We are wired to notice the breaks in things. We are wired to notice the crooked lines in a
face or in a picture. We’re wired to notice the dysfunctionality of life, the issues, and problems and the holes. Why?
Is this due to some prior conditioning that comes from the daily evils of this life? Is it that we live in a world where these things are magnified. It’s an obsession. It’s an intense-focus on the daily negativity that breaks us down and takes parts of us away.
I was thinking this to myself getting ready one morning, penciling this random thought in my journal before the day. Pondering on a story that my friend had told me about her love life. About some guy she had loved whole-heartedly and he did not reciprocate. She gave what she called a 110% of herself and she was left with nothing. She mentioned how afterward she had just started picking things apart about herself. I couldn’t relate to that on the same level. But her longing was not too far from what I had wanted from what we all had wanted.
We all want to be accepted and unchallenged to change anything about ourselves. To be taken as we are and be told it’s , “Ok I love you anyway”. Being young and so vulnerable, its so easy to be obsessed about it, to be obsessed about one’s singularity. To be obsessed about being alone. It’s easy to pick apart and create reasons for why there is failure in an area of your life. It’s too easy to draw up blueprints and make plans in hopes that we had done everything right and that the end result was that of what we had wanted. That of what we had deserved. A happy one hopefully.
But when it falls through. Our hopes are dashed and sifted in the wind like weeds on a windy day. We’re apart. We’re down and we find ourselves thinking in a rut. Being tempted where we’ve been tapped dry or emptied. Making mistakes to cover up our shame to properly adorn our pride to hide one bold and blaring fact.
In closer study of my own behavior and some of the strange plants in my garden. I find that I tend to personalize everything. I don’t react to everything but I do tend to overthink and overanalyze. Like so many of us , our rejection stems from fear of judgment or punishment. But it’s only in understanding that perfect love that we find fault within its other forms.The older I get ,however, the more I realize that there is nothing simplistic about love. It’s not something easily described at all moments. It’s not something that can be created and it’s not something that you can give part of your energy into. It’s strong. It has roots. Deep roots that have the power to connect us on various levels with other people. It has the power to bring out of us those things—treasures that were hidden away from the world, and it can be beautiful. But it also has the power, to show the ugly things as well. The insecurities, the doubts and just how deep the seed of rejection has been planted in the garden of out hearts if its in absence.
Because our hearts are gardens.
We get to choose who we want to help us till the ground, plant the seeds and water…
We get to choose whose hands we want working alongside ours. And it’s an honor to be chosen to work and create a life together. There’s a play that my sister and I have been dying to see called Candide and that’s only because one night I was watching a recorded album sale from Barbra Streisand on PBS, it was like a live concert sort of. Before closing the two lovers sing, “…and let out garden grow..” and the words echoed throughout the theatre and eventually into the corners of my mind.
But the song gives the notion, that in this garden there is simplicity, there was also necessity and provision. In the end, the hero received his wife, the woman he had chased all along and they were starting over. It’s really beautiful. The story had ended and we as an audience we get to see the beginning, the struggle, the climax, and the solution in a decent amount of time. We get to see the end.
I made this point to say, Candide chose his lover. He sought after her to make their garden. To live their life. Now, you don’t have to be into plays or theatre to admit that deep down in every single one of us, we all have that idea of being chosen. We all want to be needed and appreciated. Being sought out and after, being called from the crowd of millions. Everybody want to be approved and everybody wants to have achievements. It’s what drives us I think and most of don’t even know why.
Love is powerful in its discovery or lack thereof. It can drive us to make stupid decisions as well if it’s obsessed over.
It reminds me of another story about two sisters in the book of Genesis named Rachel and Leah. For a quick review, Leah was considered ugly and Rachel was the perfect one. When Jacob first met Rachel, he sought after her with everything and was willing work seven years to have her as his wife. He was tricked, and given the “ugly” daughter instead and was told that he would seven more years to get Rachel. But for Leah, she was still separated, rejected even though she was his wife. She would always be seen as the accident. She would always be seen as the mistake.Because she wasn’t his first choice, love was not a factor in their relationship, because at the end of the day it was Rachel who received all of his attention.
Doesn’t that sound familiar to you?
The rejection. Because you weren’t the favorite or chosen…you were belittled. You were left alone by yourself and the most painful thing I think would be to have to witness every day that the one you loved, loves someone else. Or the thing that you loved isn’t working out for you the way you thought it would. Acceptance isn’t working out the way you thought it would.
