That little voice in the back of my mind alerting me that one of my worst fears may be coming….rejection! I hate to say it, but yes one of my fears is rejection. I want to feel like I’m above all that, like nothing anyone says or does matters to me. But I need to be honest with myself, so I can face it and move on from it – I FEAR REJECTION!
My heart races, my palms get sweaty, and my mind gets stuck. I’m not able to concentrate, I hear people talking but I don’t completely understand the words that form sentences. All I can hear is that little voice in my head trying to put myself – my feelings, my strength, my self-esteem, my pride – back together again. Yup, all of that quickly dies inside me when I’m rejected. Why, on God’s green earth, do I respond to rejection in this way? It annoys the mess out of me!
I try giving myself these little pep talks like, “It’s ok. You’re going to be alright.” Or, “You are smart, despite the fact that they didn’t like your ideas!” “It’s not an attack on you personally even though it feels like it!” And, my go-to response is, “Just keep smiling and nodding, don’t let them see the tears forming!!” You have no idea how desperately I want to hide under a rock for just admitting this. But I’m committed to helping others. So I must expose myself….yep, another pep talk. 😉
I’ve been experiencing a whole lot of rejection lately. Jobs turning me down, friends and family turning their backs on me or dismissing me, and don’t even get me started on the pre-teen and teen rejection from my kids. So lately my pep talks haven’t been working. And with each form of rejection, my anxiety builds. This is a recipe for disaster: rejection + anxiety. Well, disaster struck, and it struck hard. Anxiety attacks, sleepless nights, and migraines. You’re probably saying by now, “this poor lady needs some help!” Yes, yes I do. We all do, though, right? LOL
So, I went to my Wonderful counselor and source of help – the Lord and His Word. My soul needed a pick-me-up. In Psalm 43:5, the Sons of Korah write about their souls, asking, “Why, my soul, are you downcast?” They are trying to figure out why it is feeling so bad. I imagine the soul answering back by saying, “Man, it’s been rough these past few weeks! Why do you think I’m downcast? Do you know what we have been through?!”
Scripture says God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear. Fear is not of God. So when we experience it, it should alert us that this is not of the Lord. And we must take action to remove it. You may not have the same fear as I do; rejection. You may have a fear of loneliness, abandonment, aggression, success, or failure. Whatever it is, it is the work of the enemy.
Jesus was rejected over and over and over again. He was rejected by friends and family, and also by colleagues and enemies alike. If they would do it to Jesus, why wouldn’t they do it to me?
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first." John 15:18 NIV
People are going to reject me, it’s just a part of life. But knowing that it’s a part of life doesn’t make the pain of it go away, and it doesn’t take the anxiety away. First, we have to recognize that we are afraid, then understand what provokes this fear, and then we must accurately label it. My label was rejection. What’s yours?
In our times of trouble, we must seek God through prayer and studying His Word. Only He can get us through these trying times. Only He can give our souls the peace it needs to bear the troubles that we experience. In other words, only He can turn a downcast soul!
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;”Psalm 34:17-19
He hears you. Do you know that? He knows what you are suffering through. Do you believe that? And He does care. Can you feel His care? Yes, we will experience many troubles, but the Lord will deliver us from them all. We must trust and have faith in His deliverance. Take these fears to the Lord!