Friday, May 25, 2012

Life Hurts

I've been absentee from the blog lately. For good reason. Insane busy-ness and just making my family a priority. I've also taken on photography and learning how to use my camera and software, so yes, busy as of late.

But I have something on my heart that I'm ready to share. And it's a lot. And it's heavy. And it's honest. But I know someone, somewhere out there will read it and they needed to hear it too.

I've experienced deep, deep hurt and rejection in the past year and half and I haven't known how to deal with it. On the outside I can keep it all together most of the time, so when I do lash out on occasion, I'm criticized and 'lovingly' rebuked. I don't blame anyone else for not taking the time to try and understand - how could they if I haven't been honest?

It really starts to get to you when you've applied for 100 jobs and have been rejected by every single one of them. Oh, except the one that was a tangled web of drama and they expected you to train yourself because everyone important left or got fired. When even restaurants choose some kid in high school over you, the word rejection begins to slowly tattoo itself onto your heart. I knew in July of 2011 that The Winn Group was starting to look shady. No paychecks were coming. That's when the job hunt began. At first I thought it was just because I was pregnant and I thought for sure once I had Josiah, finding a job would be a piece of cake. But as most of you know, the job rejections kept coming, one by one by 100.

It starts to get to you.

When you work part time on minimum wage serving some very wealthy people, bitterness can easily creep in. Add to this, all I've wanted is immigration to be done and my husband able to work so I can be home with Josiah. And that's just been another rejection, after rejection, after rejection on our paperwork...Hurt. Lots and lots of hurt. And there's been no one I've felt I can turn to, no one I felt could help me. All I've desperately wanted for the longest time is someone I could open up to. Someone who understands my pain. Someone who could lead me to the truth in a way that only someone who's "been there" can. People have come along who I know genuinely cared, but when all they can say is don't be bitter because that's bad, well, that doesn't help.

It's like I've been lying in a cactus bed in the desert and people have come along and told me I shouldn't lie there cause it'll leave scars. Maybe I was stuck and needed help getting out of the cactus bed.

Lately I've very much been looking to the Lord, crying out to Him from this place of hurting. I've got to look to the one who actually understands the pain. Which has still been hard when I've felt like God doesn't care all that much.

LIES I know. I don't need to be told that. But the hurt and sting of rejection runs deep.

At church this past weekend, the message was Life Hurts. As I listened, I began to feel relief. Someone was finally telling me that just because I was a Christian, doesn't mean I was excluded from experiencing deep hurts. But now, where do I go from here? Even this week I've experienced rejection - from jobs, to family, and friends too. But it's time to respond differently.

Jesus Christ experienced the ultimate rejection so that I wouldn't have to. No matter what happens on this earth, I will never, ever, ever face God's rejection. I am His very own child, and His LOVE will NEVER fail me. God chose me.

"We win when our heart stays alive in the midst of Satan's greatest weapons."

I want my heart to stay alive. And when this desert season is behind us and a thing of the past, I thank God that He is going to use me in a powerful way.

I'm still in the middle of this battle.
I'm still dealing with pain.
But I'm going to get through this and I'm going to be a face and a voice to those in the future who have no one to talk to and no one who understands.

Satan isn't going to win this one.


Très bien said...

Stephanie, thanks for sharing your heart girl. I can understand the feeling of no one understanding and feeling like you have no one to open up to. Actually, that was one of the reasons I started my little blog. Just to get it all out! Ya know? Going through the desert is soooo hard. In those moments we find out what our faith in God is really about. You may feel like you are not growing and that God is not there, but from one who has been in the desert for the first 2 and 1/2 years of our marriage, I can tell you that I have grown so much and the desert is slowly fading away in my rear view mirror. God has brought some women into my life recently that are easy to talk to and good listeners [a rarity]. Continue to cling to the cross and to the truth. Even when your heart doesn't want to believe it. God is faithful. He is faithful to you, Stephanie :].
It may be weird for me to say this, but I love you girl!
I feel like I have been able to get to know you through your blog and I have been so blessed by it.

Brittany said...

Super real and inspirational. One thing I know Life does hurt, but God heals. Thanks for the reminder.


Hi Stephanie :) Lois and I feel for you as you and Rob go through this time together. Your lives have dramatically changed in the past year and a half...marriage, having a baby, financial struggles, the paper jungle of immigration, etc. It’s most certainly not what you expected. The picture we have of the way we would like things to go and the reality of what life brings us can be really difficult. In spite of that, you have continued to work hard and endure the challenges. Right now, as Lois is going through chemotherapy for her breast cancer, she just concentrates on one day at a time. She is trying to practice having a heart of thanksgiving in the midst of her circumstances. That is in the midst of the season which at times feels like you described, a desert...dry, tiring, lonely, fearful at times, and long. God will use it to strengthen us, and He will use your trials to shape you and Rob. Here is a neat quote she found recently in a book she’s reading:

‎"One act of thanksgiving when things go wrong with us, is worth a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclinations." Saint John of Avila.

We’re determining together to trust God one day at a time because, like you, we believe “No matter what happens on this earth, I will never, ever, ever face God's rejection. I am His very own child, and His LOVE will NEVER fail me. God chose me.” He thinks of us constantly. The thought that He cherishes us so can fill us. It doesn’t spare us from trials or pain, but that assurance can allow us to believe this: “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” We choose to believe that God wants to shape us through it all into greater Christ-likeness. We’ve been listening to a few songs by Paul Baloche that really encourage us: “Your Name” “My Hope” “Just to Be with You.” They fill our hearts and minds with God’s goodness and comfort. Perhaps they will for you, too. Blessings to you, Rob, and Josiah. Your future is in the hands of one who is faithful and true.