REJECTION AIN'T REALLY REJECTION
The Lord gives.. and the Lord takes away.. Blessed be The Name of the Lord. (Job 1:21)
The Lord gives us relationships and the Lord takes relationships away... But blessed be The Name of the Lord.
The Lord introduced me to a very nice guy and I felt a pressing upon my heart to allow this man to pursue me in a dating relationship. I truly felt the Lord instructing me to trust Him in the process. After a couple of months, the Lord took the possibility of that relationship away. Blessed be The Name of the Lord.
The Lord has truly been so good and so gracious to me. Three months ago, the Lord brought forth a dating-relationship into my life. A completely pure, completely prayerfully led, and completely Biblical dating-relationship with a wonderful man of God and brother in Christ.
I was discouraged though. I had heard the Lord so clearly tell me to go forward with this dating relationship, and while I had genuine feelings for this man, something still felt off throughout the entire process. Almost after every date, I would come home and talk to my parents or call a friend and just tell of my discouragement. I felt like the Lord wanted this relationship from me and truly I wanted this relationship for myself, but I felt as though He had given me a glimpse of other relationships from past flings that seemed to fit me more. I didn’t fully understand what the Lord was doing… yet when do we ever. We step out in faith and allow Him to guide and lead our paths.
As time went on, I prayed for and felt as if peace and the natural feelings, which are expected in a dating-relationship, would come. To some extent, some of those feelings did come. Because I felt so strongly like the Lord was directly guiding my steps in this dating-relationship, I felt like it would almost be disobedient for me to end things. That being said, I decided not to end the relationship. He did. Three months into this dating-relationship after both of us seeking the Lord in prayer, we ended up having a transparent and genuine discussion. During the discussion, this man stated he did not feel like things were progressing in the manner and at the pace they should have been. I fully agreed, yet, if I'm totally honest, I felt rejected. The relationship was mutually ended, yet I was left feeling rejected, discouraged, confused, and hurt. In spite of the heart-break, God was and continues to be soooo good and I praise Him for that rejection. Why? Because rejection, I believe, is not necessarily always rejection. And I have learned so much through this process that I wouldn’t have been able to grasp if things had worked out between the two of us.
What have I learned?
1. Rejection isn’t always rejection in the way and shape that we so often think of it. I think sometimes we think of other’s lack of desire for us as a form of personal rejection, when really this is not the case. I believe our God is completely sovereign and while we have free will, absolutely nothing happens outside of His sovereign plan. Because I believe this to be the case, I can then realize that “rejection” from others is truly the Lord redirecting our steps and aligning our lives to His beautiful plan and truly that excites me!! Romans 8:28 is a familiar verse for many, but I’ll quote it here: "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." This verse says all things, not some thing, but ALL things. Additionally, Ephesians 6:12 tells us that we do not struggle against people, but against the dark, authorities and powers of this world. These verses encourage me knowing that all of my life circumstances, including this break in relationship, work together for my good, and that I don't have to take it as a personal attack or personal rejection.
2. There’s purpose in “rejection.” I think so often, we see rejection as a form of punishment from our Heavenly Father and as something with no purpose. Friends, this is a LIE from the enemy. While the Lord does at times have to punish us (Whether that is in the form of rejection or not), it is ALWAYS for our good and our response is to give thanks and continue to bring Him praise. I am in awe of, humbled by, and completely wrecked over Hebrews 12:1-11, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 6-7, and countless other passages. These three passages in particular show the purpose of hardships (Which include rejection) and go on to discuss what our responses are to be. The Lord disciplines those He LOVES. Trials are brought forth in our lives FOR OUR GOOD. And we only experience trials, pain, hardships, and rejection if and only IF they are necessary (1 Peter 1:6). We gives thanks and have joy because the Lord’s will is being manifested in our lives. We serve such a loving and gracious God who loves us enough to discipline us and bring forth rejection. That honestly gives me goosebumps.
3. It’s okay to feel sad and even to feel discouraged. That’s normal. Feelings are not necessarily always bad. God created our feelings! Jackie Hill Perri states, “God created us with the capacity to feel ultimately so that we will glorify Him with our feelings.” Feelings are normal, yet we should not allow them to govern our lives. Feelings flow from our hearts, which are deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). That is why we are instructed to guard it, and to lead it by what we know to be true (Proverbs 4:23). Alistair Begg states how, “Faith engages our minds.” It’s important to know this and take hold of this so that we will not be led astray. Hebrews 11:1 states “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” In no way is this passage implying that our faith relies on our feelings. Instead it is an assurance on what we know for fact to be true. So, feel the realness and rawness of the intense emotions for a moment. Don't avoid it. But then, get up and guide your heart!
4. Sometimes the Lord brings forth “rejection” from others to show us how much more He truly and fully not only accepts us, but also chases after us. He knows first hand every thought we’ve ever had and every action we have ever done. Yet, he continues to chase after and pursue us whole-heatedly. (Romans 5:8). That’s beautiful.
5. The Lord withholds no good thing (Psalm 84:11)!! If the Lord desires me to be married one day, then He has someone out there who won’t necessarily be perfect, but they’ll be perfect for me. I believe that and I am excited about that! I have peace about that. I am able to rest in the assurance of Jeremiah 29:11. Praise Jesus for that.
6. I was reminded of my purpose in this life. My sole purpose is not to necessarily date, or to get married and have a young family. Those things may be a part of my purpose and part of His plan.. But my sole purpose in this life is to glorify the Lord and to represent Him well despite my relationship status. To tell others of the Good News and all that He has done.. That is my purpose. (Matthew 28:16-20, Matthew 5:6) When I am walking in step with the Spirit and fulfilling His purpose, then I am able to trust and be at peace that all of the other aspects needed for me to serve Him at my optimal will be provided in His way and at His time.
7. The Lord raises and builds things up and He also tears and breaks things down for His glory. I fully believe that I did hear the Lord correctly. I do believe He raised up this relationship in the beginning and I also believe He was the one to break it down. For without it, I don’t think I would have truly understood and praised Him for the lessons discussed above. Having witnessed His plan for this relationship played out so clearly leaves me thankful and in awe of His instruction and direction. The Lord truly revealed himself so clearly to me through this and as a result, I love Him more.