MOVING FORWARD ◽ ENCOURAGEMENT
by Pam Charro
Everyone eventually feels rejected at some point in life, no matter who they are. If we are honest, we can accept that it hurts. Even Jesus was familiar with rejection, and he was perfect. So, while we know it makes sense that we will experience rejection, processing the pain can take time and effort. I'm currently feeling rejected by many people at once and it's not fun. But it is causing me to really examine myself so that I can understand why. I always believed everything was my fault when I was a kid, and, while I now know that isn't always true, I don't want to miss an opportunity to grow. Here is what I am learning about rejection so far:
-- Sometimes I won't really get an explanation for why I feel rejected and all I will be able to do is give tons of grace to the situation, make sure I have loved well, and let the person choose to reject me. That is what God does, and I want to be like him, even when it hurts.
-- As Jesus said, "If they hated me, they will hate you." If I am truly living a righteous life, it will cause discomfort to many around me who are not.
Photo courtesy of Doug Gephardt
It is a valid consideration that my godliness is keeping certain people at a distance. And that's okay.
-- Sometimes I am attempting to befriend someone who is unable to trust my motives. Maybe they don't see what they have to offer, or they haven't healed from trusting others. That is outside of my control, and if that person feels safer passing up my friendship, I need to accept it.
-- At times, even when both parties are loving and authentic, personalities and preferences do not align, and friendship just doesn't happen. This is not wrong, simply a fact of life, and no one has failed as long as there is no animosity.
-- Finally, I must be open to the possibility that I may have failed in some way, either by a mistake or an ulterior motive in the relationship. It can be difficult to have that degree of honesty with myself, but it is the only path to understanding the truth and growing.
Whatever the reason when I feel rejected, the one who created me and has invested the most in me loves me beyond my comprehension and will never leave or forsake me. I am learning to bring my sad, wounded heart to him when others don't seem to value what I have to offer, and to find my joy and hope in his acceptance of me, even as I become more and more impressed with the person he is making me into. In all of this, there is victory and freedom, even in something that initially only seems painful. I can withstand rejection from people when I remember that these trials are temporary, but God's healing, accepting love is always here for me, and it will last forever.