She seemed just an answer to my prayer for a good friend. She showed a lot of care, often asked about my children, always assured me of her prayers, shared her feelings and thoughts, shared her prayers and listened to mine just as a good Christian friend will do, supported me, encouraged me, and even considered me her very close friend but one fine day she just walked away. Even though there wasn’t any kind of dispute between us and things were just going fine, she suddenly stopped the contact. I wrote to her but she didn’t reply. I messaged once again but she didn’t check it till today even when being online. For months I felt miserable and shocked. I couldn’t accept that someone whom I considered one of the nicest people in my life would just leave me without even saying a word or letting me know what my fault was. I felt side-stepped and slowly rejection crawled in.
Why does it hurt so much when people do things which make us feel rejected? Why wouldn’t the hurt go away? It’s because we are hit in an already bruised place. Because the past hurts of rejections are still unhealed. And those wounds will stop us from moving forward with ease. Because rejection isn’t just a one-time feeling, it’s more like constant stabbings on the unhealed wounds from the past…
……And, I still had those bruised places of my past incidents of rejections where I felt “I don’t matter”: When my 8th grade teacher rudely ask me to leave the dance group because I am left-handed and couldn’t do some of the dance moves with perfection; when my 11th grade chemistry teacher threw my practical note book out of the chemistry lab and yelled at me because it had errors in the chemical equation; when the HOD, where I was working as a volunteer in mission work, never appreciated me for my works as she did to other girls in the department because I belonged to a different state; when my father didn’t encourage me when I wanted to join youth ministry to carry on my new found passion to serve God through my life; when a teammate in my outreach team treated me with hatred and spread rumors about me; when during the early years of my marriage, my husband couldn’t understand my heart for the Kingdom work & my calling, it felt a lonely walk ; when my close relative felt embarrassed because of my daughter’s medical condition and often blamed me for her sickness and considered it as a curse from God on my life.
My friend’s unkind action just felt like another stab on those bruises. It felt like a sign that “I am not accepted”. It felt like a secret message that “I really don’t matter”.
For most of the time, I thought the only solution for not feeling rejected by people is to avoid friendships, avoid being very close with people, avoid trying new things and avoid even expressing my feelings and thoughts with others. But by doing so, I would not fix the issue permanently. If I shut myself from others, I might as well miss out on the good friends, good ideas, opportunities and like-minded people who would stand by me and believe in me. Avoidance may seem a protective shield from rejection but it won’t heal the bruised places. There had to be a better way, a permanent fixing, an ample healing and a discovery of a whole new perspective.
Recently, when I was reading Lysa Terkeurst’s book “Uninvited”, I found my answers, I found a better way, I found a healing and a renewed perspective to perceive things through. It felt like God was speaking to my hurting heart and wondering mind to see life through His way.
She writes that, “Rejection isn’t just 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. We connect an event from today to something harsh someone once said or did. That person’s line becomes a label. The label becomes a lie, and the lie becomes a liability in how we think about ourselves and interact every relationship.
The Line – “I don’t want you” becomes the label “you aren’t accepted”.
The Label – “you aren’t accepted” becomes the lie “you aren’t worthy”.
The Lie – “You aren’t worthy” becomes a script of self-rejection and it unleashes doubts, hesitancy and many other liabilities that hinder our present relationship.
Thus, rejection steals the best of who we are by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said or done to us. As a result, relationships feel unsafe, opportunities feel risky and life feels difficult. We carry on but this sense of rejection settles into the core of who we are.
The problem isn’t the people, the problem lies within us as we hold on to things which won’t give us stability. We try to search our approval from the wrong places. We base our acceptance on people’s constantly changing actions, words and applauds for us. It’s okay to need people but some of our biggest disappointments are the result of our expectations we have of others that they can’t even possibly meet.
While we are busy trying to earn love and acceptance from people, we often forget the truth that only God’s love is complete enough to give us stability, and has power to heal our hurts. He waits every day, with every answer we need, every comfort we crave, every affection we are desperate for while we look everywhere but at Him.
We do things keeping God in mind but not really spending time getting refilled by Him and His abundant love. We think we are connecting with Him, but in all honestly, we let the world stir up our deep affection, decide our worth and give us approval.
“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to GRASP how wide and long and high and deep is the LOVE OF CHRIST, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the FULLNESS OF GOD.” Ephesians 3:17 – 19
At the core of who we are, we crave the acceptance that comes from being loved. To satisfy this longing, we will either be graspers of God’s love or grabbers of people’s love. If we grasp the full love of Christ, we won’t grab at other things to fill us. Fullness comes to us when our hearts are aligned with Him. When we truly abide, delight and dwell in Him, He will satisfy our inmost needs of acceptance. When we let this truth settle deep down in our hearts, we won’t find ourselves pleading others for our acceptance and instead we will start living from the full assurance of His love. We will rip out those hurtful feelings of rejection and replace them with a new solid understanding of our true worth which is found in Him.
“I am loved” will be the very first thought of our everyday life no matter what people say or do to us. With full confidence in His unchanging love, we will invite others in our lives, firmly believe in our dreams, have a poised character and a true sense of our worth. And it’s the place, it’s the right perspective and it’s the profound principle from which we will live our life loved and treasured always “.
I don’t know in what forms rejection has crawled into your heart, but I am sure it did at some point where all you felt was unloved, misunderstood, betrayed, avoided, left alone, unimportant and offended. When you gave your best, the best was never enough for someone, when you put 100 percent into a relationship, all you got back was just 50 percent, when you tried to do something new, you didn’t get the much needed applauds from others , you found that the people you love, are celebrating others but you, when you shared your dreams with people close to you, they failed to understand the depth of it, or maybe when you made all efforts to keep those friendships, still people walked away from you.
How will you respond? Will you let those hurts settle deep in your heart or will you allow God’s truth and His love to get rooted in there?
Remember rejection will only crawl in when we allow it to:). We have the choice, the power and the truth to let go of the hurts, and let the fullness of God’s love walk into our hearts. Let’s release our grips on the unstable things we were holding on to and let’s return back to His passionate embrace. Let’s be graspers of His love alone and let’s rewrite the script of our life’s story for His glory!