Bouncing Back

Never underestimate the ability of a painful experience to undercut your self-concept. 

That’s where I am right now– assessing the collateral damage after enduring a year from hell (if you are new to my blog, you’re gonna need to read this first). 

And, let me tell ya, it’s not pretty.

I used to be a rather outgoing, self-confident, and passionate individual. I had vision. Dreams for the future, and the self-efficacy to make them into reality. 

Not anymore!

Now I feel timid. Uncertain. Maybe even afraid?

Who is this strange creature that asks ‘what if’?

Where is the defiant young woman to exclaim ‘why not’?

What if she’s gone for good? What if this is just who I am now– cautious and overly self-conscious?

Ugh. 

Humility is a good thing. A sober self-assessment is wise. However, this recent dive in my moxie goes way beyond balancing the innate strength of my personality. It may even border on the pathological. 

I need a win.

I need to remember who I was before the brood of vipers cast me as their prey. I need to revive my inner sense of strength and purpose. My strength and purpose– that impelled me come hell or high water — is but a distant memory, fading ever further from view. 

Can I bounce back from this?

I need to believe that I can. 

I need to believe that ‘they’ were wrong about me. I need to believe that I am indeed worthy of living out my calling. 

And so, I have a burning message for every single person that rejected or abandoned me and mine when we needed the support of the Body of Believers the most:

You SUCK. Big time. 

While I will forgive your lapse in virtue, I will never forget your utter failure in love. Sorry (not at all sorry). 

You may believe that you have won here. Yes, you were allowed to successfully banish me while completely devastating my hopes and dreams. And for that:

Thank you. 

You did me a huge solid on my Christian path, because my hopes and dreams constantly got in the way of realizing His hopes and dreams for me. Your evil forced me to clear out what was cluttering my own heart and make room for even more of His goodness. 

Bet you didn’t see that coming,  but, I’m pretty sure He did.

The truth is, I will bounce back from this. And not out of my own dwindling strength and power, but through His. 

 I may not know the when, but I do know the how:

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

Philippians 4:13 (NRSV)



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13 thoughts on “Bouncing Back

  1. So sorry that you were hurt. God knows what it will take for us. He knows what trials will shape us to look more like his Son, Jesus. Unfortunately, because we all have remaining sin, we will offend our brothers and sisters occasionally. We just have to know how to resolve because we are family. I’m glad you came out stronger, and realizing more that it is in God we can trust.

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    1. It’s one thing to unintentionally offend, and a whole other thing entirely to willfully work to destroy the lives of a brother/sister in Christ. I was naive before Seminary. I doubted the potential for evil within self proclaimed Christians… but, some are indeed ravenous wolves clothed as sheep. They seek to devour, and they will stop at nothing short of affecting total devastation.
      I’m wiser now. I finally see the importance of being “shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” I trust God, but I will never trust human beings again. Christian or not.

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      1. I understand. We are called to be wise as serpents, and to mark and avoid false disciples. Yet, we are also called to learn to dwell with the saints, who will at times offend, just like we will sometimes offend. And yes, we should never put our confidence in the flesh, but help build one another up.

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      2. I do not believe that everyone sitting in a church pew is automatically counted among the saints. Perhaps that’s the difference here. Church affiliation cannot, in itself, bring about the process of being born again. I think it’s very telling that the religious leaders of Jesus’ time were constantly scheming and plotting against Him– mere religiosity does not gain one entrance to the Kingdom of God. In fact, it all too often stands in opposition to the work of the Spirit.

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      3. No there will be wheat and tares, always. I know that having your name on the church’s membership roll does not mean that your name is written in the book of life. I see you have another comment, so I will open that one and respond my friend.

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      4. I get the sense that you are unable to empathize with my experience here. And, I understand. Until you live through it, it’s easy to judge the wounded as being in the wrong. And, not that I’m convinced of my own rightness. I am human too. But, my many attempts at reconciliation were rejected. Yes, me– the one wounded– petitioned the Seminary President and Deans to assist in the process of reconciliation. I was refused. After that, it became clear that how I knew Christ, and knew His power to overcome any human quarrel or transgression, was alien to them. It was very eye opening. The institutional Christian church is in dire straits if those that lead it do not believe in their call to the ministry of reconciliation.

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      5. Oh but I do empathize with you my friend. I too, have been hurt. I believe the majority of the churches are not preaching the whole counsel of God which is why the churches are sick. I have been praying that God would raise up men that will do just that. You see, I was very hungry in my former church, very hungry and begin to notice how far we are from the Word, but because I was busy in ministries, I stayed until God turned the heat up, and even though I tried to address the issues at hand in a Christian manner, it was not received. I kind of point this out in my Why Sit Here Until We Die? I am now at a church where the whole counsel of the Word is preached, we recognized that we are not perfect, but that our righteousness is found solely in Christ, and that that compels us to live out our Christian walk in humility among our brothers and sisters. Yes, I will be offended, and I will offend. I like that my pastor admits that. So, Kristen I do empathize.

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      6. I appreciate that, Barbara. Thank you. I can handle imperfection. Imperfection is the plight of every human enterprise…. it’s when evil is allowed (even encouraged) to proliferate, and one becomes the target for such evil, that it is necessary to reconsider one’s place and role in the Body. Which is, largely, what I’ve been doing here on this blog. It’s been quite the journey, but I sense that God has plans to continue using someone like me. And not just as another pew warmer;)

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      7. Yes, I have had to leave my church that I actually grew up in, began my relationship with the Lord in. Romans 16 was the scripture that helped me to know what I had to do, but when I struggled with what it said, I could not get guidance. This all while I was starving.

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      8. I was raised in very Bibliocentric churches. I never wanted for Scripture or teachings– what I was starved for (and, likely still am hungry for) is seeing Christ’s love in action among believers. I’ve seen so very little spiritual/emotional maturity among the Christians that guided me in my faith formative years (and beyond). So very little αγάπη love. I’ve known plenty of ‘nice’ people in my years of church going, but extremely few loving ones. It was at a point about 10 years ago, that Christ led me into becoming the change I so desperately wanted to see in the church. He’s softened my heart and re-sensitized my spirit through His love. To know Christ in such an intimate way changed the course of my life forever. However, it grieves me to no end to see little of His essence among His followers. It does not surprise me though. He warned of this in Matthew 24:10-14 ” At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

        Love has most certainly grown cold in our time and place. It requires a whole other level of endurance to stay faithful to a life lived in the Spirit when you are one of the few committed to loving as He loved.

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