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What’s your favorite feeling? 

I love that mixer question.

I’ve heard all sorts of answers.  Just recently I asked it to my friends during coffee fellowship:  Anna said, feeling loved.  Elly said, I love the feeling I get when I know someone understands me.  Elizabeth said the feeling of being in a church where people know her.  I remember seven years ago asking this question to a group of women and some of the responses I received still float around in my head:  I love the feeling I get when being piled in bed with all my children and reading to them.  And another, I love the feeling I get every night when my head hits the pillow.  Funny that I seem to remember things having to do with sleep.

So what’s my favorite feeling?  Acceptance.

I love it so much I actually made it a personal doctrine for all time — the doctrine of acceptance.  Perhaps a close kin to the doctrine of adoption, but I personally like my term better.  And of course the antithesis of my favorite feeling is feeling rejected.  Just writing that brings me to a place where my emotional quotient is plummeting at a rapid speed.
So back to acceptance.  Aahh.  That’s better.

I love being included.   And, while this acceptance thing is truly a lovely feeling – what bothers me is that it is predicated on other humans to produce the feeling within me.  And I’m not so crazy about having my emotional well being dependent on others.  So its an issue for me—a strong one.

For example — recently I wrote an e-mail to someone – someone who I often allow their silence to unnerve me and bring me to thoughts that produce insecurity within me.  And sure enough – I woke the next morning and remembered – huh, they didn’t respond to that e-mail I wrote – the one where I was vulnerable – in a clever sort of way – but disagreeing with them in a bold sort of way – but it was good-spirited  — in a funny sort of way.  I thought it was funny.   Apparently they didn’t.

So there goes my favorite feeling – with one little non-response – my EQ (emotional quotient) has tanked.

Why? Why? Why?

Didn’t I read and even teach on Ed Welch’s book:  When People are Big and God is Small?  Didn’t I already do a whole devotional talk on the doctrine of acceptance? Years ago!?  Isn’t my husband’s favorite book Love is a Choice – the one he mentions to me every day of our lives – the one where he wants me to do the Love is a Choice Workbook this year?

Yes, yes and yes.

So WHY do I allow others to affect me so quickly?  I think Tom would say, because I’m co-dependent.

But here’s what I would say: I have taken my eyes off of Jesus and put them on humans.  I am saying in essence, without really verbalizing it:  Thanks for loving me God, but you really aren’t sufficient for sustaining my emotional well being – because I often allow someone that I don’t even have a close relationship with – someone who probably didn’t mean anything by the silence  – to have this kind of effect on me.

And that’s a problem. 

So what am I going to do about it?

Reread Ed Welch because I apparently didn’t get it the first time?

Finally understand why Tom likes the book Love is a Choice so much and seems to think every client he has is now growing by leaps and bounds because they are reading it?  [btw, I read it last year and it didn’t rock my world like it did my husband’s].

I think the solution could contain portions of all of that – but I think even more essential to climbing out of the feeling-rejected-pit is multifaceted – and the first facet is to throw myself on the mercy of God and repent.

Then, figure out how to find my identity in Christ.  You know, some doctrines and teachings in scripture are just not very black and white to my soul – and it truly takes some sort of life-long-figuring-out.

So, how do I actually “figure out” finding my identity in Christ?  Truly.  Completely.  Forever.

For starters and daily reminders these beautiful truths do help…

knowing that …

… while I was yet a sinner Christ died for me.

… he rescued me because he delighted in me

…. he has placed me as a seal on his heart.

… I am in the palm of his hand and no one can snatch me from those hands.

… while Jesus was on the cross my sins were being covered – even this recurring and wretched sin of caring too much about what others may think of me.

Surely these truths are essential in helping with the feelings of rejection – but even more importantly I think they aid greatly in our spiritual growth and maturity…

But, if I believed this was really a wretched sin – why do I keep allowing it to have a hold on me?  And, who will save me from this recurring problem?  It really isn’t enough to just know what I am to do – because still I don’t do it.

“But thanks be to God, through Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 7:25)

You see?!  This is the answer—Jesus—and while the answer is simple, letting it permeate your being has not been easy for me.  I am constantly having to learn how to live in this story of finding my identity in Christ.  Perhaps when I see him face to face this wretched condition that I am prone to will no longer be an issue.  But until then I am liable to struggle.

Oh to live in the knowledge that he CHOSE me – and he accepted me before the foundation of the world!  Remembering that he is rejoicing over me WITH SINGING!  It’s time sing back!