Deep Hurts Handling Criticism and Judgment
well, Joyce, we are starting something new today and this was your idea. You wanted to be able to share some things that you don’t normally talk about at conferences. And you’re always so open, you talk about everything, but we’re calling this candid conversations because it’s the opportunity to talk about some things that maybe you just talked about with a friend that you wouldn’t always share at a conference. It’s gonna be hard because I share a lot of stuff. There are certain subjects today’s subject is not one of them, but there are certain subjects that I don’t talk about a lot in conferences because they don’t necessarily fit the whole crowd. And so uh, we’ll get around the to some of those. But the subject matter for today, I think it’s going to be helpful to a lot of people I do too. And I think it’s one of those great Friend friend conversations. So one of the things that that I had asked you at one point was what is one of the most hurtful things that you ever had to face as an adult and you said it’s been criticism and judgment. Tell me about how that happened and what it felt like and how you’ve dealt with it. Well, there’s been several different instances. I mean, there was a situation where I was judged unfairly by a group of women that I was really close to and I’ve actually discovered, I believe the devil uses the pain of rejection to keep people from going forward because if I look back and had the time to tell my whole story, which I don’t, I mean every time when God was calling me into ministry, I was rejected by family and friends at that time. And I mean rejected, like if you’re going to do that, then we can’t have anything else to do with you because they really didn’t feel like that a woman being in ministry was correct and I didn’t have the right education and who did I who do you think you are? And you know, it was and that has to hurt people that you love most because our life was really involved with all these people, you know, and and it was a group of church friends, which makes it even harder. And it can, it can confuse you too, because you think, well, am I right, am I hearing from God, or am I really making a big mistake? And so I think the enemy really came against me at that time because he did not want me to step out and do this, but then also, you know, God usually promotes us in degrees, you’ll Like I, I taught a home Bible study of about 25 people for five years. Well then God told me it was time to lay that down and and to do something new. You know, I didn’t know what the new thing was going to be yet, but then I experienced rejection on that level because, you know, a lot of times when you feel like you’re supposed to do something, everybody else didn’t hear from God what you did. And so we all tend to be a little selfish and there was a certain amount of people that didn’t want that bible study to stop, they wanted me to keep doing what I had been doing and then again at another level and then again at another and so I finally realized you know this is really the enemy. Just he’s using the pain of rejection. You know, I probably had what what I call a root of rejection in my life from the rejection I experienced in my childhood from my dad. You know, he not maybe the normal kind of rejection, but he was sexually abusing me. So I was rejected as a normal daughter and used for something else and it made my personality pretty strange and I wasn’t allowed to have friends and just a lot of different things. And so I think when you have that root of rejection in your life you get to the point where you’re so afraid of the pain that things will cause you to feel rejected that might not bother most people. And then on top of that, God creates us for acceptance. And so getting rejected or being judged and criticized, which is the same thing. You know when somebody criticizes you, you feel rejected when they judge you. It’s very hurtful. I think when people judge you because a lot of times people judging, they don’t even know you, especially when you’re in the public, like I am so one of the other times, it was really, really hard for me was a media thing where newspapers had asked to come and do a big piece on our ministry and they made it sound like it was going to be really great and really helpful to us and they especially want to do, you know, talk about our missions and we hadn’t had that much experience with the media. And I mean, what they did was just horrendous. I mean, they were just outright lies. And the thing is, is people have a tendency to believe what they read or what they’re told, especially if it seems kind of juicy and naughty, right? They want, right? And you had a situation I have similar to that and it hurts like crazy. It really does. It took me a long time, long time to get over that. I mean, I would, I remember going into a coffee shop to get a coffee and they’re, my face was on the front page of the paper and it wasn’t a very pretty face. You know, they managed to pick the ugliest face they could find while I was preaching, which, you know, when you’re teaching and preaching and you catch somebody in the, you know, so I looked like I was really mad and angry and um did you just want to hide? I mean when it’s so public like that I was so I was embarrassed and then pretty much everywhere I went for a couple of months if I went to a restaurant, even the waiters and the waitresses would say, oh you’re that lady that’s been in the newspapers. And then for a while I tried to justify myself and one of my kids told me, just don’t even try that because to be honest, when you do it just almost makes it sound like you’re making excuses and it’s even harder. What about your situation? I had the same thing. It was just a shock and it was very public because I was in the public eye at that time as well. And you feel so rejected. Like you said, you you feel so like someone just kind of took you and threw you aside because it’s such a surprise and such a shock and it hurts to your core. It’s not true. So like you said immediately, you just want to shout from the rooftops