I'm not done with the subject though. Apparently its relevance isn't going away anytime soon.
We've all heard it (especially if you read my blogs from this summer); my story is rejection.
Rejection from peers, family members, supposed friends, and mainly large groups of Christian girls. You name it, I've probably got a story for it. But through Christ I've overcome a lot of it, and found peace in His amazing love for me.
But the funny thing about my life is that I'm still really human. While my soul wants so desperately to always follow Christ and live out His love, my flesh is at constant battle trying to run away and please everyone. Some days (okay, lets be honest. . . MOST days) I'd really love to just say, "Screw it," and dance around like I don't have a care in the world, saying what I want to whoever I want and doing whatever makes me feel good. But when it comes down to it, I know that giving into my flesh would only bring a temporary sense of happiness and ultimately I'd end up right where I started; miserable, defeated, and a sobbing mess on a dorm room couch.
On Tuesday night, I went to a campus ministry with my guy friends from school. I was really excited to begin building my Christian community at school and having the guys by my side for it. We walked in, sat down, and exchanged a few looks over the overdone announcements that started off the night. Then the lights were dimmed, the band took their place, and we started into my favorite part of any service: the worship.
Standing there prepared to worship like I had for the past two months, I was gripped by a sudden bought of insecurity. I was standing in a room with 200 some people who didn't worship like we did in Thailand and standing between three of my guy friends who I had never actually openly worshiped around. Satan is a sneaky little punk sometimes, and I let this insecurity stop me from worshiping with the freedom I had known all summer.
The speaker took awhile to get going, so I opened my Bible and started reading where the pages fell open, which happened to be 1 Peter. The first verse I read smacked me in the face like a sack of bricks straight to the face.
"As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ,"
- 1 Peter 2:4-5
I don't think He could have spoken to me any more clearly had He ripped off the roof of the building, pointed a crazy intimidating finger in my face and said, "When did it slip your mind that following me meant walking straight into rejection from the world?"
The moment I chose to follow Christ and leave the world behind, I unintentionally chose to live in the one thing I've wanted to escape my whole life: rejection. Rejection from the world, including people close to me, friends and family who love me but don't understand me, and especially people who just outright disagree with me. By choosing Christ, I'm choosing rejection while ultimately choosing acceptance from my Creator and Father and Relentless Lover. But this makes everyday life a challenge and constant struggle, especially when I find myself in a situation where no one understands, no matter how hard they try, why I'm doing what I'm doing. I can know for a fact that Jesus has asked something of me, but convincing everyone else of that isn't always easy and isn't always necessary, but the price of it all is anything from a strange look to a condescending response to outright abandonment. My beliefs are offensive, my God unwanted by the creation He gave so much time for and gave the ultimate sacrifice for, and before now it was so easy to live as if this wasn't the case. But I've had my eyes opened to the crazy, wild love He has for us and the plan He has for my life, and there is no way I can turn away from it.
Therefore, the thing I've run from my entire life, I'm choosing to walk in it. Why? Because while I'm rejected by the world around me I'm CHOSEN and PRECIOUS in the sight of the Lord who made me and delights in me and wants to see me prosper and sharing His overwhelming love with anyone and everyone who needs it, whether they want it or not.
I chose rejection, because by choosing rejection I'm choosing to walk in the love and acceptance of the only One I need acceptance from.
And that is a kind of rejection I'm pretty confident I can handle.