Loneliness, unloved, unwanted, abandoned, cast away…
“I will just never have friends, I will never fit in, I just don’t belong….” I remember making this statement for the first time as a very young girl, what hurt more was that this statement followed me into adulthood. I was trapped behind the bars of deceit.
Growing up I never understood what or where these feelings stemmed from, I just thought that if I worked hard enough to blend in that someday, somehow this would change and people would see me and love me for me. However, that said my idea of “Blending” became a rapid progressing case of people pleasing in my life. I just wanted people to like me and believed in my heart, that until I did or was who they needed or wanted me to be, that from the moment they met me that they had an extreme distaste for my company. This formed a perpetual cycle in my life because I lived my life in fear of rejection; I attracted unsafe people to me, leading to hurt and rejection.
In my 34th year of life I was ready to finally get to the root of this issue. I had dealt with the symptoms and life was actually going really well. Closing my eyes to ask the Lord to show me when the first time I had experienced rejection and abandonment in my life, I realized I had many ideas of when I thought the first experience has happened. Again closing my eyes even tighter, working to push the pain aside and really listen for the heart of God concerning this are of my life, His answer came.
Now, let me preface this with, everyone hears the Lord speak to them differently. For me it is in print, like I see the words, sometimes I hear them but I also have dreams and visions that partner up with the words. Here is what I saw:
I was in a baby incubator in the baby nursery at the hospital, white walls, white ceiling, white floors, no doors, no windows…alone.
This picture put my feelings into a visual perspective what I thought was interesting was in the vision I was a newborn. The story of my birth is not a typical one; I was born very close to the Mexico border in El Paso, Texas where my dad was attending bible school. Many women from Mexico would cross the border to have their babies, abandon them there and go back into Mexico, leaving them orphans. I mention this because mom said that the security was pretty high in the hospital they were trying to keep this from happening, but also because of the story of my birth and the years that followed.
(I am going to write this story as it was told to me when I was a young girl and then add in the parts that I just learned of recently and mark those in bold.)
My mom went into the hospital in labor, while my dad was still dressing to go into the delivery room my mom delivered me. She was medicated, so she was pretty out of it. She said that most of the delivery was a blur. She remembers having me and when they showed me to her I was perfectly healthy with a head full of curly hair. This was when they carried me out of the room to clean me up. When she woke up and asked to see me the nurse replied, that I was too sick to be brought in. I had a pretty severe case of jaundice and was in an incubator under lights and had wires and needles all hooked into me. My mom went to the nursery to see me and she said I looked like a different baby. That I had straight hair that stood straight up on my head and I was very yellow from the jaundice. She recently shared with me that she thought that the difference in my hair could have been due to the fact that it had not been washed yet. So still matted to my head from the birth. She also told me that when she woke up after birth that she was in the room alone and felt something on her belly. The nurses had placed me on her belly and tucked in the sheets around her. I know that it doesn’t make a lot of sense if I was sick in an incubator then why would I be laying on her belly? I spent 2 weeks in the NICU, my mom, dad and sister would come up to visit me as often as they were able to.
Fast forward to my 5th year of life, ramping up to start Kindergarten, mom needed a copy of my birth certificate. She called the hospital in El Paso, Texas and requested my birth certificate at which point their response was, “which one do you want?” My mom puzzled asked, “what do you mean?”. They replied saying, “Do you want Jessica Elaine Acosta or Dennise Acosta?” Mom of course still perplexed by what they had just said replied with a confused, “What?” They of course in turn rebuttled with, “Did you want twin A or Twin B’s birth certificate?” Mom of coursed baffled by what she was hearing said, “What do you mean I only have one baby?” They said, “We show that Jessica is a twin, which certificate did you want?” Mom, “I only brought home one baby!” Now if I were the nurse at this point I would have put my mom on hold to go investigate which may in fact be what happened. I am re-telling this story from the best of my recollection. Next thing mom heard was them apologizing saying it must have been a mistake, tearing up the birth certificate and combining them into one birth certificate for Jessica Elaine Dennise Acosta”
I remember as a girl hearing this story and thinking to myself maybe that explained it. Perhaps this is why I never felt like I belonged in this family, maybe that is why I have always felt like there was something missing. Now I would love to say that I know the hard facts now as to whether there is another baby or not but I do not. I wish I could tell you that there has been some sense made of that crazy story; however when it comes to this matter concerning my earthly emotions and heart, there is still much left undone. That is what is so wonderful about God, and how He and only He can come in and reach into the tiny or sometimes gapping holes in our heart and fill them up. So I do not know if there is in fact a twin to my story, or what happened at birth but what I know without a doubt is that I have the perfect parents that God set aside just for me, they were hand-picked for me and I them.
