How Do you Handle the Fear of Rejection

How to Handle Your Fear of Rejection

Do you have a fear of rejection?

You know that feeling: the sick to your stomach, nauseous feeling.

It’s as if all of a sudden everything ever said of you is summed up in the person’s rejection of you.

It feels personal. It is personal.

If you have felt this emotion before, you have probably got a healthy dose of fear to go with it. A fear of rejection can strangle any dream, vision, or desire in your heart.

It can keep you from the very thing that God has called you to do. All because you have a fear of rejection.

For the last few weeks, we have been talking about our need for approval. We discussed how an approval addict acts. If you are new to this, go take this quick quiz to find out how you rank.

Then we talked about people-pleasing and discovered three ways in which you can quit that habit.

Next up was insecurity and I identified the cycle we can get caught up in when we seek the approval of others allowing our insecurities to get the best of us.

Then we talked about our control issues. Oh, approval addicts can be bad about this. We like to be in control and we like to know that the outcome is going to be people’s approval of us.

And the real challenge for us approval addicts is trying to not be offended when people don’t agree with us, affirm us, or approve of us the way we want them too.

So it only makes sense that this week we start to uncover what it takes to overcome a fear of rejection.

What if?

In 2011, I was confronted with my greatest fear. Death.

A CT scan revealed a carotid body tumor that needed to be removed from my neck. More specifically, the artery on the right side of my neck.

My doctor told me that I might want to live a bit longer before it was removed because removal may cause me to “bleed out.”

Yes, he said those words.

That was the first time I was ever overwhelmed by fear.

Fear that visited me in my daydreams and woke me in terror at night.

The fear of the “what ifs” was crushing me.

After much prayer and research, God led me to another doctor who had much more experience and faith in his expertise so that I did not “bleed out.”

However the surgery was a bit more complex than they thought and after 6.5 hours, 4 units of blood, and a grafted vein from my leg to complete the artery in my neck I woke up feeling like I was drowning in my own saliva.

Fear, yet again, consumed me.

Fear is a tricky emotion in that it not only can have power over your mind, but it can affect every part of your body.

My next days, weeks, and months to come were a battle. Most of which went on in my mind, working my way through overcoming fear.

So I know fear. Fear and I were friends for way too long of a time period and unfortunately can return as an unwanted guest from time to time.

Now, couple fear with a hefty dose of rejection and you have a recipe for disaster.

Overcoming the Fear of Rejection

 Early in 2010, God gave me a vision for an organization that would initiate community transformation by ministering relationally to the poor.

Cullman, AL had been my home for a few short months when God laid this vision on my heart.

Most people I shared it with were not overly excited. In fact, their responses sounded more like this:

“No way would that work. People cannot get out of poverty.”

“If that did happen here, it would not be by you, a woman, only man with substantial power would be able to do that.”

“You don’t know people here. They won’t donate to your cause if they don’t know who your kin are.”

Each of these statements felt like an arrow stinging my pride. I wanted their approval, not their rejection.

I had to make a decision, would I choose to please people or trust God instead.

Kind of like what Jesus said in John 12:42-43:

Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in [Jesus]. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human praise more than praise from God.

The Pharisees would not openly acknowledge Jesus because they were more concerned with human praise than they were God’s.

Which is at the core of our fear of rejection.

We don’t take risks, go after dreams, or accomplish our goals because we fear being rejected by people.

We don't take risks cause we fear rejection.

We will fear man and not do what God has told us to or we will fear God and accomplish the task He set for us to do.

But we must realize that in either scenario fear will propel us.

We don’t take risks, go after dreams, or accomplish our goals because we fear being rejected by people.

A Different What If

I want you to take a moment and consider those goals, dreams, visions you have and ask you a few questions.

  1. Are they goals/dreams/visions that will make God known?
  2. Do they feel too big to be achieved by you alone?
  3. Do you feel ill-equipped to accomplish them?

If you said yes, to all of these then I would say more than likely they are from God. It will do you well to fear Him and start taking steps forward.

