I have been different, harder, less tolerant, loving or kind with everyone. No one has escaped my indifference, my exclusionary tactics. I thought it was me being burned out. It’s something much worse. I had become bitter.
Events of the last few months since my children and I imploded replayed in my mind last night. I berated myself for not choosing better words, for not being adult, for not setting aside the need for respect and just accepting what they wanted to do one more time. Regret reduced me to sobs as I realized how much I didn’t recognize myself, how much I needed them. I had always thought of myself as resilient, able to bounce back. But this time, I didn’t. I ached in ways I didn’t think I could.
Oh yes, I had dealt with the unforgiveness in my heart toward them. Had been pouring my heart out to God to fix me, fix us, make us whole since the day it happened. But…something in me was …hardened. I thought I was ready to take steps toward trying to reconcile or reach out when I had heard Kid #4 attempted suicide, and not one of my children called me to let me know. The hurt rippled through as they yet again chose themselves over me, rejected me. I remembered what I screamed the day I threw their things out – ‘all you do is use me and hurt me! You don’t care about me! You are now dead to me because I am tired of you constantly hurting me!’ Rejection was the very thing I was attempting to be free from then, and now. I felt like I had been betrayed all over again. And for me, that was it. It would have been better had I not known. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I closed off, and decided I would change my phone number. I never wanted to know them again. I hoped they forget me. That’s what I felt.
From that very moment on, I was different and it was evident in just a few days time. Even I could see it: I saw it in the way I responded to my husband, the scowls in my pictures, my total disregard for different things and people in my life. I had made up in my mind that I was no longer going to be hurt. More specifically, I was no longer going to be rejected. Yet, I still kept praying for other people. Still prayed for my family. Still heard God telling me to be still. But my heart had been wounded beyond repair or so I thought.
Last night, after this realization of being bitter, I confessed I wanted to be rid of it. It felt like a shell I was suffocating under. Yet all I could think of was their rejection. I thought of #4 and how he misunderstood me, how I felt my prayers were wasted, wondered why God thought it a good idea for me to be a mother when my first five kids (or at least four of them) disrespected me, constantly chose a jealous and hugely incapable dead man’s words over me. You see, my ex used to tell my children horrible things about me, defame my character-even called me a whore to one of my children. They didn’t know I heard. Most of it wasn’t true, especially the whore thing. He perverted my hard work and love for them, as well as their need for discipline and correction. He turned them against me. Being a parent is hard enough in and of itself, but when the other parent went out of their way to defame you to your children, it was bad. I had stayed too long with him, and the constant berating of me in front of my children is one of the main factors in my leaving him.
Anyway, after all of this crying out to the Lord for the umpteenth time last night, I didn’t think He heard me. I became more and more distraught. I went to bed. My husband being home from his night shift didn’t give me any solace as it usually did. I effectively shut him out and laid down. Once I determined to put the matter out of my mind, it seemed as though all of these horrible thoughts came to my mind ranging from death to leaving to disowning all of my children, writing them a letter to confirm exactly who they thought I was. Then a strange thing happened.
I had a vision. I saw Kid #4 on one side of a door, and I on the other. The door was shut, and we both stared at it, crying, longing for the other. Neither of us reached for the door knob to turn the handle to see if it could be opened. We just stared at the door, hurting and wrapped in rejection, anger and misunderstanding. We missed each other. Then I heard the Lord say “You both think the other hates the other, but it’s a lie. Rejection is lying to you. When Kid #4 tried to take his life, he felt exactly what you are feeling like right now.” I felt the weight lift from me, or rather, I pushed it aside as I reached out to the Lord. Immediately, I began to speak aloud to the atmosphere, to the evil that was trying to overtake me as it had tried to overtake my son. I began to speak out in the authority of Jesus against the evil that was trying to seduce me instead of waiting on what the Lord promised me. I couldn’t even tell you exactly what was being said, but an anger rose in me I hadn’t ever felt before. While my husband was in bed I was praying loudly, making declarations that were biblical, the Lords word coming from the Holy Spirit for certain. While I did this, my husband held my hand in agreement, silently praying along.
And then there was peace.
Rejection tried to kill my son, then me. But God showed me it didn’t have to be that way.
Bitterness comes from unforgiveness, which sprouts from offense. If you recall, I have been told that the Lord would bless my life (not just stuff, but my life, my family, if I would forgive). I’ve been on a quest to forgive, wholly and honestly. Ever since July, there has been an open attack on the people I need to forgive, and those who need to forgive me. And of course an attack on me in the sensitive area of rejection. Despite that, there is one important relationship the Lord has restored. Since I’ve been on this forgiveness journey, I’ve been able to reconnect with my mother, and have a real relationship with her. I praise God for that, because for years, I didn’t have it. It’s better than anything we had before. Just like the word says, the latter will be better than the former. And this is true.
I discovered while on this journey, rejection was the entire reason I was unable to forgive. It was armor to protect me from being hurt. Satan does NOT like us to be free, to find revelation and to use it. I will continue to make the Lord my fortress, my strongtower. He has shown me over and over He is an ever present help in times of trouble, and NEVER will He leave me or forsake me. Even if I lose everyone and everything I own, the Lord will NOT leave me. But I can’t lose because he teaches me to profit. That’s not just money, that’s everything: relationally, emotionally , physically, you name it!
I encourage anyone who is experiencing huge turmoil, and you have doubt, rejection, unrest, hatred, strife or any ungodly thing whispering to you…RUN to Jesus. Seriously. You don’t have to have the right words. All you have to do is call Him, tell Him the best you know how…tell Him what you need and He will deliver. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.