Do you guys ever read a book or see a movie and have an “ah-ha” moment with yourself? Like a light bulb turns on and suddenly everything makes sense. I had one on those after reading the book ‘Uninvited by Lysa TerKuerst.’ Literally, as I was reading, I was wondering to myself, “umm does she know me on like some ultra-personal level?” This total stranger is speaking right to my soul! I actually really love when that happens, because it usually helps to close a chapter in my past. Something that I had been struggling with and wrestling with for years is finally solved and there can be closure.
What was I struggling with, you may ask?! Rejection. The fear of not being good enough, loved enough, needed enough.
I’m sure we all have a moment in our past where we felt the sting of rejection. I can remember way back in kindergarten on my first day of school, I sat down next to a girl I didn’t know on the circle rug and asked her if we could be best friends. I was a rather blunt child (still am). That little girl looked me right in the eyes and told me no. I was crushed. Luckily I found my best friend later that day and we’re still besties, 20 years later! (Shout out to Haley.)
Later on in life, during my sophomore year of high school, I struggled through another rough rejection when the boy who I foolishly assumed was my forever turned out to be just another boy in my past. (That made it sound like there were a lot of boys in my past. Certainly, not the case. This girl’s got zero game.) Even though I am now married to a wonderful man and we have a great marriage and a beautiful baby girl, I can still remember how painful that rejection felt in the moment. And the scar remains.
Then there was all the times I tried out for teams and didn’t make it. Confession time: I tried out for cheerleading all four years of high school and only made it my senior year. Talk about embarrassing! Each time I heard that no, the once quiet whispers of, ‘you’re not good enough, pretty enough, fun enough,’ grew louder and louder and the knife of rejection dug in just a bit more.
I could go on and on listing different life experiences that left me feeling unloved and unworthy, but I’ll spare you all the gory details.
We’ve all been there.
Some people are just better than others, I suppose, and deal with the pain in healthy mature ways…
I, unfortunately, was not one of those people.
Instead of dealing with my hurt in a healthy way, I turned to boys as a distraction and a quick fix. I craved attention and sought it out from anyone offering. I can recall a time in my life where I was “dating”(ish) numerous guys at one time because I, so desperately, craved the affirmation that I wanted or needed.
I cringe just typing that. How wrong I was.
Not only did I crave attention from boys, but I would seek attention from girls too (in a total non-romantic type of way). It wasn’t words of affirmation, but more their time or popularity I sought after. I envied the girls in the popular crowd and wanted so much to be liked and “chosen” by them, that I would completely change who I was just to fit in. I would talk differently, act differently, dress differently, you name it! I never felt that being just me was good enough. Who would want to hang out with plain old Kaile? (Quite a few people would, I have since learned)
All of high school and most of college was one long emotional roller coaster and I was a broken girl at the end of it. It took a long time for me to figure out who I was and who I belonged to.
Honestly, it took a lot of prayers, a lot of digging in the word, a lot of books like Lysa’s, and a lot of maturing for me to come to the realization that I am a beloved child of God. He has called me by name and he knows everything about me, all my downfalls and shortcomings and still chooses to love me. (Mind = blown). All those years of hurt and rejection and loneliness could have been avoided had I looked to Jesus for fulfillment instead of boyfriends. If only I had called out to him for attention, I wouldn’t of been so broken, for so long. Luckily, Jesus loves to take broken things and make them beautiful again. Can I get an amen?!
In chapter three of Uninvited Lysa calls us to, “live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.”
She also writes, “God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live…loved.” (Uninvited, pg. 30 & 40, 2016).
I’m so thankful for books that open my eyes, reveal things I need to work on, and heal parts of me that have been hidden away for some time.
My prayer is that all of us will be able to live loved today! ?
TerKuerst, Lysa. Uninvited. Nashville: Nelson , 2016. Print.