The beauty of the mountains brings my heart to life! To unfold last weekend would take days and frankly, I haven’t had much time since I got to bed at midnight Sunday night. The weeks are so full of things we “need”to do, I often forget that I can’t get them done well unless I slow down and talk to Jesus so I can begin to unfold some things I experienced. Last week I shared about the pain of rejection I deal with, it’s true I feel rejected too often. I don’t even think it’s because of other’s rejection toward me, I think it may just be my story and pain from days gone by still haunts me physically and emotionally. What is so interesting about where I am today versus younger years is this, if I give way to the thoughts of the past in the current situation, I do not stay at peace. I am seeking to find peace, love, joy, grace, mercy, goodness, kindness and all the fruits of the Spirit so that I will know Him. There are glimpses of that growth here and there, but wow do I fall out quickly when something painful attaches itself to memories and lays me out on the bathroom floor…again. I don’t know if we ever stop hearing the voices of our past and the enemy when we are in those situations, but I do know the more I hear Jesus, the less I hear them. I want to add that we figured out I was getting rather sick last week, only it was getting worse for months and I tried to ignore it. I am headed to the doctor tomorrow AND I’ve taken a round of antibiotics, some day I will explain what I deal with in my body. That being said, I want to share one highlight that God gave me last week.
I remember a time in my life as a little girl, there was this beautiful little girl in Ft. Gibson Elementary, I always looked at her and thought of how great it would be to be her best friend. I was the chubby, loud-mouthed girl who truly thought she was ugly and she never picked me first, although she did treat me nice unlike the girls around her. I’ve watched her on Facebook over the past few years and it seems that beauty has been abused by men, and possibly women. She was a kind little girl who’s story I don’t know much of, but what I do know gives me compassion for where she is. I don’t know that she has the hope in Christ that I do, but I’ve noticed she says things about her heart toward God. I feel the pain, the rejection women feel when they don’t get picked to matter, they don’t feel accepted. I am sure she has known rejection in this world, but as a little girl, I felt her rejection. I wanted the popular girls to like me and choose me, but it never happened for me. I always felt like an extra, even when they included me. Part of the retreat weekend is spending time with God and letting Him give you a new name in the areas of pain like rejection. This weekend was a confirmation to my heart of that very thing when He gave me a new name:
I love meeting new people and inviting them in, that is one of my favorite things in life. I know God picked all of us, He loves us each has given us gifts and talents He created in us to honor and serve Him with. I have spent way to many years worried about the ones that didn’t pick me that I missed, way to often, the ones that did! Throughout my childhood, I can look back and see a special friend God weaved into my story through each stage of my life and I appreciate and love each one dearly! Why is it, when something happens, do I start looking at the ones that didn’t pick me? Why do I look at them as a loss? Why do I decide it’s me when it may just be God looking out for me or a they were a seasonal friend? Those lies of the enemy are BOLD if you ask me! Rejection is a root that goes deeper than a person I’ve lost in my life for a minute, the pain I feel has to be much deeper. God told me last week, I am His cherished friend. His friend! That is so hard for me to own in this world where I hear the lies the enemy feeds even when hubby tells me I look beautiful, my initial reaction used to say that he was just wanting something. But God (my favorite two words in the Bible), He says I am beautiful and He is looking at the heart, so I’ve begun to accept that hubby is truly saying he sees that too. I am a cherished friend, not only to God, but to Matt too. I am a cherished friend to my children and to many God has weaved into my life in different seasons and I am grateful to have each of them in my life!
God gives us new names to replace the ones the enemy planted in our lives from day one. The Bible says we will be given a new name by God’s own mouth (Isaiah 62:2, NLT) and on these retreats, we are encouraged to listen to what God is calling us in Spirit and in truth. He didn’t create all of us different so that we would work to be more like one another, He did that so we would find our unique gifts we have to offer with Him. Rejection doesn’t look as ugly to me when I realize that the gifting I have may just not work for someone else, and this is okay with me. I am realizing the older I get, the less I have to offer anyone outside of my community but God, there that is again, keeps adding to my number and I will continue to follow and offer. I know He is bringing me life through others, I realized last week that is one thing I see Him doing. I’ve heard from several people that they think of me and pray for me, I never realized how blessed I am to have those that want to intercede for me with Jesus, what a blessing it is! If you are reading this, and you are one of my intercessors, I want to say a giant THANK YOU! I know He works through your prayers and I am humbled by your love for me to offer that in my life! Cherished friend reminded me to look at the truth, God is raising up an army of women to pray. Prayer changes things, listening to the Spirit changes me.
I will do my best to honor God by living up to my new name. I will be a cherished friend to all those God weaves through my life, with His help. I love how new names not only change the past, but as I begin to own it from God, it changes the future as He lives up to it through me. That confirmation has begun to heal some wounds buried deep. I love how Jesus speaks directly to my heart and He always knows what to say. I am excited to unpack some of the other areas where God spoke to my heart last weekend, I pray that you will find some of your own as you begin to truly hear His words to you. God bless!
“Above all else, guard your heart for from it flows everything you do.” Proverbs 4:23