Well, the worst thing that could happen to a person who has lived in fear of rejection her entire life happened. The public scourging was brutal. Verbal punches were thrown. The onslaught of comments moved faster than my eyes could read and my brain could register.
One after another after another.
Hundreds in total.
My confidence started to wane. My resolve grew weak. My mind became anxious and my heart followed suit with its erratic rhythm. My stomach was in knots.
Thus was my life last Wednesday when my open letter to Netflix went viral. To say that a camp of people didn’t agree with me would be putting it mildly. Instead, a better description would be that they vehemently opposed me to the point of calling me every single bad name in the book. Four letter words that I won’t repeat were slung at me. They attacked my character, my parenting skills, and my worth as a human being. The mockers and scoffers came out of the woodwork and I quickly learned that people who enjoy raunchy cartoons are willing to rake someone who opposes their filth over the social media coals. I felt the heat and it was intense.
What very few people know about me is that I have suppressed a fear of rejection my entire life. There is a root cause to this and once the Lord releases me to tell my story, I will. But, just know that an isolated moment in my life caused me to withdraw into the shell of a very insecure girl who has lived for everyone’s acceptance ever since.
Cause and effect.
I’ve been living in the effect of a 5 minute cause for 30 long years. And, this year, my 39th year of life, the Lord said it was time to be set free.
As a loving Father with all foreknowledge does, He started preparing me for last Wednesday months ago. We (Him and I) have been working on my fear of rejection since March. I have taught four Bible studies since then and each one has continued to come back to this theme. Giants in my life–the fear of man included among them–have been exposed. The heart and mind work necessary to heal is being done. He has been teaching me how to renew my thought life, to cope with moments of feeling left out, insignificant, or alone, and to ultimately know how to lay it all at His feet. And, along the way, like any good teacher does, the Lord has tested my progress. We have come so far. Then, the blog launched.
The night before my very first blog post went up, this fear of man hovered over me with all the intimidation that giants carry. Lies upon lies were popping up in my head faster than a game of Whack-a-Mole. Again, my body was following suit with a racing heart, a heaviness in my chest, and a knotted-up stomach. I prayed, I casted my cares onto Him, and I filled my head with worship music. I was following all the standard protocol that I had been learning. But, the barrage of lies continued to pummel me to the point where I found myself in the fetal position on the floor sobbing like a baby.
The vulnerability that this revelation requires of me makes me not want to share this part of my story with you. But, it is necessary for you to see the extent to which the enemy has bound me up and held me hostage. Your friend, the blog writer who you read every Wednesday, bawled like a baby the night before her first blog went live. Sad but true.
Because deep down in my core I feared rejection. I feared I wouldn’t be good enough. I feared I didn’t know enough. I feared my words wouldn’t connect together nor connect with you. I feared being a laughingstock. I feared the four letter words. I feared the mockers and scoffers. I feared what would happen last Wednesday would happen.
And, all my fears came true.
Because He's been working on me,
I stood firm.
The arrows did not pierce.
The words bounced right off.
I passed the test.
Six short months ago a day like this would have found me diving for the covers of my bed where I would have buried myself deeply inside its warm protection for days. I would have thrown in the towel of my three week blogging career, hopped out of the boat (not in courageous Peter-like fashion either) and told the Lord, “See ya!” My kids would have eaten out of boxes and fended for themselves while mama moped in her pajamas for days. DAYS!
None of that happened.
Instead, the new Rebecca, the one who the Lord has been working so diligently on, responded differently. Last Wednesday afternoon, with the lies of my enemies swimming in my head, I laid down on my bed for a moment of respite. I turned off my phone, shutting the wicked world out. I prayed and gave it to the One whom I knew could carry the load. And, over and over and over again, He kept telling me two distinct things:
1. They will hate you because of Me. Mark 13:13
2. The darkness cannot comprehend the light. John 1:5
How do I know this was from the Lord? Because it’s right there in Scripture. Two swords to fight back with when I needed them most. The living, breathing, spoken Word of God is our only defensive weapon. And, just as David unsheathed Goliath’s sword and whacked off his head, I unsheathed mine and watched my giant fall down with a thud.
Just. Like. That.
I rose from my bed, not with a mopey spirit but with a resiliency that I had never felt before. My giant had gone down and every single cell in my body rejoiced. It was truly triumphal.
Last Wednesday taught me a great deal about God and about myself:
- I felt the sting of persecution for the first time ever and at the same time the Lord’s protection from it.
