Even that word “rejection” fills me with an awful feeling of foreboding and upset…
Rejection is not a very nice thing to experience, although I think the impact the reject has on you can vary greatly depending on the reason for the reject and your relationship with the person or people who reject you.
There are many reasons why people are rejected, here are some examples:
- rejected for a job or promotion
- not invited to events friends/family attending or organised
- marriage breakdown
- abused by parents/other family members/partner
- a child rejected by a parent
- a child put up for adoption by parents
- rejection due to your beliefs or faith
- rejected by family for something you’ve done
- a friend who doesn’t want to know you when you’re most in need of their friendship
- phone calls/texts/emails etc to friends are ignored
- betrayal of a close friend
Can you relate to any of these examples, or do you have other experiences of rejection?
Personally I have experienced several of those situations myself, and I can truthfully say they hurt – they leave you feeling empty, unloved, unwanted and of course upset.
When we suffer rejection it’s painful. It’s so painful that in the days/weeks that follow, we constantly try to some kind of sense of our pain, a reason why we’ve been rejected.
During these painful days, we may start to feel that the rejection is all our own doing. i.e. We wonder, what is it about ourselves that has caused someone to reject us. We doubt our value as a person, our ability to do the job in question or our ability to have a healthy relationship with someone.
Alternatively we might begin to feel the blame for our rejection lies firmly with someone else. As a result we may become more of an introvert as we feel we can trust no one, so keep our distance from other people so they can’t get close to us.
The other person who often gets the blame when we feel rejected, is God. After all God’s supposed to be in control of our lives and loves us, so why does He let us feel such pain. Rejection and loss makes to doubt that God loves us because we are angry with Him for not protecting us and allowing the rejection to happen.
Whoever we blame for our rejection and pain, it stops us from letting anyone else get too close to us again, just in case they also reject us because we feel we could not go through that deep sense of loss again. We are desperately afraid because to love, trust or hope again we must risk being vulnerable and admit that we do care, no matter how hard we try to numb our hearts.
It can take a long time to get over being rejected, however as our hurt heals we gradually begin to restore our faith in God and our hope and trust in others.
It may not feel like it at first, but healing begins when we face the sadness and disappointment of the loss of our hopes and dreams. We tend to avoid our feelings because we are afraid that they will consume us, that we will never find comfort. But if we act in faith and “throw ourselves” on the Lord in dependence and cry out to Him, He will be the rock that saves us from the overwhelming waves of pain.
God’s comfort gives us hope – hope for a brighter future and for love again. Life without hope is not worth living.
Psalm 34:18 (The Message)
If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.