Rejection Hurts and Living Loved in Jesus

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Have you ever been rejected? It hurts, doesn’t it? It uproots our identity of who we really are and replaces it with who others think we are.

When I started out in Junior High, I had many friends, but one spiteful remark stole them away. I will never forget the girl’s name. I still visualize her freckled hand cupping her mouth, her reddish-blond head and lanky frame leaning towards my friends. The widened eyes as they stole glances my way. The laughing. I still don’t know what she said, but I do know my life drastically changed. My friends disappeared, my confidence plummeted, and I often traveled solo through the rest of Junior High and High School.

I think it may have been around this time that my dad said to me, “You never were much of a daughter to me.” Years later, he said he didn’t mean it that way. I realized he lashed out in anger and he had difficulty showing love, and I learned to forgive him. Still the damage was done the instant he said it. The blow to my heart strangled the life and worth out of me. I ran out of the house sobbing. I headed down the road, my heart plunking into a dark pit where I wasn’t noticed and didn’t matter to anyone. My dad came after me in the car, stopped beside me, and said, “Get in.” That was all I remember he said. 

A label fastened to my heart like gorilla glue. “I’m not good enough.” Later, other abuse, not being believed, and more betrayals magnified these thoughts that subconsciously ruled how I felt about myself. I figured since I wasn’t much of a daughter, I wasn’t much of anything. Wife, mom, grandma, sister, friend, Christian, writer, etc.

 Rejection is “a message that’s sent to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others, and God.” (Lysa TerKeurst)

I still struggle with allowing those lies to dictate how I view myself. Through the eyes of what people said or did. Sometimes I think I’m on top of it as I replace the lies with God’s Truth. But they still lurk in my heart, ready to pounce on me in my most vulnerable moments.

Rejection also influenced my relationships with others. Fearing to say or do anything that might cause them to reject me. Taking words, actions, or silences personally through my skewed perception and my I’m-worthless lens. Thinking people can’t possibly love me, because I was unlovable.

Above all, I allowed rejection to cover the truth about God’s acceptance. I didn’t trust that He could love me like He does. I didn’t take it to heart that Jesus stood alone, utterly rejected, far worse than any of us will ever be. Why? To invite us into His loving arms. To welcome us into a safe place where we will always be loved just as we are.

But how do we get there? Deeply rooted rejection is a hurt we can’t avoid. We need to acknowledge how much it affects us, grieve over it, and process it. To step by step throw out who we thought we were and replace it with who God says we are. If we don’t deal with it, there will remain a void in our hearts. A void that we will keep trying to fill with things or people who will never satisfy.

Jesus wants us to offer up all our these hurts to Him. To allow Him to enter into them with us. To grasp the truth of His tender, never-rejecting love for us.

“At the core of who we are, we crave the acceptance that comes from being loved. To satisfy this longing we will either be ‘graspers’ of God’s love or ‘grabbers’ for people’s love.” (Lysa TerKeurst)

I want to be a grasper of God’s love, not a grabber of people’s love, don’t you? I want to in every situation bring the fullness of God’s love, not my emptiness. I want to live loved. To truly grasp onto and never let go of God’s love, so rich, so full, so free.

People will sometimes reject us when we say or don’t say, do or don’t do, please or don’t please them. But Jesus? Never! His love is like no other. So unconditional. We don’t have to do or not do things to make Him accept us or love us more. In Him, we are always enough.

We are not just enough, but we are loved and delighted in.

“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in His love He will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17

His love is unlimited. Deeper than the deepest ocean. Wider than the expanse of the sky. Warmer than the warmest sunshine. Nothing we do or don’t do will ever change His faithful love for us. People may and will reject us, but He will never, ever reject us. Do you feel His arms reaching out to you? Inviting you in?

“All that My Father gives Me will come to Me;
and the one who comes to Me
I will most certainly not cast out
[I will never, never reject anyone who follows Me].”
John 6:37 AMP

“With You, Jesus, I’m forever safe.
I’m forever accepted. I’m forever held.
Completely loved and always invited in.”
(Lysa TerKeurst)

uninvitedUninvited: Living Loved  When You Feel
Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

by Lysa TerKeurst

Are the rejections in your past
affecting you yet today?
Then I believe this book will help you.
I know it has blessed me.

“The more we fully invite God in,
the less we will feel uninvited by others.”

liveloved

“Above All”
Michael W. Smith

“Crucified
Laid behind a stone
You lived to die
Rejected and alone
Like a rose
Trampled on the ground
You took the fall
And thought of me
Above all”

You are always welcome here!

