Sooo…it’s been a minute…my bad but all that matters is that we’re here at Chapter 15! I promise I’m gonna finish this book by the end of the year. Anyway, on to the review.
Lysa begins this chapter reminiscing about a time when she revealed her true feelings to her best male friend in high school who happened to run through girls like laxatives. (That was kinda graphic 💩 lol) He was a playa but she somehow loved him anyway. Needless to say, it didn’t play out like the movies. He did not grab her as she left, embracing her with a kiss that could make nuns blush.
Nah, he actually had the nerve to stop talking to her for awhile. I mean really, does it ever play out like the movies?
I’d obviously be lying if I said that I’ve never been in her shoes. Years ago, I had a crush at work. He was perfect; attractive, in school, obviously had a job, loved God, close to his family and he was artistic. I was seriously in love!!! We became really close. It’s hard for me to explain, it wasn’t like friend close but the most that ever happened was our knees would touch at lunch. That was enough for me!! It was a relationship that wasn’t physical and that’s what made it amazing because we were able to connect on other levels. I held my feelings in until I felt like I would burst, I had to put myself out there. (even then I was tryna live my best life) I figured he knew how I felt because everyone else knew how I felt. I really didn’t think it was a secret but I needed to put it out there so that it could be dealt with.
He told me that he didn’t understand why women want men who don’t have their stuff together. Girl, he just wasn’t that into you. Granted, he might not have had his stuff together but we were young and we could’ve built together, at least that’s what I thought. I know first hand how awful, embarrassing and painful that can be. To put yourself out there and get rejected messes with your mind and confidence. I can deal with it a lot better now but in high school (hers happened in high school), the smallest things are so magnified and seem so important. My situation happened at work and I had to see him everyday. I had to deal with people saying how cute we were together knowing he didn’t want that type of relationship from me.
For both, Lysa and myself, time healed those wounds of rejection. I somehow think it would have been that easy if it was the only rejection that we had to endure but it wasn’t. Each rejection added to the pain, the sense of loss, decrease in value and overall feeling of the older rejection supporting the reasoning behind the newer ones. Those situations make you feel like not just running away but disappearing. It fools you into thinking if you could be smaller or be prettier or funnier or just make someone fall in love with you that those feelings would go away but they don’t. They imprint on your subconscious. It’s transforming. It’s not just an incident that happened to you, it’s who you’ve become and we think we have to either live with it or live the rest of our lives trying to get over it.
Now that I’m on the other side of the trauma (I thought I was), it’s weird. If our household goods or electronics break down, we are quick to look up our warranty information, we’ll take it back to the store to get fixed or to get a refund but we don’t do that with ourselves. When I came to the end of myself, when I had nothing left to give or prove, I had to take myself back to my manufacture to get a manufacturer’s reset. Lysa did too.
Avoiding future relationships won’t fix it. Staying busy enough or becoming successful enough or accumulating enough won’t fix it. I closed my eyes and said “Lord, what will fix this? What will take away this feeling that I’m going to be stuck in seasons of darkness the rest of my life?” Three words popped into my mind: Turn to Me. (TerKeurst, page 191
Wow, doesn’t that sound good? but on some real stuff, how do you? Turn to God, that is? My heart is broken and I’ve tried nursing it and I can’t seem to find the remedy and the last thing I want to hear is that I have to do another thing. That’s real. So how do you get close enough to God for Him to heal you? You take in His word. One of my favorites is “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” John 14:15 (NIV) I’ve held on to that word. It has brought me through some of the worst times in my life. It holds me accountable. I’m not concerned what anyone else is doing but I constantly ask myself, “What is my love looking like?”
I couldn’t do that until I got to the end of me trying to bandage my own hurts. I didn’t want to deal with them. I’m not sure if I was too busy or if it was too painful but eventually I had to rip the band aid off and deal with the issues. I couldn’t do that by myself so I started becoming more transparent about what was going on. As I was being ministered to someone said “Your dad couldn’t give you what he didn’t have. He gave you all he could. His job was to get you here and if that was it then you can’t expect more.” At that point, I still couldn’t accept it but it kept ringing in my spirit until it irritated me. So I sat by myself one day and I asked myself. “What do you expect?” and my answer shocked me “I expected Heathcliff Huxtable.” There. It. Was. I didn’t get that love and attention as a child but he was great to my sisters and that wasn’t fair. As much as I love my sisters, I knew they deserved it but I couldn’t help but to say “But I did too.” That broke me. I literally sunk down until I fell to my knees sobbing uncontrollably. I deserved better and every time I tried, whether it was with my dad or a guy that I liked, I somehow began to expect rejection. I didn’t think that they would stay. I thought they couldn’t out-love me so they would leave. The rejection of my dad made me an overachiever, so if I couldn’t do it, it couldn’t be done or I couldn’t count on anyone to be there for me like I was for them.
Steal a girl’s hope and you stomp the life out of her sweetest desire. (TerKeurst, page 196)
Before my ah-ha moment, I couldn’t identify that. I had seen so many good examples of a father in my friend’s fathers so I knew it was possible. So I finally, presented myself back to my manufacture. I told Him my story, I told Him that I heard He was my father too and how I needed one. I told Him I couldn’t count on my earthly one and asked Him if he would take over because I could no longer carry the burden of perfection. I didn’t come to Him conventionally. I didn’t always remember to read His word but I would hold on to certain scriptures that would minister life back to me. I also became really active in my congregation because I knew I had to get around people that had my answers and could pour life into me. After a while, I began to be able to do the same for others and as of last year I began to build a relationship with my dad.
Currently I haven’t talked to him in a couple of months. There were no falling outs this time. Time simply slipped by and once I realized it I got intimidated. I know the longer I wait the more time we lose but this is an area in which I still struggle.
Lysa finishes off the chapter talking about a trip she took to Israel. She states that her breakthrough came when she was in the Garden of Gethsemane. She recalls how Jesus could’ve run from His purpose but He stopped and uttered “Yet not my will, but yours be done” in this very place where olives grew. Olives were made to be crushed and as we know, it was the Father’s will to crush Jesus. His crushing was necessary, just like the olives that made the backdrop. In order to be fruitful the olives go through a process. They are washed, broken, soaked, salted and they wait to be cured for consumption. Without this process they would be too bitter to consume but in order to get oil, they not only have to be crushed, they have to be pressed. The process, the crushing, the pressing isn’t meant for destruction. It’s meant to remove the bitterness so that we may be preserved and use by the Kingdom, so that we might give ourselves away without getting in the way.
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.- 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Looking at the beginning of this post, it came to me…crushes are meant to be crushed. Either the relationship blossoms or it doesn’t. Either it’s olive oil that preserves or it’s an olive ready for consumption. What it shouldn’t be is bitter. When you are in any situation, not just a potential romantic one, know that when you feel like you’re being crushed it’s only to cause you to remove the bitterness of your past so that you might be cured in the future. You can’t anoint without the oil and you can’t get the oil without the crushing. Remember that something or someone paid the price to bring you out. Pay it forward, don’t run away from the process to keep your bitterness.
Hope you guys got something outta this chapter. I’ll be posting chapter 16, the final chapter soon. Have an amazing day!