Three Coffees

Stories that Make a Difference
Subscribe | Log in

Posts Tagged ‘rejection’

Steve – Extended Story

  My parents took me along to church from day one, so I grew up hearing about Jesus. As a kid I thought it made sense went to Sunday school and was part of a good church that provided opportunities for kids to learn about God and have fun. I do remember going to evening church services though and sneaking out the back to get the keys to the church hall and playing footy in there with my brother at every opportunity!

Through the rollercoaster of adolescence I had my heart broken by a couple of girls I really liked and felt really rejected. It wasn’t their fault, but both break ups hurt me really deeply. I was also pretty zitty and got plenty of grief at school suffering some bullying for my Christian faith, my refusal to doss around in classes and desire to please people in authority by trying to get along well in class. That didn’t go down well with most of the guys in my school so I was the ‘creep’, ‘boffin’, ‘vicar’, ‘gaylord’ and whatever other daft names get thrown around at that. So I guess my confidence and self esteem took a bit of a battering and it was in those teenage years I began to lean on God, talk to God personally and relate to Him as more than just some big guy up in the sky. I found genuine, consistent peace, security and unconditional love in all the rejections I faced and made the decision to call God ‘THE BOSS’ in my life. God was going to be my unshakeable foundation who would never reject me.

I remember specifically after being rejected on one really painful occasion I was in tears and crying out to God for comfort. I felt prompted to open my bible and found this amazing bible passage that’s stuck with me ever since from Isaiah 43:18-21, ‘Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.’ It was amazing and the first of numerous ‘coincidences’ in my life where I’ve opened up the bible and read stuff that was directly relevant to what I was struggling with at the time. Not coincidences at all! When we cry out to God He speaks to us, if we really want to hear the answers! That’s my experience anyway.

When I got to around 19 I felt God challenge me about how much I trusted Him with my future. I had grown to love God very deeply, been given some great experiences through my local church and going around with my dad seeing the power of God bringing healing, miracles, freedom from emotional and demonic oppression for numerous people. But now God was asking me ‘if I don’t want you to ever get married will you say yes to me and trust that I have your best interests at heart.’ That was a huge call for me and I took a few weeks to think and pray. I got to the place where I gave God my answer. ‘God you know how much I want to get married, but I love you, you are my rock, my BOSS and if you don’t want me to get married ever then I trust that you know best.’ I really did mean that and left it with God.

Only about 6 months or so later after lots of personal thinking, praying, chatting to friends and family I started a new relationship with a girl called Julie. I’d got the nod from God that His question to me months earlier was a check on my priorities rather than an absolute request and so Julie and I started dating on 14th February 1996. After Julie spent 3 years at Reading Uni studying History and trying to escape me I managed to drag her back to Gloucester and we were married at Sandhurst Village Church in Gloucester on 24th July 1999. It was a glorious summer’s day, we loved each to bits and can both genuinely say that we love each other more deeply now, through all the random twists and turns of life in the last 12 years plus, than we did that day. We’re hugely grateful for a marriage where we’ve aimed to put God in the centre and pray together from our first date and ever since.

I could ramble on for days about all the ways God has proved Himself repeatedly to be the rock of our lives since our wedding but 2 examples in the last few years of God’s wisdom and care for us come to mind. The first was a few years back when we looking to move from our first home to a larger house. We had looked around lots and found a place we thought was ideal. We prayed about it, put a bid in and it was accepted. Everything seemed spot on. But the weeks dragged by and then the whole house move fell apart. We had prayed, trusted God, felt it was right and it had all gone belly up. What was God up to? Well the short story is that we ended up with a bigger place for the same price in the same area of Gloucester that suited our long term needs far better than the original place we had lined up. When the first move all went wrong we were stressed and didn’t get it. But we kept praying and looking, tried to trust God’s wisdom and plans and they prevailed yet again. God knows what He’s doing!

The second thing was in 2007 when I had worked for a few years as a part-time youth worker at a local church. We felt God calling us to become foster carers and needed to make some tough decisions to prepare for that, including me resigning from the job as youth worker. We were all set for me to find a full-time job and for Julie to be the full-time carer at home once we started fostering and then this ‘perfect’ job came up for me to apply for, full time school chaplain. I went for the interview feeling strangely relaxed and confident for me. I waited for the verdict and got some great feedback from the headmaster there. He said I had really impressed them but hadn’t got the job. I was their second choice and had come very close. I was very confused and that old ‘what are you up to God?’ question came up for us both again big-time. It’s only in hindsight that I can genuinely see how a promise from God in the bible from Romans 8:28 is always so true, ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ The job wasn’t right for me and God’s wisdom prevailed as we ended up both going part-time and sharing the role as foster carers for our boys, that we continue to share with a real sense of partnership rather than one of us being the carer and the other the breadwinner. That’s unquestionably been better for us and better for our boys, but we would never have gone that way if I’d been given that job.

So my life’s been pretty ‘ordinary’ in some ways, no major sex, drugs and rock n roll I guess. But I could write an encyclopaedia about all the many times Jesus has been so much more than just a ‘crutch’ for me to lean on in life. Jesus is, and has been for the last 25 years, the power and purpose to helping me to make the most of the God-given potential in my life. I have experienced God’s love personally, powerfully, life-changingly and see God working in the lives of people around me all the time. Jesus came to this earth to give us ‘life to the full’ (John 10:10) and my whole life to this time has just proved to me personally how real God is. Being a Christian is an incredible adventure living in relationship with my rock, Jesus Christ!


Steve

My parents took me along to church from day one, so I grew up hearing about Jesus. As a kid I thought it made sense, but through the rollercoaster of adolescence I fully discovered that Jesus was really there for me and gave me love, peace and security in tough times when I prayed.

When I felt rejected by bullies at school or relationships that went wrong I found God’s comfort to be real. Jesus wasn’t just a ‘crutch’ for me to lean on. He became the power and purpose to helping me to make the most of the God-given potential in my life. I also got to see people being prayed for with big problems and having some incredible miracles in their lives.

It all just showed me how real God was and is and helped me realise what an incredible adventure living in relationship with Jesus really is.

 

READ FULL STORY


Emma

EmmaI love my life!

But it hasn’t always been that way, a few years ago I hit rock bottom when I had no self esteem and would have preferred to live my life hidden away from reality. I listened to the negativity spoken over my life and allowed myself to believe that to fit in I needed to conform to society’s view of what was normal and beautiful.

At a youth conference in 2006 I surrendered my worries and fears to God, since then I have learned how to love and respect myself. I cannot imagine going through life everyday without the faith I have in God, and the faith I have in the amazing future He has planned out for me. I want to live a life that impacts others, I know I will face difficulties but I’m not gonna hold back!


Rob

RobAfter being married for 17 years my marriage broke down. What was once a place of security had become a battlefield. I was brought up in a Christian home and I became a Christian when I was 11 years old. Surely my life shouldn’t have gone so badly wrong?

But – life is not about being 100% perfect – it’s about learning and growing from our experiences. I’ve realised that most people miss God’s ideal A1 plan because we’re only human and never consistently get it right.

I’m just one of many – imperfect but accepted and forgiven by an amazing Jesus!

Life is the warm up act for something much greater. With the help of some amazingly loyal and supportive friends I’m still standing – committed to moving forward with some new wisdom on life, ready for plan A100 and a life of purpose. God is truly an awesome God. Come On!