the Bible states that the enemy only comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and comparison is a pro at all of these things.
Comparing ourselves to others steals the confidence and joy we have in using the unique personalities, gifts, and hearts that the Lord gave us. Instead of loving ourselves, we are wishing we could be more like someone else. We put all of our focus on the things we don’t have and fall into the trap of believing that we’re not good enough. This misconception kills any security we have. It causes us to be insecure and doubt anything positive someone says about us. Comparison destroys our hearts by causing us to think that the core of who we are isn’t good enough. What I too often fail to realize is that God chose me before anything was created. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ” – Ephesians 1: 4-5. Why in the world would I compare myself to someone and think I am not as good as them when God has already chosen me to be His child? God chooses us daily, but too often we turn away His acceptance and offer to spend our time wishing we had what others were given. You don’t have to worry about being chosen by others. You were chosen by God. Now does not getting that scholarship, position, compliment, or date really outweigh being chosen for who you are by Him? Love yourself and live in the unfathomable love He is waiting to overwhelm you with.
I AM SET FREE
Okay, so say that I know that I am fully loved and known by God, and I believe being chosen by God is enough. How does that help me fight the feelings of comparison and the need to be loved? When I truly believe that God is enough and I decide daily to live in the Truth that I am perfectly loved, known, and treasured by Him, I am set free of the chains of rejection and comparison. I no longer have to search for other things to fulfill me and make me feel like I am worth something. I no longer have to compare my accomplishments to others to decide that I’m a good person. I no longer have to feel trapped by anxiety or stress. I no longer have to feel empty from this world because I am overwhelmed by the fact that God made me, loves me, and desires a relationship with me. I can be okay in knowing that my walk with Him will look different than other people’s. The missions He gives me may not be seem as “big” to me, but they are no less important than everyone else’s. God wants us to feel His love daily. However, if we are too busy looking to other things we’ll miss Him completely. We are set free of the traps and deceit of the enemy.The good Lord offers us freedom that we can’t receive anywhere else. What a hopeful solution to a spiral of hopelessness.
When the world leaves you on empty and your heart is aching to be loved, where will you turn? Will we frantically search for affirmation that won’t last or will we realize that that desperation is a cry for something more? When we’re too busy focusing on the number of miles ran, the number of pimples, the number of compliments, the number of “likes,” the number of rejections, or the number of times our name is on people’s lips, we’re too busy to remember the only thing that matters. There was one time when God chose you. There was one time when He sent his only Son to die so that He may have a relationship with you. Let that be enough. Because when you’re bought by the love of God, the creator of the stars, the Alpha and Omega, how much more valuable could you get? You are fully known, unconditionally loved, already chosen, and set free without doing or accomplishing anything. You will believe that you are enough when you let God be enough for you. And let me tell you, He is definitely more than enough.