God's unchanging Love

When Rejection Crawls In…

She seemed just an answer to my prayer for a good friend. She showed a lot of care, often asked about my children, always assured me of her prayers, shared her feelings and thoughts, shared her prayers and listened to mine just as a good Christian friend will do, supported me, encouraged me, and even considered me her very close friend but one fine day she just walked away. Even though there wasn’t any kind of dispute between us and things were just going fine, she suddenly stopped the contact. I wrote to her but she didn’t reply. I messaged once again but she didn’t check it till today even when being online. For months I felt miserable and shocked. I couldn’t accept that someone whom I considered one of the nicest people in my life would just leave me without even saying a word or letting me know what my fault was. I felt side-stepped and slowly rejection crawled in.

Why does it hurt so much when people do things which make us feel rejected? Why wouldn’t the hurt go away? It’s because we are hit in an already bruised place. Because the past hurts of rejections are still unhealed. And those wounds will stop us from moving forward with ease. Because rejection isn’t just a one-time feeling, it’s more like constant stabbings on the unhealed wounds from the past…

……And, I still had those bruised places of my past incidents of rejections where I felt “I don’t matter”: When my 8th grade teacher rudely ask me to leave the dance group because I am left-handed and couldn’t do some of the dance moves with perfection; when my 11th grade chemistry teacher threw my practical note book out of the chemistry lab and yelled at me because it had errors in the chemical equation; when the HOD, where I was working as a volunteer in mission work, never appreciated me for my works as she did to other girls in the department because I belonged to a different state; when my father didn’t encourage me when I wanted to join youth ministry to carry on my new found passion to serve God through my life; when a teammate in my outreach team treated me with hatred and spread rumors about me; when during the early years of my marriage, my husband couldn’t understand my heart for the Kingdom work & my calling, it felt a lonely walk ; when my close relative felt embarrassed because of my daughter’s medical condition and often blamed me for her sickness and considered it as a curse from God on my life.

My friend’s unkind action just felt like another stab on those bruises. It felt like a sign that “I am not accepted”. It felt like a secret message that “I really don’t matter”.

For most of the time, I thought the only solution for not feeling rejected by people is to avoid friendships, avoid being very close with people, avoid trying new things and avoid even expressing my feelings and thoughts with others. But by doing so, I would not fix the issue permanently. If I shut myself from others, I might as well miss out on the good friends, good ideas, opportunities and like-minded people who would stand by me and believe in me. Avoidance may seem a protective shield from rejection but it won’t heal the bruised places. There had to be a better way, a permanent fixing, an ample healing and a discovery of a whole new perspective.

Recently, when I was reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book “Uninvited”, I found my answers, I found a better way, I found a healing and a renewed perspective to perceive things through. It felt like God was speaking to my hurting heart and wondering mind to see life through His way.

She writes that, “Rejection isn’t just an emotion we feel. It’s a message that’s sent to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others and God. We connect an event from today to something harsh someone once said or did. That person’s line becomes a label. The label becomes a lie, and the lie becomes a liability in how we think about ourselves and interact every relationship.

The Line – “I don’t want you” becomes the label “you aren’t accepted”.

The Label – “you aren’t accepted” becomes the lie “you aren’t worthy”.

The Lie – “You aren’t worthy” becomes a script of self-rejection and it unleashes doubts, hesitancy and many other liabilities that hinder our present relationship.

Thus, rejection steals the best of who we are by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said or done to us. As a result, relationships feel unsafe, opportunities feel risky and life feels difficult. We carry on but this sense of rejection settles into the core of who we are.

The problem isn’t the people, the problem lies within us as we hold on to things which won’t give us stability. We try to search our approval from the wrong places. We base our acceptance on people’s constantly changing actions, words and applauds for us. It’s okay to need people but some of our biggest disappointments are the result of our expectations we have of others that they can’t even possibly meet.

While we are busy trying to earn love and acceptance from people, we often forget the truth that only God’s love is complete enough to give us stability, and has power to heal our hurts. He waits every day, with every answer we need, every comfort we crave, every affection we are desperate for while we look everywhere but at Him.

We do things keeping God in mind but not really spending time getting refilled by Him and His abundant love. We think we are connecting with Him, but in all honestly, we let the world stir up our deep affection, decide our worth and give us approval.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to GRASP how wide and long and high and deep is the LOVE OF CHRIST, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the FULLNESS OF GOD. Ephesians 3:17 – 19  

At the core of who we are, we crave the acceptance that comes from being loved. To satisfy this longing, we will either be graspers of God’s love or grabbers of people’s love. If we grasp the full love of Christ, we won’t grab at other things to fill us. Fullness comes to us when our hearts are aligned with Him. When we truly abide, delight and dwell in Him, He will satisfy our inmost needs of acceptance. When we let this truth settle deep down in our hearts, we won’t find ourselves pleading others for our acceptance and instead we will start living from the full assurance of His love. We will rip out those hurtful feelings of rejection and replace them with a new solid understanding of our true worth which is found in Him.

