Saturday, July 03, 2010

Encounters with the Past through the Grid of God’s Grace

One thing you learn early on in marriage is how different men and women are and how different both individuals are. 
I rise early and shortly after getting up…I’m wide awake.  Chris on the other hand wakes up more slowly and isn’t ready to engage in a conversation early in the morning.  At the end of the day…unless it’s been an exhausting day…I’m still ready to engage in conversation with Chris or anyone else for that matter.  After all…we haven’t seen each other most of the day.  But when Chris comes home after a long day filled with pressing needs and demands, he is ready to decompress, rest and put the day behind him.  Top on his list usually isn’t having an involved conversation. 
I have the need and desire to talk…and Chris is okay with just being together without conversation.  Over the last 20 months…I’ve gotten more used to it.  But on occasion…I find myself hurt when Chris is overly quiet or find myself questioning, “is he mad at me?” .  Now instead of fretting or worrying…I just ask him if he’s okay?  Ninety-nine percent of the time the answer is he’s fine…just tired or that he had a long day. 
After one of those quiet spells, I told Chris that while I didn’t understand why…that when he is quiet sometimes I feel like he is rejecting me.  That somewhere there is an unspoken message that I’m not worthy to be spoken to.  It brings up feelings that I am a non-entity.  I didn’t know where those feelings originated…I presumed from the past, but didn’t know where.  But now it’s impacting my relationship with my husband. 
Of course Chris responded that not what he’s feeling at all.  He’s just tired and tends to be more on the quiet side.  I have no doubt what Chris says is true…but where in the world did those feelings come from?  Where indeed.
My God is so gracious in helping me to understand where those feelings originated from.  But He did it at a time when I can approach those feelings with the confidence and assurance of who I am in Christ.  He let me see it after I’ve matured and grown in the grace and knowledge of Him.
Recently I had an encounter with someone from the past.  Someone who I hadn’t seen in years.  I said “Hi” and introduced my husband Chris to him.  It was the first time he had met Chris.  After shaking hands and greeting us he didn’t say a word to us for the rest of the evening.  The encounter was kind of uncomfortable…yet insightful.
God brought to mind that 25 or 30 years earlier, this man had treated me that same way.  If I was in the same room…he treated me as if I didn’t exist.  He would seldom look at me or talk to me.  This wasn’t a one-time only experience, but repeated over and over again.
I came away from this encounter with knowledge about why today, when someone won’t talk to me, it brings back feelings that I am unworthy and a non-person.  While it was a painful reminder on something that I had tried to put behind me, it’s something that I can now bring before the Lord and receive the emotional healing that I need.
Praise God…I now see myself through the grid of God’s grace.  I am mindful that in Christ…I am blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed and forgiven.  What does it matter if man rejects me…when I have been accepted in the Beloved?
During those late teens and early adulthood years…I was still trying to figure out who I was.  I didn’t know the Lord…so that rejection had a huge impact on me.
Today, I can also see that this person is troubled and in need of the Lord every bit as much as I was and continue to be.  So every time the enemy seeks to remind me of this rejection I can turn it around and be in prayer for him.  I don’t want to let the enemy win on this one.  He’s already taken enough ground in this battle…it’s time to take it back.    
God is able to redeem my hurts and bring healing.  He is even able to tender my heart so that I am sensitive to those who also deal with feelings of rejection.  Praise His Holy Name!

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