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Healing the Hurts of Rejection
 

Hearts get broken in many ways. Though the loss of romantic love can hurt as badly as the death of a loved one and sometimes worse, many other things can break our hearts as well. I thought of this when one of my closest friends called this week. We've been buddies since high school, and he's one of the few guys who almost always calls me before I call him. He seems to have a sixth sense about this stuff. I had been thinking of him over the weekend and he called yesterday. Great friends like him are few and precious indeed.

As usual, he asked all about my life, my loves, my work and my children before I ever got to ask about his. He's that kind of guy. When I finally got to ask about his family, he said his daughter had a very rough year. Many years ago, they saw how well my children did when we home schooled them so he decided to home school his. This year, when she became a sophomore, they enrolled his daughter back into the public schools. It was a terrible year for her.

His sweet, smart, gracious young daughter is a Julia Roberts look alike. At school, they convinced the 'new girl' she was ugly, if you can imagine. They also persuaded her that she was dumb and God knows what else. My friend said more than once her older brother found her crying by her locker. This sweet, kind, lovely, intelligent girl simply didn't fit into any of the cliques. Now, the cruel adolescent pecking order has eaten away at her self image, perhaps forever altering her self esteem, eroding her sense of worth and shattering a precious part of her emotional innocence. Understandably, they are changing schools next year.

I felt terrible for my friend and his adorable "little girl." All I could offer as solace was a lame, "Well, none of us escapes adolescence unscathed." And though we can rage against the many factors in family life, public schools and society at large that make schools emotional mine fields, that won't change anything. Life can be cruel. Children can be heartless. Schools, even without guns and knives and drugs and promiscuity and alcohol are very unsafe places.

We all experience a lot of unnecessary pain before we grow up, and even more afterwards. That's why it's so wonderful that Jesus came to heal the brokenhearted and to liberate the wounded. Who among us is not in some way still bound by unhealed hurts from our past? Who among us doesn't need healing?

Public school was great for me, until we moved to a new neighborhood after second grade. In my old school, I had friends from kindergarten -- buddies to play ball with, cohorts to go sledding with, both boys and girls I could invite to my house to play with my Lionel train set. When the time came for a baseball game I knew I'd be chosen early on. The guys all knew I could hit a baseball. When I was lonely, as only children often are, I could walk across the street to my pals, or invite one over after school for some cowboys and Indians. I often got to be the good guy! I even had ready made friends at my grandparents house and in upstate New York where we went to the same cottage on Conesus Lake each year. Life was good before third grade. I knew nothing of the slings and arrows of rejection.

That all changed when we moved to a "better neighborhood." Suddenly I knew no one and, with no siblings, I had no built in friends. I also had a degree of selfishness which, when coupled with a lack of relational savvy from not having to get along with siblings, left me thoroughly unsuited for the rigors of fitting in.

That first summer was bad enough. I got off on the wrong foot early on with a large family of five very popular kids a few doors away. But when school started, it got worse. Instead of being captain on the teams during recess I was often chosen last, right next to Eddie, and he threw the ball like a girl and couldn't hit a baseball if his life depended on it.

I soon learned it wasn't safe to say what I thought, to do what I wanted, to be who I was. I went deep into a shell, trying desperately to figure out who I had to become to be accepted.

Television offered occasional clues. I could act like a tough, macho cowboy, hiding my feelings, always choking back those despicable tears, no matter how hard I hurt. Never feel, never cry, never let anyone know they hurt you. That might work.

When I turned ten, I got a paper route so I could earn money for the things I wanted. My parents didn't have much and everyone in the new neighborhood seemed to be richer than me. Maybe I could buy my way to happiness: nice clothes to make me feel like I fit in, money for a coveted English racer bicycle, and eventually my own car when I turned 16. All alone on my paper route, I recited lines I'd heard from tough guys in movies and on TV. I combed my hair like Elvis, until the Beatles came out. Then my hair was schizophrenic for a year or two, alternating between the cool greaser and the mop top. When Kennedy became president, my hair psychosis was over. No more greasy kids stuff for me, I was casual cool forever.

When I turned twelve my whole world changed. I grew 12 inches that summer. I also discovered girls. Better yet, they discovered me.  In addition, I started junior high school with a whole new chance to start over and make new friends. Even some of my buddies from my old school were there. Since I looked older and my voice was deeper, I finally got the attention and acceptance I so craved. Even older girls loved me.

As you can imagine that started a new round of problems in my perpetual quest for approval. I started smoking cigarettes at 12, drinking in bars at 14, sex at 16. All of it a desperate ploy to finally fit in; one big, sorry, vain attempt to be accepted and to dull the suppressed pain of rejection.