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Our Intercessor, Our Friend

Intercessor

Have you ever been wrongfully accused? Slandered? Betrayed by your friends?

I really hope you haven’t experienced this. But if you have… It hurts more deeply than words can express, doesn’t it?

My heart still cringes when I think of the lies some people have believed and spread about me, even though it was years ago. Even years later, many refuse to believe the truth. What hurts even deeper is that friends believed the lies. Friends who should have supported me left me. My heart still aches. I thought they were forever friends. Why wouldn’t they believe me?

Job knew this heartache. Imagine how ripped out his heart must have felt as his friends said the afflictions that were being heaped on him were because of certain sins he must have committed. Being judged like that had to be more devastating than the painful sores on his body. But God knew the truth.

Job appealed to the One who knew. He had an Intercessor, a Friend who went to bat for him. A Friend who would never condemn him. A Friend and Savior who not only died for him, but was raised to life for him. An Advocate who was sitting at God’s right hand, pleading for him.

“There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me,
in highest heaven, some Attorney who can clear my name—
My Champion, my Friend,
while I’m weeping my eyes out before God.
I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God
as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.”
Job 16:19-21 The Message

“Who then will condemn us? No one—
for Christ Jesus died for us
and was raised to life for us,
and He is sitting in the place of honor
at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”
Romans 8:34 NLT

We have such a Friend, too. Sitting at the right hand of God, ruling there with power. Always ready 24/7 to hear our cries and our pleas. He died for us, He lives for us, and now He pleads on our behalf. He is a faithful Intercessor, always concerned about us, never forgetful of us.

And while Jesus Christ intercedes for us in heaven, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in our hearts. We are so weak in ourselves, not knowing what prayer to offer or how to offer it. And sometimes we can’t pray or don’t know how to word what pains us inside. But the Spirit within us knows what we need much more than we do ourselves. He knows, feels, and cares about those deepest pains in our hearts that maybe nobody else knows. He understands all the feelings we can’t even put in words. He sends up our needs with groaning too deep for words. He pleads for us and desires to comfort us through whatever we must go through. He hushes our fears and soothes our anxieties. He regenerates, renews, and restores us. He frees us and empowers us to move forward. And He works in us to melt our wills into the will of God.

“In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should,
but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time]
intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.”
Romans 8:26 AMP

Job had a Friend and Intercessor and so do we. One who knows better than anyone what betrayal and slander feel like. No, we will not always get what we want. Betrayals will not always be resolved and healed. Slander seeds may still drift around and sprout. The lies about us may not get erased. But this one thing we know. We have a Friend that will never, ever betray us, One who always knows the truth and who will always go to bat for us.

“Holy Spirit Come Fill This Place”
by Cece Winans

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Our Three-in-One God,
Please come and fill our hearts.

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers

Impressions from Devil’s Tower

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Seven Indian girls ran as fast as their little legs could carry them. Panting. Screaming. A grizzly bear hot on their heels gaining ground. In desperation the children climbed a three-foot rock and cried, “Rock, take pity on us; Rock, save us.” And the rock grew upward. The bear clawed and clawed, but he couldn’t reach them.

An inspiring Native American legend of how Devil’s Tower originated but with a different name in Lakota: Mato Tipila, which means “Bear Tower.” This story evoked such awe in me as I gazed up at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. Ok, so maybe geology tells a different story, but the legend bursts with meaning.

Impressions of Awe from Devil’s Tower:

  1. God is Almighty, and His power knows no bounds. God always has had and still does have the power to push a rock upward, because He is the only One Who could create it in the first place. All things are possible through Him, and He can go through infinite lengths beyond our understanding to protect us from enemies.
  2. God protects us from the devil who always stands ready to devour us. When the devil is hot on our heels, clawing his way to our destruction, God provides His Rock, Christ Jesus. The devil can’t reach us there. Jesus is a safe refuge. The devil may roar in our ears, but Jesus will never let him destroy us.
  3. The devil may tempt us, but He must flee at the name of Jesus. Devil’s Tower reminded me of when the devil was allowed to tempt Jesus, and he took Jesus to a high mountain and showed Him the splendor of all kingdoms. “All this I will give You,” he said, “if You will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said, “Away from Me, Satan! For it is written: Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.” No matter how much the devil tempts, taunts, and torments us, Jesus has already won the battle against him. One word – “Jesus!” – sends him yelping away.

 On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand!