On Wednesdays we are thrilled to fling open the doors to all of YOU! We love hearing your dreaming stories…the lessons you’ve learned, the roads you’ve walked, the dreams He’s planted in your hearts! Today we welcome back Regan Seward to God-sized Dreams. She shares how God has transformed her from fear and insecurity to a path of freedom. Thanks for being here today, Regan!
What if your dream was to quit walking in fear of the way others made you feel? And what if it wasn’t how or what others did, but it was a feeling woven into your soul?
Rejection. It’s the insecurity that finds its way into my heart more often than I would like to admit. It pierces the innermost part of my being. The feeling is so familiar to me, sometimes I wonder if I predestine myself to find it.
It found me in the sixth grade when I didn’t fit in and wasn’t invited into the inner circle with the “perfect girls.” Rejection would also come knocking at my heart when the attention of a boy felt like the only way I could feel secure. The perception of being ignored by teachers, even though it was me trying so hard to blend in, left me feeling rejected too.
No matter how hard I tried to overcome it or how many times I told myself I would not let this insecurity take hold of my thoughts and emotions, I always failed. In a weird way, it became comfortable, like putting on an old pair of jeans. For the majority of my life, when others pushed me aside or spoke to me in a manner that I felt distanced and ignored, I would begin wondering, “What is wrong with me?”
I would feel the anxiety building up to the point that my heart would begin to race out of my chest. Just the quick change in someone’s tone of voice would send me into a downward spiral of insecurity and rejection. The pressure I would put in my mind to figure out what I had done wrong in that moment seemed overwhelming to think about. It never went away with age, and I never outgrew it. It just became a part of me. It was woven into every part of who I was.
There were many times in my life I would dream of becoming a teacher or sharing my writing with the world, but the fear of rejection kept me from acting upon my dreams. I lived this way for so long that eventually I quit trying to be any different. Until now.
It began with a subtle nudge in my heart. When I would feel rejected, I started wondering why I felt that way. In the past few weeks, I could feel God asking me to keep pushing for answers. He was asking things from me that I didn’t understand. Even if I could understand, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to. I found myself replaying so many memories in my life that had left me feeling rejected. Some of them seem so small and silly now, while others still left me feeling the sharp pain the scars had left. But one question God kept bringing to mind was, “How is it that, at forty two years old, when I feel the slightest change in someone’s demeanor towards me, I wear it like an eight year old child that has been left behind?”
And then, as if my entire life began to make sense, I finally got it.
I feel rejected today because rejection changed who I was at the age of eight. All of the security I knew was gone just like that when my dad walked out on me. No explanation, no comforting my fears, nothing. Rejection began to make its way into every part of me. It is how I interacted with others and how I dealt with their reactions towards me. All of this time, I had been trying to convince myself that God surely wouldn’t have created me to be this insecure, rejected-feeling woman. I now know I am not living as the product of what He created. I am living out what was created in me by my circumstance.
I had forgiven my dad, but there was still damage to my thinking. Today, I am able to dream about the woman I so desire to be, and I see her. I can see how broken I was, but freedom has found me. And the totally beautiful, awesome part is, I get to believe in the dream that God has and will continue to heal my brokenness.
Through this process, God has allowed me to see that I just can’t want to change the way I feel about rejection, I needed for Him to rewire my thinking. In Romans chapter 12 God’s Word tells us, “ Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing will.”
Allowing God to rewire the way I process my thinking, my feelings and my emotions has given me back the courage to dream. When I feel ignored, God reminds me I am adored by Him. When I feel insecure with how others react towards me, God reminds me I am loved by Him. When I am rejected, God tells me I am accepted by Him.
So while I am knee deep in trying to find my security in Gods Word, I am completely comforted in knowing that Jesus suffered rejection far before I was created. He understands, he overcame it and he gets me. The fear of rejection may have gotten to control the first thirty-four years of my life, but God has spoken to change that. Today when I feel the anxiety building up inside of me from the moods of other people, I handle it with the assurance that it may or may not be about me, but one thing is for sure: it is temporary. As much as I may reach for those comfortable old jeans, God is telling me to put on a brand new pair.
Regan Seward is wife to Russ and mother to three wonderful kids…Bailey (20), Macie (17), and Cole (15). She and her husband own their own insulation business and work together every day. She strives to live in freedom from her past and encourage others who are trying to overcome guilt from their failures and mistakes. She knows firsthand what it feels like to fail in life but hopes to share with others the only true way to overcome it: by living in God’s grace. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.” And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:5 (ESV)
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