At the beginning of the year, instead of a to-do list I made a NOT-to-do list. One of the most significant items on this list was to *not* with hold love. I thought I was pretty good at this already. We all like to think we are generous, loving people. Right?
Then things began to change. I can't say exactly when it was. My heart began to feel rejected and abandoned. This led to a survival mentality, wanting to avoid that pain of rejection, I withheld my love. I didn't even realize it. I wanted to reach out in love, but at the same time, the FEAR of being rejected over ruled my heart. It makes complete logical sense. Even children know not to play with fire once they've felt the burning sting of a flame.
The rejection went beyond a simple feeling to a fact. I was and AM rejected....along with abandoned. I thought I was past my 'abandonment' issues. Such a cliche' right? As the rejection became more real and solid in my life, my mind went right back to the times I had been abandoned. Moments I thought I had dealt with and moved past. The pain from those memories over rode any love I had been given along the way. Over road any acceptance. I was surprised that my mind went back to those places because I thought I was 'over' it, healed.
I thought I had hit rock bottom in my pit of rejection. Then there was another instance. I recognized clearly that I was making a conscious choice to with hold love in moments I felt God telling me to act out on that love & I didn't. No way. I was NOT going to put myself out there, for FEAR of rejection.
The fear was still alive and well, brewing in my heart and deep within my soul.
Then something happened. I was brought to a place of complete and hopeless despair. The rejection broke through to my soul. It tore it apart. My soul and my heart, shattered into a million tiny pieces. My hope was destroyed. For the first time in my life, I actually felt and admitted I was completely devastated. I had never used that term in my life before. I was determined NOT to be broken. Sure, I might be cracked, scarred and hurt, but definitely not broken.
I said it aloud. I admitted it. Devastation. Brokenness. Rejected to my core. The sobs wrenched my gut so deep--I thought I would vomit my soul. I couldn't imagine a human body being capable of producing any more tears than I sobbed that night. I couldn't deny my sorrow anymore.
I was spent.
I had nothing to hold on to.
Like a zombie, I was the living dead.
I fell asleep and didn't dream.
I awoke the next morning, remembering all that had transpired. I was numb. Robotically I got up, got dressed, put on my make-up and drove to church. I would pray and worship out of obedience but nothing more. I took my broken pieces, my broken heart and gave it all away. I was empty and finally, truly, had nothing to offer but the shell of myself.
There was something different. I wasn't sure what it was exactly until I faced the source of my rejection and realized I felt nothing...but love.
No anger. No malice or even pain. Only love. Love with out fear.
I knew that I couldn't BE any more rejected. There was no more reason to hold back. The fear was exhausted.
The fear had been holding a space in my heart, crowding out the true unconditional love.
That space was empty and there was more room for love. More room for forgiveness. More room for peace. More room to understand Christ's motives. He knew he was going to be rejected. That rejection killed him.
I thought it killed me too. I certainly felt dead.
Then I woke up. Christ woke up.