Overcoming Rejection

"I won't be there".  Four words.  Four syllables.  A simple statement.  And my life forever changed.

I reread those four words time after time.  Suddenly, I wasn't reading "I won't be there." I was reading, "I don't love you anymore."

The sting of rejection set in quickly.  Almost instantly memories came flooding back.  

Maybe it was the time I walked into the back of the kindergarten room, excited about playing in the big blue blocks with other 5-year-olds, and I was abruptly, unexpectedly shoved out and not allowed back in.

Maybe it was the time I was told I couldn't be friends with someone because I was adopted, and that means you "don't know where she comes from."

Or maybe it was the time my best friend decided she fancied my boyfriend.  I went to bed having a boyfriend, and woke to her having that same boy as her boyfriend. To this day, I still remember the moment she told me in Algebra class.  I spent the rest of class peering out the window, sobbing.  I knew, in that moment, our friendship would never be the same.  That is what broke my heart the most. 

Time after time, for some unknown reason, I experienced the sting of rejection. As I grew older, not only did I expect rejection, I began reading it into the actions and expressions of others. I told myself I was essentially unlikable and helplessly flawed. Perceived rejections only confirmed that conviction.

Thankfully, I also experienced evidences of self-worth - in the comfort of my mother, in the warmth of my nurturing grandmother, in the encouragement of my life-long best friends, and most importantly, in the love of Christ.

Rejection is hard, isn't it? Babies even cry when they're rejected. I can tell you first hand, being an adult doesn't make that rejection any easier. We are created with the desire to be loved and accepted just as we are. But we will all experience rejection at some point in our lives. People hurl flaming arrows of rejection at their family members, co-workers, and peers without a second thought not realizing the depths of their damage. Damage that can reach throughout generations.

Those first four words, I won't be there, were heard three years ago.  I'm going to be honest and open with you, I'm still learning how to deal with and process that rejection.  Those were the words spoken before they turned and walked out of my life.  

Throughout this process of rejection, healing and working to overcome the pain there are reminders the Lord has whispered as He brings healing to my wounded heart.

He is faithful.

God will never reject me. And God is not rejecting me just because my loved one has. One of Satan’s favorite lies is that because my loved one is rejecting me, so is God. The truth is God loves me no matter how people treat me.


When I am rejected, and hurting, I can assure you my first response isn't godly. I'm the first to admit I have a hot head and a fat mouth. This, my friends, has taken a lot of prayer on my end.

And with gentle prompts from Him, I've heard be silent and keep your eyes on Me. My first response was the opposite. My goal was to hurt them just as they hurt me. God is showing me how to let mercy and grace lead the way.

I'm going to be honest, I'm not a good forgiver. If there is one thing I'm good at, it's holding a grudge. Actually, I might even be considered a professional grudge holder. Forgiveness, no matter who it is directed to, is something that just doesn't come easily to me. Add in someone rejecting, and hurting, my children as well and it's doubly as hard.

How do you forgive the one who caused such pain and created those deep, searing wounds.

What does Jesus say about holding a grudge? He commands us to overlook sins and forgive those who hurt us. He doesn't ask us to do that, the Lord commands us to do that.

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:31-32

But somewhere buried in our subconscious, we think the rules don’t apply to us. The pain we know doesn't fit the requirements of forgiveness. We {read this as me} rationalize and justify our pain over and over again, talking ourselves out of forgiving.

And then we become resentful, angry, unforgiving and cold.

I am beginning with one simple statement...this is my opportunity to show them Jesus through me. To be kind and tenderhearted, expecting nothing in return.

Reaching out.

This one is hard for me. Whether I want to admit it or not, this girl can be so proud! That certainly isn't an endearing quality. God’s Word has much to say about pride.

When we love our relationships, we should have no room for pride and arrogance to creep in. Regardless of who is to blame, when we are really serious about reconciling a relationship, we put aside our pride and sometimes that means being the first one to take the step towards restoration.

Forgiveness doesn't always equal relationship.
Sometimes relationships flat-line and some are just toxic. I honestly just don’t know how to take a single step forward in a relationship that has dead-ended. Ones where there is no earthly way of moving forward. Where I just don’t know which way to go.

All I do know is this, we are to love one another.

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:34

I have to believe that forgiveness and love doesn't mean we're required to have a relationship.

Love doesn't mean we walk back in. It doesn't mean we forget. It doesn't mean it didn't happen and we aren't thankful that the journey brought us out.

It means we continue to love, even from a distance. We choose the best for them, for us, for this time. We refuse bitterness. We refuse anger. We refuse to keep allowing our heart to stir. We become aware of our pain and we seek and find healing.

When you don’t know how to move forward, choose love. When there seems to be no earthly way of moving on, choose love.

When we find ourselves in the midst of ripped pages and the reflection of a broken heart, it's comforting to know He is already there. In all my broken places, God has turned a my mess into a holy offering by pouring Himself right in. He has never left me down. And now those cracks allow Him to pour right out.

I know in the middle of my messy mascara days, He's busy writing an amazing story.

Beth Moore, in Praying God's Word, said:
The rejected person who turns entirely to God and His Word can find glorious restoration and acceptance in Christ no matter what happens.
In this world we will no doubt experience rejection again and again. But if we keep our eyes on Him, He will restore our broken hearts and turn our troubles into triumph.

Today I’m celebrating God’s faithfulness in bringing me through every rejection in my life and keeping me vitally connected to Him. Oh how He loves me - and you.