Growing up with parents who showed me extreme unconditional love, no matter the ugly they saw, protected me from what many people experience at such a young age – rejection. That all changed, awhile back, when I felt the slap of rejection to my core.
After about six months of seriously dating someone, I knew in my heart that I was going to marry him. He was the man I’d waited for my entire life. I had very specific confirmations from God, along with specific requests I had laid at His feet that were being answered right before my eyes. Even the slightest little details I had asked God for within my future husband were within this man. He was not perfect, but we were thriving together as this man strengthened me in areas that were my weakest. Everything seemed beyond orchestrated by God and I knew my prayers were being answered.
There was only one thing I didn’t take into consideration – the man’s ability to choose “out” at any point, or his ability to change his mind faster than I could turn my head or snap a finger.
Before I knew it, everything I had prayed for changed in the blink of an eye. No red flags, no warning signs, no explanation, no nothing. Just a simple “I no longer desire to be in this relationship.” And with those words, I was left with a mind flooded by confusion and doubt. I was left wounded beyond anything I’d ever felt, and had no clue how to cope.
I was left with a deep fear towards my ability to even hear from God. Asking questions like “God, how could I be so off? I thought this was You?” Most days I found myself lying on my floor crying until I could cry no longer. Other days I found myself numbing the pain and running toward anything that would comfort even for a moment.
But the hardest part was this: I had been working at a rehab internship, counseling adolescents every day who had dealt with rejection their whole lives. I spent entire sessions listening to the kids talk about how their father or mother had never been there. I sat in those sessions feeling guilty for the pain of rejection I felt from a dating relationship that only last six months while they were they were processing their intense rejection from their whole lives.
For the first time in my life, I found myself finally having the slightest grasp on the reality of rejection. Wounds of the heart are the quickest way for the enemy to get a foothold. Wounds of the heart are where we need God to be tangible; and when He doesn’t feel tangible we quickly resort to doubt, or self-pity.
While I wish I had a “one size fits all” solution to the pain of rejection, I don’t. Here’s what I can say I have learned through it all:
David says in Psalms, “I will not die, I will live! I will tell of the works of the Lord;” and that’s what I did. I would wake up telling my soul to LIVE, though my flesh wanted to isolate. I would wake up reminding myself of how He had brought me out of darkness and oppression before, and that He would do it again!
The biggest lie is that “time heals.” Time does not heal, but rather it often leads to an infection when the wound is ignored. I refused to ignore the wound! This meant I had to choose God’s healing in the midst of the pain.
I had to have grace and compassion towards myself no matter how much the wound needed to be addressed. (I learned to embrace God’s grace and compassion towards myself as I addressed the wound.) I might not have understood and I often said, “Really God? This again?” But I pressed in to Him and I pressed on in my life. I had to give up my right to understand, in order to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding.
So, I forgave the man. I forgave him out loud, so I could hear myself, more times than I can count. I cried. I yelled. And then I forgave him again. It was a battle, but I made it out. God brought me out. It just took pressing into Him no matter the time and tears it took.
If you are battling the sting of rejection, I encourage you to visit the Glennon House for a prayer appointment with one of our trained Prayer Ministers. They are here to walk with you on your journey of healing and forgiveness.