A wise woman once told me that you know when God is transitioning you to a new place by the value you hold where you’re currently at. In other words, if the people around you don’t value you and what you bring to the table, it’s time to go.These words always stuck with me because in all honesty, I’ve had a hard time finding a place where I feel valued. I’m an interracial woman living in the south who also happens to be a minister.
Unfortunately, it’s not only a man’s world, but it also happens to be a white man’s world. Don’t get your panties in a bunch and stop reading because you think this is going to be a post on white privilege in America. I’m simply setting the backdrop so you can understand my position. I live in a city where only a month ago there were signs and protestors lining the streets exclaiming, “Make America White Again,” as they called for an end to interracial relationships and a new America where at least 80% of people are Caucasian. As ignorant as this sounds, it really happened.
So, back to the point… I know what it feels like for people to judge me for all kinds of reasons. I’ve seen others get promoted before I do or be offered job positions that I worked for – even when I’m technically “more qualified.” I’ve sat in meetings with leadership who’ve told me that the devil sent me to destroy my fiance. In my few short years of ministry, I’ve seen it all.
What am I saying? Simply that I know what it feels like to be treated poorly by authority figures time and time again. I’ve had to work hard for what I have and where I am.
I used to get frustrated that I wasn’t more “favored” or that I wasn’t treated better until I came across the story of Abraham in the Bible. You see, Abraham went from city to city and each time he went, God told him to refuse whatever gifts were offered to him. God made it clear that He wanted to get every bit of glory from Abraham’s sucess. He didn’t want any man to be able to take credit for the things God had done.
Is it possible that you’re not receiving the favor or the value that you desire because God has a greater plan? Could He be setting you up like Abraham to be so blessed that He simply doesn’t want anyone else to be able to take credit for what He’s done? If you’re currently facing a frustrating situation where you don’t feel loved, valued, or needed in your life — Stop and pray. It’s easy to run from hard places, but it’s more rewarding to persevere. Ask God if it’s time for you to leave, and if not, stay with God’s extended grace.
Just look at the example of Christ. Every one of his friends, companions, and family members rejected Him before His crucifixion. He was lowered into a dark, wet and desolate prison cell overnight while He awaited trial. No one was there for Him. He felt alone and forgotten. He had the option of running from His pain, but instead He embraced it. He knew the reward was worth the rejection because His reward was YOU.
If Christ faced such bitter rejection from those He loved, we must be prepared to do the same. I’m not saying you need to be a walking mat for people to run all over. On the contrary, it’s very important to have healthy and open conversation when issues arise. But if God hasn’t given you the “okay” to run, STAY STILL. His grace will meet you when you finally surrender the fight.
The war has never been yours to fight. If you’re treated unjustly, God won’t come to your defense until you get out of His way. And while the words of others may sting, remember that only people who don’t know who they truly are rely on the affirmation of others. God is using this situation to bring you closer to Him, and to help you develop identity through the affirmation of your Creator alone.
Moral of the story: Don’t allow anyone to define who you are, and don’t expect anyone to “make” you. God wants to use your life so that others can see His goodness through you. If any person can take the credit for God’s blessings in your life, you’re testimony is useless. It becomes a testimony of man’s ability instead of God’s miracles. It’s time to change your perspective: Start to see this temporary time of rejection as the perfect set up for the great glory that’s to come!