One of the most memorable first lines I ever remember reading from a book was in M. Scott Peck's, THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED. He said, "Life is difficult, but once we accept the fact that life is difficult, life becomes less difficult." Certainly God never promised us a rose garden. His Son sure didn't live in one. His whole life was more like Gethsemane, a word that literally means oil press, named for the olive oil that came from the trees planted there. God's only Son also experienced the heartbreak and pain of rejection, even from His most trusted friends. The same men who pledged their eternal fidelity refused to admit they knew him as soon as the chips were down. He was the ultimate "Man of sorrows," rejected and despised by the very people for whom He came to die.

Yet it's precisely because He was so hurt and rejected that He can identify with our most painful struggles. He of all people can help us through our most awful agonies.   Because He was wounded for our iniquities He can even heal us from the many times our heart got broken by the oft unwitting cruelties of other hurting people.

I tried to start my new book, LIBERATING THE WOUNDED, with another memorable opening line. It's this: "Time doesn't heal all our wounds, it really doesn't heal any." The fact is, only God heals wounds.

I had a fascinating talk with an agnostic this week. She had seen the article a friend wrote about me in the local paper. She called to see if an agnostic could benefit from my retreat. I told her if she was open to God, it would. I've had other agnostics come and, though they didn't benefit as much as believers, they got value from the event. I explained that every honest physician acknowledges the fact that the doctor sets the bone but only God can heal it. This is even more true for our emotional wounds. Her response surprised me. She said," I must admit, my friends who have faith seem to get over sickness much faster than I do." I thought that was a fascinating and very honest statement from someone who doesn't even know if God exists.

The fact is, God promised over 2,600 years ago that He would heal our broken hearts. He said He would bind up our wounds and free us from the bondages cause. He sent His Son the set us free from our fears, to heal the pain of our numerous rejections in life, to keep us from being bound by destructive habits that can rob us of our health, vitality, relationships and even our very life. He came to love us so deeply that we could also become capable of loving, as He loved us.

To do that, we will probably need healing. That's why Jesus came, it's why He gave healing gifts to His people, and it's why I offer retreats. We open and use those healing gifts there. I hope you can attend one.

 

A Remarkable Healing

NOTE: Sometimes I run across a story so wonderful and dramatic I want the world to know. I met this dear woman online. When she shared her amazing story I knew it would bless you. Enjoy!

Most of my life I believed that Jehovah's Witnesses was the only true religion. This left me very confused. When I finally discovered they are a cult, I sought truth in many different pagan religions including Wicca.

During this time, I was getting sicker and sicker. The only healing group I could find is called reiki. I went to their school and became a second-degree reiki practitioner. I used this on myself as well as others but I just kept getting sicker.  After more than two years of tests with doctors who were as confused as I was, they finally sent me to a specialist. He almost literally drained me of all my blood for the many types of blood testing I required. Bad reports told him I had not much more than a year to live.

My brother was a Pastor but I had not seen him for about 10 years. He came to pray for me and returned the next night to try and lead me to the Lord. I was skeptical but thought I may as well do this thing and at least make him happy. I had no idea what that would lead to.

Between Monday and Thursday, God was dealing with me. I actually looked forward to my water baptism on Sunday. By Saturday, I was getting real excited and Sunday was unbelievable. I opened the Bible to a scripture in James where God showed me about the prayer of faith from the elders of the church. I told my brother, "I want this prayer!" So, the elders did that for me. Although I was not totally sure about my healing, I knew no matter what happened I felt a deep happiness I cannot put into words. I remember coming home from church and telling God I loved Him; I didn't know what He had done to me exactly but I loved Him and not for anything I wanted from Him or anything He would do for me.

This was four and a half years ago. Jesus not only saved me but He also took a death sentence off of me and healed me of Disassociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder). I also had Vasculitis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and Allergies to almost every drug on the market and just about everything else. My health had gotten so bad I had an Auto Immune Disorder -- my body turned against itself. It literally saw everything as the enemy.

Three days after I was baptized God spoke to me. He told me all the pagan things I had been into are not where my miracle would be found. He said, "The power is in your prayers!" That was so awesome. Hearing Gods voice was better than any thing I had ever experienced. I have never been the same since. God IS REAL. He still heals today. He even talks to us!
Carolyn Nixon, AKA JesusKindaGirl   

 

 

 

Ken Unger is President of OnlyGodsFinest.com and founder of TransformationIncorporated.com, where you can learn more about him and his transformative ministry. click here ,
 "Ken's new book, The Ultimate Breakthrough, goes beyond self help to self healing. You can preview it at  The Ultimate Breakthrough "
 
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