I’ve been asked on numerous occasions, how I’ve dealt with rejection in the past. Rejection has been something I have experienced from a young age, from being bullied to being rejected by family members.
There were a lot of times I wondered, ‘Why does nobody like me?’ ,‘What did I do to not be wanted?’ It was painful and the result of being rejected, made me feel so insecure and unsure about myself.
Rejection leaves such a deep wound and that wound has to be treated correctly. If it is not, an individual can live their whole life trying to win the acceptance and approval of people or shut themselves off from ever experiencing meaningful, good, loving relationships because of the fear of being rejected again. How do I know this? Because it was me.
Rejection can play out in different ways. For instance, cheating can feel like you’re being rejected because someone else must have something that you did not have, for your significant other to step out the boundaries of the relationship. Betrayal can feel like you’re being rejected, because it can seem like someone didn’t esteem or value you enough to be loyal.
Rejection could feel like you loving and caring for someone hard, but it's not fully reciprocated. Being left out, intentionally or unintentionally can feel as though you're being rejected, because it appears as though you're possibly not enough to be apart or to belong.
Rejection can make you question your significance and value, it can knock your confidence. Rejection is painful but above all, it can instil a fear in the heart which eventually causes you to build walls.
God laid it on my heart to simply share some of the things that have helped me to deal with rejection. So here goes:
Accept It: Rejection is inevitable, it’s an experience that we cannot avoid, whether we are getting rejected from a job we really wanted, to being rejected by someone we love and esteem highly. Rejection is something that will occur in our lives at one point. I’ve learnt to accept that reality, however the acceptance of it is not void of the pain.
That’s the pain we keep giving to the Lord in our quiet time, all the disappointment and grief that we bear is what we must hand over to Him. So that bitterness doesn’t take residence in the heart. It’s in that exchange with Him that you must choose to forgive and allow His love to speak to the wounds.
The pain probably won’t go immediately, it’s a process because you have to understand that it’s more than God taking away the pain but Him restoring your esteem. As I said before, when you experience rejection, that can chip at your confidence and make you question who you are. So it goes beyond God erasing a feeling but Him dealing with the soul. (Psalms 34:18, 1 Peter 5:7)
Don’t allow it to define you: You cannot conclude who you are based on the choice of another person, you are not defined by how people choose to treat you. As mentioned before, rejection will try to tell you who you are. Not enough, not accepted, lacking, unnecessary, irrelevant, unheard, invisible and so much more but that’s not who you are. It’s a lie.
You have to choose to establish yourself in the truth, the truth is in Christ and that which He says concerning you. In my book l ‘Back To Life’, I have a chapter on identity and I discuss the importance of finding who you are in Him and building yourself up through the word. Why? Because the word is truth, it doesn’t change even if the words of man changes, His word does not change and that’s what you allow to define you. (John 8:31-32)
Change your perspective: Rejection doesn’t define you, but it can in fact shape you. I love taking lessons from every situation. For me, I evaluate myself, even if I only contributed 1% to them rejecting me, I have to own that and learn from it.
For example, maybe I didn’t have clear boundaries, or I didn’t trust my intuition (The Holy Spirit) and all the flags. God could be addressing an area in my character that caused them to reject me, or simply put, maybe the season of that friendship/relationship was over.
If I get rejected from a job, it’s either I need to work more on my CV and interview techniques or the job just wasn’t for me. Maybe that’s a door that God doesn’t desire me to go through!
Don’t overthink it, try to find the silver lining. Changing your perspective can shift how you feel when you experience the rejection.
Live Loved: Living loved is about us continuously accepting how loved we are by God the Father, despite our flaws and inadequacies. I’ve come to understand that my value, esteem, confidence and worth is rooted in the simple truth that I am loved and I don’t need to earn that love from Him. At times when we’ve experienced rejection, it can cause us to desire the approval of man in such an unhealthy manner.
We begin to strive/work to gain love and when we don't get the approval we so desire, it only deepens the wound and affirms the lies. However, I want to turn your attention to a God that desires nothing from you but all of you. It’s that simple! (Ephesians 2:8-9, Psalms 103, Jeremiah 31:3, Isaiah 62:3-4)
Lastly, at times we can be so engrossed with who isn’t loving or accepting of us, that we blind ourselves to the people that do really love us. I encourage you to also talk to someone more mature in the faith or a counsellor. It really does help.
I pray that this post will help you to push forward and grow more in the awareness of who He is, for you to be free! I'm praying for you.