“We have reviewed the applications for this team, and I’m sorry to say you weren’t selected. Please know there was nothing “wrong” with your application, it’s just we were able to fill the positions with people who had some very specific life experiences we needed.”
The words registered in my mind, but I struggled to grasp the meaning. “Surely, this can’t be right?” I thought. A well-known blog desired a sensitivity review team. They sought people who had been through traumatic experiences. When I read the description, I felt certain I would be a perfect fit.
Had I been through a difficult, emotional experience?
A twelve-year abusive relationship. Check.
Had I endured difficult seasons?
Numerous court battles and thirteen years of attempting to co-parent our children with a toxic individual. Check.
Had I healed and grown from my experience?
Multiple seasons of counseling, fervently seeking God, and transforming my mess into a message. Check.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20
For the last six years, that verse has been my lifeline. The anchor I cling to when waves of memories, emotions, and hurts from the past threaten to overwhelm me.
Why did I date a man who abused me? Why did I marry him?Why did I bring two innocent children into the world who did not ask to be born to an abusive father? Why didn’t I call the police?
Discouraging days lead to an overwhelming abundance of questions in my mind.
Nonetheless, there are days when my words resonate with someone. Days I am told my story has helped another. Days when I feel like a conqueror over the evil that held me captive for so many years.
On those days I am confident in God’s purpose for my life. I am reassured He will use me to help others avoid the pitfalls of abusive relationships.
It is the hope I embrace when the consequences of my choices are difficult to bear.
But today is not one of those days. Today is rejection. Today is reading an email stating my traumatic experiences have been rejected. Why, Lord?
This rejection stings. I can quantify being rejected for lack of experience, an insufficient platform, or a skill set that is not fully developed. But this rejection of my brokenness cuts deep.
The email pops up as I prepare dinner. My husband and four children are in different rooms of our house. No one sees me wipe tears from my eyes as I comprehend the delivered message.
Reading it slowly, I realize this position is not the avenue God intends for me.
I hope to educate young teens on the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships. I want to empower them to know their self-worth and value comes from God and not from a relationship status. I desire to equip them with the knowledge needed to recognize toxic people and provide strategies to help them walk away.
Hope is defined as, “a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen.” I hope to save young lives from the pain I experienced. I hope to make domestic violence a topic that is brought into the open. I hope my heartache will help others.
The human side of me wants to justify years of beatings as being “worth it” only if many lives are saved, my platform grows, and a book is published. The enemy makes me doubt that the evil of those years can be a catalyst to rescue someone.
It’s an emotional tug-of-war between my faith and my fears.
The sizzling chicken snaps me from my thoughts. I have been in this mindset before. I have read the rejections, been hurt by the “no thanks” and “not a right fit” comments.
The tears fall for a few moments. I head to the bathroom to splash water on my face and look at my reflection in the mirror. I am disappointed but not disheartened. I feel rejection’s sting, but my hope is not diminished.
I finish cooking dinner and anticipate tomorrow’s agenda. What writing project is on my to-do list? Which Instagram post is planned? Hope pushes me forward.
God will use my experience to point teens to Him based on His timeline. By His grace, my pain and story will save others from dating and domestic violence. My hope remains as I trust God to bring my message to the people who need it.
These days my focus is not based on “numbers” or “success” by the world’s standard but on doing the next thing God asks of me.
My greatest hope is to arrive at the gates of heaven and hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things…Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)
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