Rejection

My apologies for the delay in posts.  I went to Florida last week with my momma, work is crazy, and my iphone is out of commission (stress!).  This will be a pretty quick post, but it’s something I read a few weeks ago and has stuck in my mind.

Rejection…a word most of us never want to have enter our lives.  Rejection essentially means something we wanted, desired, or thought we needed…we don’t get.  Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I hate being told “no.”  My dad actually says I’m relentless when it comes to getting the things I want (definitely not always a good thing!).  For example, when I was 8 I really, really wanted the American Girl doll Molly.  My parents initially told me no.  I prayed for God to bring me Molly every night from August to Christmas Day (when I finally got her).  Also, I made sure I said this prayer out loud and in front of my parents (already using the lawyer skills!).

We all know how rejection works in our normal lives, but what really stuck out to me is what rejection means scientifically.

The Science Stuff:

The immune system protects the body from possibly harmful substances by recognizing and responding to antigens. Antigens are substances (usually proteins) on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, or bacteria. Nonliving substances such as toxins, chemicals, drugs, and foreign particles (such as a splinter) can also be antigens. The immune system recognizes and destroys substances that contain antigens.

 For example, in order for a transplant to work you must have matching MHCs (major histocompatibility complexes) as well as matching antibodies and blood type.

So what?

In the article I read, the author talked linked rejection to grace.  To quote the article, I call this “grace.”  I firmly believe God knows what is best for us and will reward those who wait for Him. Even if we don’t want to, and are faced with rejection again and again.” (here is the link for the original article http://goodwomenproject.com/singleness/rejection).

I’ve been thinking about this concept for like two weeks now.  Like our bodies know how to reject the stuff that isn’t specifically made for us, God knows how to reject the stuff that comes into our lives that He didn’t make for us (disclaimer:  I know that in life we will all  choices that aren’t God’s will for our lives.  There is a long theological discussion we can have about free will and God’s sovereignty).

But really, God knows what’s best for my life.  I might be rejected for a job, or by a friend, or by a guy, or whatever, but ultimately what if those rejections are God’s way of just protecting me from the stuff that He didn’t make for me? We might not always get the answers to the “why” we are rejected and that’s hard, I get that.  I’ve been rejected numerous times and it hurt and it left my trying to understand why I was rejected.  Looking back, I’ve been able to see God’s hand of protection.  I think rejection gives us the opportunity to rely on God even more, “If not this, God, then what?”

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16 NIV

Disney World!
Disney World!

Dear bleach blonde, choker wearing, 16 year old Amanda

Recently, I decided to get involved in the high school ministry at church.  I’ll be working with high school girls and it led me to start thinking about what I wish I would’ve know at that age.  Also, I’m rapidly approaching the big 2-6 and have been pretty introspective lately so the product of these two events gave birth to this post.

By the way, I’ve added in some of my favorite chocker pictures for your viewing pleasure.

Here are some things I wish I could’ve told 16 year old me:

1. You look better as a brunette.  No matter how hard you try, your eyebrows are just too dark for blonde hair.

Blonde hair...should've cared
Blonde hair…should’ve cared

2. Stop going to the tanning bed.  It is not a compliment when people say you look like Barbie (You’ll go to Guatemala on a mission trip to an orphanage and all of the little girls will call you Barbie because you’re so tan and have the blondest hair [see above]…this is not a good thing). Plus, you could get skin cancer and you’re already getting wrinkles from it (right in the middle of the forehead!).

3. Be best friends with your momma. She has your best interests at heart, loves you unconditionally, and really does know what she’s talking about.

4. Don’t get angry about having to wear a one piece to church functions.  It’s not the end of the world to have your stomach covered up for one day.  Plus, that’s not really the kind of attention you want—trust me.

PCB 05'  Woo!
PCB 05′ Woo!

5. Be content in the moment. You are only 16 once.  Live that carefree life.  Soak it up.  Trust me, 8 years from now you’re going to get diabetes and that’s going to suck all the carefree right on up, so enjoy it now.

6. Set high standards for yourself.  Set the bar high for the boys/men (some of them will be men) you will date.  You’ve been blessed with a Daddy that shows you how women should be loved. Don’t settle for less because you like the attention or want to have a boyfriend. You’re going to fall in love and it’s going to hurt, bad. But, it’s what you do with your hurt that’s crucial.  Embrace it and learn from it. Don’t try to ease the pain with other relationships—that’s only a small Band-Aid for a cut that needs stitches.  Ps…you’re single now and that’s totally ok, you’re really happy.

groupblogpicture

7. Be a great friend.  Value your friendships and spend time with your girlfriends.  In the next few years you will meet some women that will change your life permanently for the better.  Start preparing now for those great friendships.

8. Stop your clothes buying addiction. You do not always “need” a new outfit and the sooner you end that habit, the more money you will save us in the future.

9. Rethink having a choker for every outfit. No other explanation needed.

I really loved the brown choker
I really loved the brown choker

10.  Don’t yell at your brother every morning when he puts his shoes on in the car on the way to school. It’s not that big of a deal that he’s running late. Treasure the short times you have with him during the ride to school.  Eventually, life will make you both busy and you’ll miss the time you spent with him.

