I was sitting at our coffee table coloring with my two youngest girls and I found an old journal. I thumbed through it looking at old prayers and smiling to myself seeing how God has answered those cries from my heart and how far we have come. But then I turned the page and I found a list. It was entitled "All the Rejections in My Life". Yikes.
As I read the list it started from a teacher in first grade. It stung a bit as I read her name. Then boys in middle school who took advantage of me, my first kiss who utterly broke my heart. As much as a heart can be broken at fourteen. (I pray my children don't have their first kiss at that age, what a mess!) The list filled the whole page and some of them were happening in the moment I was writing the list. And most of the people...were women. (That explains the walls I have built) Then at the bottom of the page was a short two sentence prayer. A plea really. For God to free me, to cut these chains from my heart and mind. It was a short prayer but the words were raw and real.
I know I'm not alone. I bet you could write a list. And how many of us carry the weight and the words from those people? How many of us have made those rejections the narratives of our lives and the way we function? Words, lies, and moments that were never a part of God's design, yet we have allowed those moments to define us or have unknowingly allowed the enemy to whisper the words from those rejections every day into our minds and that's how we view ourselves?
Can we take a moment and shed some light on this? Let's go there together. I want freedom for you. I'm safe and God is even safer so here we go.
The word Rejection is defined as: the dismissing and refusal of.
Synonyms are: Refusal, nonacceptance, no, exclusion, cutting out, set aside, cutting dead, ignoring.
Any of those words trigger anything in you?
But here is the truth, You are not set aside you are set apart. To be set aside is to be rejected, but to be set apart is to be given an assignment that requires preparation. I vividly remember a few years into our marriage I was struggling because so many of my friends from college weren't speaking to me anymore, wanted nothing to do with me. I remember sitting with Griffin and I said, "What did I do wrong?" He simply said, like he usually does, "Have you ever thought that God is removing people from your life the deeper you go with Him?"
Have you ever wondered if you did something wrong and that's why you were rejected? But really it's God removing people, it's God pruning you and preparing you. Rejection can lead to self-reflection and the tweaking of us by God in the quiet and private is the saving of us in public.
God speaks to many women when they are alone. I love how He does this. Think about it, the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, Mary was alone when the angel appeared, many other women that I can't remember right now because I am so pregnant and have lost all ability to string thoughts together. God meets you in your lonely, in your fear, in your journey. He is just as much in the process as He is in the promises.
A step with facing your rejections is forgiving. Forgiving those who have rejected you, because we both know it's more about their own hurts and less about you. And I won't write past the F word without acknowledging how hard it is to actually do. But look what God showed me a page later in the same old journal.
For Giving: For giving grace, for giving myself space to heal, for giving to others what I long to be given to me, for giving love and mercy.
What consumes us controls us and when we focus on rejection panic replaces peace. But rejection of the past is not projection of your future.
I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. I live and breathe God; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy: Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out. God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. Psalm 34:1-4
And in every disappointment is a God appointment
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.” The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:22-26
Rejection turns to rejoicing when you bring these moments into the light. When we go there with the Father and let him separate the lesson and the lie. Because when we can maximize God we minimize lies we have believed. When we hear God's words over you, you stop believing the worlds thoughts of you. It's freedom. It's redemption. It's everything.