Originally published Tuesday, 30 August 2016.
A few months ago, my eyes were opened to the stark reality that I was struggling with an area of my past.
I found myself getting easily offended and constantly upset from discussions with my husband to people that I didn't even know on Facebook.
I would make great assumptions and I began to believe lies of how others were perceiving me.
I finally felt lead to call the spade a spade...
...it was the spirit of rejection.
I began reading Joyce Meyer's book, The Root of Rejection, which I was able to take home a copy while I worked at the ministry, not having any idea how much the topic would affect me later. I then created a group on Facebook called "Rejecting Rejection" to take others through the book as well as offer a safe space for others to share their struggles and stories. A couple months later, I was even asked to discuss this nasty spirit on a Christian radio show with a dear friend of mine as the host.
You would think that after months of searching and meditating on the truth of my acceptance in Christ and uncovering the lies of the enemy's old trickery with the spirit of rejection I wouldn't fall prey any longer.
It continues to be a battle, yet I realize that healing and deliverance from this spirit is a partnership and most definitely, a process. Thankfully, I am not alone in this fight.
One thing for sure is that the Lord fights for me and the Holy Spirit guides me into all truth, illuminating and highlighting lies that I was believing that are rooted in rejection.
Lies that were spoken over me.
Lies that I told myself based on others' actions.
These lies became strongholds in my life created by the spirit of rejection.
The Holy Spirit has been revealing these strongholds and it has been my job to cast them down.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled (2 Corinthians 10:4-6, NKJV).
One way that I have been pulling down these strongholds is acknowledging the lie, repenting for believing the lie, and receiving God's truth and love, not only with my mind, but receiving it fully with my heart.
I had a mighty encounter with God's love a few weeks ago when my husband and I were praying. He whispered in my ear, "Nothing you could ever do would make me stop loving you."
I broke down crying and I know that the lie that I had to hide my bad decisions and sin was broken off of me. My husband's words pierced right through my heart, and I felt God's love envelope me in that moment.
I believed that if I made wrong choices or mistakes that I had to hide them for fear of disappointment from others, including God. The lie I believed was that I would be rejected if my sin or wrong-doing was discovered. Therefore, I chose to either keep silent or tell a lie myself to keep my secret hidden so that I wouldn't be a disappointment.
That lifestyle was keeping me from being fully transparent and honest with my husband and most importantly, with God. I believe this is why 1 John 1 reminds us of the importance of confessing our sin:
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us (1 John 1:8-10, NKJV).
Hiding our sin causes us to hide from God, very similarly to Adam and Eve when the first sin entered the world- they felt shameful and shame made them feel rejected. Because of Jesus and the finished work of the Cross, we are forever made righteous in our position as we stand before the Father and are forever forgiven, yet when we sin, it causes our fellowship with God to be hindered, and then we can very easily stray from Him. God's love toward me never changes when I sin, yet I may still experience consequences and correction for my disobedience. Repentance, as a believer, is for our benefit to keep fellowship with our Father open and unhindered.
Although Paul was the one who spoke those words of love and acceptance over me, I received them as if God Himself said them to me.
And it turns out He did say it to me in His Word through the Apostle Paul:
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8: 38-39, NKJV).
The next lie that the Holy Spirit revealed to me that was keeping me from total freedom from the spirit of rejection was that I was "too much."
There are two instances in my life that are still very vivid in my mind where I was told I was "too much."
You think too much. You talk too much. You are just too much, Emily! I just can't do this anymore.
Both situations were from break-ups from young men who I had given my heart and body to. Because I had tied so much of my self-worth to how others accepted me and loved me, this crushed me completely. This caused me to become a people pleas-er, and I did whatever I needed to do to get people to accept me.
I approached all relationships terrified that I would be told I was "too much." I was always hesitant to fully be myself around others and when I felt like I was being "too much," I would constantly apologize for my "too much"-ness. If I became over-zealous in a new relationship, I just knew they were going to reject me. I struggled with that mindset in my marriage for a long time and God helped me tremendously in that area to let go and be myself around Paul. One of his favorite things about me is that I am passionate.
Oh my, that was a whole different story! If it wasn't because of my fear of being "too much," it was my fear that the relationship would only be temporary because so many of my friends (and even some family members) had moved away and our communication became scarce because of the distance. That fear created a hesitancy to even become vulnerable around others enough to let them in to build a relationship with them. If they were going to leave me anyway what was the point of even trying? I thought constantly.
Needless to say, I have always had difficulty with friendships. That difficulty caused a breeding ground for the spirit of rejection to continue to thrive.
I'm calling out that lie that I am "too much" and casting it down! I refuse to apologize for how God created me. I also refuse to live in fear that all of my friendships will be temporary and trust that God's timing is perfect. He knows who needs to be in my life and for how long. If the relationship is only supposed to be seasonal, then I appreciate the time spent together, memories made, and lessons learned, but I will not become co-dependent upon others to validate me or make me feel accepted or like I belong.
Only Jesus can do that and I should never expect anyone else to fulfill that.
But like I said, healing from rejection is a process. Thankfully, God hasn't given up on me!
He won't give up on you either! If you find yourself struggling with the fear of rejection, do not hesitate to reach out to me. I believe there is power in numbers and that if God has brought us through something, it is now our job to help others with their struggles. Contact me if you would like to be added to my "Rejecting Rejection" Facebook group! You will be in great company!
Check out more of my blogs on www.emilyrosemassey.com! Also, visit my website for more information on how to stay connected with me, as well as info about my book Yielded in His Hands- now available on Amazon.com!