Finding Acceptance

December 22, 2022 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Diane Mayfield –

Growing up in my family, I was not allowed to express myself, especially if my views differed from the rest of the family. If I challenged the establishment’s perspective, I was properly put in my place. Disagreeing definitely upset the apple cart. For that I would feel like a bad little girl. When a child is not allowed to express himself or herself, or is shamed when he or she does, a part of his soul is damaged.

Last weekend I experienced some healing.

I was at a weekend retreat with men and women that I dearly love. Sitting around the fire, the discussion turned to a controversial subject in Christian circles. The details of the conversation do not matter. What matters is that I stirred the pot. I expressed an unpopular perspective in the group. It was uncomfortable for all.

For a woman who has worked hard most of her young life to be popular and accepted, I was committing Christian social suicide. I didn’t plan it. It just came out of my mouth. I didn’t agree. I had a different perspective. It felt wrong to go along with the group.

I know for some, what seemed like conflict was very scary. For me, it was an honest discussion of differences. The evening ended with hugs and professions of love, but my concern was the aftermath. I wondered what the morning would bring. That was the real test.

I woke aware of the “bad little girl” image knocking on my door. I chose to not let her in the room. Instead I embraced the truth of who God says I am. I am enough. I am a princess. I have a redeemed heart and I wear a robe of righteousness. There is no condemnation in Him. Those were the truths I embraced as I sent the bad little girl out of the room.

The real test was at breakfast. How would I be treated? Would it be awkward? Would the discomfort of others be evidenced by the strain on their faces? Those moments open the door again to the presence of that little girl. But, praise God, the atmosphere was one of love and acceptance. We debriefed the conversation from the night before. Some expressed what they had learned about themselves. One of the men told me he appreciated that I stayed in the conversation and did not walk away.

I stirred the pot. I expressed an unpopular perspective like I had done many times before in my family of origin. This time, my Christian family helped send the bad little girl away by responding with love and acceptance.

I would never have tasted such sweetness if I had not risked being authentic and unpopular. I put aside my fear and offered who I really am. In return, I received the blessing of unconditional love.

About Diane Mayfield

Diane, a follower of Jesus, has a Bachelor of Journalism Degree, a Master’s Degree in Education with a specialty in counseling and is a Certified Coach. Married for 35 years and after raising three children, she returns to one of her first loves-writing.
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