But if you answered no, your focus is more on you than on God and you may want to pray about what you are trying to accomplish.

But here is the kicker, if that vision you have is from God, you have one more “what if” to ask yourself.

What if you don’t do the very thing He is calling you to do?

For me, that answer has become crystal clear. After six years now in the ministry, we serve more than 3,000 people a year.

We provided 18 different programs and services that extend to 23 different locations throughout our county.

Over 12,000 people’s lives have been impacted since we began.

I have my answer.

I’m thankful I chose the way I did.

You can too.

When you know who you are and whose you are, your identity no longer lies in whether or not that person says “yes” or “no” to your request.

You have a choice. God or Man. Who will you choose?

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How I Lost Control | Dawn M Owens | Like Me or Not :Overcoming Approval Addiction

How I Lost Control – Caution: Sensitive Material Inside

This is the story of how I lost control.

It didn’t happen in just a day, or a week, or even a month. Slowly but surely, over time God started to show me how tight my grip was on the things happening in my life. I was strangling His plans and it was keeping me from my future.

I have learned over the years, I have a bit of a control issue. It’s important to me that things look a certain way. Which also means, sometimes, I want people to act a certain way. Because when they do, what I ask them to do, it affirms me. Let’s me know that they approve of me, appreciate me, love me.

But that is not healthy. In the end, I hold people to unfair standards, standards that I would not even be able to meet. The only way for a control freak like me to learn how to lose control is, well, to be forced to let go.

Unfortunately for me, this happened through a series of very hard events.

Our Big Plans

Let me start off by saying, prior to this point, and well, if I am honest, even after this point needing control has been an issue. I am a professed approval addict and well, I have people-pleasing and insecurity struggles, which is why control is also an issue for me. You see if I can control my situation, I can also control whether people approve of me or not. Well, at least try to.

But this was one time I couldn’t make the circumstances work in my favor. You see, this situation was bigger than me. It’s situations like these where God can remind us exactly who is in control, Him.

About three years after we got married, I started suggesting to my husband it was time for us to have a child. I wasn’t getting younger (already over 30 at this point) and being older than him, it was time for us to try and start a family. We went before the Lord in prayer, and both agreed it was time. It wasn’t long after I found out I was pregnant. We were ecstatic. That was on a Friday and by Monday, I had miscarried our first child.

We were devastated.

We Tried Again

It took a few months to get pregnant again, but we weren’t going to give up, even though this time it felt scarier. We were nervous that we might miscarry again. But this time we made it not only through the first weekend but up to week eight. This time I was on the job training clients in Georgia when the bleeding began. At the time I lived in Cincinnati and was a long way from home. I called my doctor to find out what I needed to do. After taking a pregnancy test and seeing the line show up only slightly faded, I knew what was happening. To say I was angry was an understatement.

Thankfully I had an amazing boss, and she had me hop on a plane home. As if it was that easy.

What transpired will be an experience I will never forget. In fact, every time I walk through the Atlanta airport it brings back the memories afresh. But it was there in the bathroom stall that I lost our second baby. I could barely speak to anyone. Talking was not an option because deep sobs hung in my throat.

Somehow I made it back to our home airport where my husband waited with a car. I cried all the way home curled up in the back seat. There was a tug of war of the pain between my broken heart and my cramps.

The next weeks are still a blur because I could barely breathe. It was hard to live. I numbed my pain with books, movies, and food. I wanted nothing to do with God because I was so angry at Him. It didn’t make sense. We prayed. We asked Him for the desires of our heart. The Bible says we are to procreate, that babies are a blessing. What did we do wrong?

Tragedy Struck

A few months later the church we were attending, Crossroads, had its annual Christmas Show. This isn’t a dress up the kids and coo over their costumes show, this was the real deal. Dancers, musicians, lights, snow falling from the ceiling. This show could be on Broadway and it would sell out every night.

This year they decided to take the show to a new level and have the Wise Men belay down from the ceiling. One of the performers missed their rung and fell to their death. My husband was on staff and watched the accident happen. He still can’t watch that scene or performances where the performers are hanging from ropes.

