Come Out of Hiding

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NKJV).

A few months ago, my eyes were opened to the stark reality that I was struggling with an area of my past…

… the pain of rejection.

This continues to be a battle for me, yet I realize that healing from the pain of rejection 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.

Rejection had overwhelmed so much of me that I wasn’t being fully honest with people in my life. 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 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 confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NKJV).

Hiding our sin causes us to hide from God, similar to Adam and Eve when the first sin entered the world. They felt ashamed, 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. Sin can often cause our hearts to grow callous, and we may not be as sensitive toward the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

The enemy wants you either in pride thinking you are better off doing life your own way or in isolation, bound in a pit of depression, unable to receive love or give out love, feeling like no one loves you or cares about you, especially God. But God’s love is unconditional and perfect, and nothing can stop His pursuit toward you. He wants us to be honest with Him so that we can see real transformation happen in our life, as He conforms us into the image of His Son.

Like I said above, positionally, in Christ, you stand before God forgiven and righteous, but experientially, sanctification is a process because our flesh is weak. Although as born-again believers, we continue to sin against God because we are constantly at war with our flesh in this life, the good news is that we have a great advocate, Jesus Christ, who is forever our righteousness. To be sure, our position in Him as declared righteous before God will never change, yet, we are still called to confess our sin, which purifies our conscious before the Lord.  Is there a particular sin that you have been struggling with? Pause and take some time to write it/them down and repent before the Lord, laying it all down at His feet. 1 John 1:9 says Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Let us come out of hiding and rejoice in the truth that Jesus is forever our righteousness despite our shortcomings!

Tagged : / / / / /

The Father’s Embrace

For the majority of my life, I struggled to feel truly loved by my dad, who was an on-again, off-again recovering alcoholic. Because of that missing piece, I longed to find love and constantly sought out approval and attention from boys, giving myself away piece by piece- first becoming entangled by pornography, then slowly moving toward sexual encounters beginning at the tender age of twelve and going on until I was about 22 years old- a whole decade of my life.

I knew John 3:16 by heart, but I didn’t fully understand it. I couldn’t shake the religious upbringing that taught me only about a vengeful, angry God who would smite me down if I were not perfect. I still felt like I had to work for forgiveness and love. That performance-driven mentality affected all areas of my life. No matter how hard I tried to be perfect, I never felt good enough.

I reached a point where I stopped trying and just lived. In college, I made plans to run away to Los Angeles. I would be an actress and prove to the world my worth, talent, beauty and charm. But, one Sunday morning, only a couple months after I graduated, my eyes were truly opened to my selfish and sinful existence.

I hadn’t been to church in years, but one morning I went with my mom and sister. During the worship service, I began to experience this deep conviction that I was living a reckless and selfish life; I had been running away from God. Immediately, I knew I needed to repent start running toward Him, back into the Father’s arms. In that moment, I realized where I truly belonged. Right there, with hands lifted in worship, and tears streaming down my face, I repented of my pride and rebellion; I told God that I didn’t want to live this life on my own anymore, and that I wanted to surrender to His plan. 

But only a few short months after this change began in my heart, I received some traumatic news- someone murdered my father outside of a strip club. His lifestyle landed him in the wrong crowd, and it tragically cost him his life. Although I lost my earthy father, I discovered a Father’s love that is stronger than anything I’ve ever known.

Since that time in my life, God has completely healed me, transformed me, and shown me His overwhelming love as my Father, who will never leave me. The most powerful revelation I received once I started seeking God as found in the first chapter of the book of John.

“But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be[h] children of God, to those who believe in His name,13 who were born, not of blood,[i] or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man,[j]but of God” (John 1:12-13, HCSB).

What a powerful reminder for us! Jesus died so that we could have unending fellowship with the Father. When you fully embrace Jesus, the Father embraces you. Jesus gave us the privilege of being called God’s child, and He made a way for us to have access to the Father. No what matter what you have done, you can never outrun His love. You are never too far gone for His reach. He will rescue you and use you for His purpose in the earth. Receive Jesus and the work of the cross and learn to stand in the most important position you will ever hold in this life- a child of God!

Father, help me learn to be satisfied with Your love above all else. You are the only One can satisfy my longing to find love and acceptance. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tagged : / / / / /

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

One morning as I was walking our dog, Samson, tears suddenly started flowing, and I just began to talk to God. It did not take very long for me to realize that what I was wrestling with was the all-too-familiar feeling of rejection. 

I did all I knew to do.

I attempted to break the silence that so easily crept into the friendship, and there’s still silence on the other end.

I can’t make anyone want to have me in their life, and not everyone needs to be in mine, I get that. But I’m still fighting off the feelings that the spirit of rejection so gladly ushers into my heart.

It’s in these moments that I cling to those who embrace me, who accept me, and remind myself that I am loved.

First and foremost: Jesus loves me.

My husband loves me.

My children love me.

My family loves me.

And there are friends that surround me that fight for our relationship.

In moments like this, it is so important to run to the Word of God to replace lies with God’s truth. 

Proverbs 18:24 gives us instruction about friendship:

“A man who has friends [a]must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”

Proverbs 18:24, NKJV

Although Proverbs 18:24 doesn’t necessarily say that friend is Jesus, I know that ultimately, He will always be there for me even when everyone else fails me.

Because people will fail us. People will reject us. Even our Christian brothers and sisters- this of which I struggle with understanding the most.

Many people rejected Jesus (and continue to do so), but while He was here on earth, even one of His very own disciples (Judas) rejected Him. And just a couple hours later, another one of His closest disciples (Peter) rejected knowing Him. THREE TIMES.

When we face rejection, we must remember that Jesus had to/has to endure rejection every single day as people turn their back on Him. No matter what, Jesus understands more than anyone what we experience when rejection comes our way. Thank God for Jesus’ forgiveness when we turn our backs on Him; He gives us so many opportunities to repent and make things right in our relationship with Him! Jesus understands and His arms are open wide, ready for us to cry out to Him about our pain of rejection.

If you are dealing with rejection, I want to encourage you that you don’t have to embrace the lies that you are unwanted or unloved. There is a Man who wants to be the closest friend you have ever had in your entire life. Everything could be stripped away from you or everyone in your life may walk away from you, but the Lord’s love for you will always be there.

In Christ, you are made worthy before God and are accepted into His beloved family. The cross is a symbol of God’s great love for you. Jesus died and paid the price for our sin so that we would forever experience a relationship with our Heavenly Father. Without a relationship with Jesus, you’re a sinner in God’s Holy eyes, but embracing Jesus, ushers in the greatest relationship you will ever know from now on into eternity. He wants to walk with you. He won’t reject you and will stick close forever and always. Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus! 

In you are wrestling with the pain of rejection, pray this prayer:

Abba Father,

I’m hurting. I don’t want to hold onto this pain.

I want to heal. I choose to forgive.

I want You to bless those who hurt me, even if they don’t want me in their life anymore.

Your Son was rejected, even by You, for a moment, out of love for me. Thank You, Jesus, for being the friend I need who sticks by me no matter what.

I love You. Thank You for always loving me.

Tagged : / / / / /