When Rejection Tries To Own Us
Most of us have had our heart broken at some point in our life. Most of us have felt rejected or discarded by someone. It’s extremely painful and no one enjoys the feeling of “not being chosen.” So how do we deal with that rejection? How do we not believe the lie that we are “less than” or “not as good as” that other girl or guy who was chosen? It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others and start agreeing with the lies that are waiting at the doorstep of our mind.
I know this pain more than I’d like to admit. I faced one of the biggest rejections of my life when my husband chose to give his heart to somebody else. I had never experienced that degree of pain, nor that amount of lies about my self-worth. I could have easily taken on that ‘rejected’ identity and let it consume me from the inside out. I could have worn that victim badge and looked at life through my wounded-lense for years to come. But I knew that I was not designed to live like that.
Even though I've diligently worked on healing and forgiveness over the last five years — also remarrying a kind and wonderful man — pain and insecurity can still arise and try to seep in. Just recently I saw a picture of my ex and his new wife. Facebook is great at that, pulling up photos that you wouldn’t normally go looking for. I was surprised when the pain rushed in and the tears began streaming. I see them together often so my emotional reaction took me off guard. What I’ve learned at this point, however, is to not shut it down. Even though my mind is screaming at me, “Why are you crying? You’re happy and healed and have moved on! You’ve already dealt with this. You’re being ridiculous.” I’ve learned to not shame myself or beat myself up for grieving when the pain arrives unexpectedly. If I’m having that strong of an emotional response, often times it means a wound still needs to be acknowledged and listened to. So, I give my heart permission to feel it and connect with what’s going on.
As I looked at this photo of their smiling faces and the way they were gazing into each other’s eyes, I heard painful questions enter my mind. “Is she prettier than me? Is she more fun? Does she make him happier? Is she a better lover than I was?” I was beginning to spiral into more and more questions of my own self-worth, and then I chose to stop myself. I’ve learned how to combat the lies that try to attach to rejection. I reached for a tool that I’ve used over and over again: replacing lies with truth.
It takes practice, but it looks like this:
1. I turn my heart and my ears to the One who knows me best. “God, you see all the insecurities and all the questions I have. I don’t want to hear anyone’s voice but Yours. What do YOU say about me? What are YOUR answers to these questions?”
2. Then I listen. I listen to the One who created me and loves me more than anyone on this planet. I listen to His perfect perspective and insight. I’m always amazed at how tenderly and immediately He responds with life-giving truth. (If you’re having trouble hearing His voice, just remember that He only has good thoughts towards you. So if what you’re hearing is not encouraging and life-giving, you can be confident that it’s not coming from Him. You may even want to pull out your Bible and start reading some encouraging verses in Psalms. That way you can remember what His voice sounds like and start getting on the same wavelength.)
3. Lastly, I repeat out loud what He says about me so that my ears are also hearing the truth. (This is a vital step that we don’t want to skip. There’s power in our words, even if we don’t fully believe what we’re saying at that moment. It’s declaring the truth over our heart and our situation.) Most importantly, though, I agree with what He says about me. I choose to believe HIS opinion instead of the lies.
You see, the enemy would love nothing more than to keep me in that place of sadness and insecurity. To give me a new identity of rejection and always make me feel second-best. But that’s not who I’m called to be. That’s not how I choose to live.
God has such good plans for us. Yes, life is full of rejection and pain. If we can practice coming to the Source of truth and asking for His perspective on the situation, asking for His thoughts about who we are…we will be able to rise above the lies that want to keep us down.
If there’s a rejection wound in your life, maybe a current situation or maybe one from years ago…take some time to ask Him what He thinks. Give Him a chance to replace any lies you have believed with His truth. You’ll be amazed at how His perspective can heal even the deepest of pain.