I can pinpoint the exact moment I started feeling the arrows attacking my heart telling me I would never be desirable. I was in second grade. A boy told me I was too fat and slow to ever catch him. I had a crush on this boy so the words were especially pointed. A few years later someone told him I liked him and asked him if he liked me back. His response? “Ew, don’t scare me like that.” My persistence continued and I still liked him. Because I was surrounded by my family who loved and protected me, it never sunk in that I was being rejected. When I was in sixth grade, everything changed. I went on a mission trip with my church to Grand Rapids MI. In the car one of the boys made a really hurtful comment about the way I looked. Somewhere along the lines of “dog.” That was the defining moment where I really felt and understood rejection. This was some guy who I didn’t necessarily care about and I realized that maybe everyone saw me like this. I put the pieces together in a destructive way and began a 7 year process of battling an eating and image disorder. The seeds that satan had been planting for years finally took root in my heart. A few years later we moved to Colorado and I met another boy who I trusted completely. Through the next three years he verbally abused me and told me I was worthless in hidden ways. “You’d be attractive if you lost 50 pounds.” “No guy is ever going to like you so stop trying.” “You could only get a date if you put a bag over your face.” Over and over, this person I trusted and believed continued to tell me how utterly worthless I was. At the time I didn’t realize the wound he was creating. I knew it hurt but I had been told for so long that I was worthless that it just seemed like the truth. The summer after my freshman year I came back to Colorado for the summer and I met a boy. A boy that seemed so different from the rest. He opened my door and made me laugh. He called me to hang out. We enjoyed each other. I fell hard. Harder than I had at any other time in my life. He was different. I didn’t tell him how I felt and I tried really hard to just be his friend and not expect anything else. I trusted one person that knew both of us with the knowledge of my feelings for him. When I moved back to Nashville we continued to stay in touch and then one night I texted him something silly and all he texted back was “I know.” I had no idea what he was talking about but had a pit in my stomach. For the next few hours we fought and he told me how disgusted he was when he found out I had feelings for him. This person had told him not only that I liked him, but that I had envisioned this whole life together, which was not true. Of course every girl dreams and hopes and it was natural to put him in that dream but I had never shared that with this person. One of the last things he ever said to me was, “I don’t want you to think that there is ever a chance for us.” His words were carefully aimed arrows. Pointed straight to the wound that had been widening with each person that re-affirmed my worthlessness. I KNEW I was fearfully and wonderfully made. I knew that I was bought with a price and chosen. I KNEW all those things. But when no one in your life combats the lies, the lies eventually become the truth. So I began to believe I was only worthy of rejection. Even worse, I began to expect to be rejected. There were a few more situations that only reaffirmed the belief that I was worthless, but nothing like being told I was and the knowledge that someone was disgusted when they found out I was attracted to them.
He was disgusted.
And told me.
What do you think that does to a wounded heart?
This morning Matt talked about Judas betraying Jesus. We looked at John 13:18-30. The final four words of the passage after the conversation about Judas is “and it was night.” The four chilling words that described one of the darkest moments in the life of Christ. How appropriate is the description “and it was night” for some of our circumstances. Matt asked us to think of someone or a situation where it felt like night. Immediately this boy came to mind. My jaw clenched, my chest tightened and I tried to hold back the tears. The next hour was one of the most revealing and healing hours I have ever spent. I realized the depth of my wound. I realized that the way I reacted to being rejected was to assume the identity that I wasn’t worthy of love. The lies were exposed and the truth revealed.
They were lies.
The words spoken were not from God.
And I could either accept that they were lies or deem them truth and call God a liar.
I wept the entire way home.
I finally understood.
I finally saw.
So now comes the process of realigning my foundation on truth and not lies. It’s going to be a battle I will fight for a long time. And I don’t know that I’ll ever win it, but I’ve learned to not let the lies turn into truth.
The whole reason I wrote this blog is because I want YOU to know that whatever things you are being told that don’t match up with what God says are LIES. Do NOT believe you are worthless. Do NOT believe all you deserve is rejection. No one has any right to make you feel less than what you are. Even though I’ve forgiven these people, it doesn’t erase the damage, and if I saw those people today I would let them know they had no right to treat me the way they did.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 147:3