Unwanted.  Set aside.  Abandoned.   Words no one ever wants to hear or experience.  Agonizing.  Painful.

Maybe you’ve listened to a friend as she shared these heart-wrenching words about a spouse, “He didn’t want me anymore.”  Maybe you’ve  been a shoulder to cry on as you comforted someone whose long-time friend abandoned the relationship.  Maybe this is your story.   Whether it was felt in a broken marriage, friendship, or from a parent or close family member — the feeling of being unwanted might be one of the deepest hurts a person can ever experience.

For those  living in the shadow of these words,  you may have that cast aside feeling– that feeling that someone looked at you and decided you weren’t needed or wanted anymore …as if you had an expiration date stamped on your head and someone put you out at the curb to be picked up with the rest of the trash….ignoring that you even existed ….walking past you  without even looking or engaging in conversation.

From the trash heap, you watch others laugh and enjoy conversation and life together …without you.  Loneliness sets in.  Lack of confidence in who you are since who you are feels rejected …thrown out …abandoned …unloved.

Wounded people often wound others with the very thing that wounded them.  Their wounds — still jagged at the edges — pierce another heart.

But that’s when Jesus comes down the road you’re on and stops dead in His tracks.  He sees you.  He notices your wounds and shows you His own to let you know  how well He  identifies with your pain and suffering.  He too, has felt that painful rejection and abandonment by those He deeply loves and even died to save.

He holds out His hand to lift you up out of the trash heap you feel you were thrown into.  He hugs you — filthiness and all — and whispers truth to your wounded heart — “You’re mine and I love you.”  He promises you that He is here for you –Emmanuel, God with us — and that His grace is  enough …that He is all you need and everything you’ve ever really wanted.  He says He will comfort you and walk with you — even go before you and navigate the next step for you.  You will never be left alone.  He assures you with, “I will always be with you.”  Friends may fail you.  Family may leave you or disown you but  He “will hold you close.”  He will be the strength of your life.  He gives His guarantee,”I will never leave you or abandon you.” *

Take His hand.  Walk with Him.   He will show you the path of life.*

While walking  hand in hand with Jesus, the warmth of His love gives confidence and a surprising new ability to turn and love others in their own journey.  Turns out, everyone has been in the trash heap together.  Some realize it.  Some don’t.  All of us need to be rescued …reclaimed …remade.

The moment you realize where you are is the very moment you can look up to see Jesus, holding His hand out for you saying, “Come to me …my yoke is easy …the burden … light.” He’ll wrap you in the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the strong arms of the Father who says what you’ve longed to hear all along …”Welcome home!”

I guess it’s true …“one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

Dear friend, you are treasured and deeply loved by God and precious in His sight.  He always wants to be with you and He longs for you to be with Him.  Take His hand today.

“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me —

and He turned to me and heard my cry —

He lifted me out of the pit of despair,  out of the mud and the mire.

He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.

He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see what He has done and be amazed.  They will put their trust in the Lord.”

Psalm 40:1-3 (NLT)

*Many of the phrases in this post came from passages in Scripture that have sustained me through my own struggles with life’s ups and downs.  I’ve listed some for you here because they are for you as well.  Click on each link below to read more of God’s promises  for you and for me:
Isaiah 43 ,  Matthew 1:23 ,  2 Peter 1:3, 2 Corinthians 12:9 , Psalm 23Deuteronomy 31:8 , Psalm 27:10Psalm 16:11 , Hebrews 13 , Matthew 11:28-30Psalm 27:1 ,  Isaiah 43

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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  1. Shaquila Willie

    Much needed in this day in time. I felt this kinda pain before and it’s not easy even as an adult. Thank you for.sharing these words as a reminder of God’s love for us– even when we are filthy.

    1. May many take the hand of Jesus with us, Shaquila, and let Him heal our wounds. Thanks for Sharing your heart with mine. 😊❤

  2. Michele

    Love you Joy….

  3. carrye1

    I heard a beautiful message today about how our stories help heal the wounds of this world. And yours does just that… thank you for being vulnerable. Your own jagged places have given you a deep compassion and awareness of others in pain. Though I hurt for you and those feeling so abandoned, I know others will read and know they are not alone. And I can’t think of a better retribution for the enemy than to use what he would try to chain you with to free others. Love you!

    1. My prayer is that people will see Jesus there for them like He has been there for me. I’ve heard several friends talk about their pain of being unwanted and in some small way, God gave me a glimpse into this scenario. May many come home to Him. Thank you Carrye. I love you so much!! You are life-giving to me!

  4. Amy Dansereau

    Love the conversations we’ve had on this very topic! <3

    1. The Holy Spirit seems to give us glimpses into these places so we can give others encouragement and offer hope I believe. Love our conversations, Amy !! They’re good for me. Love you!

  5. pasturescott

    Beautifully and tenderly written. I’m so glad our God is using you as his pen to comfort his wounded flock. Bless you. These are words my wife and I can carry with us.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      It’s an interesting road God takes us down that allows us to see with new eyes, Scott. I know you understand that better than most. Giving God the glory in the journey and hoping many take His hand …that’s my prayer. Thanks for your encouragement! Loves to you and Sandy!!

  6. Debora Bailey

    Joy, missed you in Church Sunday, but I see you were wrapped in the Holy Spirit, going about the work given to you. Now from you I have been touched deeply, more than your hug I missed. Your messages continue to be an example to me……Rely upon God our Father, Abba. His loving provisions are always there, we just have to reach out. Thank you for sharing your pain, your healing, and God’s written words.
    As I have been participating daily in my Physical Therapy, movements that I know I must do painful as they are to enable complete and proper healing of my knee, I know the fortitude is not just my own….truely Gods Grace covered me and carried me thru what I felt was brutal torture.
    A friend who supported me with transportation throughout my 6 weeks, one of three prescious people to do so, said she admires my persistance. I think I need to tell her the source of my drive. Yup, you do the actual physical labor, but I was not alone.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Often we look back at what we’ve gone through and stand in amazement that we truly did “get through it” !! God has His angels along the way to help and His strength is definitely made perfect in our weakness. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Debora ! You have an eye to see the things that matter most. Yes! Share with others the source of your drive and strength that comes through Jesus. He’s our true Healer.

    1. Joy Waters Martin

      Looking to Jesus on this one for sure! Hugs and blessings to you, Becky!

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