Monday, August 26, 2013
I hate criticism coming from most people. I take it very personal and always have thought of it as pure rejection. Rejection has always been a problem for me. I think that root of rejection was part of my life from my early childhood. Let me share when it first cut through me like a knife.
I grew up in the Mennonite Church and we always had a winter Bible School that was for a period of weeks When the church doors were open we were there. Just like summer Bible School there were classes for us kids and the adults had classes they could choose from. We met in the basement of the church and had a break to use the rest room and get a drink from the drinking fountain. I was in line for a drink and a boy in my class that I had grown up with ......(I was only 9 years old) turned and looked me in the face a said "Ha Ha my parents wanted me...your mom did not want you because you are adopted". I will never forget those words. I had no idea I was adopted and I sure had no idea what it meant but I knew it was ugly the way he said it. Daddy always knew my moods and I was so quiet going home that he asked me what was wrong. I blurted out why was I adopted. Silence. Mom told me to never mind and never use that word to her again and so I knew it was really bad. The next day I asked a wonderful school teacher I had who was very busy and so she handed me the dictionary and that sure made it worse.
It said....... " 1. law to bring (a person) into a specific relationship, esp to take (another's child) as one's own child ".
That was it they stole me but who did they steal me from. I remember there were words that somehow lead me to bastard and than I thought it was me that was shameful and I must have been bad. Kids teased me about being adopted, one Bible teacher called me out when I was in 9th grade and asked before the class and asked "how does it feel to be adopted" and I ran out of the class and failed that quarter. Mom reminded me repeatedly that I was not "her flesh and blood" or her ugly sound when someone would say "My how she looks like her daddy" and each time I felt shame. I cut lose as a teen and was so tired of being the odd person out in school where few were adopted.
During my wild days I had a precious man, our school chaplain by the name of David Thomas and called me into his office. He was a kind and gentle man and he knew why I was acting out. (My precious Aunt Emily Kraybill was teacher and principle at New Danville School where his children went). He gave me a challenge and he knew I loved a dare....he said when I was married I needed to adopt for each of us that were adopted would do this there would not be a need for institutions. I took that dare and had many foster kids and I did adopt.
We did criticism slips at school and you can know I hated them and remember crying as I read them alone at night when I finally had enough nerve to read them. I would lay awake and try to figure out who said what and I would think how I might get even. I did not act those thoughts but they were sure wrong.
But all through this part of my life I hated criticism because that meant rejection. I held each of those hurts in my heart and those walls went up. I became a person who really hated to leave anyone in close because I knew I would be hurt. I missed a lot of wonderful people doing this and I missed a lot of strength my Heavenly Father wanted to give me but I never asked.
So criticism lead to rejection for me and that lead to an awful root....the root of bitterness. We will talk about that another day.
Remember what Mary DeMuth says.... "Criticism, whether it’s accurate or not, does not define
you. Jesus defines you."
Why am I sharing this journey now? Because I am reading the most wonderful book that will come out soon by Mary E.Demuth called "The Wall Around Your Heart" and you can per-order it. I suggest you consider buying this book. It is based on The Lord Prayer and you will find new meaning each time you pray that prayer.