“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” – Ephesians 1:3-6
As long as I can remember I’ve always had a problem with feeling “accepted”. Although I had good and decent parents they had a habit of leaving me home alone all day with babysitters while they went out, placed me with my grandmother while they went on expensive vacations, shuffled me off to an all-day day camp and/or for weeks away at sleep-over camps during the summers or dropped me off to spend all day at the ice-rink or in ballet class. Don’t get me wrong, I actually liked all these things but underlying all of it was the feeling that I wasn’t wanted “underfoot”. My older sister, Susan, left the house when I was 8 (we are 12 years apart) but before that time I got the distinct impression she wanted nothing to do with me. I don’t ever remember her babysitting me and after she had gotten married and lived in her own place with her husband, visits with her were painful. The more I wanted to be close to her the way I thought sisters “ought” to be, the less she wanted anything to do with me. This culminated one day in the most painful, emotional “face slap” I had ever received when I was 21. She was the mother of 2 toddler boys and was going to be coming to my area to take them for their first visit to Disneyland. I wanted to be there to witness my nephew’s wonderment and joy only to be told by my sister that she didn’t want me there. I was blindsided. I felt like I had been kicked in the gut…and then I totally lost it. I think I must have cried alone in my apartment for 3 hours I felt so hurt and rejected. My own mother couldn't even believe my sister had said such a thing to me.
Couple all this with long years of being bullied, teased and never being accepted into the “cliques” at school and you have a lonely girl who is always on the “outside looking in” whether it be in actual reality or as a self-imposed exile. The worst has been the rejection I have experienced from the daughter I adopted when she was age 3. She felt incredibly hurt and abandoned by the teenaged parents who had her out of wedlock and were incapable of being good parents and as any psychologist will tell you, the adoptive mother gets the brunt of this. I was never told much less prepared for a child with reactive, nonattachment disorder and suffered emotionally for years until I just let all my hopes and dreams die a lonely death. We have never bonded emotionally, have almost no relationship and I feel like the ultimate failure at the most basic, and seemingly most natural thing a woman can be: a loving mother. The emotional dynamic between my daughter and me is too similar to the one that existed between my older sister and my younger self and triggers a lot of emotional pain and rejection which comes out as anger; God forgive me.
The funny thing is, when I finally got to the place where I no longer cared or pursued having any kind of relationship with my sister, she became the one who now calls me and seems to enjoy my company and even says I love you to me on her phone calls. To be honest, it feels weird because even though I appreciate it, I feel no emotional affection in return. My sister’s acceptance of me came too little and way too late, long after I had steeled my hurting heart from the constant pain of her earlier rejections. I detached as a defense mechanism…just like my daughter.
To this day I still struggle with feeling “accepted”. I often become paranoid and worry that if people really, really knew the real me they would end up disliking me. Despite knowing the scriptures (like the one I posted above); this has transferred over into my relationship with the Lord despite my best efforts to focus only on what His word says instead of my feelings and lack of self-esteem.
I am frequently on End Times and other Christian message boards and constantly read accounts of fellow believers who claim to have dreams, visions and two-way conversations with God on an almost daily basis and this makes me paranoid and leads me to wondering, what is wrong with me? I don’t and have never had these kinds of experiences and as I have gotten older in my faith, my two-way interaction with the Lord seems to have become almost nonexistent despite my constant pleas to hear from Him, have His desires in my heart and to die to myself and live for Him. I frequently lay on my bed at night after my intercessory prayers are done and try to quiet my soul; straining to “hear” His still small voice only to fall asleep disappointed and wondering if I really am saved or if I am the one person in all the universe He really doesn’t want in His kingdom. As Woody Allen famously once said in one of his earlier movies: “I never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” I’m not saying this to garner sympathy…I really have begun to worry about it on a serious level and on an almost constant basis.
If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom then I must be a very wise person because I have a lot of fear. I struggle with my Christian life not being enough of “serving the Lord” on a daily basis and feeling useless and wondering if that is why He doesn’t speak to me. Then I resign myself to resolve just living off my “faith fumes” and clinging to the scriptures that say that we are only saved by faith through the grace and mercy of God and realize that it’s a miracle I even believe in the first place.
I wonder if there is something short-circuited in my soul that prevents me from being spiritually attuned or if it’s just the way the Lord wants to deal with me? Kinda like Bella in The Twilight Saga whose mind no one could read and which later became the saving mechanism when her family was threatened. The Bible does say that it is only “faith” that pleases God and that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” – Hebrews 11:1-3
I have no choice in the matter. I can’t make God speak to me. I can’t make Him allow me to “feel” His presence like so many others claim to have experienced. I’ve had enough answered prayer in my life in year’s past to know that He is real but to be honest, I long for more. There has to be more to this Christian life than what I am experiencing. I pray for it daily, I live my life as much in accordance with His known will that I possibly can but at the end of the day, I’m still left feeling like a second class Christian and wondering….am I truly accepted into the beloved? I’m hanging on to this promise for dear life by my fingernails!
Do any of you go through this?