Friday, April 15, 2016

To The Rejected One

On my life's journey, I have come to believe that two things define the path of human experience above all others: 
1) Acceptance & 2) Rejection. 

Acceptance feels great. It feels like a high. It feels euphoric. Like triumph. Like victory. Like love, even. Man, what a rush!

Rejection. There are no words to describe what that can feel like except destruction. It shatters hopes, dreams, and hearts. It comes in like a wrecking ball and levels us. Plus, emotional pain is so much easier to remember & relive than physical pain, isn't it? If you try to remember a time when you physically hurt, you'll likely remember the emotional feeling of misery, and you won't relive the pain itself. But if you try to remember emotional pain, every last little drop of that mess will come flooding back. 

As humans, we need to belong. We were created for community, so feeling left behind can quite literally make you feel like you have no purpose. You don't fit in. You're standing on the outside. You feel not only alone, but absolutely like a freak of nature. Rejection can make us act out in ways that aren't good in an effort to find a way to self soothe. I believe this is reflected by the number of former foster kids who are currently in our prison systems right now. There are conflicting reports, but it's estimated that 80-90% of our nation's prisoner's were once in foster care. Rejection is a powerful, powerful force that causes dominos falling in any number of directions. Those dominos almost always fall someplace scary.

I don't know what rejection looks like in your life. Maybe you didn't get into the college program of your dreams. Maybe you didn't get that job, or you lost yours altogether. Maybe someone threw you under the bus. Maybe someone made fun of you behind your back. Maybe you just got dumped. Maybe you were cheated on. Maybe you were abandoned as a child. Maybe your husband left you and your children. Maybe your best friend who you just KNEW had your back… well, it turns out they didn't. Maybe you were betrayed. Or maybe you were even rejected by your church. No matter how you slice it, being rejected just plain sucks.

Boy, do I know the feeling. I've been rejected in my life. Like, A LOT. Professionally, personally, and even by family. It has felt bleak. It has felt isolating. At times, it has felt like my life itself was pointless. I have stared down at an open bottle of pills wondering how long it would take to put an end to it. Rejection has cut me that deep. It literally made me want to die. I don't even remember what stopped me. All I can say is that I'm lucky to be alive after the grip feelings of rejection have had on me.

I don't know what your specific situation is, but I do know this: REJECTION ISN'T REAL. Now, don't misunderstand me, rejection FEELS VERY REAL. But in the end, it is a trap. A lie. An illusion. You'll start thinking to yourself that you aren't good enough, or he wouldn't have cheated on you. You'll wonder what's wrong with you that you got abandoned. You'll try to figure out what you did to deserve such cruelty. You'll ask yourself why you are always in this harsh world alone. What did you do wrong that everyone else seems to have gotten right? Why is everyone else accepted and you are not? LIES. LIES. LIES!

"The Lord will not forsake His people; he will not abandon His heritage." ~Psalm 94:14

Though people fail you and reject you, your sweet Father in heaven never, EVER will! You may feel alone, but you are not. Even in the face of rejection and all the turmoil in its wake, He will care for you simply because you are His precious daughter. Don't be deceived as I was, sweet one. I was ready to wave the white flag, throw in the towel, and choose death over life. I just KNEW something was wrong with me. I was a defective model. Broken. Damaged beyond repair. I found myself in a cave like David was, hiding from those who rejected me, and I thought that list included God. I thought He had turned from me. Forgotten me. Forsaken me. WRONG! So, so wrong! What I accepted as fact was based on entirely on lies. God never told me He left me. Those emotions of rejection were so raw and deep and painful… they HELPED me to not only consider these lies, but to accept them as fact. But….

"If God is for us, who can be against us?" ~Romans 8:31

The world's treatment of you will never be a reflection of God's opinion of you. Your worth is not measured by acceptance and rejection, it just feels like it. And I get it. It's so, so hard to believe the promises He made to you. After all, you just don't feel like someone who deserves these kinds of promises. They seem unrealistic. Almost too good to be true.

You know? I was looking through and art book that contained Michelangelo's The Creation of Adam the other day. It's a genius thing he was able to capture… on a ceiling of all places! Check out the hands.

The hand on the left represents Adam. The hand on the right represents God. Look at how God is reaching out for Adam. Adam's hand is limp. Kind of reaching out, but not really. And so it is with us. It's so easy to lay there alone kind of reaching out for God's truth but not really, as if to say He isn't really there or what He says isn't actually true. But God is stretched out as far as He can without leaving heaven. He is reaching out for you. And you're going to have to work harder at reaching out for Him in the face of all this rejection. You're going to have to reach and dig deep into the word. You're going to have to stretch to watch a sunrise and listen to praise music. It's going to feel pointless. It's going to feel like work. You may even wonder if He's even out there. Do these things anyway. You're going to have to come out of that cave so He can reach you. You are going to have to arm yourself with His promises, regardless of whether or not they "feel" true to you. You have to act accepted by Him and treat this as fact, whether or not you feel it.

You are not alone. He sees you. He wants you to know that you are always accepted by Him. And I pray that one day soon you believe that you are.



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