But God has a way of taking the ugly things and redefining them and giving them abilities unlike those in their circle. I heard this scripture once at a conference and I often refer to it a lot in my downtime.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
….”But God hath chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chose the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; And the base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea…. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
Isn’t that comforting to know? That God uses the rejects of this world to confound the wise and all the nay-sayers all the people in our lives that tell us what’s available to us and what’s not. He chooses us when no one else will.
It’s virtually what we find here. God has decided to bless Leah with a gift.
“When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive but Rachel remained childless.” That first part is mindblowing. God saw her pain. He was paying attention to her life. That’s important to know and remember. Because it’s so easy to forget that you are loved and you are watched over. We find here that He himself took action and initiative to move on her behalf. That’s beautiful. The next verse says:
Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben for she said, “Its because the Lord has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.”
But here we find, that this truth has not yet made its way into her heart. Because even though, God has blessed her –she still feels like she has to prove herself to Jacob. I could relate to that, wanting to prove myself in a circle of people. Because it feels good getting the applause. Getting quoted and being liked. But we have to be careful of where we place our motivation and drive. Because there are so many things that can distract us from what we are supposed to be doing and who we are supposed to be becoming. For Leah, like so many of us, she missed it
How many times have we thought those same things:
I did …this…so
-Surely he will marry me and propose
-Surely she will like me now
-Surely they will give me a promotion and recognized me for what I have contributed to this place
-Surely they will be my friend
Her desire became her obsession. Her obsession became her drive. Her drive became her purpose and her purpose because it wasn’t founded in truth left her empty and wanting more. Even though she had already received the gift. Even though she had received the ultimate attention from God himself. Because if you continue to read you see that she conceives another son named Simeon and still held out her hopes for that one thing—being that Jacob would finally give her attention. That he would love her in the same way that he had loved Rachel. She was focusing on the wrong things and her thinking–her mental space was not cleared. Here she was being blessed and she was looking elsewhere for her source of love—for her source of being complete.
The story goes on. She had another named Levi. She then had another named Judah…..As we read on we find that Rachel is jealous, she’s beautiful, she gets the attention that so many in her place would give up their life for. That so many in her place would reinvent themselves for. But she’s barren and can’t produce life but she’s beautiful.
Isn’t that like us always in search of what another person has. The two sisters continue trying to compete with each other over bearing children and yet we still see that God blesses Leah and Rachel. These women were both trying to move ahead of God, they were trying to get ahead of God’s timing and plan for their lives. God never said he was never going to give Rachel a child. But in their obsession over the good things, like having a child or making a family, caused sin in their hearts and there were consequences that took place. But God was merciful, he took rejection and turned it into a blessing.In the book of Matthew chapter 1 we see the genealogy and Leah’s son Judah is mentioned and names all these generations…but it says in verse 16, it says that Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary and Mary was the father of Jesus. He took poor unloved Leah and allowed for her seed to produce the One who was sent to save the world…the Christ.
What does loneliness and rejection pull out of you?
What does struggle bring out of you?
Does it bring depression? Thoughts of devalue and shame? Or does it bring anger and competition? Does it bring jealousy and hate?
What we should want it to is to motivate us to believe harder. To hold onto those things that God gave us so freely. God knows the heart of Leah. He is patient and he is kind and he continues to work in your messiness ,in your hurt , rejection and your loneliness.
Her circumstances drew out of her a response that was unhealthy and God covered her. You have to get past what’s going on around you and focus on what God is doing in you and through you. We are wired to look at the mess. We are wired to look at the ugliness in our world, the unfairness, and mistreatment. But God, our champion has spoken for us and has called us out as well. We have to choose to believe in his call. We have to believe in his name for us. It’s not about proving ourselves to others–it’s not about working for the affection of others. It’s not about making our own plans or obsessing over what’s missing in our lives. Because here we find that in obsession over –even the good things–we can be misled and fall into sin.
We have to remember who the Author and Finisher is of our lives.Because those words and actions that were spoken over you are powerless. Only God has naming rights and it’s His word that counts. Being alone is not the end. Being left out or unloved is not the end. Its not our end.
So no, she never received attention from Jacob. She was never treated fairly. She was never admired and loved on the way her sister Rachel was. But she was called out from the others, she was blessed and she was sought after. We have the promise of God that he will perfect and finish all the things in our lives. I choose to believe that all of the questions will be answered and it will be revealed to me that which is for me.
Thought of the Day:
Rejection is redirection.
Never Stop Becoming, Friends.