The warm water washed over my head and all the negative thoughts and emotions that had besieged me over the last few years came flooding out. As soothing water fell over me only one thought came to my mind, Freedom. Lord please set me free. I need freedom from the reoccurring thorn in my flesh. I‘m trapped and consumed by opinions and judgements that I have no control over; what others think of me is wreaking havoc on my heart, mind and soul.
I prayed, “Worse yet, I am painfully reacting and responding in ways that don’t reflect Your majesty or glory. Save me Lord from this prison of constant turmoil. Save me from the judgement of others and the painful consequences I experience. I continued in my shower moment; please end the infliction and make it stop.” All week I had been pondering praying the familiar scripture:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. NIV Romans 8:28
This too Lord? Even the ugliness of feeling rejected can be used for good? All things? I just kept thinking all week and now in the shower that He really means all things. Everything! The water kept coming down as if it enveloped me in a cocoon of protection making it a safe place to search out the truth. It felt like God was surrounding me; providing comfort and protection and I heard in the silent echo of the shower, that all things would work for the good. Today, I realized that one of those things is called rejection.
The water continued to flow and I sunk in its comfort. In this safe place there was no need to defend myself or be angry. I could see the invisible enemy. Rejection had been hunting me for most of my life. Even this could be used for good? It was in the shower that God revealed the name and source of my pain. It takes honesty and courage to let God search your heart and reveal your inner most motivations. He met me and comforted me as he revealed the source of my chaos and the sin I had been harboring.
I had come to an impasse by being drained emotionally and looking for places to hide. Finally, God saw that I had run out of options and he met me in my shower moment. Even this would be worked out for my good. You see, rejection was popping up everywhere and at every pivot. I had done a swell job of making myself acceptable and pleasing to others so they would not reject me. I navigated criticisms with ambiguity and secretly craved approval from the non-approving people in my world.
God used my wreck while under the cover of falling water to let me know that the source of this pain was caused from having other gods before him. In the chambers of my shower I realized that what others thoughts of me had become more important than who He said I was. My motivation to please others in order to gain acceptance became more important than pleasing God.
When I seek acceptance, I am tempted to be tickled by approvals and accolades. Once I purchase temptation it turns into a tempest storm. The twists and turns of this kind of current will deceive you. Before I knew it those who applauded me, rejected me and I desperately spent time and energy trying to regain their praise. They kept moving the bar to make sure I would never find acceptance again. It’s a two-fold pain: first is rejection then there is the pain of trying and failing over and over again.
Even this could be worked out for the good... for those who love Him. Without the cover of protection and the safety of the Lord’s harbor the courage to confront my sin would have never happened. I am free now to set sail and never again be trapped by the deception of rejection. All things can be worked out for the good! I am free to serve One God.
Because we love the Lord, He can set our path straight, heal what is broken and restore us to new again. The embrace of His love is a safe place to explore and examine our hearts. He can use all things to free us from sin. All things. Everything. The hard things, the painful things are the useful things. And this is good.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV
Sheri Page has been married to her husband for 10 years and cherishes their blended family of 6 adult children and 9 grandchildren. She has worked in and alongside ministries for over 30 years. She has served many roles with in the walls of a church including, a Women’s Ministry director and assistant to a Care Pastor where she served people who were walking through Baptism, Celebrate Recovery, Divorce Care and benevolence. Sheri loves to share her curiosity and unique understanding of life with Jesus by her side. She is a 5 year breast cancer survivor and considers that experience to be the one of the greatest gifts God has given her. More writings from Sheri can be found on her blog: https://thelordsdwellingplace.com/