Gift

Embracing the Gift of Rejection

Play it safe.

 

That's the way I would approach life before I opened myself up to constant rejection. 

 

Sometimes, well, a lot of times, just the fear of being rejected can keep us from moving forward. 

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It just so happens that three of the biggest parts of my life are full of rejection and little dashes of acceptance sprinkled here and there. 

 

The thing is, we can't make people accept what we have to offer. 

 

The whole "bringing a horse to water..." creed has never meant more to me, than it does now. I get it...

 

From sharing the Gospel, to showing others a more natural way to approach healthcare, and to encouraging others to give my writing a chance, there's this pattern that follows the sharing of those things that is hard to accept. 

 

"You're project is not what we're looking for..." 

 

"I know I'm going to hell, and I'm okay with that..." 

 

"Thanks, but no thanks..." 

 

"Maybe, next time..." 

 

I could go on and on.  

 

I'll be honest with you: my heart stings each time, sometimes I cry, sometimes I get angry, but every time I think, "If you would just give me a chance."

 

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Embracing rejection is not something that any of us are good at. It's certainly not something that we expect or we get used to.  

 

I consider all of the ones who have really made a difference. Those brave ones that went thru years and years of hearing "Not now...but thanks..." . 

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Over and over and over again.  

 

J.K.Rowling. (The manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was rejected by 12 different publishers before being published). 

Oprah Winfrey. (She was told she should perhaps find another career entirely after being told to stop meshing her emotions through her news reporting). 

Albert Einstein. (Was told he would amount to nothing because he couldn't speak or read until later in childhood). 

Thomas Edison.  (His inventions failed thousands of times before he got it right.) 

Walt Disney.  (Fired because he "lacked imagination"). 

Emily Dickinson. (Less than a dozen of her poems were published while she was alive. They only saw the value of her work posthumously).  

 

I could go on. 

 

Maybe rejection will never leave us smiling. Maybe we won't ever "get over it" every time it comes our way.  

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I believe the way to truly embrace rejection is by understanding that it's just part of the journey.  

 

You may feel that a piece of you chips away with every back turned. But, in reality, the chipping just reminds you that this life is worth living and feeling for. 

 

We can choose to leave the pieces where they fell, or we can pick them up, and make a beautiful mosaic.  

Maybe our lives are a little like lattes. Swirls of bitter and sweet. Creating a masterpiece of colors and tastes for others to enjoy.  

Maybe our lives are a little like lattes. Swirls of bitter and sweet. Creating a masterpiece of colors and tastes for others to enjoy.  

 

So we just keep sharing anyway. Because the next share could be the next "Yes". If it's important enough to you, you'll keep attempting. Driven purely by the passions within. The passion to get people to finally understand.  

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Because someday, they just might. As long as you keep embracing rejection along the way. 

 

love, Alicia  

 

 

 

 

 

The Music Box. (My second encounter with Jesus)

I won't have any original photos for this post.  

 

In fact, I'm not even supposed to be writing right now. 

 

It's 3:28AM on a Thursday. My day to write is Wednesday.  

 

But I have to obey my heart and the One who resides there. 

 

He wants me to share. And share it now. 

 

I had one of my visions again. I've had two before. One was beyond terrifying. And the next was lovely beyond measure.  

 

This one was the best and the worst one yet. 

 

I was standing in this room with all of you. We were all anxiously anticipating our turns. All of us confident, in varying degrees, in the handheld creations we all possessed. 

 

I kept looking down at what I had decided to present my King. I looked up, all around me, at the busy hands and chattering mouths. It was certainly, an exciting day. 

 

Some felt a bit uneasy about their creations, but wholly confident, nonetheless. 

 

I was proud of my little music box I had made for Jesus. It wasn't fit for a king on the outside (my imperfect wood-carving skills were hiding under my attempts at covering it with a bit of gold glitter). 

 

But, when it played its tune, it was etherial, almost other-worldly. And I hoped it would be a sweet offering to my King.  

 

I watched as others walked into a rather small niche in the center of the room. 

 

There was nothing there aside from Everything, actually. The Spirit of God was coming up and around, and filled the space like air in a balloon. 

 

I watched as some of my friends went first.  

 

Some held out just pieces of their project. Almost caught off guard, they explained that they didn't understand what they were supposed to do with this wood. "If only you'd give us more time," they said. 

 

But God's spirit didn't delay in consuming them whole. And they disappeared with loud screams echoing their departure. 

 

Others, they didn't have that same experience. Instead, their little wooden offerings were received with love and these saints were made anew.  

 

When it was my turn, I heard the voices in my brain begin to attack. 

 

"Who are you kidding, Alicia? This music box isn't what you planned. The exterior isn't fit for the God of Creation. You didn't do enough. You are the worst, etc etc." 