Our pastor was amazing. Instead of dealing with it quietly, even though the event made the national news, he brought the whole church together. All ten thousand of us to walk us through the grieving process. He was honest, raw, and real. In doing so, he reminded us of the story of Job.  A righteous man who had done no wrong in the eyes of God but was targeted by the Devil for his righteousness. When God turned him over to Satan, he lost everything. Cattle, sheep, and most importantly children. His response?

Blessed Be The Name of the Lord

He fell down and worshipped the Lord. The Bible captures him saying, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21, ESV) My pastor reminded us that we are not God. His plans are above our plans, His ways above our ways. He doesn’t need to answer to us and we may not understand everything that He does. But just like Job we need to strive to be people, that no matter what our circumstances that we can say “Blessed Be the Name of the Lord.”

As sad as I was for the loss of the life of the performer, anger raged in me. I thought, “Why God? Why did you have to take both of our babies? I don’t understand. Why did the teenager who didn’t even want to be pregnant get to keep hers? The drug addict? The prostitute? Surely we were better than these.”

He then had us take the person we had lost, whether it as the performer who fell only a few nights before, or someone else we were grieving and hold them in our hand. When we were ready, we were to lift our hands up in surrender and let them go. God, in His sovereignty, is in control, we are not. Our surrender reminds us of that.

As we stood there, they played Matt Redman’s song “Blessed be the Name of the Lord”.

My hardened heart began to soften. Deep down inside I loved God. I also knew that He loved me. He wasn’t trying to make a fool out of me or withholding blessings from me. He had a plan, and though I didn’t understand it, I knew it was good. It took me a bit, but looking at my husband I realized the grace I had received. I was a sinner, an adulterer, and a divorcee, and yet my God gave me an amazing man to love me and be with me all of my days.

With tears streaming down my face, I lifted my hands to heaven and with each release let my babies go. In exchange, I experienced peace and freedom.

A New Story

That was mid-December and on New Year’s Eve, on a few weeks later, we were to go out with friends. I considered celebrating with a glass of wine but decided it may be a good idea to check to see if I was pregnant just in case. The screen went from blank to pink in a matter of seconds and I knew, we were pregnant again.

Eight months later, after a rough pregnancy including Braxton-hicks and pre-eclampsia, my sweet miracle child was born at 35 weeks. Sawyer James is our pride and joy. Now eight years old and keeping us on our toes.

I learned a huge lesson that night. Trying to control God, people’s responses to my pregnancy or lack thereof was not going to change our reality. It did not define me as a wife, a mom, or a woman. It wouldn’t determine our acceptance or affirmation of our friends and family nor would it determine the pleasure of God. I am who He says I am and my identity is not based on my ability to conceive.

It wouldn't determine our acceptance or affirmation of our friends and family nor would it determine the pleasure of God. I am who He says I am and my identity is not based on my ability to conceive.…

But instead letting go and allowing Him to guide our story instead of trying to write it ourselves, made way for the family we dreamed of and the life He desires us to live.

I have had two more miscarriages since then, losing three more babies. But what I do know now, is that God, in His sovereignty knew what my future would hold. I do not have physical children to hold, but since then He has birthed a vision of community transformation and now a book that holds this story and so many more.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

God is In Control

Let it go. Those expectations you have of how your husband should respond to you. Let it go. Your children will find their way into His arms. Let it go. Your work will continue on without you. None of those things define you, they certainly do not own you, and cannot determine your identity. You are who God says you are. So let it go.

Question: What do you need to let go of so God can affirm the identity He has given to you?

Check out these other posts about approval addiction:
Why I am a Professed Approval Addict
How to Know If You Are Addicted to Approval
Feeling Insecure?

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Feeling Insecure | Dawn M Owens | Blog Post

Feeling Insecure?

Feeling insecure? Me too.

