“You never realize how much you like someone until you watch them like someone else.” — Unknown
Long since are the days when I was last in line to pick an instrument in the school band, or the last one to be picked as a square-dancing partner, or, to be excluded from a specific circle of friends. Now that I’m an adult and all grown-up, I assumed I’d never experience feelings of rejection again. That only happens when you’re a kid, right? Wrong.
Sadly, I’ve learned that grown-ups can be on the receiving end of rejection just as much as anyone, and dare I say–being declined, dismissed, or refused sometimes seems even more profound and painful as an adult. Rejection comes in all shapes and sizes, and plays no favorites. We can be rejected, in large or small ways by social groups, church committees, a boss, a friend . . . even by a family member. And it hurts.
I recently found myself in such a situation. I was not the chosen one. I was not picked. I was not favored. Amid realizing I was being excluded, I felt myself anchoring tears at the corners of my eyes and began to spout off.
“Why doesn’t this person like me?” I blurted words out to my husband. “Why don’t they trust me? Why am I not even being considered? Don’t they know how they’re hurting me?” As my emotions heightened to a frustrating crescendo, I released a pronounced huff.
I swiped at my face as tears tumbled down my cheeks. Jumping out of my chair I set out to escape to the one solitary place I was assured I could be alone. The bathroom. I had to get alone with my thoughts and knew I wouldn’t be bothered there, except for a possible visit from my puppy dog.
Sitting in the bathroom, rocking back and forth, I allowed my anger to subside. My husband’s parting words echoed to me. “People make their own choices, Honey.” He was right.
A twinge of pain stabbed at my chest as that reality invaded my heart. I cannot make someone like me. It is their choice to either like me or not. Ouch. I also became acutely aware my anger was just a means to mask the hurt. It’s much easier to feel anger than sorrow . . . or . . . pain. Have you been there too?
In those moments, I wasn’t proud of myself. I had succumbed to my emotions and allowed them to get the best of me, and the last thing I wanted was to allow my pinpricks of rejection to eventually produce a gaping wound. All I could do at that point was pray.
What do you say about this, Lord? What are your thoughts? Help me understand.
As a Christian, I’ve been transformed by God’s grace. I’ve experienced God’s unmerited favor. The Bible details believers throughout time who have been mocked, abused, and rejected by men, however, greatly treasured by God. I knew this to be true. Still . . . the pain.
Tears puddled my eyes once again as hurtful thoughts crept back into my mind. It was as if the enemy himself were taunting me with a sinister whisper.
As I lowered my head in my hands, I suddenly heard a different, gentle voice whisper in my ear.
God wholly accepts me . . . us. He sees our worth, even when others may not. In that defining moment, God’s message to me was, I am enough for you, Dawn. God’s love takes me, and you, from rejected—to—accepted.
1st Peter 2:9 says this:
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”
God tremendously values you and me. Just as we have treasured possessions on earth—our family, our pets, our friends . . . God has created us to be His treasured possession, and He can use our weakness (our earthly rejections) for His glory.
No doubt, you and I will periodically be tempted to receive the sneering insult: Rejected!
Instead, let’s open our ears to God’s soft whisper: Accepted.
He really is enough.
Lord, the barbs of rejection are painful. I humbly acknowledge your experience of ultimate rejection and betrayal by your death on the cross, knowing that through your suffering you are able to know our pain in all of our circumstances. When I feel glanced over by others, or perhaps am blatantly left out, remind me of your love and acceptance for me. Thank you for being enough. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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