As a child, I feared everyone and everything. I was easily intimidated and tried to please others in the hope of getting them to love me. I never felt acceptable, and grew to believe I was unworthy of love.
When, at the age of 26, I cried out to God "If You're there..." I did so at the lowest point of my life, when I knew I just did not want to live in a world without love anymore.
I can look back over my testimony, from the very moment I cried out to God, and see how many times He moved to heal and free me... which is why I love Him. I have seen God work in my life many, many times. He has healed me [emotionally] and set me free of many things. And one of those 'things' that bring me more elation than many others is an awareness of being accepted by Him.
When I stopped closing Him out of my life, God was free to reach into my heart - as much as my sore and sorry heart could handle at the time; sometimes, when fear spoke loudly, I blocked Him through fear of experiencing more pain and misery - and with one revelation and experience after another, stretched out over a period of time I could handle, He took me from being a needy soul who longed for "man's" acceptance, and transformed me into someone who finds her worth, or needs to find her worth, in no man but Jesus. And, I've found, that's enough.
When I felt people close me out, be them friend, relative, or partner, I would all but go into a mad panic, fearing their rejection. This fear and paranoia would drive me to respond in ways that expressed that I was a needy person. I needed their love. I needed their approval. I needed their attention... But now, through God and God alone, I've come to see I don't need those things at all. It's nice to have them, yes, but I don't need them, and I won't fall down in a crying heap if I don't have them. He has taught me that peace and happiness does not come from others and how they treat me. These things must be found within, and He showed me how to find them.
During my needy years, insecurity and a sense of inferiority ensured that I never embraced confidence. I was extremely shy, insecure, fearful, and convinced I was far from lovable and acceptable.
It's true to say that my insecurity had a lot to do with the rejection I felt as a child, but where it came from is not important. Where my confidence eventually came from is.
When I say where it came from is not important, I mean, when you're in a relationship with God and you ask Him to reveal the root of your issues, He does, but He heals everything in you that is attached to it - including the ability to really forgive and let go. He opened my eyes to my very first broken heart and showed me how and why the spirit of intimidation got through the cracks of that broken heart and took hold of me. However, He didn't leave me in that broken place. Rather, He had me imagine going back to that place and taking me out of the picture and putting Jesus in my place. At another time, when it played on my mind, He had me rewrite the experience, where, if one moment was redirected the entire scenario could've been avoided, therefore producing a better outcome, as though that moment of heartbreak never took place. In doing these things, He then spoke words to my heart that I needed in order to forgive, to understand, to love 'them' without needing their love, and so well did He mend my heart that I felt detached from the incident and closer to the people the brokenness came through.
In healing my heart, in moving in my life, in correcting my thinking, God lifted me up out of the gutter that was my life and enabled me to love without needing to be loved in return. I found acceptance in Him which moved to enable me to accept myself - faults and all - and I was set free from the chains that bound me to neediness.
When we are born, we are born into a broken world, to broken people, and grow to meet more broken people, who all react and respond out of their brokenness and, through it all, we find ourselves somewhat broken as well, then go on to react and respond to everyone in our world through our brokenness, and we, in turn, "help" to break others - whether we intend to or not. And so the cycle continues. And through it all, many hearts never feel acceptable.
I collected a lot of fear as a child and responded to the world through it, to the point of bringing destruction to relationships, which, no doubt, caused brokenness to someone along the way. It was all this brokenness I couldn't stand anymore when I cried out to God for help. And He's been working on fixing the brokenness I experienced and caused, and sometimes still cause when my flesh has its way, ever since I cried out to Him. And for me, the brokenness could never be completely fixed until I felt accepted - until I knew I was accepted. But my eyes were opened to the fact that even if 'man' accepted me, my brokenness wouldn't allow me to believe I was acceptable to them until God healed me. I first needed to know His love and acceptance before I could accept that of others.
I was emotionally healed of this in the loving arms of our Father. He deemed me acceptable - thanks to all Jesus did on and off the cross - and He worked to prove that He accepted me, and moved to enable me to accept myself, which in turn helps me to accept others. God healed me and set me free... as no man was capable of doing.
