What a harsh word with an even more hurtful meaning.
Rejection is ugly. Rejection sucks. It can come in so many different forms and yet still have the same effect on us — negativity. Rejection can be the at the heart of a lot of insecurities we carry.
I am doing a study on the book Uninvited by Lysa Terkerust with a group of some of my close friends and the whole study is focused on rejection and feeling less than. After our first group discussion this past week, I knew that this was going to be the next post for this blog. Rejection is real, and many of us struggle with it daily. Whether it’s current or past rejections, the sting that comes along with it doesn’t change.
I wish that I could say it does.
When I was in 6th grade, I was bullied. Not like being pushed in a locker and being a victim of tasteless jokes bullied, I was verbally bullied. I have struggled with my weight ever since I was in 6th grade. There were people who would talk behind my back, thinking I couldn’t hear them, while others simply did it straight to my face. That was the beginning of my daily struggle with rejection, and unfortunately, I will never ever forget about the things that happened in 6th grade.
The bullying ended in about 8th or 9th grade when these people started to grow up. Apologies were said and I forgave those who hurt me, and I honestly am so thankful for that. I became somewhat more confident but still struggled with my self-image. As I grew older, my confidence dwindled again. I was constantly comparing myself to other girls, envying that they were skinnier and prettier than me. Because to me, skinny was the equivalent to beauty, which is not true even in the slightest bit.
My insecurities continued to grow until my senior year of high school until I met a boy. He made me feel like I was the most beautiful girl in the world. He treated me like no other guy had and I was smitten. I easily fell for him, and I fell hard. We dated for 2 ½ years, and although I still struggled a lot with my self-image (because let’s face it, when you’re in a relationship, it’s easier to gain weight from things like date nights out and that’s exactly what happened to me). But this time around, it was easier to accept who I was because I had someone right next to me who loved me for me, and that was the greatest feeling in the world.
Then BOOM! Rejection struck again. My boyfriend began talking to another girl while we were still together. We broke up the day after I got back from a week long vacation in Colorado and it seemed like the more I found out about them, the harder the rejection feeling hit me over and over again. The insecurities flooded back through me, reopening the doors that I thought had been closed for good. The enemy feeding into my negative self-talk.
“He left you because you were a bad girlfriend.”
“You know, the reason he started talking to that girl while you were still together was that you just aren’t good enough for him anymore.”
“He never even loved you, how could he love someone like you and yet leave so easily?”
And the list continues.
Rejection had once again made an appearance in my life, and this time it made sure that I knew it was back. I still to this day think back to that time in my life, and for a few moments, those thoughts about myself creep back into my mind. Sometimes I don’t feel like enough. Sometimes I don’t feel beautiful because I still often think “if only I was thinner.” Sometimes it just plain sucks.
If only I had known sooner that my rejections DON’T have the final say. If only I had realized and fully believed back in 6th grade that Jesus made me exactly who I am, created in HIS image. That he loves me no matter what.
You guys, do you understand the depth of that? This means that no parent, no friend, no family member, and no past mistake can ever define you. That means for me, the scale doesn’t define me. My ex and past relationships do not define me. When I finally realized this a few months after the heartbreak I went through, I began to feel free from those rejections.
God wants all of you. Not just the “good” parts of you, he wants all of your brokenness, all of your mistakes, because through him you are given a fresh start.
So remember that.
Remember that whenever your rejections try to consume you.
They do not define you.
Let God’s love quiet you and bring you closer to him.
If you need a new word to describe yourself, I have one ready for you.