God pulled me out of the pit last weekend. My pit wasn't a small ditch that I'd only been in a short time, but a massive below-ground network that I had lived in for over 20 years. It didn't start out that big, but other people and I kept adding to it.
I was initially thrown in over 20 years ago, when I was 10. My fifth-grade year the girls in my class began excluding and ostracizing me. I still don't know what motivated them. This began a three and a half year season of rejection, teasing, and exclusion. Not that I never had any friends during that time. I had several people who were friends for a short time, but moved on after a while. In the midst of this, my pit was deepened by my parents' divorce. My response to the pit of rejection was fear of rejection and an almost desperate desire for people to like me.
God changed my circumstances when I was in the eighth grade. A group of nice girls befriended me, and we remained friends through high school. That year was also the year I accepted Jesus as my Savior. We were at a new church, and I began to have a few friends there, in addition to my school friends. (I went to school in a small town outside the larger town where I attended church.) But even though my circumstances changed, my fear of rejection and my unhealthy desire for others' approval remained. My pit may not have been as deep, but I still was living in it.
I added to my pit, too. I did things that were sinful and foolish in order to try to obtain the approval of others. So then I had a pit of fear, need for approval, sin, and regret. I also added pride to the mix. I was so mad at myself for my actions and really believed that I could have and should have done better! (Not Christ in me, but just me.)
God finally closed off the regret and the most obvious pride by impressing on me that I can do nothing operating in my own strength. I now realize that the only way I would have made wiser decisions would be to totally rely on Christ's power, not my own!
But over 20 years later, I still lived in the pit of fear of rejection and desperation for their approval. My husband would tell me to get over it, but I never could. I now realize it's because only God can pull me out of a pit.
Last weekend I went to Living Proof Live. From the first line of the first song, God reached down and began pulling me out. By the end of Friday night, I knew I was FREE! I can't explain how He did it and don't fully understand it, but I KNOW that He pulled me out! I pray daily that I won't slip back in! He is faithful! PRAISE HIM!