It is no secret that being a new mom can have feelings of loneliness attached to it. While I am thankful each and every day for the time spent with my precious baby, there are days I’m left wondering what my friends are doing, if there is a mommy group I can be part of, or just needing to get out of the house for a ‘quick run.’ In short, I can easily find myself feeling uninvited. So when I found this book I quickly snatched it up, eager to find that (hopefully) I’m not the only one who has ever felt this way!
In the book, Lysa talks candidly about how rejection from her father as a little girl followed her around her entire life, affecting all of her relationships. She struggled to see God’s love for her and grace in the midst of doubting Him and finding her own identity. She writes that the very core of who we are as people, our very nature, is to crave acceptance from other people. And that is so true! How many times do we place unnecessary burdens on ourselves because we would hate to let someone down, or have someone think less of us?
I love what she said when she talks about loneliness- it always leads to more intimacy with God. I find myself seeking His companionship more and more and that can only lead to a more fruitful walk with Him. She helps us to see that we don’t need the approval of man to be validated; no amount of successes on our part will make us feel loved. That kind of love can only come from God, who promises to love us every part of every day.
Maybe my favorite concept from the book is that we are not set aside, rather we are set apart.
“To be set aside is to be rejected, to be set apart is to be given an assignment that requires preparation. Seasons of loneliness can be incredibly painful, but if we ask God to help us embrace the preparation of us, we can see the gifts He has for us in this time of hidden-ness.” I had to read that over and over because the truth is right there. God has not set me aside while He tends to more important people or pressing matters. He is right here with me, perhaps He has only set me apart because He has a more important plan for me. I am in a process of being molded and shaped for something far better than what is in my present.
Maybe there is a secret blessing in the feelings of rejection. Instead of seeking the validation of other people, I am able to dig deeper into what God says of me.
There is redemption in my rejection!
In the last chapter, Lysa takes us to the book of John chapter 18, in the Garden with Jesus. He is feeling and facing the ultimate rejection- knowing that He is about to face the cross. But notice where he is-in a grove of olive trees. What is significant about the olives? They cannot be utilized until they go through a process of washing, breaking, soaking, and waiting. Only then can the oil be extracted from them. So in short, the crushing times are necessary, processing and preservation times. God does not let us go through seasons of hurt for no reason. Often times we are only growing, only being set apart for a much greater purpose.
God has not abandoned you in the season of loneliness. He sees you right where you are. He doesn’t want you to feel left out, or less than. He certainly doesn’t want you to seek man’s approval in the midst of it. He only wants us to see that we are chosen, called, adored, and reserved for a high and holy calling.
Since I have trusted God with this part of my life, I have seen Him send friends to me, in unlikely circumstances, as a reminder that He cares about every aspect of my heart. I have seen Him speak His love to me through random texts, calls, invites, etc. that were the very things making me feel left out. Even Jesus suffered rejection, but in that very moment He showed us that it is the rejection, the loneliness, that God is using to prepare us for what He has coming. And that my friends, is more beautiful than any plan I could make for myself.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with feelings of rejection, loneliness, or even struggling to feel God’s love. You can buy this book, or any of Lysa TerKeurst’s books here.