It doesn’t take much..someone’s side glance, that new pimple that just made its grand appearance. Or possibly realizing you shouldn’t have eaten that second cupcake this weekend, after noticing the muffin that grew above your pants.

Insecurities can grow and fester in us until they have successfully done their job of making us feel uglier, fatter, dumber, less than, or (fill in the blank) everyone else around us.

Insecurities love to feed off of each other too. Ever have one of those days or even weeks where you had a pimple pop up one day, then the next day you get a cold sore, then you see Suzie So and So with her perfect hair and nails commenting on your ‘tacky’ shirt? I mean, really, did she say that about you when her pants were bright pink and way too tight, even if she is a size 2. I mean PINK?! Really?!

They can also come in the midst of a conversation. Perhaps someone makes a comment about how you responded to a certain situation. Or maybe it was at the meeting when you decided to make a comment about how the event was being planned and you heard some whispers around you. You were sure they were talking about you.

For the last couple of weeks we have been talking about approval addiction and many of you have commented that you now realize, well, yes, I am an approval addict. I have a problem.

The first week we took a little quiz to know whether we have an approval issue, last week we chatted about people-pleasing and understood we can make some choices…be like Saul and end up rejected from our position or be like David and be named “a woman/man” after God’s own heart.

Today we are talking about feeling insecure and how this feeling can send us into a cycle that can cause destruction, all because we don’t yet know who we are. Insecurities are just another piece of the approval addiction puzzle.

Insecurities are just another piece of the #approval addiction puzzle. @dawnmarieowens

Caught Up in The Approval Cycle

It typically begins with someone saying something that is not affirming to me. For example, someone challenges my leadership (I lead a non-profit, so it fits). They tell me what they think of a decision I made by calling into question my capabilities as a leader.

I want nothing more than to run and hide. I think, “Well, forget this, I’ll take my leadership skills somewhere that appreciates me.” Or if I feel like I really messed up, I’ll decide I am giving up leading forever.

That’s what addictions do to us; they take us to the extremes, where there is no grey.

When I return to my desk those words fester. The words run on repeat, amplifying in my head. I fight my feelings of insecurity by telling myself, “You are better than that person. Who do they think they are to point out my flaws? They have no idea what it’s like to be in my shoes, and I sure would like to see them try.”

I may make matters worse by sharing the other person’s comments to find approval elsewhere. Now my addiction yields to sin and the cycle continues.

From here it just gets worse. Distancing myself, I believe if that person thinks it, everyone does. I start to feel less peace, the guilt and shame are eating me up, and my time with God starts to lessen. Embarrassed by it all, I isolate myself.

At this point, I am far from the truth and God. Depression is sinking in and I don’t know how to get myself out.

Can you relate to this at all?

This is the approval cycle and it can all begin by someone or something making us feel insecure.

So what do we do, how do we change?

Did God Actually Say?

In the book of Genesis, we find the story of Adam and Eve. It is there we read how the first attack on humanities’ insecurities began. ?” In Genesis 3:1, ESV we walk in on the story of the serpent questioning Eve’s identity as a daughter of God.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’

Did you catch how the serpent began…“Did God actually say?”

Those four words are powerful, aren’t they? They can bring a confident person to their knees. Those words changed the trajectory of humanity.

Four words, one simple question: “Did God actually say?”

If you know the story, then you know how this ends. The question attacked Eve’s confidence in God, and it made her doubt herself, her husband, her memory, and her ability to make a decision.

The serpent in the garden called into question the perfection of God’s creation. He began by questioning Adam and Eve’s capabilities as caretakers. Today he does the same thing to us. Do we know who—and whose—we are? Are we aware of what we have been given to steward, or are we confused about our purpose? Do we understand the power within us, or do we see ourselves as powerless?

The question, “Did God actually say…?” undermines our sense of security in God.

However, you have something that Eve didn’t, the experience of her mistakes. We can take her mishaps and learn from it. Here are a few ways you can do that.

