BY: MEGAN GILMORE
This word stings my heart to even read it. We all face rejection at some point in our lives. There are some people that have encountered the sting of rejection far more than others. No one is immune to the pain that comes from it.
At times there is a lingering sting of rejection in my heart even when I have not even been rejected in the moment. The root of rejection usually comes from our childhood. Yes, we can look at events in our adult lives and see rejection. However, the root of it began in childhood.
I can close my eyes and be taken back to a moment in time that defines my rejection. It feels like this moment was just yesterday, but the reality is this happened when I was in third grade. It has been over twenty-four years since that day on the playground and the painful memory still echoes in my heart.
I did not have many friends growing up. I was not popular or with the “in” group of people. I stood out and felt very different than my peers. My third grade year in particular was challenging. There was one girl who did not like me and made it a point to isolate me from my peers. All I wanted was to just be liked and accepted. I just wanted to be normal.
This particular memory that lingers took place on the playground. I was standing on the blacktop hoping to find someone to play with. Not having someone to play with made recess my least favorite part of the day, but this day seemed different. I stood there watching a group of girls from my class make their way towards me. I thought this was it, maybe they were going to ask me to play with them. As they got closer I heard the leader of the pack counting (she was also the one who did not like me) her voice was determined as she counted to three, started laughing and then had all the other girls run away. I stood there alone and hurt.
Rejected. Left standing there feeling unwanted, unloved, not enough, and that there was something wrong with me. At that moment the enemy started to speak lies into my mind. Lies about who I was and my worth. When we are young we have no idea that the enemy is planting the lies in our heart and mind. I allowed these lies to become a part of who I was. The lies became my life narrative. Rejection that followed me well into adulthood.
Perhaps you had a similar experience as a child that I did. You felt deep rejection from peers. Or maybe you had rejection from your family at a young age. Maybe a parent left or had harsh words towards you. Perhaps, your sibling picked on you and never made you feel a part of the family. The stories are endless of how people experienced rejection. Rejection is never a fun feeling, it stings, it hurts. The enemy knows that getting us to believe lies about ourselves at a young age can keep us trapped in cycles.
Rejection is part of my story and one that I have had to really face and work through. I am so thankful that our God - Jesus - He knows rejection. It is not just something the bible is telling us to help us feel better. Jesus knows rejection. Jesus felt rejection.
This Easter I was watching The Passion of the Christ with new eyes. I was seeing Jesus in a different way. I grew up in the church, knowing how Jesus suffered and sacrificed Himself for us. However, this time I watched and had different insights. He was rejected on the deepest levels from those who were closest to Him.
We know how Judas betrayed Jesus. Betrayal by someone you love is rejection at its core. But this time I watched as He was betrayed by Judas and then Peter denied him. “And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him. ‘Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.’”
Jesus knew Peter was going to deny him. To make it even more painful Jesus watched Peter reject Him publicly during His time of suffering. As I watched this familiar story unfold my heart not only felt for Jesus and the pain He endured, but I felt my heart open to see Jesus in a new way. Jesus knows pain because He took the physical beating and endured the cross. Jesus knows emotional pain, such as rejection. Having this revelation opened my heart to trust Jesus in a whole new way!
I can trust Jesus with everything. I can trust Him in a deeper way because Jesus suffered not only physical pain, but He has been rejected and understands the emotional pain. My God knows the hurt and pain that we as humans feel. I love how Hebrews 2:14 tells us that, “Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death.” He felt it all for me and you! He is our sacrifice.
My friend, maybe you have felt deep rejection and struggle with trusting! I am here to tell you that Jesus knows the feelings of rejection and pain. You can trust Him completely and fully with all that you are. You are not alone in the hurt.
Take some time and sit quietly before the Lord. Still your heart and allow Him to pour His love upon you.