Guest Blog Series: Heather Schoeneberg
Friday was finally here, and we were on a date. My husband and I were out on the town to celebrate my birthday. Dates hardly ever happened anymore due to the demands of life and ministry. My husband had been serving as senior pastor at our church for four years, but the last few months had been difficult. Discord had plagued our church. Earlier in the week, he had challenged the leaders of the church to come forward Sunday during worship and pray with him for the unity of the body. We were already going into this date very broken. We finally had a break, but it wouldn’t take long before our momentary freedom would be interrupted.
As soon as we were ready to escape for a moment, his phone rang. All hope of having a peaceful evening together ended the second he answered the phone. The head of deacons in our church called to let my husband know they would not be joining him in the altar. We were devastated. We felt so rejected. For the rest of the evening, we went through the motions, but our hearts were absent; our minds focused on the hurt and letdown. Our one night out was a bust.
Many trials like this face us every day in ministry. Maybe you’re like me and you’ve watched your husband go through things no one should ever go through. Maybe you feel like you’ve been beaten down beyond repair. Maybe you’ve allowed the successes and failures of meetings, services, actions, and words to dictate your feelings. It’s so easy to give into those feelings: feelings of defeat, depression, and desperation. Ultimately, feelings of rejection.
Rejection. This is where we often live. This is where the enemy knows he can tear us down. Rejection causes us to see things that aren’t there, hear things that weren’t said, feel things that destroy us. Rejection makes us feel worthless and leaves us empty. Rejection can dictate feelings and even our relationship with the Lord. It makes us feel so defeated, and we forget the victory the Savior won when He surrendered to the cross. Can you feel the war raging deep inside your soul? The enemy whispers lies of rejection and unworthiness, and the Lord sings songs of hope and worth over your life. It can be a constant battle deciding who to listen to.
So how do we listen to His songs over our lives instead of the enemy’s lies of rejection? Let me share with you how He has shown me these songs throughout my struggles:
- Feelings are so unreliable- don’t trust them! Every time I’ve trusted in my feelings, I’ve been so disappointed. Psalm 119:112 tells us to lead our hearts. Our hearts can deceive us and lead us astray. They can cause us to see those things that aren’t there. We have to lead our hearts to the only One who can be trusted. Tell your heart every time you start to trust your feelings: “Heart, you are not in charge today! I’m going to trust in his promises!”
- Rejection does not need to define who you are. Allow the cross of Christ to set you free and define you! John 8:36 tells us that He has set us free. He has set us free from the bondage of rejection. Live in His freedom!
- Speak truth to your soul. Open His Word and read His promises. Psalm 42 says that His song is with us; we shall hope and praise Him again. Promises and joy can be found in His Word! Silence the enemy’s lies by speaking His promises and truths.
Join me in doing this every day, maybe every minute if you have to! Choose to live in His love- know that you are fully loved and created for a purpose! Choose to live in His grace- know that you will make mistakes and at times fail, but He will pick you up and start again. Choose to live in His peace- that in the storms of life, His songs of hope, trust, and worth will sing over you and quiet the waves of failure, uncertainty, and most of all rejection.
Heather Lynn is a teacher, mom of two children, and pastor’s wife. She and her husband have been serving churches for the last 11 years and are currently in transition and praying about the plans God has for them with their next church. Writing, reading, blogging, and women’s ministry are just a few of her passions. She also loves studying the Word and teaching women to grow deeper in their walk with the Lord through Bible studies and conferences. You can read her personal blog at: www.hisbrokenremnant.wordpress.com