Unlike most of my posts on this blog, I wrote this one and then saved it. I often do this, write something and realize it was really just for me. But today, I came to write on this same topic of “Rejection” and realized we’ve got a theme here…so below are some thoughts from March:
A few weeks ago, I had a memorable experience with a bunch of teenagers. We’d been doing church in the food court that day, and at the end of our time, we’re in the habit of praying to see if there is anyone there that we should share the gospel with, or pray with. That day I’d seen this bunch of teenagers out of the corner of my eye and I knew almost immediately two very different things: I was supposed to go share with them, and that they were NOT going to like it.
Sure enough, Brett confirmed that he’d been feeling the same way. And so off I went with as much optimism as I could muster, but almost IMMEDIATELY these kids started making fun of me, badgering me with condescension even before I could open my mouth. Let’s just say that after about 10 minutes I returned to my family, my stomach in knots, my hands shaking. It wasn’t pretty.
I mostly felt saddened by the experience. I’ve actually never shared the Good News with someone with such a response before. I’ve had plenty of no thank yous and plenty of I’m not interested or I’m too busy. But I’d never been mocked before. I was reminded of what I’ve often thought, that this coming generation is something special. Something extra hard, and those of us raising kids in the midst of it will have to focus all the harder on raising up men and women of God who will stand firm in the midst of it and who will need an even greater measure of love for those who do not yet know Jesus.
But I also knew that, while only teenagers have had the guts to mock me and accuse me of false motives to my face, I am no stranger to false accusations. I’ve lost entire friend groups in one fell swoop and this week the enemy took a knife to that part of my heart and twisted.
My own sin is what has come to the surface: I just want to be liked. And when I’m not liked, I want to be right.
Two parts of my identity that I must give to Jesus: Success. Popularity. I recently had to give up my job because Jesus told me to. There were lots of good reasons, but in the end, the struggle of it came down to my desiring the Identity of the legitimacy that job gave me. I strive for success. I wish for it, I want it.
These are not new struggles. I had to lay it on the altar when I decided to publish my book-I would never be a best-selling author. And I had to do it again with my job for Into the Harvest. I’m sure it won’t be the last time.
I also really like to be liked. I want friends, I want people to like me more than they like other people. In the end, I am pretty well-liked here in Wiesbaden, my PWOC group for the most part has been very loving and supportive of the wackadoo way that I do things. But soon, in the next week, I will be sharing how to share the gospel with a lot more ladies. I will be asking them, inviting them to be more an active participant in sharing the Good News of Jesus with others, and I am once again having to lay my idols down.