Tag Archives: Healing

Forsaken

Paula sat down on the edge of her bed, gripping the envelope. Her heart raced and her fingers shook as she flipped it over and ran her thumb under the flap to expose the letter inside. She let the envelope fall to the floor as she pulled out the single sheet of paper, neatly folded in three parts. She could just make out the cursive writing that shown through to the unwritten side.

It’s from her. It has to be from her. She got my letter the agency sent and she’s responding!

Paula had spent years looking for her birth mom. The months she spent waiting for a response to her letter were finally worth it. In a moment, she would read her letter, and they would finally be able to meet and start the relationship she had only dreamed of as a child. She had waited so many years for this moment. Paula took a deep breath and tried quieting all the thoughts swirling in her mind as she gingerly opened the letter, an excited smile forming on her face. After a moment, her smile faded and her shoulders dropped as the tears welling in her eyes rolled down her cheeks and onto the paper.

There would be no joyful reunion. No cookouts forging new paths. No heart-felt tear-jerking embrace that would bring Paula the acceptance she so desperately desired. There was only more rejection.

She doesn’t want to meet me or my kids? Even now, she doesn’t want me. She never has.

Paula let the letter slide out of her hands and drift onto the floor next to the envelope. She stared down at both, fixing her gaze on the corner of the envelope which should have contained a return address, but didn’t.

***

I had asked my readers for blog topics, and there was one in particular that really tugged at my heart strings. It was about dealing with rejection from a parent or family member. I can tell you from personal experience, there is nothing quite so painful as facing abandonment from someone who is supposed to love you, but doesn’t. Whether that person physically or emotionally abandons you, both leave wounds so deep, that there’s great risk of infection, and even death. 

The death I speak of is not physical, but emotional. And the kind of infection that causes it is the kind that grows in your mind and heart as a result of the pain that rejection causes. It damages your filter and can cause you to see yourself in an unhealthy light. It can also make you to see others in an unhealthy light.

If you have been the unfortunate recipient of a deep rejection – a parent or sibling rejecting you, a divorce, a hate crime, a lost job, or your child closing the door on you – then I want to offer you a new letter. Not like the one our fictional character, Paula, had in her hands, but something better.

One that has a return address.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

This might be a commonly known Scripture, but it’s also a deeply personal message. A love letter from God to you. For God so loved the world. He isn’t talking about the dirt or the trees or the sky. He is talking about you. You are His love, and He loves you so deeply, He sent His only child to face torture and death, so a way could be made to spend eternity together. He pursues you no matter where you go (Psalm 139:7-8). He leaves the ninety-nine other sheep to look for you when you’re lost (Matthew 18:10-14). The depth of God’s feelings for us is unfathomable. We can’t possibly wrap our heads around the unconditional qualities of His love and acceptance.

You might be hurting as a result of experiencing rejection, but consider the source. People are flawed and they will always disappoint on some level. The closer they are to you, the more it will hurt. But that hurt has a silver lining. To every ying is a yang, and to every example of imperfect relationships is the proof of love – the consistent, trustworthy, and all-consuming love of God.

Don’t focus on what is behind. Keep your focus forward. You need not look any farther to find the One who not only wants you, but loves you… exactly as you are. No strings. No conditions. Just His love. Of course, there is so much more available when we choose to love Him back. He gives us all an invitation to abide in Him (John 15:4), find rest (Matthew 11:28), and learn from Him (Mark 1:17). Best of all, is the invitation to spend eternity in His loving presence (John 3:16). An eternity where rejection leaves no wounds and acceptance is the sweet perfume of Heaven.

Cherished One, I pray you can feel the loving arms of Jesus wrap tightly around you as you drink in love letters from the King of kings. Forgive those who reject, and allow God’s love letters to heal your heart and give you hope of what is real for you today, and what is to come. He will be with you always, to the ends of the earth (Mark 13:27, Psalm 98:3).

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

Be blessed,
C.K.

Scar Tissue

We all have scars. Some visible. Some not so visible. Webster’s Dictionary defines a scar as “a mark remaining after injured tissue has healed.” I want to look today at a verse in Psalms and share something beautiful that I hope makes you look at your scars differently.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” 

Psalm 147:3

This Psalm paints a comforting picture, but there’s much more here than meets the eye.

The Hebrew word for wounds is abatstsebeth (pronounced ats-tseh’-beth), which translates to “pain, wound, sorrow, affliction, grievance.” Pretty straight forward, right? I think we can all relate. But what I was struck by was the Hebrew word for binds, which is chabash. It means “to bind, wrap around, cover, envelope, enclose.” I hope that gave you the same goose bumps it gave me. When we’re hurting about something, it’s God’s desire to envelope us. He wraps His strong, faithful and able arms around us and provides not only comfort, but a cover of protection. When we allow God into a situation that’s causing us pain, God can so infiltrate our hearts and minds in that matter that He literally envelopes that pain and forms what you might say is scar tissue – He is, in essence, binding the wound.

I don’t believe God intended for scars to have a negative connotation. You see, scars don’t hurt – wounds do. If you have something that’s still painful, that means it hasn’t fully healed.

When I was six, I was attacked by a German Shepard, and ended up with 186 stitches in my face and neck. Most of the wounds healed beautifully, except for a large one extending upward from the right side of my upper lip. I was very insecure about it as a teenager. One day, a boy I had a crush on made fun of it, and I went home crying and felt completely devastated and ugly. I should mention that German Shepard was our dog. He was well trained but, for reasons unknown, snapped at the time of the incident – something I’m quite sure my dad felt beyond horrible about. I share this, because, after I came home that day feeling broken, I’m certain it’s the reason he offered to take me to a cosmetic surgeon to see about getting it removed. This would be an elective procedure and not at all in their budget.

We went to that surgeon for a consultation, and he explained how he would cut out the scar and re-stitch it so it wasn’t nearly as visible. Once I got home, I can still vividly remember sitting on my bed and feeling an immense sense of comfort. I don’t think I realized it was God speaking to me at the time, but after that moment, I went to my dad and said, “Dad, I really appreciate you being willing to do this for me, but this scar is a part of who I am and a part of my story. And if some boy thinks it makes me ugly, then that boy isn’t the right boy for me.” I can’t explain how such mature words came out of me, outside of God binding my wound. Today, I don’t even see that scar anymore, and if I do happen to notice it, I have zero hurt associated with it. To me, it’s as distinctive as my green eyes. It’s just part of what makes up my face.

Scars are merely the evidence of once existing wounds, each with their own, unique story to tell. Your scars are not for you. They are for someone else to touch, to see that you made it through – to encourage them and strengthen them to know that they too can persevere (2 Cor 1:4). So, the next time you find yourself encouraging someone else through a situation that you yourself once passed through, remember to praise God for your scars. They are evidence of His Glory.

Be blessed,
C.K.

*A special thanks to one of my readers for the topic request.

References:
Merriam-Webster Dictionary; Merriam-Webster.com. 2019. https://www.merriam-webster.com(April 2019).

Hebrew translations are taken from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance: New American Standard Bible. 1995. Updated ed. La Habra: Lockman Foundation. http://www.biblestudytools.com/concordances/strongs-exhaustive-concordance/.