Rejection. Sometimes just reading the word makes me cringe because I can instantly think back to a time in my life when I have been rejected. This blog post was not easy to write; no one really wants to admit to being rejected or abandoned. It has taken four weeks to pray and walk through this with God. I sifted through my past experiences and remembered all the times I felt rejected - I could still remember the location, the weather, the aftermath and how broken my spirit felt when it happened. I was also able to look back and see all the places God healed, restored and provided new. What does rejection look like in your life? Do you currently have an open wound from rejection - or a scar that remains?
Whether it has happened with a close friend, a mentor, a sibling, a co-worker, a boss, a church, a spouse, or even one of your own children, rejection can be a painful process. It can leave a stinging wound or a scar that loses sensation as you heal, but can be reopened and triggered emotionally if pressed upon too hard. When I was younger, I had this idea that as I aged, I would deal with rejection less; I somehow thought that rejection was more prevalent in adolescent years when you are forming peer groups. However, some of the most painful rejection I have experienced has happened in my late 20's and 30's. Within the last six years, I have had two significant, painful, hard-to-swallow forms of rejection from people who were close to me and I trusted wholeheartedly. Rejection is downright hard to heal from. It can send you into a mental spiral of what you could’ve said or done differently in a situation. Regardless of it being a broken relationship or being looked over for a job promotion, rejection hurts. Hard to admit that a person you trusted and shared intimate details of your life with no longer wants to be in relationship with you, or that an employer worked you into the ground while promoting everyone around you. If you are not careful and don’t have the right coping mechanisms, you can get tunnel vision and be all-consumed with the brokenness and rejection.
This year has been a reminder for me that we live in a fallen world, that rejection and pain exist and that God welcomes us every time with open arms and the healing we need to move forward. It brings comfort knowing that Jesus felt the same pain; the same feeling of rejection from people He trusted. Telling myself that He felt it as well, gives me courage as I walk through it. He chose to feel it for me so that He can give me wisdom as we walk this road together. God has taught me that He can fill the void or gaping hole when someone I love walks away, He can wipe the tears when I don't get the job or position I had my heart set on, He holds me up and in His arms when all I can do is put one foot in front of the other from the pain of loss. Knowing God will never leave me or forsake me gets me through the moments of rejection and keeps me right by His side to heal and grow.
If you are not careful, rejection can sit and eat away at you. You can get caught up in the ‘why' of it all and the ‘how could I have done it all differently’, but this can all consume you. It has the power to take away the goodness in your life. When my character has been attacked, I can either believe what this person has drawn up of me or I can turn to God’s truths about who He says I am. I cannot change someone’s opinion of me or how someone views me; I can try, I can apologize and ask for forgiveness, but that doesn't mean everything will immediately heal and restore. I've seen this firsthand in my life with people I thought would be in my life forever.
This is why I couldn't be more thankful that we serve a God who is our greatest redeemer. He can take all the rejection, all our lives' greatest disappointments, all our loss and brokenness and make it all new. He is a God of even the smallest details in our lives and wants to heal and restore us. We may think He doesn't have time for us in the big scheme of things, but He does, He is the restorer of life.
Being in brokenness is exhausting. I have been through a friendship breakup this year, as well as a reopening of a six-year scar to try to restore a relationship with my oldest brother. Both sent me into a mental spiral, both made me examine all the ways I could’ve prevented it, both took my energy and my time and at the end of the day left me with no more answers than what I started with. Through all of it, God gently reminded me Who I belong to. I don’t have to crash back and forth in a sea of doubt and confusion, I have to just come to still waters and allow God to restore me. He wants to be the one to provide for us, to restore us and He wants to refine us in relationship with Him. I have lived long enough to see that there is no wound too deep that God cannot heal, there is no addiction too strong that God can't break and there is no sin too great that God cannot restore.
Rejection will still knock on my door in different forms, but when I am rejected, God will quickly remind me that I am His Beloved. I am a daughter worthy of His love, I am prized, valued and no matter my wrongs, He accepts me back with open arms. Being rejected can even make you grateful if you allow the proper healing. Rip the bandaid on that wound of rejection and allow God to heal the areas of pain that we sometimes spend more time avoiding than attacking. Trust in a loving Father who wants to heal and restore you in more ways than you can even imagine.
Psalm 94:14 NIV "For the Lord will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance."