Another opportunity. Another disappoint. You sit there wondering why not me—again. As if it wasn’t enough that people already don’t notice your skills, talents, or the way you operate in them with excellence and grace. But this time you were sure you’d be chosen. What else do I have to do? What else is there to prove? Why doesn’t anybody see me? It’s a painful place to be, alone in your thoughts. To hide your disappointment you turn inside. No one else has to carry the burden of your emotional trauma from being overlooked once again. Even if you could trust someone to hold onto the secret you know eventually they’d get emotionally drained and tune you out, or attempt to force you into an undesirable course of action. So you sit. You sigh as a single tear trickles down your cheek. Embarrassed you wipe it away. You pretend to be okay. You’re fine. You know how this story goes because you’ve been here before. Too much time spent wallowing in your thoughts leaves you wondering why not me. What do we do about these thoughts? How do we process these in a faith-based manner? We are tired of hearing cliche’ Christianese without instructions about the wait. What are we waiting on? When is my moment? We get it. I understand how grueling it can be to feel like you graveling for what God has already promised you when it seems He’s handing out fulfilled promises like skittles. Oh-my-Lanta. How do we handle this form of rejection when you feel like it’s coming from God himself.
Not many people want to admit they feel overlooked or forgotten by the heavenly Father. It’s one thing to deal with being neglected by your biological dad, a boyfriend/girlfriend, or even your boss after that last denied promotion. But, to feel unloved, unwanted, and unworthy of the affection of God is another level. Nobody talks about the feeling, but I guarantee somebody you know has looked towards heaven full of grief asking God why not me. It could be years, if ever, before we get an answer that satisfies our desire to know. We don’t have that kind of time. We can’t afford to sit around in despair, while our vision is distorted, and what is made for us walks right past like a stranger on the street refusing to glance your way. So what do we do?
The very first thing we have to do it sort out our feelings about a scenario and our perception of God’s love for us. What He allows to shape us is never Him spewing hate towards us. He is madly in love with you. That is the reason you aren’t selected in these moments. It’s one of the hardest things: believing you’re ready for something only to find out you’re not. It’s like when you were a teenager begging to date that person of your dreams, to later realize they were a nightmare. You couldn’t see the future, but those around you could predict it based on experience. If they were accurate, how much more accurate will God be in scenarios. How can you tell the one who predestined your process that the process isn’t right? Instead of blaming God, we have to learn to change our minds. How can we alter what we believe, when we think we know the truth, based upon what we see?
The answer is deceivingly simple—replacement thought therapy. This technique is a process of acknowledging an unhealthy thought, stopping the stinking thinking, and replacing it with an edifying one. It’s not complicated, but it does require discipline. Discipline is something that isn’t easily enforced internally because you can hide from accountability. Replacement thought therapy forces you to become your mind’s biggest accountability partner. Here is an excerpt from the upcoming book From a Mile Behind that walks you through the process.
- Interrupt the thought- My pastor, Dr. Jermone Glenn, teaches the only way to change a bad thought is by interrupting it. And the only way to interrupt it is to use our words. It may feel awkward at first, but we have to get used to talking to ourselves. When we have a moment of self-doubt, we can simply say “that’s not the truth,” or “that’s not my thought.” Anything that stops the thought and allows you to gain control is good.
- Replace the thought- Once you interrupt the thought you have to have something to replace it. Combat the thought with a positive affirmation, or a scripture. This isn’t about lying to yourself, convincing yourself of something you don’t believe, or being oblivious to the scenario. This is about shift how you see something.
- Remove “I cannot” from your vocabulary- You can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). So “I cannot” isn’t the truth. It’s either, “I won’t,” or “not right now,” or a similar statement. We have to be conscious of our words because as we discuss they can manifest into our actions.
- Rehearse the truth- You can do this out loud or in your mind. But tell yourself the truth repeatedly. Make sure the truth is not from the place of doubt, but rather a place of faith in God’s abilities and your God-given abilities. Whether that truth is I am valuable, I am an asset to any team, I will finish my degree, I am beautiful, I am enough, or I am worthy...speak it. Whatever the truth is for the situation rehearse it over and over. Scripture is the ultimate source of truth, so if you cannot think of a statement, find a passage of scripture that applies to the situation.
- Repeat the cycle- Every time the thought of rejection comes up, go through steps 1-4
This concept may seem foreign in the beginning, because it is. You’ve been rehearsing the conversation between your flesh and the enemy over and over again. Putting God in it will transform the situation. We are working through it just like you. We are processing life through a kingdom perspective, casting out lies, breaking strongholds, and healing trauma. It’s hard work! But it’s so worth it. We pray that in this next season of your life you are able to replace bad thoughts, and instead of asking why not me? you thank God that He didn’t let you walk into something that has the potential to destroy you. Your turn is coming, and it’s going to blow your mind. Believe that, repeat that.
We love you, fam!