Recognize the Attack

When we are feeling insecure we, first of all, we need to realize there is an enemy, he is cunning, and he is always trying to undermine the image-bearers of God. But our enemies are not made of flesh and blood, Ephesians 6:12 tells us we wrestle “against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT).

Know Who You Are

In order to combat the attack from the enemy, we must know who we are and whose we are. It would have been great if Eve would have said, “Um, excuse me. Do you know who you are talking to? I am the Daughter of the Most High God.” But just because she didn’t, doesn’t mean we can’t. So instead of listening to the negativity, remind your attacker who you are and whose you are. As a believer in Christ Jesus, you are a daughter of God, an heir to the throne, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, He has equipped you and called you to do the good works that He has called YOU to do. You may not do it all perfectly, but you will do it in His strength and His power and by His name.

No More Guilt Trips or Shame Parties

Guilt and shame do not come from God. Did you know that? Isaiah 61:7 says  “Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” So instead you can walk in His grace, rejoice in your inheritance, and receive the joy that comes from a relationship with Him.”

Combat Insecurity with Forgiveness

This is an essential piece to breaking this cycle. Forgiveness changes everything. We need to realize that on most occasions when someone says something hurtful to you it was because of their own wounds, and their own insecurities. Wounded people, wound people. But since we know they were not the ones attacking us, we need to release them by forgiving them. You also may need to ask for forgiveness from the person that you went and ran your mouth to about what was said in the first place. And you may need to seek forgiveness for yourself because you sought other things than God to fill your approval needs.

Redefining Confidence

Now the next time you are feeling insecure whether, over a pimple or a person, scripture is your weapon. Remember you are a mighty warrior, a royal priesthood, a child of God. You, my friend, are from a holy nation, and you have been declared righteous and worthy in the sight of the Most High God. You are seated in heavenly places and have been given the riches according to Christ Jesus that you can tap into any time you need them. You are not defined by the words of another because God did actually say you are all of these things and so much more. You are His friend; belonging to Him. You no longer need to worry about the approval of the world, because you already are approved by God.

Question:  What part of the cycle do you feel you struggle with the most and how can you combat it in the future?

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Join the Launch Team for Like me Or Not

Join My Book Launch Team – Here is 3 Reasons Why

This is your official invitation to join my book launch team for Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction.

I know your busy, and your to-do list has a to-do list of its own.

But I am going to share with you three convincing reasons why you want to make the time to be on my book launch team.

Here they are:

  1. You wonder if you are an approval addict.
  2. If you are, you need a method to talk about it.
  3. You want other people to know there is help available.

Now, if you’ve come to this wondering what a Launch team even is, allow me to address that question first.

Launch team’s for books became a popular method for big publishing houses to use to help their author’s gain more Amazon reviews.

Yep…that was the reason. To get reviews. Not a bad strategy when you think about it.

And yes, you will be sought out to help with Amazon Reviews, but I have a more important reason than that one.

You see, I didn’t write this book for Amazon review, to build a platform (it’s almost an oxymoron for an approval addict in recovery), or to become a “name” in the industry.

I wrote this book because I realized I wasn’t alone. I was so tired of the cycle I was in trying to deal with other people’s rejection, while desperately wanting others to approve of me. All the while wanting to crawl into a hole and forget interacting with people ever again. Are you with me?

We are all walking around stuck on our phones allowing social media to dictate our identities were feeling like we have to confirm, compare, and live up to more.

We are walking around with our faces attached to our screens allowing social media to determine our identities. #likemeornot

It’s mind-throbbing at times – but it doesn’t have to be.

I am not an expert, but God has allowed me to have some experiences that have led me to identify scripture, PURE TRUTH, that has proven to break the cycle of approval addiction to find my approval in Him.

Which is why you too need to be on my book launch team so, let’s talk through each of these areas.

You Wonder if You are an Approval Addict

We all do, and none of us want to be. But the reality is that God created us with a desire to want the approval of others, including Him.

It doesn’t’ take much to see why it’s an easily formed addiction when we quite innocently want to seek the approval of those around us: spouses, children, friends, family, co-workers…our hair stylists and the guy at Lowe’s.

