Rejection. Such a sad word. An ugly word. A painful word. Yet it’s such a bitter friend to so many, myself included.
The definition of rejection is (1.) the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc. and (2.) the spurning of a person’s affections.
Like so many, my parents divorced when I was a kid. It was the springboard of so much pain and so many daddy issues for me and my sisters. **side note: one of the many examples of the beauty of grace and redemption in my story is that my parents both remarried people that we love and we have a beautiful relationship with our dad and I couldn’t be more grateful for him, his love, and what a wonderful papa he is to my babies** I felt like I wasn’t enough for him to stick around so I certainly couldn’t be enough for anyone else. There were plenty of moments that I felt rejected by him going forward throughout my life. It was something I carried/carry into every relationship in my life and especially in my marriage. There have been countless times I have felt rejected by my husband, sometimes there was legitimate reason to feel that way and sometimes it was just my own deep rooted issue of rejection that I projected into him. I have felt rejected by other friends and family as well.
Recently, I’ve been battling this unwanted, familiar “friend.” I don’t want to listen to what rejection has to say but sometimes it’s screaming so loudly, I can’t seem to hear anything or anyone else. The screams of rejection have debilitated me more times than I can count. There are times that when combated with Truth, rejection leaves faster than Lightning McQueen (sorry guys, I have kids so those analogies come with the territory). There are other times that I’m clinging onto Truth for dear life, not even sure that I believe it, while rejection tries to suffocate me.
As humans, we long for acceptance and that is perfectly okay. It’s in every one of us. And because we are broken people living in a broken world, it’s inevitable that we will be rejected at various points in our lives. Rejected by a job we wanted. Rejected by a lover. Rejected by the school we wanted to get into. Rejected ideas we’ve brought to friends or colleagues. If you’re in high school, maybe you didn’t get asked to the dance.
I often wonder what the world would be like if rejection didn’t exist. Do you know what conclusion I came to? It might disprove love. You see, without the option of rejection, it means that love and acceptance are forced and when love and acceptance are forced, you have to question its authenticity. It really sounds more like control. Do I want to be rejected (especially by people I love)? Absolutely not. But I do want to be loved and accepted by them because they chose to love and accept me.
One of my goals in this blog is always to offer hope. Today, it may not seem that way. How can I offer hope when I’m not sure I feel it myself? How can I offer hope when I’m trying to shut down the screams of rejection in my heart? I can tell you this – I may not feel Hope but I know it’s there. Hope resides in the core of every human whether we feel it or not, whether we think so or not, whether we like it or not. I know it’s there. And just like the sun rises every morning, I know that Hope will come.