You may not be deemed acceptable in the eyes of those you love. You may not be deemed acceptable in the eyes of the world, of your peers, of your partner, even... but in God's heart you are. If you could see how He loves you, you wouldn't need the love of another, but you would be more open to, and capable of, receiving and trusting their love, and far more capable of loving without wanting or needing anything in return.
Through my walk with God, I've found that emotional healing comes one step at a time. Some may be immediately healed of their heartache, I don't know, but for me, in this area, the confidence needed to embrace God's acceptance, and self-acceptance, came one revelation at a time. When I asked, "God, why am I responding this way?" or "God, can you free me of this?" He would send His word and the truth of my situation to heal and free me. If I step off the path, He lets me go, as He does not control my will, but this hinders my healing. Lately, I've stepped back on to that path and I must say I am so enjoying this healing walk. :)
In fact, just yesterday He revealed to me I still had a little bit of "need for acceptance" left in my heart - which was/is a stumbling block for me. A few days prior, I awoke with the word "values" on my mind, and on meditation of this word I came to see that, in my heart, I held some of my mother's values and some of my father's values, and often the two would clash and a warring would begin inside me. On showing me that I had to make peace in accepting that it was their values I was warring with, and it was ok for them to have them but I would be better off finding mine in Him, God then went on to explain that I tended to lean more towards Dad's values, and habits even, rather than mum's, because I had found more acceptance in him. I then realised that in order to be released from returning to certain habits I'm not fond of - lack of exercise, for one (my parents were quite opposite in their physical appearance) - I had to let go of this root I still held on to way down in the depths of my soul, that secretly claimed I was safe and loved "here". I was holding on to certain habits that I didn't want and have struggled to be free of over the years, solely because, there, I had experienced true acceptance and love through the one person I knew loved me as a child: My Dad. Subconsciously, I took on certain values and habits from Dad because he loved me... and consciously I wanted to be more like mum because I wanted and needed her love and acceptance... and so the warring continued.
NOTE: I know now that mum loved me. But back then, in my brokenness, I couldn't see it or feel it. It wasn't until God's love embraced me that I could see the truth of this... None of that is my mother's fault.
I realised yesterday that I was still placing myself in certain areas that comforted me - without me realising that's what I was doing.
Now, a day after I learned that latter part, and a few days after God revealed "values" to me, I'm walking a little straighter, a little more confident, a great deal more joyful, and a whole lot freer, with new understanding and aware that with the redirection of my thoughts - born of this new information/revelation given from God - my feet will follow and I will walk free of the habits that are not good for me, and step out into the world without that root of neediness there to control me. And, through it, I feel a little more acceptable... even if the world still looks down on me for one reason or another. I feel stronger, and freer, safer, and more ready to live! More at peace with being me. :)
I don't know where you're at in life, or what you need to be healed and set free of, but I do know - from experience - that God can and does heal and set free, if and when you let Him. God is the most gentle surgeon I have ever known. :) He doesn't cause pain. He frees you of it... All you have to do is allow Him to.
Over 20 years ago I cried out, "God, I've had enough of this BS. If You're there, help..." and He did. I didn't do anything to make myself worthy of Him. Jesus did that for me. I didn't work my way into God's good books. Jesus did that for me. As a "sinner" I was not deemed acceptable in God's kingdom, but Jesus had me covered. All I did was humble my heart before God and cried out for help...and He immediately set His rescue plan into action.
From there, when I felt ready to be set free of more things that troubled me, I'd ask God to help free me of it, and He worked to do so. Yes, at times, I had to repent of the sin in my life, but in doing so mercy and love and freedom was given, not condemnation. It's the same for ALL of us. God does not favour me over you. He loves us all the same - with His whole heart... even before we enter a relationship with Him.
In closing, I just want to say that I have a wonderful husband, to whom I've been married to for over 20 years. No other man has ever come close to loving me as much as Tim does... yet, I know from experience that God loves me far more than Tim ever could.
If you're weary of rejection, know that there is true acceptance in God - if you want it.
love and hugs,