Rejection. Unloved. Spit out. Hurt. We have all felt this at least once in our life. Sometimes it is a small thing and easily healed. Like when you aren't invited to a party or a sleepover. The next time you are invited, that small hurt starts to heal. Then there are the hurts, the rejections that last longer and run deeper. Like when you have a birthday party and no one shows up. (Yes, this happened to me, not one time, but several.) That hurt runs pretty deep. I still feel sad when I think about it. From the hurt you usually learn something. I made sure my kids always invited enough people so each person could at least pair up. I made sure that when it was time for Valentine's day cards, that they gave everyone in the class one, so no one was left out.
Small hurts, small rejections are easier to handle. What do you do when the rejection is so big and runs so deep that you feel like the only choice you have is to run away, to shut down?
I was placed in an orphanage around eighteen months. I say around because I was adopted around then. I wasn't in the orphanage a very long time, a few months maybe. I was sick and in the hospital. We, my adoptive parents, think that my grandmother had been taking care of me while my mother worked. We think that my grandmother must have gotten TB and died. After that happened there was no one to take care of me, and I was sick, so my mom put me in an orphanage. I was rejected. At eighteen months, how do you handle rejection. Not just any rejection, but rejection from your own mother.
My mom says that for the first few months that I was with them, I would sit in my bed at night and call for my "oma" (mother). I would just call her, over and over again. "Oma, Oma, Oma". She never answered. She never came. Rejected.
At eighteen months I couldn't understand why I was rejected. I couldn't really process the feelings of hurt. Those feelings of rejection have stayed with me my whole life. I have a hard time opening up to people, for fear of rejection.
Just recently I have been rejected again. This time I am not the baby who can't process. This time I process, and re-process. I am angry. I am hurt. I am bitter. I want to run away. I want to shut down. I want to seek revenge. I am on a roller coaster that I can't seem to control. The up's and down's are unbearable. One minute I am fine. The next I am sitting in a corner, sobbing. How do I deal with rejection now?
Just yesterday, my flesh was crying out, again. "It's not fair. I can't do this. I just want it to all go away." I felt like not only was I rejected by humans, but that God just wasn't there for me.
Thank the Lord for a dear friend who is walking with me during this time. She and I started doing a bible study a few weeks back on the Fruit of the Spirit. The last thing I want right now is to learn what I need to change in my life. Yet it is the first thing I need to be doing. So yesterday when I had totally given up, faced rejection for the last time, I forced myself to sit down and listen to the session for the week. Forced myself. Maybe it was because I knew my friend would wonder why I hadn't done the lesson. Maybe it was because I was searching for some kind of hope. Whatever the reason, I sat down to do the session.
God, in all His wisdom, had the session be on, none other than REJECTION. Really.
For the first portion of the session I sat there with my heart hard. She just didn't understand, God didn't understand. My rejection was different. I still wanted to shut down, run away. Slowly God softened my heart. God was speaking to me. Christ knew rejection. We rejected Him, to the point of His death on the cross. He allowed the rejection to take place so that He could restore us. Restore US. He didn't seek revenge. He didn't run away. He loved.
I have some decisions to make. Do I truly believe that God is who He says He is. Do I truly believe that He is the Healer? Is God sovereign? Is God supreme? Was I willing to let go of my hurt, my rejection, my pain? Was I willing to lay it at His feet, to allow Him to work it out?
I Peter 2:4 says,
" As you come to him, the living Stone- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-.."
Rejected by men, but CHOSEN by God. I was chosen by God. I am PRECIOUS to Him.
To love deeply, is to take the risk to hurt deeply. Christ gave us the example that we are to live by. To be rejected... that is going to happen. It is what we do with the rejection that makes us different. Do we seek revenge? Do we never love again? Christ calls us to love. Not to love those who love us, but to love those who are enemies, those who hurt us, those who reject us.
Matthew 5: 43-46
" You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you (those who reject you), that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?"
(parenthesis and italics added)
So I have called out again, but this time, " Abba, Abba, Father." He answered. He came. He is here with me. Holding me up. Helping me. Healing me. Using this rejection to restore me... if I will only let Him.