what the truth is. But the sad fact is, most people don’t care about the truth. Yeah, that’s that, you know, finally the paper did print a retraction on some of the things because they just absolutely were not true. But that wasn’t on the front page, like the other stuff. But that that was painful and very hurtful to me because it was so public. But I think when you have a close friend, people that you really trust do that to you. Like in some of these other situations I just think you you know you’re dealing with abandonment. You it affects your life because you’ve been involved with these people and it’s your your social life has revolved around them and it it’s just very painful and so you know I’m sure that there’s people watching today that probably are going through the same thing right now. And one of the things that really it did really help me when I realized that it was really satan that was arranging it because it really it is so painful that actually they say I was doing some study recently that an M. R. I. If you do an M. R. I. When someone has recently been rejected that the way things show on your on your brain the lights that light up or whatever it shows the same way as it does if you’re in physical pain. And so and I personally think that emotional pain if it’s really severe is even harder than physical pain. I mean you at least can take an aspirin or two or three or whatever. You know and you know it might help that pain. But that emotional pain, I mean it’s it’s a loss that actually you have to grieve over in your life. So when you began to realize that it was an attack of satan did did that help you place your your anger in the right place, I guess, instead of wanting revenge or being so angry at those people who obviously did the wrong thing, did it shift your focus? Well, I think that helped me to realize it was the enemy, but I think the big thing that really helped me was to learn and realize that God is our justify there, he’s the one that if we let it go, if we um release it to God, then he’s the one that will bring justice in our lives if we trust him. And so it was a combination of realizing that jesus had been rejected and he was rejected by family, he was rejected by his disciples in the garden of Yosemite when he needed them the most. And so in some ways it’s a test, it’s a and you know, we are tested in life, you know, our our faith is tested and our trust in God is tested and and I think it also there is a good outcome because it does help you learn Not to put too much trust in people. That’s so true and there’s a scripture, I think it’s John 224 and John 31 that said Jesus for his part did not trust himself to his disciples because he knew human nature that’s in the amplified bible and it didn’t say he didn’t trust his disciples, he said he didn’t trust himself to his disciples and so like those deepest innermost parts of him. Yeah. And so even like when you’ve got a good friend to be honest, there’s some things you really just need to keep between you and God, you know, it’s almost like, I mean the bible does say that God is a jealous god and I think there’s a part of us that belongs to him that he really doesn’t want us giving to anyone else. And so those things, you know, learning that it was the enemy, learning to trust God to justify me and there’s a scripture in first peter 2 23 that said now when jesus was attacked or when he was hurt, he didn’t, he didn’t give back the same thing in return that he got, but I love the way the amplified bible says that he trusted himself and everything to the one who judges fairly. So you know, I would say for anybody today that’s going through that, that they really need to believe that God, if they’re being mistreated, that God will bring justice in their life and this just one group of people that hurt me. Um I mean they just, they started imagining things I guess, you know, it’s amazing what one person gossiping can do and they started thinking things that just absolutely weren’t true. I mean these were people I was really close to and God was in the process at the same time of moving me out of that place that I was at at the time to actually start the ministry the way it is now, I mean it was much smaller and we had a lot still to go through but I had been working at a church and he wanted me to start traveling and doing other things and so boy did the devil want to stop that, he tries to stop the birth of things and he tries to stop the finish of things. The enemy will really try to get you not to finish what you start. And also when you’re trying to birth something new, you know, just like giving birth to a baby is painful. Giving birth to something new in your life can also be painful and to be honest, sometimes you just have to let it hurt and trust God and it it took about three years with this situation with these friends at the church and I finally did get an apology but it was 10 years. Well Joyce, thank you. I think that’s great advice because we do all go through times like that where we feel criticized judged rejected and it hurts so much, we have all been there or we will be so do you let me ask you first before we close, do you ever have times in your life where you get a check from God about maybe being maybe you need to just not be quite so open with somebody. I do. I do and it’s rare because I’m one of those people who is very trusting and you know, I I I like all people and so when I get that check, I really pay attention to it because I’ve had it a few times, but it didn’t seem to make any sense. Like I’m not sure why I feel this way, there’s no reason for it. But I just know I’m not supposed to get real close to this person and I’m grateful. When it happens. You don’t always know why, but you want to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Well, I would imagine that there’s somebody watching today that needed to hear that right now and it may keep them from some deeper pain later on. But hey, the big thing is forgive, forgive, forgive and forgive as quick as you possibly can because that’s what opens the door for God to get involved and bring justice.