Let the Broken Pieces Go
Do you find it difficult to let go of your past failures? Our Editor Rachel shares about her struggles with rejection and how God helps her overcome her past everyday.
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
I love this verse by apostle Paul. Many times, I like to write testimonies about miracles, my former struggles and how I am now ‘fixed’ by God. But when I look at leader servants like Paul, I see that he is so open with his walk and is willing to be vulnerable before his friends by admitting that he himself has not achieved many things that the bible has called us to. Therefore, this is my attempt to share about something that I have been struggling with for the past few years and how God is dealing with me slowly but surely everyday. My name is Rachel and I struggle with rejections and I have a problem with letting go of my past.
A few years ago, I embarked on a modeling and acting career in Hong Kong, what we used to call, the Hollywood of the East. Until then, my life was pretty easy. I did well in school and when I ventured outside the academic field and joined an international pageant, I won it. Consequently, a famous talent agency and production company signed me as their artist.
When people ask me about my time in the entertainment industry, I would think to myself that. ‘It was one big roller coaster ride!’ One day, people will promise me acting roles in blockbuster movies and the next day, it would be taken away. Sometimes, even after I signed the contracts and sealed the deal, the movies would end up not getting produced due to unforeseen circumstances. Fortunately, I could secure small acting roles and modeling shoots just to pay my rent. Now these were the success stories!
Most of the time, I would just get rejected every single week. Actors and models go for numerous auditions, they ‘hustle’ or network in several fashion and brand events, work on several projects only to get themselves or their projects rejected over and over again. Oddly, more than half of my memories of my time in entertainment were about rejections when I should be remembering the high points of my career and the good ol’ glamorous times.
I would hold to scarring events when a company would drop me because I refused to go for plastic surgery like the rest of their artistes. Other times, I would remembered when casting directors told me that I would never work in this town again for refusing to take a role that would require me to sacrifice my values. To add insult to the injury, memories of where I got rejected or failed in relationships would haunt me every time I hit a roadblock in my entertainment career.
However, a few life changing events have happened to me since then, by the grace of God. I walked with Him everyday, made friends and joined ministries that I truly cherish, and have found what some friends call a happy ending with the man I am madly in love with. I thought that I have been ‘fixed’ by God. But when I moved to Los Angeles, I started looking for new friends and career opportunities; I realized that I have a problem with rejection. I would take it so personally when people miss an appointment or reschedule. When my interviewers decide to not hire me for reasons that may be beyond my control, I take it so hard as though someone stabbed me with a dagger.
On a mundane day, I received a call from my husband when he was at work. He told me that God gave him a vision that I was carrying a hot water bag everywhere, to the groceries, to gym and to hang out with my friends. At first, I did not know what it meant. Through wise counsel and prayer time with the Lord, I realized that I have a festering wound in my heart. I have piled up numerous rejections and pain so the slightest trigger would cause the entire stack to crumble. I keep the painful memories and rejection with me because I am used to it and I feel safe with it. However, I did not need them anymore because it does not form part of my identity. In fact, hot water bags can be scalding hot and they hinder my free movements.
Being human, I avoided the revelations that God has given me because it is painful to deal it. It would be as though someone is trying to pull out a decaying tooth or worse, surgically carve out a tumor from me. When I avoid God, I like to listen to secular music and watch American TV shows. But God did not give up on me. One day, I was driving while listening to my new soundtrack from a TV show I like to watch. It was then when I noticed that the lyrics of the soundtrack described exactly what I felt in the inside. It goes,
“If I hang on to this heartache
Then my soul will not be free
So I keep trying
But I just cannot let go
I can’t let go
I need it to remind me
I can’t let go
Oh, I just repeat the past
And though your arms are saying yes
I feel my heart keeps saying no
I want to love you
But I can’t let go”
Right there and then, I broke into tears in my car at the traffic lights. It was telling me that God understood my feelings even more than I did. Even when I tried to avoid God’s healing, He followed me and spoke to me through the ordinary things I watch and listen to. I wanted to love and obey God, but without God, I could not let go of the past that I am so used to. However, it says in Lamentations 3:22-23,
Since His love and mercies are new every morning, why should I hang on to my past rejections and failures? Why can’t every new venture be free from past hurt and rejections? I am not going to lie. Letting go of all those rejections and pain that I hold on to does not happen over night. It is an arduous task of finding each and every broken piece inside that may have already formed part of me and then, giving it up for Christ to redeem it.
I quote Paul and say that, “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it”. However, I do believe that it begins with a choice to let the broken pieces go, one by one and I have made that choice.