My friend Jessica is recovering from her 2nd heart transplant. As I have been able to join her through the recovery of this 2nd heart I learned a few things about rejection. When her heart went into rejection last week, I thought it was over. I didn’t know a state of rejection could be chronic or treated. I thought rejection was a once time occurrence that destroyed it, I was wrong. It is a state that can be treated. Oh don’t we feel that way sometimes? That rejection is an end all.
When a heart goes into rejection it simply means the body is defending itself against it because it doesn’t recognize it as it’s own. How many times have we had a new heart come into our church body, friends group, social group, or family and we put walls and shields up to defend against what they may bring? Not accepting them immediately but defending against them?
Rejection can be a chronic ongoing state, for like YEARS! The body is fighting against the heart verses accepting it. Goodness gracious! How many times have we done that?
Do you know what happens to heart that is continuously rejected? It hardens. Literally, the muscle has had to defend itself so much against what’s coming against it, it begins to harden, become weak, and eventually stops pumping life through it. There are so many times we feel our hearts are living in a state of rejection, after rejection, after rejection until we finally become hardened, weak, and loose the ability to give and sustain life.
How does a heart live through and come back from rejection? By breaking down the defense system until it is accepted. Normally this defense sysytem is a good thing, we need this. However, there are times it needs to be broken down. When the defense system is broken down this leaves the body vulnerable. For us to help heal rejection in our church body, social networks, families, and culture we must become vulnerable. We must open ourselves up and allow others to connect with us. Allow them to come in, be accepted, and join the body as a part of a living breathing life source.
Can this be dangerous? Of course. When we are breaking internal defenses down we must put external defenses up … boundaries. Boundaries are what keep us safe when we are internally open for connection. My friend Jessica wear a mask everywhere she goes in public. This is to keep any toxic germs that may want to invade her broken down defense system from gaining access and making her ill. That mask is her boundary. Our healthy boundaries are what keep toxic actions and emotions from harming our open vulnerable hearts.
Today I challenge you to look inward. Is your heart in a state of rejection? Has it felt rejection over and over to the point that it is hardening? Trying to defend itself against everything that’s coming close to it? Or maybe you find yourself feeling the need to defend. Defend, shield up so you or those around you won’t get hurt or be effected. The problem with shielding up and defending against a person is they have a heart. They feel that rejection.
Vulnerability and boundaries will save and nurture our hearts as well as other hearts.
Be Brave, Be Kind, Be Vulnerable