Human beings, like plants, grow in the soil of acceptance, not in the atmosphere of rejection. John Powell
I sat across from my friend as she told me about her struggles in our local church. Couples she'd invited over for dinner would come and then disappear, neither returning phone calls or emails. Her husband was having a hard time getting onto a team he'd wanted to serve on, and she'd had a very unfortunate experience while she was shortly employed on our local church's staff that had left her wounded, and most of all feeling rejected. As she and her husband continued to share about how hurt they were, I interjected, "Could it be that because of one wound, one rejection, it's coloring all your other relationships?" My friend, grateful that maybe there was an answer nodded furiously, "Yes! Yes, that's exactly how I feel!" Rejection, like any wound, can influence and affect every part of our lives. If we let it take root, we'll begin to believe that we are unworthy and rejectable. Then the cycle starts; belief affects our perception, which then affects our behavior, our enviroment, and reinforces our belief system. To put it simply, if let that wound fester, we begin to believe we are worthy of being rejected, so we start to act in ways that cause people to reject us (being needy), which only reinforces the idea that we are rejectable. I believe that there is a God given discernment we each posses that helps us stay away from unhealthy situations. When we sense that someone is trying to meet unhealthy needs through us, we will shy away. That's how rejection is reinforced. Those who feel rejected will continue to try to meet the needs of validation and acceptance through other people. The problem is no human is capable of giving us the validation and acceptance we need, and so when we put those expectations on others, often they shy away. The only way to heal rejection and to get the validation and acceptance we all crave is to ask the Lord for healing. Often it has to do with a particular memory where we first felt rejected. I first identified my need to be free when I realized that every time I walked into a relationship I was bracing myself to be rejected. I just knew that they wouldn't like me and I had that fear every time I stepped into a room. When I prayed, God brought up a memory of my very first day of second grade. I was by myself, hiding under the fort in the playground, ashamed that none of the girls wanted to play with me. Sometime during that day I let the lie creep in that I was unworthy and I'd held it with me for a very long time. I prayed and asked the Lord to show me where he was, and He answered. When I looked back at that memory again, I could see the situation for what it was and I could see Jesus there right beside me. Freed, I was able to start to be myself around people. No longer did I brace myself for rejection. No longer did I walk into a room cautious of the women around me. And a funny thing happened. I began to blossom! That's what Freedom does! That's the Power of God freeing people from bondage! This is the life we're meant to have! If you are interested in learning more about the roots of Rejection and how to be free, click here for a teaching from Gateway Church by Pastor Alan Smith.
Great post! I have discovered over the years that it is my reaction to a situation and not the situation itself that shapes what happens next. And like the example you gave on your friend's experiences of rejection, it can become a vicious circle. Thank you for sharing the hope we have in Jesus! By looking only to him for approval, we will blossom =)ReplyDelete
Living for Him, Joan
It only takes one seed of rejection doesn't it? I am so happy to free form the beast of rejection too. I blogged about this a little while ago:ReplyDelete
And like you said, it was only when I asked the Lord to heal me was I set free from it. GREAT POST! xo
what awesome truth!!! thanks!!!ReplyDelete