Hearing verbal affirmations feel good because they release dopamines. Those dopamines feel so good they’ll make you want more, and more, and more approval. Before you know it, you can’t get enough.

Being on my Launch Team means you get first access to the information inside the book that will help you learn how to lessen those desires and put your focus where it needs to be, on God.

You’ll be able to access all the different ways that approval addictions can manifest itself.  Which leads to the next reason…

You Need a Method to Talk About It

Being an approval addict also means we desire justification from others, right? We need to know we are headed in the right direction and for the sake of enabling each other, we are going to do just that.

Each week I’ll get online with you through a closed Facebook group, and we’ll go through parts of the book together. If you are an external processor like me, you will love this part. I can’t wait to hear all you have to say and what questions you come up with for me.

You’ll want to know if you are doing the right thing, taking the right steps forward, using the concepts appropriately. Being on the Launch Team gets you the ability to do that with not just me but with women from all over the US.

There you can share all the great things you are learning to add even more value to the team.

You’ll Want to Let People Know There’s Help

Remember how it felt when you first came to know Jesus as your Savior, and you wanted to go and tell everyone? It was kind of like the women at the well. After she figured out Jesus was the Messiah she went and told the whole town about it. She couldn’t keep it to herself.

Yeah. Like that.

Well, once you start to understand the concepts laid out in this book – that will be you too. Because here is what I know for sure, you will experience healing and freedom. I promise you that.

How can I make that promise? Because I did and I still am.

Before writing the book God had shown me so much about approval addiction. Enough that I thought I could write a book about it. But God kept me humble by teaching me knew concepts with each chapter I wrote.

I’d grow in areas like comparison and jealousy, getting over my fear of rejection to turn my God-dream into a reality, and learning how not to feel like I am so alone in life.

But since then I have re-read my book at least ten more times. Every time, there is another area God shows me that I still need to work on. As I do, I receive more healing and more freedom.

This is why you want to be apart of my Launch Team. Yeah, we’ll have you do some other fun activities like share memes on Facebook or Instagram. We may even ask you to write an Amazon Review online or ask your local bookstore to carry it. But by that time, you’ll be convinced that not only do you need this book, but everyone you know needs this book.

Apply for My Book Launch Team

Now that you realize you need to be on my book launch team, what do you do?

Head over to the launch team page here where you can apply. Once you do, you’ll get a confirmation email. We will have the application available only until 11:59 am on April 2, 2018.  So don’t wait.

We’ll then be sending you a copy of the book and some other goodies. You’ll then be invited to join our closed Facebook group, and we’ll start chatting. If you want to pre-order Like Me or Not before we begin you can enter in to win A VIP package to the Fall Tour of Outcry and get some downloadables, you can do that here.

Like Me or Not Overcoming Approval Addiction

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Secret to Never Feeling Alone | Dawn M Owens

Uncover the Secret to Never Feeling Alone

There are times we can just feel alone in this world. But I have figured out a way you and I can never feel lonely again.

The secret is understanding how you are never alone, because God, who knows you, is always with you.

To that you might wonder:

But, does God know me? Does He really know who I am and everything happening in my life right now? Does He hear my prayers, know my struggles, see my pain?”

These are all questions we wonder about no matter where we are in our faith journey.

If you are at the beginning of your journey I want you to know that this is a safe place for you and I personally welcome you here to explore. If you are a believer but are struggling with those questions, my guess is there have been some significant challenges you have been wrestling with lately. I understand and hope we can walk through this post together.

Or maybe you are thinking, “Of course He does, God knows everything.” I hope you too will continue on with me as we talk about this topic and what it means in our relationship with Him.

Now that we have an understanding of who might be here in this space with us, let’s dig into this idea that you never have to feel alone or lonely because God not only knows you, He sees you and hears you, too.

The Secret to Never Feeling Alone | How to Not Feel Lonely

There are times when we can think we are all alone in this world, even when we are standing in a crowded room. There you are, people swirling around you, a buzz in the air, and yet, you stand unknown, unseen, blending into the wall.

