life

Confronting My Shadows

It has been almost nine months exactly since I went through deliverance for every long-standing issue that has hindered me, lied to me, or stunted my growth in one way or another. The freedom on the other side of that process has been mind-blowing. Now that I have experienced deliverance in all four seasons (winter, spring, summer, and fall), it is time for a tune-up.

My first post-deliverance maintenance happened almost immediately. I needed to lay down some false responsibilities I had been carrying around after confessing a sinful mindset to my accountability group. The days and weeks following that confession were rough. Over and over again, thoughts about how negatively I would be viewed, perceived or treated tried to torment me. Thankfully, I had the tools to cast each one down and the presence of mind to continue to submit myself to the process of self-deliverance. The fear of rejection and feelings of inadequacy had me fighting for my life and my identity for a while. But I won.

In the last month, rejection shape-shifted and came for me yet again. Where it had been easy to spot the temptation to give in to the spirit of rejection when I am dealing with an ongoing conflict with the same people, or feeling ostracized where I had once been accepted – this time the demonic opportunity came in a more nuanced form.

A part of me had assumed that because I was loved and accepted by those that I also love, I would always be included. When I began to recognize that being loved and accepted by people did not equate to having unfettered access to them, emotionally, it bothered me to no end and I could not understand why.

I have developed good boundaries over the last few years of growing in emotional wholeness.

I knew that not everyone had to like me and I had found peace and freedom in that truth.

Why could I not let go of this grief of knowing that even the people who loved me would not allow me into certain areas of their lives?

[Unbeknownst to me, the lie I was telling myself internally was that being excluded in any regard by people I love was proof positive that they did not love me like I thought they did.]

A part of me had assumed (incorrectly) that all I had to do was prove myself worthy of their trust and surely, they would open more and more of their lives to me. After years of walking in integrity, sowing good seeds, being a faithful sister, surely I had earned my place in the corners of their hearts that had once been closed off?

I waffled between anger, resentment, and sadness for days, unable to pinpoint why I was feeling what I was feeling.

Eventually, the Lord confronted my negative emotions head-on and gave them a name. The deadlock I was experiencing was actually another battle with an old foe – rejection. The spirit of rejection was having a field day in my thoughts and emotions because being held at what felt like arm’s length by people I have grown to love reminded me vividly of being rejected by the church community I once called my safe place. The reality that the people I loved had parts of their hearts reserved for others and simultaneously withheld from me had all the “danger” alarm bells ringing in my feelings.

“They don’t really love you. They don’t really accept you. You will never belong. You will always be on the outside looking in. You are only as good as your gifts. Nobody wants anything to do with you outside of what you can provide.”

On and on the lies poured in. The enemy had taken a pin-hole and brute-forced it into a floodgate. I sat in the rising waters of my emotions for what felt like an eternity (it was likely a few hours or a day). I knew better than to let the old, stagnant, putrid water of bondage drown me. February’s deliverance sessions had equipped me with new tools, godly beliefs, generational blessings, and soul spirit healing that were divinely designed to bring me out of any chains the enemy would try to wrap around my throat.

“I am not rejected. I am accepted – fully known, fully seen, and fully loved.”

“No one owes me anything, but the Lord has already given me everything I need, including godly, safe, and intimate sisterhood.”

“I belong in Christ, and because Christ loves me, it is His good pleasure to plant me in a community that loves me like He loves me and has His heart for me.”

“I am not responsible for other people’s emotions, or their reactions to what I share. My task is to speak what the Lord has asked me to speak, how He directed me to say it, and when He tells me to speak it.”

Over and over again, I drowned out the enemy’s lies with God’s truth. I committed to my daily time of worship and prayer and began to find myself in God’s word in a new way. There were no “new tricks” with God. What worked was what has always worked – dedicated time in the presence of my Heavenly Father. Laying my head in God’s lap allowed Him to reaffirm my identity, comfort my heart, and confront my brokenness.

I have been walking this new dedicated walk with the Lord for eleven years, two months, twenty days, and twelve hours (and counting). Sometimes, it feels like I should be passed certain struggles. Rejection was something I battled in year one. Surely, I should have grown past that by now? But I know the enemy has no new tricks; he will try to use what has always worked in the past.

However, he is not dealing with the same Omowunmi.

I am equipped differently. I have matured differently, and most importantly, I am #healedDifferent than the previous versions of me. Confronting my shadows still comes with the temptation to give way to shame (“how can you call yourself a Christian and be thinking/feeling like that?”), but I know who I am and I know WHOSE I am. Shame does not get to have a voice in the process that God is using to ensure that His daughter remains freer than the day before.

Deliverance is the children’s bread. I fully intend to feast for the rest of my life.

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