Just writing the word, “rejection”, stirs up the events of the past few hours. I received a phone call from my mother, criticizing me (as lovingly and carefully as she could) for (private, custom-audience selected) social media posts I have been making from time to time over the past several weeks about our current challenges in our church. My primary reason for doing so was so that people I trust would know how to pray. I was not sharing explicit details, but generalities. It was a part of my work at putting away the masks and being vulnerable.
But we live in a society where the victim is to be blamed. We like blame. It gives us a semblance of control over situations that are often uncontrollable. Or it gives us a reason when the reasons are not clear or forthcoming. We like to blame God or other people. Sometimes, we even like to blame ourselves.
Doesn’t mental illness feel like blame sometimes? Either because we are the vicitim of circumstances, or our own brains/bodies betray us, we get a label that allows us to blame a diagnosis (sometimes) for something we need healing from.
Rejection, blame, they are strongly connected. We associate them with good or bad. Either we reject based on something not being good enough, or because it is bad.
“It’s moments like these when all my insecurities well up: not good enough,… when I’m tired or already feeling vulnerable, those whispers find a way to worm back in: You’ll never fit in. Quit trying. No one wants you. You don’t belong here.” (pg. 15, 16, Renewal, Leigh Powers)
And so, I deactivated my social media account.
I locked up even more posts to “just me”. I moved even more people into my “restricted” list and moved more contacts into my “acquaintance” list. I included my mother into those lists as well, before I left. I wanted to make sure that it was cleaned up for whenever I decide to return. I’m fairly certain I will return. But for now, I just need a break from feeling the sting of rejection from those closest to me; and from those few select family members that I was trusting with my heart, only to have them talking about me disparagingly with each other.
Betrayal, rejection, blame. My day has been full of bitterness.
Where do you go when you are ready to throw a pity party for yourself? Alcohol? Drugs? Prayer? Loved ones? Television? Video games? Shopping? Cleaning? Reading?
Today, I chose prayer. And busyness. I had a kitchen to tidy, laundry to keep pushing through, children to teach, a fire to tend… And somehow, somewhere in the midst of that, I decided to pull out my prayer book from a dear friend and turn to prayers that reminded me of who I belonged to, who I am, and what I want God to do in me and for me.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” Ephesians 1:3,4
God chose us.
God has blessed us.
God has chosen us to be holy and blameless in his sight.
No rejection. No blame. Chosen and blameless. Holy.
“When the world tells you that you don’t fit in, don’t belong, and aren’t enough, let the truth of who you are sink into your bones. God chose you.
That choice did not come without a cost. … At the cross, God irrevocably claimed this world for his own and sealed it with Christ’s blood. We are chosen.” (pg 16,17)
Satan will use whomever he can to get his lies and distractions to us. He uses our circumstances to question what God is doing and who we are in Him. “Did God really say …?” He wants to get us into a dark place of doubt where we feel worthless, unknown, and isolated from all Truth, light, and goodness.
After my prayertime, I felt the pull to come write about the next devotional and was presented with this one on rejection. A wry smile. Isn’t God’s timing impeccable? And so I have written and read and processed through to where I’ve been reminded of my worth in God’s eyes.
I wonder if the reason that God took away the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden, was so that we couldn’t just take life from something we could find and grow and tend on our own, apart from God; but because God wanted us to always have to come to Him for Life. Each blessed person whom He has created for a loving relationship with Himself has to seek Him out.
May He who never leaves or forsakes us, soothe our wounded hearts and remind us of our great worth in His sight.