So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
- Isaiah 41:10
We all have been rejected at some point in our life. Perhaps it was at a young age, maybe your father abandoned you or maybe that ex husband told you he was not in love with you any more. Maybe you have been rejected in the church. Whatever the rejection you experience it hurt, it did something to your self esteem. When we experience such deep wounds we may develop fears. Fears such as losing our health, losing a child, losing our mental state. Perhaps that fear develops into anxiety, fear of speaking God’s word, fear of allowing others close because that would mean we are opening up our hearts to possible rejection again.
Why does rejection hurt so much? Because it attacks the very person that we are. It destroys our self-esteem, attacks our purpose in life, and it makes us question what our abilities are. It may even have us question our spiritual gifts. I am here to tell you God never wanted us to feel rejected or abandoned. His desires for us is to know who we really are, and realize how deeply God loves, accepts, and appreciates us , so that we can live out the fullness of what all God has ordained us to be. His loving Children made in His image.
Rejection can leave such deep scars that we may wrongly believe that our husband/wife, friends, church organizations is rejecting you; you may become defensive, anxious, perhaps angry. Eventually, these behaviors may bring about the fear of rejection which wasn't there to begin with.
Jesus says in Deuteronomy 31:6 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.” When we develop an intimate relationship with Christ we become to understand that he will never leave you, he loves you with all your imperfections.
Understanding Hurt Gains Wisdom: Understand that pain is normal. When having a broken heart, it's like experiencing our bodies and our brain going through withdrawals from an addiction, because it activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for things like your heart rate and increases intestinal and gland activity. To gain wisdom is to be kind to yourself, Love yourself as Christ loves you. Proverbs 19:8 To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.
Feeling Anger: Your anger is justifiable and needs to be expressed in a healthy safe way. Even Jesus had justifiable anger, Jesus’ emotion was described as “zeal” John 2:17 (great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.) God’s house was a place of worship. His anger had the proper motivation. In other words, He was angry for the right reasons. Jesus’ anger did not arise from petty arguments or personal slights against Him. There was no selfishness involved. If Jesus who was God but also man had anger then that feeling of anger is not a bad thing it is how we handle that anger. Stuffing that emotion, pretending you do not feel that way, will not help the situation and it will just prolong healing.
Stick to Facts: When dealing with hurt we may make statements about ourselves such as “ He left me because I am ugly and stupid” the fact is he Just left you. Our self esteem can cause us to shame and criticizes our self, which is an unhealthy behavior. Stick to the facts on how God sees you as the light “You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.”1 Thessalonians 5:5 You should only speak boldly declaring out loud to yourself. The power of life and death is in the tongue, so it is vital that you only allow the truth to come out of your mouth. It could be the difference in an amazing life and a disappointing one. Proverbs 18:21 Writing down your positive characteristics can help you see that although you have been rejected it does not mean it is your fault. It can also be helpful realizing sometimes not everyone will be compatible with you.
Hangout With Friends: When feeling rejected, many may turn to isolation. this will only cause more low self esteem. Jesus says “Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken”. Psalm 55:22 God wants us to seek him out in times of trouble but he also wants us to gather with healthy friends that can pray for you, support you and encourage you. In Matthew 18: 19-20 "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. "For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." God never meant for us to be alone he wants us to be able to share our feeling with someone safe.
Keep Taking Risks: God's required us to speak truth to others. "Go into the world and proclaim the good news to every creature." Mark 16:15 Sometimes sharing our faith is not always easy and many rejections will happen even Paul was rejected, but sharing God's love, forgiveness, redemption, and His word can and has brought "peace which passes all understanding".
Seek Forgiveness: Seeking forgiveness can be very difficult but when we seek forgiveness realizing it is for spiritual growth and a stronger relationship with Christ. We find compassion, we become open to sharing struggles with others, it helps us to understand to rely on God not feelings, it gives you a chance to be closer with the Lord, you will also initiate honesty with yourself and others. Holding on to the hurt and not forgiving only leads to vengeance, which will only make you bitter. And of course by forgiving you will receive peace. Jesus wants us to forgive so he can forgive you as well (Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.) Please believe Jesus does love you and wants you to have that peace.
Press On: When dealing with rejection we may want to give up, we feel defeated or question ourselves. Asking questions such as :What is the point?!”” Am I not doing any good”! “Why does Everybody leave”! We may feel this way but it is not truth. Jesus says in Philippians 3:13-14 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Press on to your future not the past. The past can hurt, It is seeing the past, crying, and moving forward into your future.
Be Thankful: In the mist of our pain it is sometimes hard to be thankful. Speaking to Jesus in prayer giving thanks, helps to appreciate what Christ is and has done for you. Jesus says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17:18 pray without ceasing;in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. God’s will is for you to gain wisdom and learn from the past. When someone has rejected us, we still can learn from it. For example if it is an ex boy/girlfriend you learned that God has someone better for your future even if it does not feel that way in the moment. God will put the right person in your life. You may have learned what kind of relationship you do or do not want for your future. In every situation there is something to be thankful for. I have had a lot of hurt in my life but today I look back and I am thankful for each experience, it has made me who I am today. It shaped me to be who I want to be not what the world thinks I will or should be. We are not defined by our past hurts, mistakes, or even guilt we may have. We are defined by who we choose to be, who Jesus wants you to be loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, honest, joyful, peaceful, hopeful, and to have wisdom in our choices. Be thankful in what Christ is showing you. We all have had some form of rejection and abandonment as I said before but we can take comfort that The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:18