I spent most of my adult life hiding while presenting an image to others of the person I wanted them to see. The woman I hoped to be but quite frankly, didn’t see myself as. If asked, I would’ve readily admitted I had an unhealthy fear of rejection.
I knew I overemphasized other’s opinions, but I didn’t understand why. Therefore, I continually fought surface level battles that led to short-lived behavior modification, frustration, and, often, defeat.
Galatians 1:10 was my go-to verse, one I prayed and meditated on countless times. Written by a first century church planter who routinely faced rejection and persecution, it says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
And every time I read those words, conviction squeezed my heart, followed by a commitment to do better. But a week or maybe a month later, I’d find myself battling the same insecurities.
I felt defeated. Stuck.
I wasn’t. Instead, I was held, searched, and known, deeply and intimately, by the one who not only saw my struggles but also the root cause beneath them (Psalm 139:1-2). Through a series of painful events, He allowed an inner lie to surface so that He could replace it with truth.
I was a new, and hugely insecure leader at the time, interacting with wounded and insecure women while still, largely, dealing with my own hurts and fears. I thought I could power through, but in so doing, was living but a fragment of who Christ created me to be.
God wanted to take me to a place of freedom. Therefore, He allowed me to land smack dab in three consecutive, ugly interactions where I felt misjudged, slandered, and attacked.
In response, I began to pull deeper into myself, feeding negative thinking that had been dormant yet festering deep within my heart. Lies I’d thought I’d overcome, had long since moved past, but which the God who searches and knows me saw as clearly as the tears on my face. And as He watched, He was waiting for the perfect moment to reveal them to me—so that He could initiate healing.
One afternoon, while I was moping around the house, my husband said, “You’re acting like you did something wrong.”
In that moment, something clicked, and a thought followed, Because I think I’m bad.
As God’s gentle Spirit ushered in, I realized my intense reaction—the reason the three rejections had hurt so deeply—came from a belief adopted early in my childhood, one I thought I’d long since dealt with but that had been far too engrained through years of hurt and failure to uproot easily.
Bowing my head, I offered my pain and the falsehoods surrounding it to the God who “searched me and knows me, when I sit and when I rise;” and who “perceives my thoughts” the reason behind every action and emotion “from afar” (Ps. 139:1-2, paraphrased and personalized.)
God knows and loves you just as deeply, and wants to bring you to a place of deeper healing and freedom. When emotions and insecurities arise, instead of fighting them in your own strength, surrender them to Christ. Ask Him to show you their root and to, step by step and prayer by prayer, push out all that is false, ugly, and painful with His love and grace.
Let’s talk about this! When strong emotions arise, how do you normally respond? How might turning to Jesus lead to lasting freedom? In what ways have you experienced this to be true?
Share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments below, and make sure to grab a free copy of Wholly Loved Becoming His Princess Bible study. You can do so HERE. For those who live in the Omaha Metro, join me for live teaching at Christ Community Church, starting March 12th. Register HERE.
And make sure to join me for one of Wholly Loved’s upcoming Fully Alive conferences. Find out more HERE.