When Elisabeth Klein was nineteen, she had her first breakup with her first boyfriend. In her article How to Handle Rejection, Klein shares that her boyfriend made some “interesting” arguments for their breakup:
“You’re not old enough for me. (I was one year younger.)
I’m already looking for a wife. (I never claimed I wasn’t willing.)
Maybe once you get your braces off, we could… (Yes, he really, really said that.)
But what it all came down to was this: He found someone else.
Now, the healthier person would finish that sentence like this: He found someone else who was better suited to him.
But what I took it to mean was this: He found someone else who was better than me, in every single way.”
Klein writes that for her whole life she has struggled with feelings of abandonment, rejection, and slavery to lies about her own self-worth. Now healing from a divorce, she hears “the rejection sirens blaring” once again.
“And I have a choice. I have a choice to become aware of the voices I’m hearing. And I have a choice to flesh out lies from the Truth. And I have a choice which words I will take on and live under and carry with me and allow to define me.”
Many of us have scars and wounds from the past that leave us reeling. But will the past haunt us forever? Is it possible to start again with new life and new strength? Crosswalk author Rebecca Barlow Jordan believes that, with God’s help, we can. In Five Ways to Find Healing from Your Past she suggests,
1. See yourself as God sees you
2. Place GRACE beside every destructive thought and negative reminder from the past that threatens you
3. Meditate on the healing truths in God’s Word daily
4. Forgive as Jesus has forgiven you
5. Keep moving forward by anticipating something today and something tomorrow
“Satan loves to remind God’s children of their marriage mess-ups, their parenting blunders, their business failures, and their prideful actions of the past. You can keep trying to pay for those yourself, but the reality is, you can never really undo the past. You can only learn from it, and accept God’s grace to move beyond it. It’s God’s grace that erases our past; and it’s God’s grace that will remake our future (Ephesians 2:5-8; Hebrews 4:16; 2 Corinthians 5:17).
Each time you begin to dwell on your mistakes or sins of the past, visually picture the words GRACE beside those thoughts, pushing the negative ones out. Then whisper a thank you cry to God: ‘Lord, thank you for your grace that brings healing from my past. Thank you for redeeming me, and for seeing me as if I have always obeyed. Thank you that You love me completely and unconditionally.’”
At the end of the day, Elisabeth Klein reminds us that we serve a God who looks at us (even at our worst) and says,
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”
In what areas of your life do you struggle with guilt, loneliness, or rejection? How can you remind others of their intrinsic worth as God’s children?
Debbie Holloway is the Family Life Editor for Crosswalk.com.
Publication date: May 29, 2014