healing rejection

Crippled by Rejection

12:35 PMHeather

She caught my attention as I walked along the main deck of the cruise ship. Dressed in a white cover-up over a bright green swimsuit, she moved with purpose. She was obviously heading to the pool area. She had pure white hair and her mouth was set in determination as she walked along. But what caught my attention the most was that she was bent over dramatically, crippled by some sort of disease or injury. She was permanently bent over and unable to stand up straight. I wondered what level of pain or discomfort she must have constantly felt. And I wondered what had caused this malady for her.

Throughout the course of the week, I saw her multiple times, and every time I was struck with thinking how uncomfortable she must be and how much pain she must be feeling. To be honest, I felt sorry for her.

It was some weeks later when I realized something profound.

I realized that I am her. 

As I read through Luke 13, I was startled with the revelation that this older lady, so bent and crippled, and I are exactly the same. 

On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 
When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 
Then he put his hands on her, and 
immediately she straightened up and praised God.
Luke 13:10-13 

Eighteen years. Eighteen years bent over and crippled, enduring great pain and discomfort. "Crippled by a spirit" and unable to straighten up at all.

This is me. I am crippled by a spirit of rejection and bent over with the pain from the wounds felt from others. Bent over with the weight of past hurts and past conversations and past instances when expectations were not met. Shuffling along, as it all weighs me down to the point that I cannot straight up at all. 

Eighteen years for her. Eighteen painful years. But for me, I've wrestled with it for twenty-seven. 

How many years in this posture will be enough?

I read that passage and was overwhelmed with the truth that God was revealing to me. The truth was coming from a story I've undoubtedly read many times before. But, this time, I saw meaning I've never noticed before.

This time, fresh revelation came as I read it and pictured the elderly woman, bowed over as she walked past me on that cruise ship.

This time, I heard the call that said it's time. 

It's time to straighten up. It's time to move forward.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

It's time to praise God and to refuse to walk all bent over and crippled from past infirmities. From past pains. From past disappointments. From past wounds.

Because the glorious truth is that I AM SET FREE.

The marvelous truth is that you are set free, as well.

We are set free through the Savior by whose stripes we are healed. 

The grace shown through his sacrifice covers us. And if it forgives all my shortcomings, how can I allow myself to be crippled by the shortcomings of others? How can I let the wounds FROM others be bigger than the wounds of JESUS? How can I keep carrying around the weight of all that on my back, leaving me shuffling along and bent over?

It's time to quit being bound up and tied up with a repeated rehearsal of those wounds and pains, reliving them over and again. Because every time, I do, I am giving them life. Yet, it was Jesus' death that silenced them with the final word. 

"It is impossible to hold up the banners of victim and victory at the same time."   -- Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited

It is impossible. I am either crippled and bent over, unable to straighten up under the weight of it. Or, I am choosing to preach the truth of the gospel so loudly to my soul that it silences the past.
When I tempted to see myself as a victim, I need to instead tell myself that I have victory. The lesson is to refuse to be defined by the rejection of others.

I am set free. And if the Son has set me free, then I am free indeed (John 8:36).

It's time to walk in wholeness and freedom from emotional crippling. It's time to practice, day after day, how to shut down that crippling by refusing to pick up the weight of these burdens and instead say to my soul, "God gives me victory." 

It's time to quit coddling rejections like some strange comfort item, born from the familiarity of reliving how wronged I was.

It's time to quit listening to myself. Instead, it's time to talk to myself, using the truth of Scripture. 

Every time the past rears its ugly head to attempt to cripple me once more, I will remember the words of Jesus.

"Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."

Step by step, I'm learning to walk out that freedom, standing tall and straight because of my Savior.

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