In grade 6 and 7 I was cancelled.
Yes, you read it right.
My dark skin cancelled me.
My neopet looking face and nose cancelled me.
My short natural hair cancelled me.
And, hey guess what? Even being a Christian cancelled me.
In two of the most delicate years of teenage life, I went through one of—if not, the roughest—periods of shame, disapproval, and intolerance from my fellow peers all because of what I looked like and who I was.
Oh…and let me not leave out the time my teacher cancelled me.
(Stay with me, I’m going somewhere with this)
Towards the tail end of grade 7, I had a major monologue drama project I had to present in front of the class. My older sister, (whom I love so dearly) being one year ahead of me, had already completed this assignment before, so she offered to help me out.
I mean…we practiced and practiced and practiced until I got my lines down pact! I was so certain I was gonna kill it. Plus, my sister reassured me that I had it and just encouraged me to be confident.
Long story short: when I got up there to present, I blanked.
When I say I blanked…I blanked HARD.
I couldn’t remember any of my lines. So, of course, forgetting my lines turned into massive anxiety, nerves and fear.
My teacher had my script, so she helped me to get through the presentation until the end.
And it was at this end, that she took a long, drawn out sigh, bowed to shake her head and said to me, “you will never be anything like your sister.”
The class began to erupt in faint giggles and smirks. Holding in my tears I swiftly went back to my desk and put my head down to silently cry.
In my eyes, my sister was intelligent, beautiful, creative, a great public speaker, singer…I mean you name it, she was everything!
Like, God only knows how much I looked up to her and still do.
But, my little 13 year old self saw myself through my teacher eyes. And, in fact, I saw myself through my teacher’s eyes from that day onward for a very, very long time.
I told myself I could never be:
A great public speaker
And everything else I had thought of my sister to be at the time. My shortcoming and blunders from this presentation, as affirmed by my teacher, cancelled me from the ability to ever develop the kind of capacity my sister had (or so I thought…)
Where exactly am I going with this?
All throughout this series I have made mention, that our generation is enduring a serious pandemic of failed relationships.
And much of these failed relationships, to be frank, are as a result of us CANCELLING people who we believe, have wronged, offended, hurt or wounded us in anyway.
I hadn’t done anything to my peers, but my skin color, physical features, and hair offended them in some way, so I was CANCELLED for that. I couldn’t make friends. I couldn’t join certain circles. I couldn’t establish fruitful relationships.
I didn’t intentionally try to forget my lines, but my shortcoming rubbed my teacher the wrong way and I was CANCELLED for that too. I missed many opportunities growing up. I didn’t step into the fullness of my purpose until a lot later in life, all because I believed I was not permitted to do so.
Again, where am I going with this?
I want to point out that many of us have become like my elementary bullies and my drama teacher.
Holding the mistakes of our offenders against them for dear life…
Rejecting people for all sorts of personal reasons…
A culture that leaves no room for forgiveness, healing, restoration, reconciliation, mercy and grace.
A culture that leaves no room for people to grow, change, and become refined through the power of God, but demands that other people understand that, “God is working on us.”
Mhm, I’m going there today.
You know why many of us can’t hold relationships, establish relationships, heal relationships, restore relationships, or water relationships?
Because our hearts have rejected the souls of men.
Our hearts have imprisoned our offenders and wrongdoers.
We want nothing to do with them.
We’d like not to relate with them.
We’d like not to think about them.
We’d like not to speak to them.
We’d like not to see them.
OUT OF SIGHT. OUT OF MIND.
YET CAGED COMFORTABLY IN OUR HEARTS.
And these offenders range from our parents to our spouses, to our boyfriends, to our besties, to our bosses, to our pastors, to our wives, to our children, to our siblings, to co-workers, to—often times more than not—people we don’t even know.
Many of us have come to Christ alright..
But the prize remaining for our offenders is still rejection, cancellation and flat out unforgiveness.
“But Michelle, I’ve seriously been wronged, like sis, you don’t get it…”
No, I do..
The abuse. The shame. The humiliation. Your absentee father. Your wayward mother. Your rude siblings. Your cheating boyfriend. Your disloyal friend. Your malicious boss.
Listen.. if I’m to tell you even half of my story, you’ll get to know that throughout many seasons of my life, I was seriously wronged too.
Truth is: We’ve all been.
But I’ve come to learn that freedom is better than bondage.
Healing is better than staying wounded.
Reconciliation is better than strife.
And, more importantly that..
CANCEL CULTURE DOES NOT = KINGDOM CULTURE
As a child of God and as a kingdom ambassador, when I’ve been wronged, hurt or wounded..
Intentionally or unintentionally,
Validly or invalidly,
In big ways or in small ways,
I have now come to learn that,
My heart language and posture must be one forgiveness, mercy and grace!
My disposition now is, “if you strike one cheek, I’ll give you the other!”
This is what walking in the true likeness and humility of Christ looks like! That’s who we’re trying to mirror right?
His nature is our objective!
We often forget, that no one in this world will ever take the kind of rejection, humility, wrongdoing and offense that Christ took.
CHRIST WAS CANCELLED.
After being innocently hung up on the cross to be cancelled by the world, scripture tells us that, He still managed to “pray over and over, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.” (Luke 23:34 TPT)
Powerful, when you think of it.
The world cancelled Him and in return He cancelled so much for the world.
My favourite scripture of all time says,
“He cancelled out every legal violation we had on our record and the old arrest warrant that stood to indict us. He erased it all—our sins, our stained soul—he deleted it all and they cannot be retrieved! Everything we once were in Adam has been placed onto his cross and nailed permanently there as a public display of cancellation.”
Then Jesus made a public spectacle of all the powers and principalities of darkness, stripping away from them every weapon and all their spiritual authority and power to accuse us. And by the power of the cross, Jesus led them around as prisoners in a procession of triumph. He was not their prisoner; they were his.”
Colossians 2:14-15 TPT
There were many times I woke up in my sin, yet God didn’t cancel me.
Many times, I woke up far away from Him, yet He never rejected me.
One too many days, I imprisoned somebody in my heart, yet still God chased me with His.
As I bring this Relationship Woes series to an end, this will probably be the most important post you’ll read of the four.
If there is an inventory we must learn to take stock of first, it’s ourselves before others.
Check your heart..
Who have you cancelled?
Who has cancelled you?
Make a resolution to be free from the woe of rejection and cancellation.
Make it a point to be free from the need to reject and cancel others.
So long as freedom has been paid for and is readily available to you through the power and precious blood of Jesus Christ, bondage should no longer be your decision.
His love is chasing you down,
Receive it today,
All of my love,