Lonely.

Because of it, we can apply our perception of people and assume it is the same for God. After all, if people who exist right before our eyes can pass us by so easily, wouldn’t it be true of a God who can seem so far away?

Perhaps. Or perhaps He knows everything about you…who you are, why you exist, what your purpose is, who you are meant to be.

Everything.

In fact, I’d like to suggest to you that there is nothing He doesn’t know about you including when you are feeling lonely.

You are Never Alone: He Knew You From Your First Breath

In Psalm 139: 13-14, King David says,

For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,

God knows you because He is the one who created you, knitting you together you in your mother’s womb.

Can you even begin to conceive what it might be like to have God hand-crafting every essence of you — your veins and organs, your blood platelets and cells, your DNA and every molecular structure inside of you.

He created your skin and hair follicles, He decided on your skin tone. He chose your eye color, bone structure, and the color of your hair.

There is no part of you He did not put together for reasons and purposes only He can understand.

You are Never Alone: He Knew You As You Grew

And then when you were launched into this world kicking and screaming, later growing into a toddler, a teen and eventually an adult He watched you…your first steps, your stumbles, and falls. God knows when you are lonely even when you are not completely alone. He has seen it all from your first breath until your last when you’ll stand before Him in glory.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely. (Psalm 139: 1-4)YNever Alone: He Knows You Now

Even now, as you sit and read this blog, wondering about His knowledge of you, He sits and watches you. As David said, perceiving all of your thoughts. It’s a wonder isn’t, when we consider the God of the Heavens, wants to know us and is that near to us.

The other day I was reading in Exodus and this idea struck me again, the reality of His holiness — a perfect God caring so much about us that He would even want to know us, want to hear us, want to consider our needs, our wants, our desires.

Even though we fall short of Him. Deny Him. Curse Him. Forsake Him.

He loves us so much, He pursues us anyway. Believing that we’ll turn from our sin and see Him.

You see He said that same thing to the Israelites who were in Egypt. They had thought God had forgotten about them. After all, they were being oppressed as slaves by Pharoah. Every day they had to do hard labor for Pharoah, helping him build up the city of Egypt.

In Exodus 3:7-10, NIV God is speaking to Moses, but it is an excellent reminder for us today:

 The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard     them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt.”

He sees, He hears, He knows and He rescues us

The God of the Universe. The Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. Alpha and Omega.

He sees you. It says it plain as day in verse 7 – He has seen the misery of his people and He still sees your life today.

He hears you. Their cries reached His ears because of their slave drivers, their oppression, their struggle. Your cries, your prayers, your struggles…He sees them just as He saw the Israelites years ago.

He knows you and is concerned for you. He created you, in your mother’s womb. Of course, He is concerned for you. But in this case, in verse 7, He says in relation to their suffering. Whatever you are going through…in your loneliness, in your anxiety, in your marriage, or at work…He knows you and He is concerned for you.

He rescues us. In this case, Moses is the one He is sending to set His people free. But hundreds of years later He sent His Son Jesus to not only rescue us but to die for us.

You never, ever have to feel lonely, again. He is with you. 

Why Does It Matter?

All of this does beg the question – Why does it matter? What difference does it make whether I feel lonely or whether God knows me?

To that, I would say, EVERYTHING.

You see, understanding that God knows you changes things. It changes how you perceive the world. How you understand yourself, how you would interact with others.

And it has a direct correlation as to whether or not you feel alone.

I know this because I have experienced it first hand.

You see for years I had struggled with understanding who I am, what I was purposed for, why I was here. I used to wonder if my life mattered and if God even cared. And consequently, I felt very alone at times. At times I felt like being alone was the worst place I could be, left to my own thoughts.  I struggled with needing to have people around me to reassure me because my thoughts told me the opposite.

I was constantly trying to find my identity in other people because I wanted to be like them. It seemed as if they had life figured out way better than I did.

