Rejection. Everyone will experience it. Jesus, even tasted its bitterness.
For me, heart break, hardships or any sort of rejection meant burying it deep and never looking back. Success is forgetting. Dysfunction is something triggering all those yucky feelings and painfully reminding you that you are still as wounded as the day it happened. The moon walk is the only notation in history where back tracking actually looks cool and even that is questionable. There are nasty life changing events in my past that I can, to this day, talk about with relatively zero emotion. Block out, move forward. Repeat. It’s all fun and games until you’re a shut in a year later, with ten cats (or in my case an adorable pup) and absolutely no desire to do anything else but clean out your DVR while eating chocolate chip cookie dough. Rock bottoms for me come often and out of no where. I seem to mass produce ruts that I can’t climb out of. That’s where not dealing with the junk gets you. You know how in middle school, they show you a picture of the ugliest toothless woman and explain that this is how you’ll look if you smoke? Well, hopefully my life will look as scary as that to you. Don’t be like me, or you’ll lose your teeth.
The enemy is ‘not dealing’, so after a couple more rock bottoms I decided to give this whole ‘dealing with junk’ thing a shot. On my path to conquering, some inclines seemed too much to bare at times. It’s like someone rung me out like a towel and drained any ounce of willingness to exist from my miserable heart. All I did was sleep. I broke commitments and avoided friends. I lacked energy and appetite. (I wished the no appetite season lasted long enough to shed annoying lbs.)
I was depressed.
On a side bar, I would like to add salt to the wound by noting the guilt and shame I felt for being a depressed Christian. It was impossible to tell where conviction started and self condemnation began. I remember journaling and crying out to God for forgiveness believing that I shouldn’t feel this way. Those who look to him are radiant (Ps 34:5). Those who seek the Lord lack no good thing (Ps 34:10).
It took me way too long to realize and give the depression I was feeling a name: Bondage. A dreaded heavy thing I carried around my neck keeping me from experiencing any sort of freedom in Christ. I couldn’t feel God’s love. I couldn’t hear His voice. I was convinced He had abandoned ship, realizing that my healing was too great a feat, especially without my willingness to surrender.
Break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, Hosea 10:12. This was, for me, a picture of relief. I didn’t need to get over the hurt today, tomorrow.. there was absolutely no timeline or agenda. But I was called to seek the Lord immediately and often.
My work day can get overwhelming. Most days it would seem my To Do List (via sticky notes) could wrap the world over twice. These are the days I can either cope by playing on facebook while my dreadful deeds add up, or I can take one bite at a time. Payments, check. Invoices, check. Pretty soon, it’s peace-out-sauerkraut time and I accomplished it all with my sanity in tack.
Slow and steady wins the race. Paul talks about racing in the New Testament. I like Paul. I also like David. He wrote the Psalms. I spent months in the Psalms letting King David say everything for me because I was without.
Here are a few truths I wrote down and repeated often until I finally believed them. God gives us relief from our distress (Psalm 4:1) and He, nothing else, fills us with joy (Psalm 16:11). He has promised to turn our puffy eyes into dance parties (Psalm 30:11-12). That same verse says that we will be clothed with joy. And you don’t have to tell this lady twice. I love shopping and I hope my shirts of joy make me look skinny. And even us, tone deaf folk, will feel like doing karaoke in His presence.
It’s important to know that even standing on these truths, doesn’t always stop the bad days from sneaking up on you. They just will hopefully remind you to close your laptop, put down the cookie dough and spend your night allowing the God of the universe to love on you.