 

The toxic thought life I've had my whole life had followed me to this moment. The moment that mattered more than all of the other moments: the moment I would give back what He gave to me.  

 

Would He accept my gift? Would He be pleased with how I offered my life? Would my little music box be enough?  

 

I told my thoughts to quiet down as I made my way slowly to the small space in the middle of the vast room. 

 

I stood in God's presence and felt equally terrified and peaceful at the same time. 

 

I held out the music box without saying a word. And the glory of God filled the space with a warmth and calm I've never before experienced up until that moment. I wanted to freeze time right then, but the next second came upon me way too quickly.

 

I felt a body behind mine, and knew. 

 

I jolted around quickly, and just squeezed my whole body around my King. 

 

"OH, JESUS!", I said with a smile on my face, that I'm not sure I'd ever expressed before. 

 

He was tall. His body didn't budge when I nearly threw myself at Him. He was strong. Very strong. And He smelled like the sweetest garden. His embrace faintly reminded me of how my husband would hold me: strong, safe, secure, but at a level that I can't even describe to you right now. 

 

"Thank You," He said to me. "The music box was beautiful, Alicia. You did so well. I love it, and I've waited so long to embrace you."

 

He had waited so long?! Jesus was excited to hug....ME??!!!  

 

His smile spoke a million words and I found that there was really nothing I could say. He was saying it for us. We were just relieved to be in the same space. 

 

Pure relief. 

 

And then it was over. I was jolted awake by my husband, who had also had a dream, of which he cannot recall. 

 

My heart was racing. I felt so unreal again. Just like the other two times: not dreams, but something more. Real. Divine. With a purpose. 

 

All of my other dreams have been a sort of hovering experience. Seeing everything from a distance; experiencing things from a movie screen of sorts. 

 

But these three experiences, all about 2 years apart from one another, have been as close to reality as I am writing this now. The smells, the sights, the spaces and ability to feel and touch, were all 100% real.  

 

I really was content to stay in that lifelike dream. After seeing Jesus, I really was disappointed and kind of angry to be awoken from such bliss.  

 

But, this dream, this vision is so much more. It's a wake-up call for us all. What are we doing with our little pile of wood?! What are busy making Him?! Will it be enough?!  

 

Your life is a living sacrifice, an offering, to the God of All. Are you certain you will experience the embrace of Jesus, God Himself, someday?! Or will you bring your pile to be judged; scrambling around, asking for more time?!  

 

I hope you'll experience what I just did. The embrace of the King of Love. The tearful, expectant welcome from the Man who died for us all. Perfect in His love, True in His judgements.  

 

He is Truth. He is Love.  

 

What will you offer Him?! 

 

 

Everything you need to know.

Everything you need to know you can learn from a child.  

 

Truly.  

 

Adults are too busy, stressed, overwhelmed, and distracted to even notice just how immensely different we approach our days from our "childish" counterparts.  

 

At some point in our growth, a disconnect occurs. We usually exchange a life of carefree joy for a set of our first house keys. The pressures of adulthood, the point at which every child cannot wait to reach to "do whatever we want", is life-sucking, at best. 

 

But does it really have to be this way?! Are we doomed to live the bulk of our days under the weight of piles of bills and responsibilities?!  

 

I used to believe this was just how life was. Adults are grumpy, old, fun-suckers and children are energetic, playful, and completely ignorant. They just need to "grow up", afterall. 

 

I digress.  

 

I have witnessed the cosmic clashing of adult maturity and know-how, and childlike imagination and excitement more times than I can count.  

 

And it's somewhat painful to watch. 

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Adults lack imagination, creativity, and the energy to keep up with children.

And why are they always so daggone happy and hungry and bouncy-bouncy?!? 

Because to them, each day is a gift from God. 

They wake up perky as they giggle and quickly trapse down the hallways each morning at first light. 

To them, work is play and play is work...so your work isn't play to them and they don't understand why you have no interest in building sand-castles or a game of tag. 

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You're tired. I get it. I'm tired, too.

How many times do you see a toddler fall before they actually walk five steps?! Countless. They never give up.

Neither should we.

They want the extra waters and bedtime stories because they aren't ready to put away the present of today. It's still new to them, sleep is a death sentence to their zest and they want you to crave more of the day with them.

They're wise. Goodness, they're wise. I learn more from my children than they ever do from me. 

Because I have yet to remember that each day is still a gift. Whether that day is filled with bills or frustrations, how I choose to deal with those things is my responsibility.

Maybe we just need to build our own sand castles and swing as high as the trees too, because to forget that life is a gift is to forget that all those breaths you're breathing today mean something. 

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So breathe. And let the breath become laughter. And let the laughter carry you to notice that children are the greatest life teachers and you are have become their pupil.

love, Alicia

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