But now I realize, it’s not their approval that I needed. It was God’s.

Once I understood that God knew me, I realized I could stop striving to gain His approval because I had it all along. And then I realized being by myself was not the same as being alone. And worrying about what everyone else thought, was only keeping me from living out my calling in Him.

I can stop striving for God's approval because I already have it.
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You see God placed in us a desire to be approved, to receive affirmation…but we warp that and instead of realizing we have received it from Him, we seek it from those around us.

In doing so we fall prey to people- pleasing, insecurity, rejection, and issues with control and anger thinking that we can figure it all out on our own, rather than recognizing the fact that who we are, our entire identity is wrapped up in Him.

Like Me Or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction

In a few months, my book Like Me or Not: Overcoming Approval Addiction will be in the bookstores and you will be able to learn all about how to deal with the struggles of living in 2018 with all the beckoning of social media to make us feel valued, worthy, and wanted.

You’ll hear my story of how I learned who I am and how I had to overcome some pretty big hurdles in my ego and pride, to understand my addiction to people’s approval would have long-term effects on my relationships and my ability to live out my dreams.

You will be able to dig a little deeper and do a bit more self-analyzing of how this addiction has crept into your life and affected the way you view yourself and the people around you.

But if you are already wanting more, I have a special offer for you today.  Because right now, you have the opportunity to pre-order Like Me or Not, before it even hits the stores.

And when you do, you’ll not only get your copy earlier than everyone else at a discounted price, but you’ll get some freebies and a chance to win an incredible VIP Experience on the Fall Outcry Tour for you and a friend AND you’ll get to meet ME!

Now, this experience is so VIP, you cannot purchase it as it is not for sale…EVER.

But will only available until the book comes out in the stores on May 15th so you don’t want to miss out on this once in a lifetime chance to win these exclusive VIP experience for the Fall Outcry Tour.

And if you pre-order your book you’ll also get instant downloads of:

  • The first three chapters of the book
  • A choice of two lock-screens
  • A gorgeous print with 1 Peter 2:9

Like Me or Not Pre-Order Information
All you need to do is go to one of the online sellers listed on the pre-order page to purchase the book. Then, go back to the pre-order page, enter in your receipt and you’ll be entered in to win the exclusive VIP experience for the Fall Outcry Tour and you’ll get access to all those great freebies listed above!

Now here is the deal, the exclusive VIP experience from Outcry, isn’t even live on their site yet as they are still finalizing speakers and bands, but I can promise you this, you will not be disappointed! Outcry always has an amazing lineup. You can check out the Spring Outcry Tour here.

All Proceeds go to The Link of Cullman County

Oh and for every book that you purchase (pre-order or otherwise) all of the proceeds will be going to help break the cycle of poverty through The Link of Cullman County. You read that right, I have donated all the book proceeds to the cause of relational ministry to the poor.

In fact, while we are talking about it, if you want to donate a book for someone to take a Like Me or Not class with us from the jail or through our facilities you can do that too! If you decided to purchase (now or later) you can have it sent to 708 9th Street SE, Cullman, AL 35055.

My heart for the Like Me or Not book is to equip women all over the world (no matter who they are, what they have done, or how far they think they are from God) with a tool they can use to battle the enemy who wants to kill, steal, destroy what God has given them.

This book, whether in e-form or paper, is meant to be a weapon of destruction for the powers of darkness. Gifting this to someone who can’t afford it now, offers a chance at freedom, they may not have otherwise.

Pre-Order Now

You Never Need to Feel Lonely: God is With You

No matter where you are at in your process of understanding who God is and How He knows you, you can know you are never alone.

Hebrews 13:5 says:

“Never will I leave you, never will I  forsake you.”

Genesis 28:15

I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

When you understand who you are and whose you are, you will never feel like you are alone again.

Question: Do you struggle with loneliness? If so, when are the times that it bothers you to be alone the most? On what occasions do you feel lonely? Comment below and let’s chat about how we can encourage each other to seek the Lord when we feel alone.

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