So back to that room where I laid all alone in this empty and sterile environment that at first glance seemed to stretch the length, depth, height and width of eternity. In tears with my eyes closed at a Kairos event I asked the Lord to show me the truth about that moment and you know when I looked back at it, there He was. I was never alone, He was always there, His presence in my life stretched the length, depth, height and width of eternity. In that moment as an infant, the devil was on a mission to steal my peace, worth and the truth that God is with me always, that I am never alone, that I belong, I am loved, I am significant.
You see we all have a “birth story”, the story or moment when a lie takes root in our heart and begins to grow like a weed spreading to the far parts of our soul. I struggled, for 33 years of my life, to find a reason, someone to blame, or to reveal the true defect of my existence. After all, fault had to land somewhere and if not on someone else then of course it would be me. I remember as a child believing to my core that no one wanted me, not even my parents. Believing that the root of my rejection came from them, now looking back I know that it did not. I am also able to see the ways that I pushed people away, even my own mom and dad I pushed away because I did not know how to be loved. There was such a lie hidden in the depth of my heart that even when I knew without any doubt that the Lord’s presence, His love, and His compassion was ever present in my life, I still didn’t know how to receive it.
Sitting in an auditorium filled with people I had a moment with the Lord that would change my life forever. It would not only change my future but it shifted the very foundation of who I believed I was and believe that I am today.
“One word from God can change your life forever!” I know most of you have heard this quote before, it is so true and applies so perfectly to the truth the Lord revealed to me in this moment.
A few weeks later I was able to chat with my mom, while sitting in my car in a golf course parking lot, in the pouring rain and share my heart and listen to her share her heart. I just love the delicate ways that He opens our eyes and draws our ear so that we may see and hear His truth.
I no longer question my identity, because I know that who I am can only be found in Him. So every time I go to look into the mirror, His reflection is the image I am looking for.
There are a couple of worship songs out right now that speak this truth so perfectly one is by Cody Carnes, All He Says I Am and the other by David & Elena Moore, 139.
So I leave you with this. If you are like I was, wandering in a wilderness of hopelessness, look to the Father that is where your help will come from. Dig into His word and begin to speak His truth over your life. Yes, God is here to redeem, restore, set free, and love. We do not just say Lord make this land grow fruit and vegetable that I might feed my family and then just sit on our porch swing and wait for it to happen. Not because He can’t do it because we know that He is more than able and with Him all things are made possible. He calls us to get our hands into the soil and till it, dig it up, water it, plow the fields, clear the fields for planting. He comes along side us and the reason is so that we can learn His ways, so that we can be a part of seeing His ways come into formation and take shape in our lives. So we trust Him for the strength to plow, the wisdom on what to plant, and then we stretch our hands up to our Father in heaven and say water it Lord and cause it to bear fruit in my life, so that others may taste and see that You are good! You are a great God! You know what, He is faithful to do it, when we pray to Him and speak His word it will not fall onto deaf ears, it will not return void. You might be thinking right now, but I have prayed, I have read His word, I am doing His good works but this area of my life that I am believing for has not changed. Look back in that mirror and check your heart. It is like Moses leading the people around the mountain. How many years did they circle that mountain before they finally opened their eyes and moved north.
If you find that you are stuck in a spiritual revolving door, it is NOT because God doesn’t want to see you step into freedom, because He does. Check your heart, check your motive and remember this, God wants you to pray God’s prayers to Him. That is part of making your heart line up with His heart. Our desire should be for our heart to become like God’s heart not the other way around. Is there some area in your life that you are clenched fist holding onto all the while asking the Lord for His will to be done in that area of your life. He is not a bully, He will not take it from you, He says, “Cast your cares on me”.
Cast – To forcefully throw something in a direction. When a fisherman cast his net out in the water he uses much strength to throw it away from him but when he does he has to release it so that it can be removed from him and take its shape/place in the water. The Lord calls us to cast our cares on Him…so read it like this:
Jessica, I want you to throw your cares away from you with all of your might to me so that I can carry the burden for you.
Father I pray that you would teach us how to be still and hear your voice. That when we cry out to you in help, for freedom, wisdom, understanding that we would remember to quiet our voice and thoughts and listen for your voice, your perspective. That we would remember that you are the Lord of redemption. Your plans for us are far beyond anything we could ask or think. In your faithful and precious name I pray, amen.
Let it go! Be Still! Know He is Lord!