Sweet friend, don’t let rejection steal one more thing from you. – Lysa
There’s nothing we can do to eliminate the pain of rejection. Oh, how I wish there were. With every fiber of my being, I wish I could remove it from my world and from yours. But I can’t. The only thing I’ve seen work in my life to help my heart heal from these deep wounds is the constant pursuit of the sweetest grace…. Each hole left from rejection must become an opportunity to create more and more space for grace in my heart.
And yet, there are gifts in rejection. Here are three of those gifts of rejection I’ve embraced:
• The gift of being made less.
When we decrease, God has room to make big things happen. We are reminded of this in John 3:28-31, as John the Baptist is insisting to his followers that he is “not the Anointed One; I am the one who comes before Him… He, the groom, must take center stage; and I, the best man, must step to His side” (The Voice). Imagine what everyone would miss at a wedding if the best man refused to let the groom take his place. The radiant bride only walks down the aisle when she knows her groom is at the end ready to receive her. Then the glorious wedding happens.
When writing on this passage, Eugene Peterson says,
That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for Him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines. — John 3:29-30 The Message
In this sideline, set-apart place, God will give you special wisdom you’ll need for the next assignment.
• The gift of being lonely.
This will develop in you a deeper sense of compassion for your fellow travelers.
But in addition to the blessing of compassion being developed in me, those lonely times also seem to be when Jesus lavishes His most intimate compassion on me. Isn’t it interesting that Jesus seemed to speak most intimately to people who were lonely? I doubt His conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well in John 4 would have been the same if she’d been with a group of people. And we see a similar kind of personalized message for the woman caught in adultery in John 8. He didn’t speak to her personally and intimately until the others left.
Both of these women were alone not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. We see them in extremely lonely and humbling situations. We see their aloneness. Then we see Jesus step into their loneliness and lavish His compassion on them, and, certainly with the Samaritan woman, a compassion for the others in her town emerged in her.
This is certainly what happens in my life as well. The conversations I have with the Lord in my loneliness always lead me to more intimacy with Him and more compassion for others. When I ease the loneliness ache in others, it is beautifully eased in me.
• The gift of silence.
Had I been surrounded by the voices of those people I was so eager to meet that night, I would surely have missed the voice of God. I’m trying to weave more silence into the rhythm of my life now, so I can whisper, “God, what might You want to say to me right now? I’m listening.” Ecclesiastes tells us,
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to be silent and a time to speak. — Ecclesiastes 3:1, Eccelsiastes 3:7
I’ve got to spend time getting quiet so I can be prepared to hear new things from the Lord. Isn’t it a lovely thought that God might be waiting for there to be silence in your life in order to share some of His best secrets with you? It was truly a profound secret from God’s heart to mine when, in the silence, He whispered to my soul, You are not set aside, you are set apart. This statement settled me, changed me, and prepared me to share this same message with you.
I know it can painful to be alone. And I know the thoughts of being set aside are loud and overwhelmingly tempting to believe in the hollows of feeling unnoticed and uninvited. But as you pray through your feelings, see if maybe your situation has more to do with you being prepared than you being overlooked.
There is something wonderfully sacred that happens when a girl chooses to realize that being set aside is actually God’s call for her to be set apart.
Sometimes, though, when God calls us to be set apart for another purpose, it’s difficult to believe God’s goodness in the hurt. Have you ever cried over something so much that you run out of tears? Your swollen eyes just give out and dry up while a current of unrest still gushes through your soul. And you look up toward heaven in utter frustration.
Excerpted with permission from Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, copyright Lysa TerKeurst.
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Have you received those excruciating but invaluable gifts? Lessening, loneliness, silence? If you’re suspicious of God, take it to Him. He is waiting to comfort and bless you! And all God’s girls say, “Hallelujah!” ~ Laurie McClure, Faith.Full