Read-I was beautifully surprised to see that the scripture verses included one verse that I had years ago tattooed on my back. With eagerness I opened up to the verses that my friend had sent me.
Psalm 27:9-10 “9-Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 10-Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.”
Reflect-Initially what grabs my attention is that the psalmists words in verse 9 feels like a pleading—when I have felt desperate and lonely the angst in those words have felt tangible. I can’t help but recall vividly the pain of someone whom I dearly wanted to be close to…turning away from me in their own disappointment and frustration. The empty isolation that enveloped me was greater than I was ready for and I absolutely felt rejected and abandoned.
Unfortunately, that pattern of being excluded from activities or denied the opportunity to even enter into conversation or relationship or being ignored completely seemed to be an often used punishing tactic in all of the people groups that I called “family” as I went through life. Birth family. Adoptive family. Even in the less legal realm of being hosted by a family and told that I would always have a place in their lives (unofficially of course) …I was still forsaken.
In my birth family, I knew that my patriarch wanted a boy. He made that fact clear more and more often as I increased in age. It was no secret that I had to be perfect to gain his approval. When the standard wasn’t reached (which was too often to count) then the repercussions were severe and painful. The sheer fact that I was a female apparently was enough to warrant rejection…and so the story goes on.
As a part of my adoptive family the dynamics were a little different, being that the lady wanted a daughter very badly and so I was very excited to finally be wanted. However, the life that was the standard or norm was one of bodily expectation and I learned quickly that fleshly favors were part of that everyday requirement. As soon as I became uncomfortable with the giving of myself…then there was nothing that I could offer and thus there was nothing that would give me value. The woman’s desire for a daughter was not stronger than either parental figures want for my “contribution.”
Time after time. Family after family. Rejection became a significant piece of the story.
I learned to be apathetic. To pretend that I didn’t really care about the hopes spoken because I was always hurt in such a deep way when I allowed people to enter into the equation of my protection of self.
…do not reject or forsake me…
It feels like a passionate heart cry for me…
Through the second family that I was pushed away from I felt a hardening of my heart toward people. I wanted to never allow that hurt again…so I tattooed the address “Psalm 27:10” on my back. Knowing full well that the only hope that I could have in my life to not be rejected could only be found in one place…in one being.
You know what the irony of the whole thing was…I wasn’t even sure that I believed that there was a One True God at this point in my life. I was being called out of the trafficking that I was a part of—though I didn’t know how it was going to happen or when. I clung to the hope that there was a God that would receive me because I knew that humanity had turned its back on me…
I lived in the filth and the mire as a disgusting outcast…never welcome in the presence of presentable people. So I told myself that all would and had rejected me and the only hope lied in one that I wasn’t convinced even existed…
I remember vividly the pain of being rejected and forsaken.
Respond-I turn back to the psalm…and this time, I read the whole thing.
Immediately, I was greeted with the words that the LORD is my light and salvation…whom shall I fear? I love and bend my knee at the image that the LORD is the stronghold of my life—and with God as my protective fortress then whom shall I be afraid? It is my enemies and foes who will stumble and fall. I will not fear. I long to dwell in the house of the LORD…I long to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him all the days of my life. The thought of it brings tears to my eyes. He will keep me safe, He will shelter me, He will exalt me and I will celebrate his love and power and protection and provision for me with heartfelt worship! I beg mercy and grace and know that you will give it as I ask according to your loving will. Help me Father God to seek you face for as long as I live, to grow each day in love with and for you. Though my history has been littered with those who have rejected or turned their back on me—I know that you LORD will receive me! I know that you alone are my Savior—teach me Your ways, lead me on the path you have designed for me. Thank you, Lord for showing me your goodness in the midst of the powers and the people that work against me. Help me to be confident, strong and courageous—in You alone…my LORD…my LOVE.