Hi, I'm Melissa, and I have an Acceptance Problem!
UGH!!! This feeling - the air slowly seeping from the room, all inward thoughts, people looking at you through a microscope…when did I get so self-absorbed? Sometimes my skin feels too tight – thin and about to burst. I fear their might have been a misprint, a defect, in the manufacturing of me. It is in these moments, when I reach out with the desperate hope of acceptance, and am reminded of the old ways. The path I used to walk in the darkness somehow seems eerily inviting.
The fear of rejection is palpable to my heart. I am easily bruised, and very good at keeping the grey purple ache hidden. I seek for intimacy before a bridge for its passing has been built. I desperately need to be accepted.
Thank our gracious Lord that I am not who I once was. The things that spill from me are from genuine spaces.
However, there is a wrestling that transpires. Sometimes, in the midst of an unkind glance from male eyes, or wrong words spoken, I retreat into my tortoise shell. I hide, quiver, and beat myself up. I internalize everything. Blame it on my beautiful introverted ways. It is a cycle I can trap myself in.
He is not through with me yet.
I have begun many new journeys. I love my job and the people I get to serve in my place of work. There is warmth in my humble new abode. There is joy in spending time with old friends and making new ones. However, my old ways of coping to be sure I don’t come off too imperfect, have begun to bleed through.
This weekend has been met with the fresh reminders of God’s great goodness for us - His abundant desire to give us the good things. I have drunk deep droughts from this well.
In almost everything that touches our everyday life on earth; God is pleased when we're pleased. He wills that we be as free as birds to soar and sing our maker's praise without anxiety. – AW Tozer
Today began with finishing a delicious book by one of my favorite authors in bed, making cornmeal blueberry pancakes, and heading to, what will hopefully be my new church home.
Gracious Lord have mercy, but Satan knows. He knows our ugliness. He knows where we can be driven mad. It began with worship. I was being selfish. I was worshipping utterly for me, for show.
I stopped. I prayed. I prayed Jesus would take my selfish black heart and change it, usher me into His throne room. He answered. I am still amazed that He answers. Why I am I still astounded by this?
Of course His answering ushered a flood of tears. I desperately tried to control a sob from escaping my lips. Crying in front of others is uncomfortable. There is a vulnerability that can shake me to the core. I don’t like vulnerability without a certain level of control.
The service was exactly what I needed; a cementing of the concrete promise that He is always faithful. I was full and then it turned. I sought acceptance with someone. The response prickled and my fragile thoughts cascaded. This person likely does not even know this transpired.
The breaking of old wounds is often necessary. It allows the infection to seep out. There are times when our hearts need to be lanced. The hurt reminds us there is much work to be done.
The issue was not with this person or the words they used. How I forget and forsake the hurts of others for my selfish gain! I do not know what this beautiful gift of God was facing. And as wave upon wave of insecurity washed over me, not only from that moment, but from the fear of rejection from other areas of my life this week, this month, I was overcome with the clear fact I cannot do this.
The need to be accepted is one of my cornerstone idols. It’s vice grip leads to most of my heart sin.
And no, I cannot do this. The only way I can truly surrender it over, live freely to love freely, is to look to Christ. In allowing Him to love on me I in turn can love on others.
This is where my heart longs to be. This was a big part of the message preached this morning.
As I drove back into Lexington today I prayed, “Lord, please let me know I am worthy of your love!”
It is where my heart will find salve for the wounds inflicted.
Oh Jesus! My beautiful Savior! Please let us know that we are worthy of your love! You want us! Your desire is an intimate relationship with us. Keep our hearts from straying, and when they do remind us of your love even more. Jesus, may we be graced by your abundance. May we live in the presence of your love and glory. May you bestow a passion in our hearts. May our hearts beat only for you. May we always and ever reach out past fear of rejection to lend a hand knowing everyone is welcome at the campfire. Oh Jesus, restore JOY to your people! May we bathe in it. May our hearts turn in grace-filled adoration. Oh Jesus! May you be glorified.
Our Scripture verse this Sunday:
Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ,
To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops[a] and deacons:
2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; 7 just as it is right for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart, inasmuch as both in my chains and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers with me of grace. 8 For God is my witness, how greatly I long for you all with the affection of Jesus Christ.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, 10 that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, 11 being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. – Philippians 1: 1-11