- I learned that my obedience is the only thing that matters. I kept reminding myself that I had been extraordinarily obedient in communicating what the Holy Spirit had heavily impressed upon me. And, having done that, I didn’t need to worry about the consequences. That is His responsibility.
- I experienced not only the curse of social media but the enormous blessing that it can bring as well. My letter has been seen over 4 million times. Many social media influencers picked it up. Awareness was raised, a petition to remove the show was created, and mamas and daddies are rethinking their children’s viewing habits. All in a day’s work. Not too bad.
- I learned that standing up for righteousness requires a boldness that, on our own, we do not have. It comes from the Lord.
- I found safety and reassurance in the verses that I had claimed before Wednesday ever rolled around. I knew that I needed an anchor to hold on to when the rocky waves came. So, the Sunday before the letter was posted, with Bible open, I searched for the words that brought forth the greatest peace. I found them in 2 Thessalonians 2:16-3:5 and clung to them with all my might in the proceeding days. These verses continually reminded me that:
1. God would strengthen me in my words as I wrote the letter.
2. The message would spread rapidly.
3. I would be delivered from the wicked and evil people; for they have no faith.
4. The Lord is faithful and would strengthen and protect me.
5. The Lord would help me persevere.
All of these five promises unfolded before my very eyes. As my hands lay still on the keyboard and words seemed to be at a loss, I would whisper, "Strengthen me in every good word," and new words began to flow. Then, as I clicked the post button at 8am Wednesday, I prayed, "Spread this message rapidly," and it took off within minutes. When the naysayers caught wind and begin throwing their virtual stones, I would repeat, "Not everyone has faith Rebecca." And, finally, when my flesh grew weak and fear grew strong, He strengthened me and showed me what persevering for His namesake truly looks and feels like. Had I not parked my brain on these Scriptures in the days prior, I know the enemy would have knocked me down with a single thump. But, with the belt of Truth firmly affixed, it wasn't that easy for him.
- I experienced the joy of praying for those who persecuted me. Truly! A sweet friend sent a text that night which said, "And I guess we need to pray for those who persecute you. Alright. Jesus said to. And if you don't feel like it, I will for ya. XO"
My first reaction was, "Ugh." But, like she said, Jesus says to do it. And, if I had been obedient up until this point, I needed to continue on. So, with Numbers 6:24-26 open, I prayed:
"Lord, bless those who have persecuted me today. I pray that your face will shine upon them and they will inexplicably be drawn to your light. May that light shine through me. Be gracious to them and forgive them. Lift up your countenance to them and give their restless, searching hearts peace. They need you Jesus! May they seek you and find you."
I cannot begin to tell you what that prayer did for me. In that moment, I had the great pleasure of praying for hundreds upon hundreds (yes, there was that many) of people who had attacked me, slandered my name, and drug me through the social media mud. Do they know Jesus? I don't know but their responses certainly didn't testify to a love for Him. Their hearts weren't breaking for the things that break His heart.
- I was surrounded by an overwhelming amount of people who encouraged me, spurred me on, prayed fervently for me, and, reminded me that I was fighting the good fight. Their voices rang out louder and stronger than the enemy. They locked arms with me and wouldn't let me go. They helped me look my very real fear in the eyes and see it was nothing but a big fat lie.
My fight song this year has been No Longer Slaves. My children can attest to how many times we have listened to it in the car. It has been on repeat on both my phone and in my heart since the buds on the trees started emerging in the early spring days. And, after six months of focused effort, as the song so beautifully says, I can stand and say today that I am no longer a slave to what I once feared so much.
He broke every chain.
“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” Exodus 19:4
Last Wednesday, the Lord carried me out of my own personal Egypt; the place that held me captive. The sea was split, my fears were drown, and my enemies are no more today.
All because of Him. He loves me too much then to leave me...and you...as slaves.
“Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14
Deliverance is waiting. It came for me last Wednesday when all my fears were exposed, and, ultimately slayed. And, I can stand and say today that it is the sweetest feeling ever. I am a slave no longer. Glory to God!
Watch the No Longer Slaves video here. Sing it and believe it.
First, I am a child of God. And, like a child, I am always learning and growing. The more I know Him, the more I love Him. Second, I am a wife to a good man. Missions is his thing while teaching women to love God’s Word is mine. Third, I am a mama to three plus a sweet cockapoo who thinks he’s #4. My children are my ongoing sanctification. Fourth, I am a passionate advocate of all things healthy & natural, an even 50/50 split of introvert/extrovert, and a dreamer/designer. Old friends call me Becky, newer ones call me Rebecca, and the most intimate ones call me Beck. You can just call me friend.