11. Don’t get the tattoo.  Just because you turn 18 and the current boy in your life (see http://runningonfaithandsugar.com/2013/02/14/all-the-single-ladies-and-fellas/) doesn’t mean it is a good idea.  26-year-old you wants to get rid of it.

finally changed up my choker game
finally changed up my choker game

12. Year 24 is going to be one of the hardest years of your life.  You’re going to be diagnosed with diabetes and life is going to change for you.  It will feel overwhelming and unmanageable, but you will persevere. You will learn just how strong you are, how much your family and friends really love you, and how great God is.

13. Love God fiercely and passionately—He loves you that much.  Pursue Him with everything you have.  If you pursued Him before all these other things, you probably wouldn’t need some of the advice found above. Nothing else will bring you more freedom than loving and trusting Him with all you have.

I would love for you all to comment with what you’d like to tell 16 year old you! It’s pretty fun!

PS Sorry Chels, you were also exposed in these photos, but you look awesome!

Simon Says…

This past weekend I completed my second half-marathon (13.1 miles).  Like I’ve mentioned before, I have a love/hate relationship with running and the same is true for the half-marathon.  I really do not enjoy running 13 miles at 7:30 in the morning, sweating to death.  I’d rather be sleeping or eating (probably eating because let’s face it…give the choice between eating and anything…I’ll normally choose eating).  The one thing I love about the half-marathon is that it always provides tangible illustrations of God’s character and our walk with Him.

On Saturday, there was a man running that was blind  He had another person running with him that was literally guiding him turn by turn, step by step.  First of all, awesome!! Congratulations to that man for accomplishing something in spite of a steep obstacle.  My parents and I were discussing this man’s accomplishment and my mom mentioned how it’s a perfect illustration of our Christian walk (my momma is the best! Seriously, she loves Jesus so much.  I am forever grateful to have a mother that loves Jesus like she does)…how if we let Him, God will lead us step by step, turn by turn throughout our race (aka life).

I’ve been thinking about this all week.  I’ve had mixed thoughts about it.  On the one hand, it is amazing to realize that God loves me so much that he’s actively guiding me every step of the way.  On the other hand, I’ve felt convicted.  See, the runner had to trust the guide’s directions.  The guide could’ve been there, running alongside of him, talking him through the course, but if he chose not to trust his directions…to go left instead of right…the runner would have failed (or at the very least injured himself, veered off course, etc.).  You all are probably thinking the same thing I was thinking, “why wouldn’t the runner trust the guide? That would just be plain ole dumb not to listen to his directions.  He’s there to help him.”  I’m so quick to tell the runner to trust the guide, yet I’m so guilty of not following Christ’s directions for my life. I know that he knows the course for my life, I know that he has my best interests at heart, yet…I still choose to turn right instead of listening to him when he says “left.”

So why? Why do I ignore his instructions when I know they’re instructions for my good…instructions that will guide me to the finish line? I’ve been asking myself this question all week.  Ultimately, I don’t always follow him because I do not totally trust him.  I think that some of my directions are better than his.  The runner could’ve enlisted the help of the guide, listened to him for some of the race, then thought, “hmmm I think he’s wrong when he says there a pothole in the road, I’m going to keep on going straight.”  The runner trusted the guide enough to bring him there and to selectively listen to him, but he didn’t totally surrender to him.  He’s still thinking his directions might be a little better.

The blind man didn’t know what the course looked like…he didn’t know what the next turn would bring…and neither do we.  We might think we know, but ultimately you and I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.  In light of our inability to see the future, wouldn’t it only make sense to totally trust our guide?

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11). 

Also, I only have like two pictures from the actual half-marathon this year and neither are worth posting.  So here is a photo of Jessica and I after the half-marathon last year
Also, I only have like two pictures from the actual half-marathon this year and neither are worth posting. So here is a photo of Jessica and I after the half-marathon last year
My sweet friend Katie who came to celebrate with me after I finished!
My sweet friend Katie who came to celebrate with me after I finished!

By the way, thank you to everyone that prayed for me, encouraged me, and congratulated me after the race! Y’all are awesome!

One More Thing!

In case anyone is interested, I’m posting my favorite songs to listen to on long runs! My main criteria is upbeat and fast, so here are a few:

  1. Awesome God–R. Swift
  2. B.O.B.–Outkast (like the fastest song ever! and if you are an ex-cheerleader like me, chances are you at one point in time did a choreographed dance to this song that you can try to remember while running!)
  3. Call Me Maybe–Carly Rae Jepson
  4. Electric Feel-MGMT
  5. Levels–Avicii
  6. Good Morning–Mandisa
  7. Ego (Remix feat. Kanye West)–Beyonce
  8. Songs Like This–Carrie Underwood (if you want to focus your energy on disliking an ex-boyfriend during your run)
  9. Falling Down–Lecrae
  10. Anything by Miss Britney!