Does anyone else have to pause and consider what day of the week it is since the pandemic started? I thought today was Saturday but it turns it is actually Wednesday. Also, I have been home sick for a few days and hibernating in my basement with no windows, so now I am also disoriented and have no clues what time of day it is. I typically am at my sharpest first thing in the morning. I just sat down to write and am questioning my judgment since it is actually—let me check—oh sheesh! It is 4:37PM. This could be rough. This one’s going to involve a lot of actual thinking and even, like in elementary school, a few definitions or vocab words, so consider yourself warned.
I want to unpack a threatening word that has come up among several of my conversations recently: REJECTION. Just typing that word gives me an unsettled, oogy feeling in my being.
How did it make you feel? Here are some other words for rejections, just to add to your nausea:
Now, if you aren’t in a fetal position, and especially if you are, after I triggered you with all those deeply disturbing words, keep reading. Trust me—there is light at the other end of this twisted tunnel.
I mentioned the theme of Rejection has been rearing its pathetic head lately. I didn’t even realize how much I needed to investigate this until I was listening to a speaker the other day (I watch pastors/speakers on YouTube while I curl my hair in the mornings because, well, have you seen my hair? It takes about a half hour to curl and I refuse to waste that time just standing and looking in the mirror mindlessly. Thus…I will share with you some good stuff I heard while doing so this week!).
Steven Furtick, teaching pastor at Elevation Church, got distracted from his original message and seemed to “bring it” just to me regarding Rejection. The rest of his talk went a totally different direction! I knew God was trying to get my attention.
Furtick suggested that when we experience Rejection of any kind, be it from a boss, a friend, and spouse, a child, a boyfriend/girlfriend, a church, a family, we need to learn to ask God some better questions than “Why do I have to go through this?”
Maybe try asking Him:
“Where are You redirecting me because of this rejection?”
“What are you using this rejection to protect me from?”
When we finally calm down and look up, most of us know that one of those two questions has a pretty firm answer. We just didn’t think anyone, including God, who knows better than we do what is best for us, was noticing we needed redirecting or protecting.
As I was digging a bit deeper into the dreaded visitor of Rejection (dismissing someone or the act of pushing someone or something away) that seems to drop by uninvited from time to time, I became a little obsessed about it’s root word, “-ject”. “-ject” means “to throw”. So naturally, my brain ran down a rabbit hole to find out the meaning of several other words that we use often and contain the same root. Fascinating!
Bear with me on this, I promise it will make sense eventually!
Object: to THROW your opposition to something
Reject: to THROW out
Inject: to THROW something into something (like a shot)
Eject: to THROW out especially by physical force, authority, or influence
Project: to THROW forward
Traject: to THROW through the air along a path. To cast ( to cast a vision)
So, when you are feeling rejected, let this little prayer roll of your tongue:
“God, I OBJECT to this REJECTION and ask you to INJECT me with the power to EJECT this pain and PROJECT a new TRAJECTORY.”
In other words, as Furtick put it, “focus on what is left, not what is lost.” Ask God the right questions: “Is this rejection for my protection or my redirection?” Then, and this is important, lean in to what God thinks of you. Don’t let the Strongholds of rejection hold you hostage.
What are those, you might be asking? Well, lucky for you, as I was mulling around the idea of writing a blog on Rejection, I opened up a random book and found a piece of paper with notes I took from a study I did two years ago with a guy named Robert Morris. The title at the top of my one page of notes was: 6 Strongholds of Rejection. I’m dead serious. Here is what I wrote: 1) anger 2) insecurity 3) pride/EGO (or Edging God Out) 4) over-independence/isolation 5) easily offended 6) control and manipulation. Um, no thank you, friend.
I am acutely aware that moving past Rejection with these pithy tips is easier said than done. Feeling rejected hits our most sensitive and vulnerable nerve. It can make us feel like we are walking around boneless and skinless. And I have been there, friend. Many times (read Boneless & Skinless). But by applying some of these truths and talking to ourselves (about what we know is true about us) instead of listening to ourselves (telling ourselves that we are indeed worthless, unlovable, stupid, annoying, needy, lazy, ugly, high maintenance, flawed, unforgivable, etc.) we have a fighting chance of recovery ( also read Start Talking To Yourself ).
I want to also leave you with a couple verses that I cling to when I start listening to the wrong voices (and sometimes that voice is my own). Maybe they can help you too:
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in al creation will be able to separate us from the love of God.” Romans 8:37-39 NIV
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8