As I continue to work on my basement project, you can see that the colors are starting to come together. I have added my final color, an orange color called “Tango” to the mix. All the colors need a second coat except for the yellow.
It is hard to work on a project this size alone, but I find in life that I work on many things alone. Were it not for the help of God, I could not endure all the work and lonely feelings that come my way.
Recently, we left our old church, and have started attending a church closer to our home.
At the old church I felt rejected. Each Sunday that I went, no one talked to me except for the most mundane conversations. Most of the women didn’t really “know” me, or seem to want to get to know me. I would try to start conversations, be friendly, smile, and many times these were met with people turning away to talk to someone else, or acting like they didn’t see me in the hallways. It got worse, as time passed, and there were some Sundays that not one word passed between me and others, except for one or two hello’s, or the words that passed back and forth between me and the children that I taught for Sunday school.
After a long time of this, I begin to feel that God was possibly causing a hardening of hearts toward me so that I would move on, and I did. It is hard for us to think of God hardening hearts, but that is scriptural. (See Exodus 4:21, 7:3, 14:4, 14:17, Joshua 11:20) We also harden our own hearts. (See Psalms 95:8, Hebrews 3:8, 3:15, 4:7) Whatever the cause of the hardening of hearts, I bear no grudges, as I know I commit these same sins. I also see God weaving His will through my life, to put me somewhere else.
I found a new church through an interesting path, that only God could have devised. The preaching has been wonderful… straight from the Bible, explaining and interpreting the scripture with other scripture (which is the best way to study the Bible, for God explains Himself thoroughly in His Word). But….yesterday, as I sat through a wonderful message out of Acts, and God’s gifts to us as Gentiles was spelled out so completely, how much power we have through the Holy Spirit indwelling us, I was also sad and near tears the whole time.
I sat on an empty row with my husband and prayed that God would send someone to sit beside us on that row. We have spent years in churches where no one sit around us, there was always a hole, a total rejection, people not wanting to know us or get involved with us. I questioned myself… did I look like a mean person, dumb person, ugly person, stupidly dressed person, someone who no one wants to know? Why does no one come to me… to try to know me? Trying to be friendly turns cold, with repeated rejection of these attempts.
We are also rejected when someone only talks to us about the weather, and mundane things, leaving out the important, spiritually deep, life subjects that we crave to discuss and understand. In Sarah Malley’s devotional on “How To Make A Wise Comment” she asks the question, “Have you been with someone who leaves you feeling like you wasted your time because you only talked about the weather, sports, or jokes?”
Sometimes I have better conversations with my sweet 14 month old grandson, than I do with adults, even though he can only repeat a few words. He looks me in the eye, and there is a deep understanding of love that passes between us.
Yesterday, as I dwelt on trying to interpret all these events, feeling very alone and struggling, I felt like even God had rejected me. My prayers felt empty and I longed for interpretation of these areas in my life… and then… late in the night God begin to give me understanding. The Sunday school lesson had been titled, “Our Messiah: Abused!” and right below that title was the question, “How can I truly appreciate the suffering Jesus endured on my behalf?” The scripture for the lesson came from John 18: 1-27. Jesus was “betrayed, denied, reviled, and abused.”
I had been experiencing a small part of that, and God was showing me how it feels, and making sure I learn the lesson not to reject anyone, but to tell everyone about what Jesus has done for us (See John 3:16 and Romans 3:10 and Romans 10:9-10, 13). And… I was reminded last night of the scripture… to consider it all joy when I suffer (see James 1:2).
I am human, but with the power of the Holy Spirit ( See Acts 1:8) I pray that God helps me not to reject His children that He loves, and that He will help me tell others of His love… and when I do, I pray that God does not have to suffer their rejection of Him once more.
As I began to calm down, and have God’s peace wash over me in the night, I thought about one of the most unusual occurrences at church yesterday. Even though no one set on our row, when we were leaving church, a woman who I met yesterday for the first time in Sunday School, called my name across the parking lot and smiling and waving at me to say good-bye added, “I love you!”
How? How could she love me… she had just met me? Because she is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, and God spoke His love through her.
And so…. I am not rejected, I am loved by God…. and so are you!