Rejection

It is almost impossible not to think about this word because my world right now is flooded by reminders. Rejection. One word, innumerable effects.

My devotion this morning had me reflecting on things that wounded me emotionally. This drew up quite a number of memories. Last night, the same thing happened and I found myself asking God to have any of the bits of my heart that were still hurt. From friendships that ended and left with chunks of my heart to guys who whether dating or not, left with bits of my soul. From disappointments and anticipointments, to moments that were beautifully high but left me broken the minute things crumbled.

The other trigger was a TED talk I watched on 100 days of rejection that encouraged those of us who’ve felt the sting of rejection enough to make us hide in our cocoon, to expose ourselves to that very feeling. The point wasn’t to get you wounded further or get you hooked to pain. The activity is premised on the fact that the more you expose yourself to rejection, the less it hurts and eventually, you become immune to it. I won’t lie, this sounded exciting; I mean, who wouldn’t want to be immune to rejection? I considered trying it for 30 days and each day I would go request something that I knew would be outrightly rejected (maybe asking for a raise from my boss should have been my starting point, Lol).

When I thought about it, I agreed with several of the things stated on that talk. Most of us fear rejection because of our perceived reaction by the person bound to reject us. We come up with all sorts of reasons why we were rejected: I wasn’t good enough, she’d never accept a guy like me, I am not his type, I am not good enough for this position, they don’t usually consider people like me, it’s because of my background… and on and on we’ll go. However, we’ll never know unless we ask. The guy giving the talk one day knocked on a random door and asked to go plant a flower in the person’s backyard. Of course his offer was rejected and he had all sorts of ideas as to why plus had begun beating himself up for this. Then he decided to ask the person why he refused his offer and turns out he had a dog that uproots things in the backyard so he didn’t want to waste the guy’s flower but he referred him to a lady who loved flowers. Not surprising, the lady was ecstatic about his offer and accepted.

This morning, one of the first things that met me on Facebook was an article shared explaining how guys break the hearts of girls even when they were not dating. This I easily relate with! From my own experiences and those of my friends; in fact if I had a dime for each time this occurred, I’d be a pretty rich woman right now! All the friendships where the guy was sweet, always listening, always there for you, crosses oceans for you, is your go-to guy for everything, always telling you how beautiful you are, willingly stating how much you are missed every so often and practically acting like a boyfriend without the title. Then you fall for him only to realise it wasn’t mutual or discover he started dating some other girl. Rejection stares at you with its big ugly eyes again.

It’s never a funny thing to hope and miss; to put your best effort and be met with a no; to invest so much only for things to fail; to try even against all hope and still be disappointment. It kills something inside of you each time and you either end up shut tightly away from anything threatening or masking your wounds and constantly portraying a picture perfect you. None of that helps and eventually you’ll see that healing is necessary.

Healing starts with exposing your wounds bit by bit, by choosing to step out and try again even when you’re scared. Most of all the ultimate remedy lies with the Maker of our hearts. He knows exactly how that wound came, what shape it took and how to heal it effectively. He breathes onto those wounds, pours out His liquid love to wash them and holds us gently until we’re well.

Shark Tales

It occurred to me how I have a thing for broken people; they capture my attention very quickly. Most probably because I love fixing things… and people. I’d make it my business to help them heal, to mend them and to love on them. Then it dawned on me recently that maybe I like broken people because we’d focus so much on fixing them that they wouldn’t realise all my shortcomings. I’ve been aware of those and they sure are plenty! So I’d try to highlight my best aspects hoping people wouldn’t get past them and see the girl hiding with insecurities galore.

Why am I saying all this? Might be because sometime back, someone I’d been trying to figure if I had a crush on or not, opened up about a few things. It reminded me of how broken he is and got me thinking of how I was probably getting drawn to him because I am like a shark that can detect blood from afar. You see, wounded people attract equally wounded people or the kind that would wound them further.

Today, I’m learning that I no longer have to do this. I’ll leave broken people in God’s hands; He’s their healer, not me. Trying to get someone like him might eventually lead to me causing greater damage than what already existed.

I’m also learning that I’m healing better than I thought if I’ve gotten to this point where God could speak to me about this and I agree to let go. Normally, I’d throw a tantrum and insist on my way. I’d do a whole session of negotiation with God then eventually go ahead and do what I’d wanted initially. Maybe it was the pain that awaited, which drew me subconsciously. Yes, I unknowingly was attracted to pain. Could be because I was eager to feel something, anything; whatever emotion that would get me carried away, even if it would lead to pain.

So now, I’m sincerely done with all that hullabaloo. I have grown more patient (thankfully) and I refuse to chase after temporary highs provided by fascinating people who happen to be broken. I’ll interact with broken people with compassion because I acknowledge that I might just be as equally broken. I refuse to try to be their saviour while trying to satisfy my own selfish desires. The need to be needed and to be indispensable in their lives, is something I refuse to keep as my motivation. I will love them to the best of my ability but I no longer desire to heal them because I can’t do that.

Most of all, I have come to appreciate that my brokenness is worth addressing first. As Stasi Eldredge says, I am worth grieving! No more trying to mask this brokenness behind other people’s.

I’ll leave you with these words:

Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
And mercy’s waiting on the other side
If we’re honest…

(Francesca Battistelli- If we’re honest)

Live Like You’re Loved

This post isn’t for the singles who are struggling with loneliness and are looking for something to ease it, neither is it for those in relationships trying to enjoy it better. This post is for all of us; each and every one of us because we all need to live loved while realising that it won’t come through people.

There are enough people, single or otherwise who have a hard time feeling like they’re loved. We try to get people to love us and when we can’t get that, we find substitutes. Our pets, music, favourite brand of ice cream, movies, books, alcohol, weed, sex or whatever your drug is, would never really give us what we need. However, we grow accustomed to finding temporary highs and chasing whatever will fill the void.

When the high is over or your text is not replied, we start sinking into a hole. We’ll always find a way to bear the blame mostly thinking that our flaws led to that.

We make mistakes; big or small, messy or not. Then beat ourselves up. We’re never good enough.

This is to each of us who needs to be reminded that love has little to do with you and more to do with the giver of love. To us who need introduction or a reminder of a love that’s redeeming; a love that’s unconditional. A love that already accepted us and isn’t repelled by our ugliness. A love that loves through our mess and through each failure. A love that’s constant and ever reliable. A love that wraps around us and says you are mine.

You are loved and nothing can change that fact. Your strengths and weaknesses are covered by that love. Love cheers you on daily. Love wipes your tears and lights up the darkness around you. Love loves you.

You are loved and accepted; no man gave that to you and no man can take that away.

1 John 4:10 This is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us…

Lamentations 3:22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases…

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.