Hello everyone! I have no other way to describe what God is doing in my life than the title I picked for this blog. He is truly unpacking the deep layers of my heart. I am seeing my life and decisions as I never have before! I want to talk about two things today, rejection, which I covered some in one of my blogs last week, and my tendency to hide or withdraw. Both of these heart issues are detrimental to future relationships of any kind and they can kill the ones you have now. I hope my words will be both comforting and help you to know that you are not alone, no matter where you are or what you are dealing with right now.
Rejection is one of the hardest things to endure in this life. Rejection can affect us as children and as adults, don’t fool yourself. Rejection has affected me in ways I was not even aware of until now. As a young girl, I had a great family and loving friends, yet guys really didn’t pay attention to me. I was more mature then most of them and I enjoyed intellectual conversation over sports and other silly things. I had no idea I had done this at such a young age but I had internalized their rejection without any awareness. A seed was planted and it began to grow deep within my heart. I have looked over some of my dating decisions and realize now why I chose those men – it wasn’t the men, it was my own issues drawing me to those men. Did those men have their own issues? Yes they did, however, they were not responsible for my heart issues. I’m going to be very transparent. One of the men I dated in my 20s I dated simply because for the first time, I was getting some positive attention. Yet, it would not be positive for long because of his own internal demons. This man would end up addicted to pornography, semi-abusive, and be far from a man I needed or wanted. I would later meet my husband, a charming man yet little did I know what waited for me on the other side of marriage. Once again, I was getting some positive attention and ignoring the warning signs of abuse and severe mental illness. After his death, I would date two other men who were not right for me either nor did they share many of my beliefs that mattered – but again, the attention felt good and I was hurting in other ways I did not know at the time. The attention feels good doesn’t it ladies? Even if it’s attention from the wrong man. I have taken a year off from dating, a year this Thanksgiving weekend, to get to the place I am now and to understand what was going on in my heart. I am so glad I have taken this year off – God has been faithful to unpack and clean out the rejection, among other things, that had burrowed themselves deep within my heart. I can’t choose a good man and a man on the same page as I am with a heart damaged by rejection. Ladies, it’s just not possible. Gentlemen, the same applies to you where women are concerned. If you know you are hurting from rejection, please let Jesus deal with it and be by yourself until He has - save yourself the pain and the hurt I experienced. Now I know I can choose a good man – I am not coming with a heart still hurting from rejection. Healthy hearts attract healthy hearts just as unhealthy hearts attract unhealthy hearts. Now, let’s turn to hiding and withdrawing – one of the other things Jesus has unpacked for me. I have learned that I began to hide or withdraw after dealing with an emotionally abusive spouse. It was easier to hide or withdraw in my marriage. I could escape his wrath and his berating. Hiding and withdrawing were my survival strategies. I have also learned in the last few weeks that I have used those strategies even when no longer faced with an abusive marriage. I have been using them when I’m angry or hurt. I just hide and withdraw so I don’t have to deal with the person or even the feelings. Jesus has shown me I am using a long-expired survival method that is detrimental to any future healthy relationship or any I have now. Hiding and withdrawing will not help solve a problem. They will not help with communication. In fact, they will cut communication off. Hiding and withdrawing are based in fear – fear I did not even realize I was still clinging to. They are also based in rejection – feelings of rejection that until now, I did not even know I had. Abuse and its aftermath leave you afraid and rejected in a unique way. It also leaves you angry at yourself. I understand this now. I also understand now that to be able to be in a healthy relationship, I have got to quit hiding or withdrawing at any sign of trouble or difference of opinion. Trouble will come but Jesus is greater! A man who loves me will not punish me or be angry with me for a difference of opinion as I have experienced before. I do not need to fear him. I will not be rejected by him. I do not need anger. I will not hide and withdraw anymore. I have decided that in all of my relationships, I will no longer hide or withdraw when there is a disagreement or trouble – you see this tendency was even finding its way into friendships and relationship with family. It is the easy way out but it will not take your pain away. I will bring my hurt to the light of Jesus’ love. When I am in a healthy relationship with a man, I will bring my hurt to the man who loves me because I won’t have to hide or be afraid anymore. I will bring my hurt to friends and family who have always loved me because I don’t have to hide or be afraid of them anymore either.
Is this making sense to you today? Do you see how it all ties together?
Ladies and gentlemen, I implore you to search your hearts! The heart is the wellspring of life and what is deep in your heart manifests in your life! Guard your heart and be aware of what you are feeling – it can mean the difference between life and death and good and evil. (Proverbs 4:23). What is in our hearts comes out of our mouth and shows itself in our decisions and in our reactions to others. Above all else, guard you heart and bring your hurt to the King! He heals all who are hurting and in Him you will find rest and grace as I have during this time. In place of pain, He will fill your heart with overflowing love. He is waiting. Come. In His love, Elizabeth