I’ve written numerous drafts, journal entries, and I’ve had Siri taken countless notes on this topic. But after writing and writing, I still can’t find a proper starting pointing.
Rejection…Honestly, I hate that word, but I’ve grown to value the lesson in the feeling.
We’ve all been there- someone didn’t include us, someone broke up with us, or someone devalued us. It’s a poignant sting that doesn’t fade quickly or easily. It hurts us to a newer level each time it happens, and given the season and situation, we react differently each time.
At one point in my life, I felt the sting of rejection over and over. I believe Lysa Terkeurst in her book Uninvited explains the feeling best. She wrote:
Rejection isn’t an emotion we feel. It’s a message that’s sent to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others, and God.
It’s true, as Terkeurst wrote, it cut deeper that time than ever before. It was a jab at me and it instantly fed me lies about myself, those around me, and about God. The rejection happened over something I treasured most, and over something I’ve known was from God. Yet, in a spill of words, all of those truths were being crashed over with lies. How could this happen? What was my plan B? Is this really part of God’s plan for my life? All valid questions I asked over and over.
Rejection invades our hearts, minds, and souls invasively and abruptly. We never solemnly accept rejection and just move on. Instead, we question ourselves and God’s plan. It’s not fun by any stretch of the imagination – it’s a nasty, messy, and ugly-cry message we are told. But sister, when I look back on the ugliest moments of that season of rejection, I know it was meant for my good.
We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
I lived that pain for almost two years. My days didn’t get better, they got harder and I got really close to Jesus. I learned in that season quite a few things about myself and people. It didn’t make my situation any better, but it made me a better person full of compassion. We are never pushed away from God. People don’t validate you and they never will. Only Christ, when you embrace His plan for your life, proves your worth.
So, how do we handle rejection when it hits us?
Rejection is a voice that tells you, you aren’t worth anything, you’re unloved, and you’re not meaningful. It takes your hard work and throws it away in a second. It promotes competition, jealousy, and hate. It creates harsh emotions inwardly and outwardly. It doesn’t let you sleep, it plagues your mind, and no matter how hard you try, you’re always 10-steps behind. Rejection is your enemy, but it’s not your destiny.
Rejection maybe a distraction or even a devastation for a season but its never a final destination. (Lysa Terkeurst, Uninvited)
No matter how hard it seems, you can face rejection with love through Christ. I know, I know…Suzie in the office hates you, but just remember (as I have learned over and over), you don’t have to hate Suzie. In fact, you’re called to love Suzie. Yes, she still might despise your every move, but that’s okay. As John Crist would say, “Check YOUR heart.”
I wanted to list some practical reminders to help you handle it better. But let’s be real, just because you love Jesus and go to church, it doesn’t make everyone else around you change. You’re role as Christian though, is to be in those situations and change it for the betterment of the Kingdom (even if that seems impossible). So, be reminded:
You have a purpose.
You are loved.
This is only temporary…seasons pass!
God is fighting for you.
Learn from the situation.
Show them love (it’s hard!).
Forgive them (even harder!).
We have to eventually let go and give it to God. Harboring feelings for so long not only isn’t worth it, but it can affect your relationship with Christ. Keep trusting God in your situation and remember – He holds your purpose, not any woman or man.
It’s hard to push past rejection, especially if it’s over something we are passionate about – relationships, work, projects, ministries, and so on. But friend, our purpose and destination is on the other side of that rejection. He knows your future, and the moment you let people dictate that about your life, you end up hurt. Our rejection redeems us because He is the Redeemer. People who reject us have no place in our future, but they may have a place in a particular season. The Father chose us and longs for us to focus on His love.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. John 15:16