Rejection, perceived rejection, self rejection....all an ugly business. It’s amazing when I’m feeling a bit taxed in life how challenges opportunities to grow come at me in multiples and a theme materializes. Rejection seems to be what’s been popping up right and left. Opportunities for me to feel it. Some of it real, some of it probably perceived, and a lot of it self-inflicted. My feelings have seemed extra sensitive, which I despise because they tell on me and let me know that I care what other people think and feel about me. Ugh! Or, actually, Ug-ly! Been working on that care-of-what-others-think thing this year and have had lots of opportunities throughout the year to test it's waters and it hasn’t been all that bad to swim towards freedom. But, over the last month or so, I’ve failed at a few things, in my opinion, and I’ve beat myself up over it all. I won’t go into all of it, but just have not been able to shake free of some stuff that's been holding me back and keeping me from doing the things I want to do, know to do. It’s been a struggle. Kinda like that scripture that Paul wrote:
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.
Now, if we knew each other in real life, you may not detect my disgust with myself and my feelings of overwhelm. I try to keep those to myself, thank you very much. Until now, ha...guess the cat’s outta the bag. Well better off, bring it to the light, get it out there, and shake it off.
During this time of overwhelm and self-rejection, I’ve also had many opportunities to experience real rejection. The stinging friend-ditching-you-to-go-do-something-with-someone-else kind. That happened twice in the same week with 2 different friends. I’ve also been trying, unsuccessfully to connect with a parent of a child in our children’s ministry over the past couple months. Did I mention unsuccessfully? Attempted to chat, smile, recognize her gifts as something that would bring joy to others, emailed....nothing....a big sour-faced, no smile back, look at me like I have 3 hideous heads nothing. During this time I’ve also experienced a few other disrespectful people annoyances and let-downs, the worst of which seem to happen from church people...why is this the case?
Anyway, boo-hoo, woe is me, blah, blah, blah...I’m getting sick of myself just writing this. And I know what some of you may be thinking, Don’t say sick of yourself, because you’re cursing yourself...see I’m already immediately worried about what others will think! I’m not going to get sick...healed and whole in Jesus‘ Name, thank you very much.
Well, during this big ramble, (sorry to keep you...if you still even happen to be here) I'm feeling relieved and a bit like the light has turned on. I needed to come up against numerous prickly people and numerous crazy thoughts in my head to realize that this rejection is a thing, a real thing that’s been ruling my life lately, bossing me around and making me feel the victim, whether perceived or real, because perceived is just as real as real to the person who perceives it...does that make sense? And, coming up against these things exposed the theme. I asked God the other day, What’s up here? Why all of these opportunities to feel rejected? (And, for the record, I definitely boo-hooed when I asked it.) He said, It's been there lurking inside for way too long, we just needed these outside circumstances to shake it out of hiding and rear it’s ugly head. So, let’s do this thing. Buck up, don’t let it stay, don’t make agreements with it when it shows up and tells you that you’re a loser. Ok, ok, God, sheesh.
So, the other day I had the opportunity to confront rejection. Yippee! (Inject sarcastic tone.) Well, honestly it confronted me, all flaunting itself in front of my face and for a minute, or five, I was getting sucked in, but then I remembered what God said and I started saying to myself, God loves me and it doesn’t matter what people do, He determines my worth. I’m ok and I choose to value me. That might sound silly, but that’s what came to mind and it helped. I did have to say it a few more times that day just to remind myself, and I may have to do it lots more, but if it helps me to shake the rejection that seems to have been my default over the past month, then I’m ok with doing it.
It feels better to share. What about you? Have you encountered a recurring theme in your life lately that isn’t God’s intent for you? Maybe He’s trying to tell you something. Maybe it’s time to confront those uglies with the truth and finally be free. Just remember what God says:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So, if He doesn't reject me even though I'm a mess, then I shouldn't reject me, or let myself be the victim of someone else's rejection. Oh rejection, you're days are done...now beat it!