Let’s just go ahead and put it out in the open that rejection sucks and we all at some point have had to deal with it. I feel like, during every semester, God has shown me something about myself that causes me to have to stop in my tracks and reflect. In the fall, I learned that vulnerability in my words (like in these blog posts) and daily conversations with others create an open space for honesty and connectivity to happen. By being vulnerable about my struggles, I was able to connect with friends in a way that I hadn’t before, and each of us was able to grow in our faith by acknowledging the hard but using it for good.
This spring semester, God has shown me that I have a really—and I mean really—hard time with rejection. Not that I hadn’t experienced rejection before this spring, but I feel like I experienced it on full blast during these past few months. And I hate to say it, but for those past few months, I lived out of that place of rejection. Instead of living knowing that I was deeply loved by God, I was living chained by my fear of failure and silently waiting for the next lightning bolt of rejection to hit.
It started off at the end of February when I didn’t get a summer internship that I was desperately wanting. I thought I had it, but then I didn’t, and it confused me and left me disheartened. I felt like a failure, even though I definitely wasn’t, but instead of listening to the truth of what the Bible says about me, I listened to the lies that the devil was feeding to me:
“I’m such a failure compared to my friends.”
“There must be something wrong with you.”
“You’re not that well liked.”
“You aren’t good enough.”
First of all, I was being dramatic as you can tell from above. Here I was having what Joyce Meyer calls “The Battlefield of the Mind” with my soul knowing that I needed positivity to light up my life but my mind doing anything but. No wonder I lacked on the blog posts this past semester. How was I supposed to spread positivity and the light of Christ to others when I wasn’t even letting that into my own heart?
I felt the tight grip of rejection not only take control of my thinking but control of my life. The way I wallowed in my self-pity affected my work ethic, my relationship with others, my health, and, goodness gracious, who knows what else?
I get mad at myself when I think about how deeply I let my past rejections and fear of being a failure affect my life the past months. Maybe you were or are in the same boat as I was. You’re terrified of when the next rejection is going to hit and, instead of living a confident and brave life, you’re hiding behind the shadows scared as can be. Trust me, I understand. But let me tell you about a few ways that helped me no longer be chained by rejection:
- I established a more routine quiet time
- The first thing I did in the morning and the last thing I did at night was pour into my devotionals and then journal my prayers. It helped me get to the root of my negative thoughts and let them out rather than holding them in. There’s just something so peaceful and joy-filling in starting your day and ending your day with God.
- I read Lysa TerKeurst’s It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strengths When Disappointments Leave You Shattered
- PLEASE DO THIS. Whether you are dealing with rejection right now or not, every person needs to read this. I actually started reading this before my “rejection downfall” began, and this book truly prepared my heart for what was to come. If you do decide to read it, I would love to hear your thoughts on it… plus, I think it’s an awesome devotional book to do with a group of friends to hold each other accountable and also to know that you are not alone in your feelings of not being enough or in your disappointments.
- I started going to counseling again.
- I am a firm believer in the power of therapy because, after all, I’m studying to be a therapist. But throughout my life, the only kind of therapy I’ve known is the kind that helps with eating disorder recovery. I never went to therapy simply to hash out my emotions and stress. But since Wofford has a Wellness Center that offers free counseling services to students, I decided to set up an appointment and now go about every two weeks or so to check in. Going to therapy reminded me of how nice it was to talk about my feelings with someone other than my friends or parents. Don’t get me wrong, I love you people, but I also feel like emotions come out that you don’t typically face or want to recognize while having a conversation with your friend. If you are at a college that offers free counseling services, I definitely recommend you take a look at it just to see what it’s like. It’s not for everyone, but it never hurts to try. And if you’re an adult, maybe look at the counseling services in your area to see if there are any that fit in your budget or are covered by your insurance.
- Don’t isolate yourself.
- Isolating yourself could be one of the worst things you could do. Of course, it’s so good to take time for yourself (I’m a BIIIIGGGG fan of some self-care), but if you find yourself starting to coop yourself in your room and limiting your social interactions, you need to be honest with yourself. Are you not hanging out with people because you’re tired and just need some time alone? Or because you’re living out of that fear of not being enough or getting rejected in some way? Surrounding yourself with your best people can actually be so good for you and offer you clarity and help you get your mind off of what’s bothering you. It can energize you and leave you feeling better than before.
- Make a list of your past accomplishments and the positive aspects of yourself.
- Yeah, I know it sounds kind of silly, but trust me, it makes you feel 10x better. It reminds you of the Lord’s faithfulness in the past and how He’s going to do it again in the future. Even though it may feel as if life has only been giving you rejections, I can guarantee that you can find some victories going on, no matter how minor. But also, look back on all you’ve accomplished in your life!! Don’t focus on your current rejections but, instead, focus on your past successes and how you can do hard things, and as Rachel Hollis says, “You ARE MADE FOR MORE!”
Rejection is hard. And it sucks in that moment. But let it suck for just that moment and nothing more. You are worth more than your past rejections and successes for that matter. You are not defined by what you’ve done or what you haven’t done. As cliché as it sounds, it’s actually so true the saying that goes “When one door closes, another one opens.” You never know what those “nos” are going to make room for later on. And you may not understand right now, but you have to trust that God does have a plan. And His plan is good and perfect for His children.
He knows what will be good for us, and I have a choice. I can live knowing that I am deeply loved by God and always enough for Him, or I can live in a state of constant fear of rejection and failure. I know what I’m going to choose. What about you?
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on emmaclae.wordpress.com
Featured Image by Anton Malanin