One thing that He set me free from was rejection. My family and I have recently started attending a new church. I have been overwhelmed with how this church, after only being there for a short time, already feels like home. This church fits our family like a glove.Previously I have always felt like a square peg in a round hole at whatever church I was a part of. But this church has different hole shapes for different people. It is not your cookie cutter kind of church, but one that encourages you to embrace that we are all different, and all have different roles to play in the Body of Christ.
I have made so many new friends and have felt genuine love from so many of them. The people that I have encountered are the real deal. And then it happened. The small voice whispering to me, "Be careful! It will happen again. If you open yourselves up to these people they will reject you. It happens every time." Fear entered my mind. I pushed past it, knowing that I had been set free from rejection.
Then the fear entered my dreams. I dreamed that one of my new friends, in finding that I did something wrong started criticising me. Thankfully it was only a dream. The underlying fear and dream is an indicator that there is still a little bit healing left to go on this rejection wound. For the most past, the wound is healed. But maybe, just maybe it is still tender from the 'stiches' and making new friends has made me feel uncomfortable. I am going to work with a counselor on this. Having come so far on my journey, I want nothing holding me back from being who He designed me to be.
6 months ago, not long after I was set free from rejection, I confided in someone at the church we were attending that I was friends with, that I had suffered rejection before, and if I feel like someone is rejecting me, my instinct is to withdraw from the friendship. My friend reassured me if she saw me withdrawing from the friendship that she would pursue me. Suffice to say, I withdrew from the friendship after a few things that indicated to me that our friendship was conditional, and she never pursued me. I felt hurt that I had been so vulnerable and honest about where I was, and her actions did not match her words.
So that being my experience only 6 months ago, when I felt the feelings of fear of rejection rising up again at my new church, I had to make a choice. I had to choose would I be vulnerable again at the risk of being rejected or would I withdraw again? I chose to take the risk and be vulnerable again. Today I shared with one of my new friends my experience only 6 months ago and in the past with rejection. My new friend looked at me with tears in her eyes and said, "OK then. I won't tell you that I love you with words, I will show you in my actions. I am committed to you." And do you know what? I believe her.
As I was sharing with her, it dawned on me that I had never had a friendship with another woman that was unconditional. With the exception of my sister who over the last few years, I have established a reciprocal unconditional relationship with,I have no other unconditional friendships with women. If I had made the second choice to withdraw and not make myself vulnerable, fear would win. Will my new friends love me unconditionally? Only time will tell. But I believe in my heart they will. The women that I have met and formed friendships with are like no other group of women I have met before. They are all inspiring.caring, genuine and full of grace. They are the real deal. Relationships involve risk, but I believe this time I won't be disappointed.
The Enemy of our hearts loves to divide and conquer woman. If he can do that, he can render their connections useless and destructive. He aims to wound a woman's heart, and for most part succeeds if we let him.Our King however, designed us to connect with each other and knows that when we women do, such relationships are powerful. There is power in the unity of women. When women love and support each other unconditionally, they can achieve so much for His kingdom together. And knowing this, motivates me to keep pursuing friendships with these woman, even at the risk of rejection.
Still taking lessons from the King,