Please join me in welcoming Iris Peterson to the blog. Iris and I met through the online writer’s training group, COMPEL Training. Her words are humble but staunch in the Spirit. There’s power in their midst. Enjoy!
As I walked out of my co-worker’s classroom, I realized that decades of questions and moments of pain had been erased.
I don’t know the moment that I was set free from the spirit of rejection, but I knew that my co-worker’s words had not snatched a scab from a closely guarded wound. Her words had led me to a place of gratefulness as I realized that I no longer hurt. The wound was no longer closely guarded, it was completely healed.
I learned that I was adopted when I was ten years old.
My parents were the best things to ever happen to me and they gave me unconditional love and introduced me to my Heavenly Father who loved me from the moment I was conceived. Although they provided me with everything that I needed to be successful, I always felt that I had to please others and that my best was never good enough. I wondered if I had done something as an infant that caused my birth mother to “give me up for adoption.” I always felt like I did something wrong.
I lived my life pleasing others and looking for approval in everything that I did.
If I extended, or in most cases, overextended myself to help others, I felt a sense of accomplishment because I was giving help where it was needed. I ascribed value to my life by the amount of help that I was able to offer to others.
My life soon looked like a modern-day crisis center. If I thought someone needed me, I would go out of my way to offer assistance.
I did not always pray about these decisions because I just wanted to be included.
I wanted to be liked.
I wanted to be needed.
I had many failed relationships because I wanted to change others and be the one that made the difference in their lives. If I didn’t make an impact or create change, I would feel that I wasn’t good enough or that I had failed.
I read books on approval addiction and learning when to say yes and how to gracefully say no. I still felt a sense of obligation to be everything to everybody.
Then I received an email from a co-worker asking for tech assistance. I provided her the resources she needed and sat with her and her students the next day to make sure that everything moved smoothly. She informed me that she would work with her students in class the following day.
She didn’t ask for additional help, but I decided to stop by just in case I could offer assistance.
I walked into her room, confident and prepared. And it happened.
She waved me away and said, “I don’t need you.”
I walked away and stood outside of her room to process it all.
I could not count the times that someone’s actions had indicated that I wasn’t needed, but I did not recall anyone ever saying those words to me. Her words were strong, but they did not hurt me.
As I stood in the hallway, I was able to grasp the impact that my thinking has had on my decisions in life. I was not needed at that moment because I had already given the teacher the tools that she needed to be successful.
Likewise, I wasn’t given up for adoption because I did anything wrong, but there was a bigger plan that God wanted to fulfill in my life.
If you have wrestled with feelings of insecurity and rejection, know that God loves you and he cares about every aspect of your life.
“And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for” (I John 5: 14-15 NLT).
The pains of the past were erased and I understood that the healed scar will simply point others to a Father who hears, answers, and brings peace to a troubled mind.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, a Division of Tyndale House Ministries, Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
About Iris ~
Iris Peterson is a writer, speaker, singer, and ministry leader. She is passionate about sharing a message that will empower and encourage others. Iris is a mom of two teens and she resides in the Piedmont-Triad area of North Carolina. She hosts a podcast and a blog entitled Iris’s Insights