“You are mine.” Though reading those words from Isaiah 43:1 on many previous occasions, suddenly they melted into my wounded heart like a healing balm. The sting of rejection still fresh in my mind, the Lord drew me into a place of comfort and belonging. Over the coming days, the words of Isaiah 43:1 led me on a journey of overcoming rejection with belonging.
When rejection inflicts wounds of abandonment, God’s healing balm of belonging embraces me with an unfailing love which never casts me out.
Welcome to Mindfulness Monday! Where we learn some easy ways to be more present “in the moment” at our jobs, in our homes, with our families and friends.
Learning to recognize God and what He has for us in each divine moment He offers. We acknowledge the belief that God is with us always.
We confess His presence is available to us, lifting our spirit and helping us with power and grace. Learning the art of “stillness” so we can hear His voice and view ourselves, others and our surroundings through His eyes.
rejection is a liar
Rejection steals the truth of my value in God’s eyes. Living from a place of rejection held me in a perpetual mode of striving for value and acceptance.
Fueling my desire for offering the gift of belonging to others, my unhealed rejection wounds kept me from overcoming rejection with belonging in my own life.
Running far deeper than being disliked, ignored, or excluded by others, rejection bores into our concept of value and worth as an individual.
For most people, the lies of rejection often lead to a loss of their sense of belonging, implying ultimately, they are flawed and unworthy of inclusion.
But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.Isaiah 43:1
Learning from the rejection of others
Though at times, rejection causes feelings of isolation, taking solace in the stories of others who overcame rejection brings encouragement. Thankfully, the bible contains many stories of rejection highlighting the hope of overcomers.
Hagar presents a prime example of rejection speaking to my heart because as a servant, she had no say in what happened to her. At times we suffer rejection through acts out of our control at the hands of those who claim to care for us.
Given to Abraham by her mistress, Sarah, to bear a child in her stead, Hagar will ultimately give birth to Ishmael. (Genesis 16)
Cast out shortly after becoming pregnant, alone and in deep grief, God meets her and has her return in submission. Hagar obeys, calling God “El Roi”; or the “God who sees”, (Genesis 16:13) illustrating God’s comfort from the pain of rejection, unheard and unseen by those who should care for her.
Though I may suffer rejection due to the actions of others outside of my control, God not only sees, but reminds me I belong to Him, and He redeems everything for my good and His glory.
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.Isaiah 53:3
Jesus, of course is the penultimate example of experiencing rejection. “Despised and rejected of men, “ (Isaiah 53:3) though many believed on Him and loved Him, many more hated and rejected Him.
Relentlessly pursued by religious leaders with express desires of trapping Him and discrediting him, He endured countless questions and even insults.
His own brethren mocked and insulted him (John 7:1-5), the Jews scorned His deity, calling Him “illegitimate”, (John 8:39-41), many of the crowd simply dismissed Him; He was betrayed by one of His own, and all but one of His disciples deserted Him once He was arrested.
Fully human, Jesus experienced the same pain of rejection as me, yet He continued steadfast in the work of the Father, never forsaking His abiding dependence on the Father.
When I suffer rejection related to the work God calls me to accomplish, I can lean into His abiding Presence in full dependence on the Holy Spirit. Clinging to an eternal perspective, I can overcome rejection with belonging.
While we all suffer rejection, we are not defined by rejection.
Truly overcoming rejection requires a mindset change focused on eternal purpose and belonging to God. Sitting quietly with God, gently meditating on Isaiah 43:1, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through the pain to resting in the belonging you have in Christ.
- Acknowledge. The first step in healing wounds inflicted by rejection involves acceptance. Acknowledge the rejection: at times I fail in acknowledging my own wounds. Avoid categorizing whether the rejection was unjust or deserved, simply accept it happened.
- Reinforce. Refocus and ground yourself in your identity in Christ. You are who God says you are; no one else has the ability to define your identity: you belong to Christ.
- Strengthen. Include people in your life who genuinely affirm and love you. Seek God’s help in creating boundaries around those who repeatedly speak negative words of rejection to you. Ask God for discernment in choosing those with whom you spend the most time.
- Forgive. Though difficult, especially with those who repeatedly reject you, forgiving them prevents bitterness and resentment. Forgiveness also positions you to observe God’s redemptive work in the situation.
- Thank. Acknowledge God’s sovereign work in the circumstance. Whether His express will or His permissive will, He allowed the rejection. Though painful, rejection often redirects me to a better path or sensitizes my heart to a much-needed attitude adjustment. Thanking God for rejection brings healing much more quickly.
Drawing near to God in times when we feel rejected, opens our hearts to the truth of our value and belonging in Christ, freeing us from the grip of rejection’s lies.
overcoming rejection with belonging
Sadly, rejection is a part of life, but overcoming rejection with the truth of our belonging to God, refocuses our attention on God’s redemptive work in both the situation and our lives.
Recentering my thoughts on the truth of my value and belonging to God, increases my understanding of God’s unique gifting in my life.
Empowering me to face rejection, channeling the pain into the strength to grow personally, becoming all God intended for me.
Instead of allowing rejection to cultivate disappointment, bitterness, and isolation, covering rejection with belonging restores my joy and confidence while freeing me from the pain of failure.
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