Have you ever stubbed your toe and that pain just LINGERED? The initial impact is the biggest blow, but the pain lingers and it stings. In the following moments, all you can do is think about the pain. How can something so small, compared to the rest of your body, sending shockwaves of pain through every limb?!
It’s funny how similar rejection is to stubbing your toe. It’s something so minor, so short, but brings a great deal of pain and affects many areas of our lives.
Rejection is one of my greatest fears because of the stinging pain it brings and the fact that it’s likely to happen many times throughout life. I take rejection so personal, even if it’s not personal at all. I have a hard time moving past the thought that it’s not that they don’t like ME, we just aren’t a good match. Looking back, rejection might even be too strong of a word to use in some situations, but I guarantee we all FEEL rejected.
Whether you’ve heard “no” from a relationship, a job, a speaking opportunity, a sports team, a publisher, you CAN move past it and refuse to let the stinging pain hold you back.
As I’ve walked through seasons where doors were constantly shut, I’ve come to several realizations about rejection that help me move past it and begin working toward what’s next.
Rejection is inevitable. Take it with grace.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t feel the temporary pain that comes with rejection. Your feelings are legitimate and you’re ALLOWED to feel upset. I know firsthand how alone and beaten up you feel in situations of rejection.
What I am saying is when you take rejection with grace and confidence, you are not bound by the world’s opinions of you. Accepting rejection with grace means you are not letting society’s standards define your worth.
The world is going to tell you no…. a lot. Sometimes you won’t be offered the job, your work won’t be chosen, you won’t make the cut, you won’t be asked to speak, the list goes on and on. Accepting this as a fact of life is why we have to take rejection with grace.
Rejection means a better prospect is out there
I can’t tell you how many times in my life where I was told no, was completely devastated, then found an even better opportunity soon after. I’m convinced that you have seen this in your own life as well. Just because God intended that opportunity for someone else, doesn’t mean He doesn’t have an opportunity intended for you.
It’s hard to believe at the moment, but hearing “no” is not the end of your dream. Because of His promises that when I trust in Him, He will make my paths straight (Proverbs 3:6) and future prosper (Jeremiah 29:11), I’m convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt there is a better prospect out there for me. I don’t know when it will come, and it may not even come on Earth.
With faith that our God is good all the time and His plans are better than ours, rejection will feel a little less painful.
Rejection shows God’s protection
I saw this firsthand in my own life several years ago. It was right after we got married and I was applying for jobs like crazy. There was one job I interviewed for and really liked the company and the job opportunity. I even had a friend working there too so I was really hopeful for a job offer. When it didn’t come I was devastated. I really thought this was going to be my jump into the corporate world. The stinging pain lasted for a while.
Fast forward a couple months later and I’m working at a great full-time job where the Lord really worked in the details. I also found out that the company I so desperately wanted to work for actually wasn’t that great and possibly some shady stuff was happening.
In that moment I was so thankful that those people told me no because I was saved from a lot of stress and discomfort. God was protecting me from a situation I didn’t need to be in. Now if I did get that job I know God is still good and would always protect me, but seeing firsthand how His plans are better than mine was truly eye-opening.
I now see rejection in a whole new light. When an opportunity is shut down, I constantly remind myself that God might be protecting me from something, but no matter what this is not His plan and that’s okay.
So taking in all of those realizations about rejection, here is my one piece of advice for facing rejection…
Praising and thanking God will lessen the pain. God wants us to have feelings, (He created us to feel!) but when we fight to see things from His point of view, it won’t hurt as bad. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us to give thanks to God in every circumstance. We praise Him when we win and praise Him when we lose.
Here’s a short prayer you can recite next time you’re facing a closed door.
God, I praise you because you are GOOD! Give me the confidence to take on this day. Help me to be strong in your Word and promises while I’m facing this pain. Thank you for Your protection and guiding my paths. I know You have great plans for me and I trust the way you’re taking me. Amen.