“I am loved” will be the very first thought of our everyday life no matter what people say or do to us. With full confidence in His unchanging love, we will invite others in our lives, firmly believe in our dreams, have a poised character and a true sense of our worth. And it’s the place, it’s the right perspective and it’s the profound principle from which we will live our life loved and treasured always “.

I don’t know in what forms rejection has crawled into your heart, but I am sure it did at some point where all you felt was unloved, misunderstood, betrayed, avoided, left alone, unimportant and offended. When you gave your best, the best was never enough for someone, when you put 100 percent into a relationship, all you got back was just 50 percent, when you tried to do something new, you didn’t get the much needed applauds from others , you found that the people you love, are celebrating others but you, when you shared your dreams with people close to you, they failed to understand the depth of it, or maybe when you made all efforts to keep those friendships, still people walked away from you.

How will you respond? Will you let those hurts settle deep in your heart or will you allow God’s truth and His love to get rooted in there?

Remember rejection will only crawl in when we allow it to:).  We have the choice, the power and the truth to let go of the hurts, and let the fullness of God’s love walk into our hearts. Let’s release our grips on the unstable things we were holding on to and let’s return back to His passionate embrace. Let’s be graspers of His love alone and let’s rewrite the script of our life’s story for His glory!

Encouragement

In – Between

It feels like our fast paced life has suddenly come to a halt. Just a month back, every one of us was engaged with our daily life, work, travels, plans and schedules just to find out this month, that nothing seems to be working the way we were anticipating. The rapidly spreading coronavirus has made the whole world get reversed. And for most of us, it’s getting a bit challenging to adopt to this new normal life with all peace and ease. The lock downs, the social distancing and the precautions we need to take to avoid the spread of the virus feel a very hard task and mostly inconvenient with each passing day. All of us long to return to our normal lives as soon as possible.

It’s so much of an unknown season where none of us can predict what the future holds. The news channels and social media are filled with rising numbers of confirmed cases and deaths. There is still no vaccine available for the virus. The poor people of our country are suffering the most. Our kids are trapped between four walls. There are predictions of community spread, more deaths and more chaos we will face due to the effects of this virus in the coming days. It feels so much like we are standing in the in –between. In between the life which was moving smoothly before the pandemic hit and the life which we will have after the pandemic gets under control.

The predictable In –between will feel easy, thrilled and promising when we know with certainty what the future holds, when we know the better outcome that awaits. But how should we respond to the in – between which has got no known outcome, favorable possibilities or a slight glimpse of a healthy environment in future?  How should we live in this season of turmoil where there is a big question mark regarding our health, our finances, the safety of our beloved ones and the well-being of the entire nation? How should we respond in this in –between season of uncertainty?………

Jesus’s disciples felt the same way after Jesus’s death. He was mocked, lashed, ripped of His clothes, crowned of thorns and nailed cruelly on the cross. Their Messiah was taken away from them. The miracle maker Himself was laying behind the closed tomb. The hope giver Himself was dead. There was grief all over Jerusalem because the one who came to save them was crucified. Weeping, uncertainties, disappointments and heartaches could be felt all over the place as Jesus was crucified.

“It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

They were in between the time of Jesus’s death and the day of His resurrection. Life felt measurable. Grief was crushing their heart, distress was filling their minds and no one knew what the future held. No one knew how to respond during this in between season. All they had was His promise of resurrection to cling on until they could see Him face to face.

“When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.  They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” And the disciples were filled with grief”. Matthew 17:22-23 

Still this was a very painful time for most of them as they couldn’t believe that He would be raised to life. They couldn’t see the life beyond His death. As they had no idea how the resurrection would take place. Probably their human minds couldn’t imagine a dead person raising up to life. They probably felt lonely and uncertain in this time of grief as Jesus laid in the tomb.

Yet the promise keeper, the miracle maker, the hope giver, the Savior of the world, rose fulfilling the promise He made with them. He had conquered the darkness of death and risen to life. Their Messiah appeared to them giving them a new hope and a promising future.

“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.” Mark 16:6

For us, Good Friday is just over and we wait for Easter Sunday to be celebrated. In our churches since our childhood, we know that we are to remember Christ’s passion & sacrifice on the day of Good Friday and to celebrate His resurrection on Easter Sunday. But no one tells us what should be done on Saturday – the in between season of grief & joy. No sermon is preached on how to survive the day between death and the resurrection.

