If you are just joining us, we are journeying together through Lysa Terkeurst’s book, “Uninvited.” If you would like to read along, you can get your own copy of Lysa’s book HERE (affiliate link.)
Read the previous posts here:
Today we are taking a look at Chapter 8.
When Past Experiences Magnify Our Rejection
Sometimes we carry around lies with us that originate in our past experiences. We often don’t even recognize them as lies. Instead we believe them. These are false beliefs.
False beliefs are a concept that can be found in cognitive therapy. If we heard certain words or phrases or experienced deep hurts (especially in childhood), we begin to internalize them as true. These are things like:
- I’m not good enough
- I’m a failure
- I’m unlikeable
- I’m worthless
I have two older sisters and one older brother. My sisters are only a year apart from each other and I am four and five years younger than them. My brother is the oldest and is eight years older than me. With this difference in ages, it’s easy to see that my sisters would be close and I was the annoying younger sister who always wanted to be included but wasn’t wanted. They wanted to do their thing without me pestering. I often heard things like, “go away,” “get lost,” or, “we don’t want you here!” Hurtful to hear as a younger sister who just wanted to be accepted and included.
One particular memory stands out more clearly than the rest. I was allowed to have a friend over one day and of course I was super excited about it. This particular time, my older sisters chummed up to my friend and again rejected me and told me to “go away.” My friend was good enough for them, but I wasn’t.
As an aside, my sisters were kids and as we grew older we became much more close. I don’t hold these things against them, I’ve forgiven them, but the experiences still worked in my life to create a lie that became a false belief to me. “I’m not good enough.” It’s part of the struggle that I’ve had, and with God’s help have worked to overcome.
How can you know if a past experience has turned into a false belief in your life? Lysa explains it really well:
If we react with more emotion than is appropriate for an isolated incident, it’s probably not so isolated. The escalated emotion of this situation is probably an indication of painful ties to the past.
She goes on to say:
Most people are walking around with way more hurts from their past than we can ever imagine. Pretty much everyone has at some point been deeply hurt by someone.
In this chapter, Lysa talks about the importance of validating others when they are showing signs of hurt by using words that express to them, “me too.” This allows them to feel more normal and like they belong.
What if it’s you who is having the emotional reaction that is magnified by your past experiences? What can you do?
Here are some things that I’ve found helpful:
- Validate yourself. Tell yourself something like, “It makes sense that I’m feeling these emotions right now. This current situation triggered feelings from my past experience.”
- Invite God into the situation. Ask Him to help you find healing from the past experience so that it no longer has such a strong influence over you. Allow yourself to see God’s love and acceptance of you in the midst of the past hurt. Any time you notice the past trying to push it’s way back into a current situation, pray about it.
- Begin to replace the lie from your past with God’s soothing truth. When you look at the hurt you are feeling can you identify what lie you are believing? Find scripture that will counter the lie with the truth of what God wants you to believe instead.
No amount of outside achievement fixes inside hurts. Those hurts have to be soothed by replacing lies with truth.No amount of outside achievement fixes inside hurts. ~ Lysa Terkeurst Click To Tweet
Often we try to make ourselves feel better by filling our life up with things like personal achievements, more stuff, nicer things, better looks and slimmer bodies. None of this will fix our inside hurts. They may mask it for awhile, but really they are just a facade. The only way we can find true healing is through Christ. Remember, he was rejected, unaccepted, spit upon and mocked. He understands completely the hurt and rejection that we feel and He can come in, heal our past hurts and wash over us with the truth that He loves us and accepts us.
I pray that if you have been struggling with past hurts interfering in your present circumstances that you will find this healing that Jesus offers.
Sometimes I connect with these blogs during the week.