“I’ve just not been making the time in my schedule to write.”
Well, that’s what I’ve been telling the people, anyway.
It’s kinda the truth.
I have been a little floppy in my scheduling, but the deeper reality is I’m afraid.
After my group meeting for survivors of sexual abuse, I confessed my reluctance to post.
“I just keep feeling like my voice is ‘too strong’ for people. I believe this because I am often received with silence. I believe this because I feel like I’m avoided by some people who’ve heard my strong voice.”
I lowered my head and the tears fell from my eyes as my shoulders shook. My throat felt like it was closing up, and I sputtered the next words.
“I’m not worthy of being heard. That’s how I feel.”
The workbook exercise we were challenged to do for class had us write out self-talk statements that cause us to feel lonely.
Through doing this we were to express the feelings attached to each thought statement.
“So, I’ve not been posting my blogs because I feel alone. I feel like no one really cares to hear what I have to say. I’ve already been rejected by so many already, I just can’t bear the thought of being rejected any more.”
My head still facing my lap, my shoulders still shuddering, my words still sounding foreign, abstract, sorrowful.
“Tell us your rewrite,” one of the other classmates gently said. Her words wrapped about my shoulders like a warm shawl, providing warmth and safety.
Wiping my eyes in order to see the blue ink once blurred by my weeping, I read my rewrite, “I am worthy to be heard. My strength of voice and my passion is a gift, not a flaw.”
Again, my friend quietly spoke with calm assurance. “Krista, let me read this to you. I found this in another book I was reading this week, and I think it may apply.”
She opened the book and, without looking at me, began to read.
My mind raced, and I tried to listen and receive what she was reading. Something about those who’ve experienced trauma…them needing healing…this Bible passage is a go-to passage for her and others who’ve experienced trauma.
Her reading slurred together in my mind until she began reading the Bible passage quoted in her book.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, Because the Lord anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners…” (Isaiah 61:1)
She continued reading the rest of the chapter, but I couldn’t hear a word she said after hearing the first verse.
My heart pounded within me, my ears throbbed, and my eyes flooded one more time.
“Your tears tell me this passage stirred some feeling up within you. Krista, what are you feeling right now?” my friend asked.
“Did you know that this verse is programed to alert me every day at 3:45pm to remind myself to pray and ask God if this is my calling?” I answered.
I continued, “Did you know that I have the first verse of that chapter written on my white board in my kitchen to memorize, but I just can’t seem to internalize it because of the words and of the implications this verse means to me and my life frighten me?”
Smiled silence from my classmates, as they listened intently.
“I know that this is a Messianic prophesy that is meant for Christ. For sure, I know that I am NOT anyone’s Savior. But, I now am identified within His holy body, and I am indwelt with His Holy Spirit,” I said, wiping my eyes.
Holding my head firm and upright, my tone of voice, volume level, and speech pacing increased.
“Just as Jesus was about His Father’s business, so I want to be about my Father’s business. I want to be a part of bringing good news to the afflicted, to proclaiming liberty to the captives, and proclaim freedom to prisoners!”
I share this intimate time with you because I know that, as survivors of sexual abuse, you can relate to the terror of feeling rejected, abandoned, or isolated.
No matter what the situation was in which our abuse occurred, no matter who the perpetrator was–somehow, and, in some way, we felt rejected. We felt abandoned. We felt isolated.
Going back to those feelings can stir up intense feelings of anxiety, leading to depression or addictive behaviors.
I am not a psychologist or a counselor.
However, I do know what the Word of God says about those of us who have been redeemed by the blood of His Son, Jesus.
We have been set free. We are no longer held captive by fear, by our past, by our own or by other people’s sin against us.
Our freedom is not rooted or grounded in our tenacity, our determination, or our strength of character. Contrary, it’s in our weakness, in our humility, in our submission to the majesty of the One who calls Himself, El Shaddai: God Almighty.
When I allow negative self-talk to carry on without a reality check, I forget who I am. I forget that my identity is in Christ. I forget that no matter how determined I am to be strong that it’s in my weakness that He makes me strong through His Holy Spirit who dwells within me.
I share my fear of rejection with you because I believe many of you–even those of you who have not suffered abuse–identify with this fear.
Knowing my heart, the Lord knew that I was not capable to handle this fear alone. After all how does one combat a fear of rejection in isolation from others, from the body of Christ?
Addressing similar fears calls for the connectivity for which God has wired us: connecting with those within the body who are safe, healthy, gospel-centered, and mature in their faith.
Again, I repeat my rewrite of the negative self-talk: I am worthy to be heard. My strength of voice and my passion is a gift, not a flaw
You, too, are worthy to be heard.
Your strengths, also, are a gift, not a flaw.
What’s your next step?
How are you feeling after reading my story about how I pinpointed my negative self-talk to my fear of rejection? Ask God to speak to you about your emotions and to show you how your feelings may be linked to deep-seated fears. Find a safe person to pray and support you in your healing journey.