The Saturday (the in –between season that we are in today) should be the hope day🙂

……..We hope for a better tomorrow as we know that the ultimate tomorrow, the hope of abundant life, healing and restoration is made possible by Jesus’s sacrifice on the Cross. We believe that God is in control of the world He created. We hope that He has plans for our future and the in –between season will not last forever. We hope that He will never forsake us in the valleys of death. We hope that light will surely shine through darkness. And when our hope is in His promises, His power and His sovereignty, it gives us mental and emotional strength to get through the in –between season amidst all the fears and uncertain situations around us.

So, things are challenging definitely, but let’s savor His hope and cling to His promise of resurrection; resurrection from the uncertainties, from fear, from this hard in –between season and from the deadly virus which is spreading over the world till we get to the other side – to our normal and smooth going life again, continually abiding in His grace…

“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast”. 1 Peter 5:10

” Because He Lives, We can Face Tomorrow”

Blessed Easter!

Stay safe

Special Parenthood

To the Mother Whose Sobs are Unheard..

In the bliss of her motherhood journey which newly had begun, she dreamt the loveliest dreams as she cuddled her baby in her arms. The girl child was the answer to her secret prayers to God. She felt immensely joyful admiring the innocent and cutest look of her baby girl. She dreamt of her tiny feet running on the floor, her curly hair adorned with clips & ribbons, her frilled frock swaying as she would walk, her lovely eyes gazing at her mother and her giggles & laugh echoing around the house as she would play with her brother and father. She imagined her family to be the happiest place in the world maybe, with two kids in her arms with no worry or fear; it seemed nothing but a splendid blessings from above.

The heartaches which were about to come her way were unknown. She was unprepared for the tempest she would face for endless days. She was unaware of the news which would rip her soul apart. She was naïve about the darkest night waiting to haunt her mind with fright. In the blink of an eye, her cutest & blissful moments with her baby were ruthlessly snatched away by the daunting news she never imagined in her wildest dreams to be true. Her once serene life was disturbed with frightening alarm and it seemed like it would never be peaceful again. Her finest dreams were crushed under the fear of this unknown route, leaving her in agony, in sobs, and in the harshest plight of her soul.

In a fraction of second, her life flipped from a beautiful castle to stormed rubble, leaving her with anguish, with a seizing & crying baby in her arms and awful pounding in her heart. It was heart wrenching too for her to carry her baby through the hospital corridors day after day for one or other test or procedure. Painful for her was to see the needle pricks on the little thighs, the merciless insertion of cannulas on the tiny hands and the numerous blood tests that followed every single week, taking every ounce of strength and life from her helpless baby.

How could a mother’s heart feel numb to the endless sufferings of her innocent child? All she wished was to have wings like an angel, to carry her baby away from all the pain and sickness to a quiet place where she would feel comfort, soothe and calm.  

Her days, weeks, months and years were spent caring for her girl. Walking through the furnace of criticism, unacceptance and denial, her days filled with loneliness, silence and withdrawal as her life didn’t match with other mothers. Even if she wished to be one among all, her destiny chose her to stand apart. Her life was given the hardest mission to complete. She was sent on a journey which she never thought she would choose; she reached a destination which she never had expected! Only one choice was left to her: accept the destination with joy or accept it anyway.

There have been many times when she greeted the moon and the sun without a closed eyelid in between, some by hospital beds, some through prayerful tears and some with her seizing and crying baby on her lap. She cried, prayed & shed every bit of a tear she could at God’s feet until she felt solace and calm. Many times she begged God to heal her baby asking Him to alter His plan.

She spent her nights staring in the dark, she sacrificed her wishes, her comfort and the young years of life behind closed doors caring for her child, holding her in her arms, soothing her into a peaceful nap, feeding her, grooming her and talking to her just like a little girl who would play and talk with her doll and wouldn’t care if the doll couldn’t talk… With each passing day, unknowingly though, she fell in love with this gift she received from above and began cherishing it with all that she could. The gift was meant to be a bridge that would connect many aching souls to her own.

Silencing every sob, hiding every sorrow under a smile, ignoring every question, blame & criticism, overlooking every eye that stared, she carried and cared for the baby she had. Neither with the hope to have their sympathy nor with the belief of gaining their approval, she appeared to the world just the way she was, with a determination to love her child and accept the way she was destined to be. At the same time she asked a question to her own soul, “Didn’t God accept me as imperfect as I was?” So I will accept and love my child just the way she was given to me. The world may see only her deformed frame, but I will only look at her beautiful heart.