I noticed the subtle put-downs and dismissive comments.
'I wouldn't want to eat that', referring to the food I made for the baby.
'Blogging isn't real writing'.
'Your car is just a regular car, except for that turbo and tail fin. It's nothing special'. For the record, my car was a Subaru Impreza WRX.
I noticed the glowing reviews of other people this same person gave, praising their career choices and habits, and I wanted that.
I felt passed over.
I noticed the unwillingness to get something simple for me and suggesting instead that I go to the Dollar Store when it would be out of my way and might trigger a fraud alert on my debit card. (Small charges made in succession can do that, and I had already put a few small charges on the card that day).
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I sensed the unwillingness when I asked to possibly ride with or follow to a destination I had no idea how to get to on my own.
Comment after comment, and I began to get the hint.
The problem isn't the comments or the apparent lack of approval for my writing, baby food, or car. It is the hanging on to hurtful things.
And I am sure you do it too.
You know what's coming, but you hold out hope for something different as if you are dependent on it. Like a drug or something.
Well stop it. It's killing you.
I came to this realization the other day.
Reeling from rejection after rejection and feeling hurt, I had to go to the hospital to have blood work done to figure out why I get sick all the time, and why it takes so long for me to get better.
Whenever I have blood work done, it is scary. I realize there is the possibility that some hidden, unseen thing will come to light like a monster emerging from the shadows. I was beyond stressed as I waited for the results.
This pressure made me realize something: I had to let go of all the things that are killing me.
Them not liking me. Them insulting me. Them not including me. Them withholding support. All of the things.
There have been some recent articles about the connection between childhood trauma and chronic illness, and medical science is beginning to realize the connection between stress, inflammation, and disease. I'll leave a link here and promptly move on.
The Bible says this:
'A crushed spirit dries up the bones.' Proverbs 17:22
The test showed low platelets, and if you know anything about blood, you know that it is produced in the marrow. As in bone marrow.
I have a problem in my bones, and I have a crushed spirit.
The slights, the looks, and the looking away, it hurts me. Be assured of that. It cuts me. Deeply. I feel things, I understand things, and I perceive things, though you might not hear me say it.
I am aware of every unfriending on facebook. I notice your absence, and I wonder why you've chosen to cut me out of your life.
I am stricken in spirit. I am crushed. And I feel it in my bones.
And before I get any older, and before you get any older, we have to stop. We need to stop doing this to ourselves. We need to let go of what is killing us.
I am not saying to necessarily let go of the relationship. I do not believe it would be wise to do that in some of these cases, however, I have realized something.
The slights, the looks, and the insults ARE NOT IMPORTANT. That blood test is important. My child is important. My spouse is important.
My ministry is important. My relationship with Jesus is important. Paying our bills is important. Driving safely is important. Being there for my husband and child is important. Following God's call on my life is important.
The fickle words and choices of frail humanity are NOT IMPORTANT. Not important, not important, not important, not important. Not important any more.
I have shifted my priorities. And it's funny, because overnight, the pain in my soul has gone away. I recognize those who are my friends, and those who are not...don't matter.
And I want that for you. I don't want you to be so stricken in spirit that you end up crushing your own bones. Instead, I want this for you:
'A joyful heart is good medicine' Proverbs 17:22
'Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.' Prov 3:8
'Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.' Galatians 1:10
The health of your body and soul are important. If that means disregarding the importance of hurtful stares or mean comments, then so be it. You can wear yourself out until there is nothing left, and some people still won't like you or support you.
And if you expend yourself thus, what will you have left? And why are you giving it all away in the first place? Usually to fill a void that the person cannot and does not want to fill.
Don't let yourself get to a point where you're looking at being too sick to bear the negativity before you decide it is no longer worth considering.
I am not saying that other people are why I am sick, but I am saying that I can't bear the load of all of this heartache anymore on top of all I am going through.
That there is a possible connection between grief and physical suffering makes me all the more determined to shelve disparaging actions as not important.
After all what happens when someone says something mean? Nothing. If I am unfriended on facebook, what happens? Nothing. If people think I make stupid decisions, what happens? You get the picture.
I love them and pray for them and haven't cut them off (although many have cut themselves purposely off). I just know what's important now, and I hope you do too.
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