Do you feel like the walls are caving in and God’s just watching your life fall apart? Like, He doesn’t really see you? Do you feel utterly and completely abandoned by God?
The fear of abandonment is what caused my mental/emotional breakdown in 2010. I had experienced the pain of rejection the previous five years and determined that it was the absolute worst, most helpless feeling ever. I decided that I was unlovable, that someone else would always be more interesting, likable, pretty, smart, fun than me. I didn’t value myself – I didn’t think I had worth and so I figured everyone else felt the same or would figure that out eventually.
Rejection makes us feel and do horrible things to ourselves and our relationships.
I believe in Jesus (don’t check out just yet – give me a minute) and so I use some examples for my writing from the Scriptures. I am not asking you to believe any of this, I’m just asking you to stick with me and listen to me read (well, write) this story about Sarah and Hagar.
Sarah was barren and had probably come to terms with the fact that she was. Then God promises children…lots and lots of children. I’m sure Sarah told everyone. And if she didn’t, she kept it to herself but couldn’t wait to get her dignity back. But it didn’t happen right away. In fact it didn’t happen for years. And years. She grew impatient and I believe even more ashamed than she already was. Child-bearing was a woman’s sole purpose – it was her whole identity in those days. And so in her shame and embarrassment, she used Hagar. Sarah told Abraham (her husband) to have sex with Hagar (her slave), because in those days, that child would be considered Sarah’s.
Abraham slept with Hagar and she conceived. As you can imagine, this didn’t go well for Hagar. Sarah, who was already marginalized, defeated, depressed, and discarded by her society, couldn’t handle it. And so she took out her hurt and anger on Hagar by abusing her.
Shame also makes us feel and do horrible things to ourselves and our relationships.
I believe that shame and rejection go hand-in-hand. We cannot allow people to get close to us due to our shame. And so we push people away and reject them. Rejection causes shame, and so on and on the deadly cycle continues.
But here’s where you and I may part ways: I don’t believe that God is ashamed of you and I don’t believe that He has rejected and abandoned you. Yes, he allows bad things to happen, but he does not cause them (as Jennie Lusko reminded me). We live in a broken world. You and I have both heard that “hurt people hurt people”.
Here’s the hope: God promises that he sees, he knows, and he will give us the peace, love, acceptance, forgiveness, and safety that we are looking for if we will just humble ourselves and stop fighting against him.
Hagar ran away from Sarah. She was in the dessert, all alone and hopeless, and that’s when God found her and spoke to her face to face. He promised to protect, love and accept her. And she was never the same.
She answered God by name, praying to the God who spoke to her,“You’re the God who sees me!“Yes! He saw me; and then I saw him!”
My heart is breaking because I know people need to hear this…God sees YOU. And He knows. He knows the pain you are feeling. He sees what’s been done. Stop blaming him for the brokenness he died for. He died on the cross and rose again so that we could have hope and a future knowing that someone will always love and accept us and see our worth. You just need to stop fighting him and let him rescue you.