Everyone has felt this. One minute feeling good and happy, feeling purpose and belonging, security in who you are and what you stand for and then all of a sudden it all changes.
Rejection hits hard. The possibilities are endless: a look, a simple phrase, a change in body language or even flat out actions that can completely and quickly alter the way you feel.
This piercing dagger of emotions can overwhelm at times. It stabs you and all of a sudden you cannot see anything else, at first all you can see is the injustice of it all. They don’t see me for who I really am, they must not appreciate me enough, I didn’t do anything to deserve this. This is not fair.
Spiraling, thoughts turn into maybe I’m actually not good enough, maybe I deserve this, I must’ve done something to bring this on, I’m not really needed or wanted here, no one respects me. If you are not careful these thoughts can create a foundation in your mind that is not easily uprooted.
I have been here. It is not fun. It’s a place that I absolutely hate. If I could I would lock this place away and throw away the key, yet it creeps up sometimes.
Yesterday my team and I went and visited Home of Hope a special needs orphanage in a rural area here in Jinja, Uganda. My heart has never felt so broken and so full all at the same time. Precious children, so much joy, and adorable smiles everywhere I looked. I fell in love with all of them, as they tried to pronounce my name, laughed with me and just wanted hugs. They are absolutely beautiful, yet these children know full well what it means to be rejected. They have lived out rejection on a major scale. Ugandan culture says that a disabled child is a bad omen, a shame and a curse within a family. As a result these precious children are often abandoned, left alone in the streets to die- parents struggle under the pressure and the shame of trying to raise a disabled child, and they generally give up. As I stood there holding one of the children, tears filled my eyes. I was completely overwhelmed by the Father’s love over this little girl, by how perfect and treasured by Him she was. She is wanted by him, not rejected.
I have been thinking about it a lot, rejection is normal, but what are we supposed to do with it?
Jesus suffered the ultimate rejection: betrayed by one of His closest followers, denied by one of His dearest friends, He suffered an excruciating death on the cross. He who was perfect and without sin, beaten, bloodied and crucified by the very people He came to save. We play our own part in this- our sin helped put Him there as well, adding to the weight He bore on the cross.
Jesus knows rejection. So what does this mean for us?
Rejection, or the feeling of it anyway, is inevitable. I wish I could say other wise. We live in a broken and fallen world. It’s going to happen: we will feel unappreciated, undervalued, misunderstood sometimes, but we are not meant to stay in that place!
We often spend so much time and energy drowning in our problems and our feelings, trying to stay afloat by our own strength, as Jesus waits patiently for us to simply lay them down at His feet. The amazing thing is, Jesus took not only our sin but all of this messiness we try to carry our sorrow, our rejection, our sadness on for us on the cross, we really don’t have to bear this weight ourselves.
As sons and daughters of God we are given victory over rejection.
All we have to do is claim it.
If ever you feel rejection remember: Jesus is right there with you in the midst of it.