TO REJECT: to refuse to accept, use, consider, submit to, or take for some purpose; to refuse to hear, receive, or admit; to spew out; throw back, repulse.
Rejection. Something we all have experienced at some point in our lives- getting picked last to play dodgeball in middle school, not getting asked to the prom, not being accepted to your first pick for college, or just missing the promotion at work. Whatever it looks like, rejection hurts and it usually leaves a mark. So it makes sense as to why we at all costs try to avoid it…I know I have!
In my younger years, rejection was definitely something that I tried to keep myself from experiencing. I would do anything I could to compensate and overcome the fears of being rejected by others. I think that’s where a lot of my intent and motivation came from when loving others. I don’t think I understood my heart enough to know that then. But looking back, I can see this. I see how my faithfulness to others and heart to do everything in my power to come through when others were in need all stemmed from a fear of rejection. I thought that all it would take is one missed opportunity to be a real friend to someone to result in them terminating the friendship. I would always find myself overanalyzing things that others said to me, uneasy and unsure of the real strength of our friendship. I expected to be rejected at some point because nothing really lasts forever, or at least that was my experience. I didn’t know how to maintain friendship for years and years, nor did I believe it was possible. I constantly would take things personal when a friend didn’t follow through on what he/she said. I admit that I’ve also had this fantasy that if I found THE ONE best friend that really understood me, like a brother, that everything would magically be “happily ever after.” But the truth of this story is that I’m thankful for the rejection I’ve experienced. Let me tell you why…
Simply put, I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t experienced rejection. The end of my story could have turned out a lot differently. You see, secretly hidden in my heart and unspoken, I’ve always desired closeness with men. The younger version of myself thought though that this had to look like a relationship, that that was the only option. But I honestly was too shy to really pursue anything with a guy. So I was stuck in a challenging place with no relief. I wasn’t willing to put myself out there, but any little bit that I did never was returned favorably. The only reason then that I could come up with was based on the belief that there must be something wrong with me. Men didn’t find me enjoyable, desirable, or worthwhile…I felt invisible and unwanted. I believed a lot of lies about myself that my older self has had to work through.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
I know now that it was God’s mercy that allowed me to experience rejection from men. If I had been pursued by a guy and showed genuine interest, I know my heart would have followed quickly down that slippery path. God really can turn all things around for good!
Rejection has taught me:
- My worth must be based on how God sees me rather than others’ view of me
- No one is perfect- all deserve grace and forgiveness
- How to show compassion toward others who may feel rejected
I’m reminded that though it can still sting at times, the rejection I’ve felt no where compares to what Jesus experienced and still experiences as the majority of mankind rejects Him and His leadership. I know that Jesus gets it and that I can always go to Him when rejection strikes, to comfort and encourage my heart again. Rejection, you’ve taught me well!
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE – LEAVE A COMMENT
What have you learned from rejection? Do you find yourself rejecting others or being rejected frequently? How do you deal with rejection?
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