Some come and go as we age, experience life and change environments.
Others become our darkest anchors that keep us from forging the seas of life.
As a child I believe I feared little. I crawled out of the crib at 16 or 18 months old...I didn't really have a plan, but I knew I wanted out. I loved animals, climbing trees and stuck just about anything in my mouth to check it out (sorry mom!).
As I grew and became more sensitive to the world around me, fear became a more real experience. I remember in elementary school having this recurring nightmare (probably linked to some nickelodeon game-show or the movie Hook) that I was locked in a chair, surrounded by my friends and family who proceeded to laugh and throw food and colorful goop at me. Do you like me? My fear of rejection and loneliness became a sub-conscious reality in life.
Not unlike anyone I know, this fear of rejection continued through Jr. High and High School where circumstances rarely countered my deep fears. Socially I was in the "uncool" group and in Jr. High there's not a whole lot you can do to get out of that once you've been labeled.
So instead of trying to fight it I went to the place where I was accepted and nurtured among peers (because at that point peers were all that mattered)--Church. What is the role of the church? Is the church just a psycho-social crutch to make people feel okay about being uncool or lame? What does God think about the people who are cool? Where do we all fit in and how do we make this work? Who am I truly, in God?
By going to Church through this time in my life, I now know, that it wasn't good just because I had a few friends there. It was an enriching, life-changing, strengthening, humbling and beautiful time because of the depth and width and height of the God of all creation, and the people who are found in God.
I was reminded today by a friend that God is so much bigger than our fears, questions, perspective, deepest desires and ability to comprehend. ~amen
So, I don't share about my fears of loneliness, rejection, failures and incompleteness because I want you to say "oh poor baby," but I share because I know you're there with me. I know when I had to say goodbye to my grandma yesterday that she cried out in fear of being left alone, or with strangers. She has lost the capacity to understand and comprehend the greater picture and all she sees in dementia is the immediate fracture of security and comfort when we leave. Or the phone call my friend got at church by a disabled member who's heart was hurting because he felt all alone. It is humbling to realize my deepest fears and sensitivities are no different from these people. Society tries to push them aside and say they are not normal, but they are as human as I.
We all have broken hearts. We all long to be deeply loved and connected with another.
From Isaiah 62 (The Message)
"You'll get a brand-new name straight from the mouth of God. You'll be a stunning crown in the palm of God's hand, a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God. No more will anyone call you Rejected, and your country will no more be called Ruined. You'll be called Hephzibah (My Delight), and your land Beulah (Married), because God delights n you and your land will be like a wedding celebration."