I love how when you’re paying attention to the little things, you recognize that sometimes those things occur right when you need them to.
About 6 months ago, I was browsing through the on-sale best sellers at Target. I was looking for a good book to take with me while I traveled. On a whim, I purchased Uninvited by Lisa TerKeurst, but I didn’t get around to start reading it until the beginning of the year.
I picked up this book to read at a time where the message is one I needed to hear.
While I have made strides personally and professionally, and am so proud of where I am considering I took the long road to get here, part of me has struggled because my path has been so different from that of my peers. I’m not married. I don’t have children. Many of my friendships have fizzled, because they built families while I returned to school and built a career. I don’t really know anyone who is in a similar stage of life, and it feels a bit lonely at times.
“There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to realize that being set aside is actually God’s call for her to be set apart.”
While struggling with depression throughout my youth and adolescence, I remember thinking that there had to be more out of life. I knew, deep down, that I was going through it for a reason. There was a purpose for the pain.
TerKeurst says that there are three “little-known gifts of rejection that can work good in your life if you so choose.”
- The gift of being made less
- The gift of being lonely
- The gift of silence
During much of my life, I have succumbed to these three little-known gifts of rejection. It wasn’t until I began my leadership journey that I unknowingly began to embrace these rejections as gifts. And it wasn’t until I read this book that I really understood how all the circumstances in my life have led me to where I am.
When we decrease, God has room to make big things happen.
I’ve spent much of my life feeling less. Humility gives you wisdom, and wisdom prepares you for new challenges.
This will develop in you a deeper sense of compassion for your fellow travelers.
TerKeurst points out that Jesus seems to speak most intimately to those who are lonely. Let me tell you, I’ve had a lot of conversations with Jesus, and I’ve spent a lot of time in silence: thinking, questioning, and listening. Depression embodies those three little-known gifts of rejection.
While reading this book, I learned that my experience with depression has prepared me to become a leader; a leader who is humble and empathic. While deep down I knew there was a purpose, it’s taken me 10 years to learn what it was. After so many years of feeling resentful that all those years of suffering seemed wasted, I’ve actually come to a point of relief.
This final stage of acceptance of the experience has given me a sense of freedom. Freedom of the burden that made me feel depression robbed me the formative years of my life. But it actually did the exact opposite. It shaped me into the person I am, and for that I am so thankful. So although I have not actually suffered from depression in many years, I never felt healed. Until now. Understanding that purpose has made all the difference, and I cannot tell you how truly freeing that is.