Fear of rejection.
It is real.
I have only edited these words 5 bazillion times because of it.
What MIGHT people say? How many likes or site hits will there be?
In every area of life, the enemy tries to convince us to use fear as our fuel over faith.
We are frozen in the shadow of what someone might think.
We are paralyzed by the fear of rejection.
Because the pain of rejection is very real.
And if you've ever experienced the PAIN of rejection, then it is something you choose to avoid.
That is why the FEAR of it is so powerful and persuasive.
I get stuck spinning my wheels in the mud and muck of those times the worst fears of this people pleasing perfectionist were realized and rejection happened.
So how do we move forward?
How do we move forward CERTAIN we can avoid the pain of rejection?
The answer: we can't.
Rejection is a part of life.
It cannot be completely avoided.
We must to learn (notice I said WE- because I am STILL learning!) how to navigate rejection instead of being paralyzed by the thought of it or drowned in its wake.
We must choose, God helping us, to change our perspective.
See, what we call rejection, God calls protection and redirection.
It isn't the END of the road, it's a BEND in the road.
We have to acknowledge that we will experience rejection, and know that, through faith in Jesus, we not only can survive, but ultimately thrive WHEN (not IF) rejection comes our way.
How do we do that?
These are 5 steps I have been walking through to navigate the storm that is rejection. Maybe they can be a lifeline for you as well.
1. Acknowledge the hurt. Write it down. Put words to the pain. And then? Forgive.
It won't happen overnight. But it has to be a choice before it is a realized feeling. So choose to turn toward forgiveness and God will weave it into the fabric of your heart one thread at a time.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.””
John 16:33 NLT
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Colossians 3:13 NLT
“Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.”
Hebrews 12:15 NLT
2. Acknowledge what different choices you can make next time, the ways you can personally grow.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Psalms 139:23-24 NLT
3. Acknowledge SPECIFICALLY the lies that the enemy is screaming at you about who you are through this rejection. Write them down, even though it may be painful. He only wants to derail and disarm you. Don't let him.
Jesus says about the devil, your enemy, “...He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
John 8:44 NLT
4. REPLACE each of those specific lies with God's truth- who HE says you are. Dig in His Word and find out what HE says about you. Write them down, even though you might not quite believe them yet. Repeat them daily. Put them on notecards and put them in the places and spaces you will be, find them in songs, say them aloud. Don't leave space for the lies to take root.
“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.”
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
Psalms 139:17-18 NLT
5. Do the next thing. Take the next step. Refuse to pitch your tent in the campground of rejection. Put a pin in the map o your life and acknowledge it as a part of your journey, but don't let it become your default destination. Pack it up and move forward- even if it's at a snail's pace.
Fill your time with constructive, positive, life giving things. Find companionship first with Jesus. Volunteer your time.
Worship Him. Dream. Hope. Laugh. Give. Do.
And whatever it is you're afraid to do, if God is asking you to do it, do it afraid.
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
“Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
I know if you're a lifelong people pleasing perfectionist and you're thinking this list of 5 things seems messy and foggy and wildly unpredictable and uncontrollable....well...you're right.
It's surrender. But not the kind that means defeat. It's surrender that is your victory.
These 5 steps don't mean you can move on overnight or that no pain will be present through the process. It simply means you have a plan, a process for healing that you are choosing to step into.
It's your plan for moving on from being paralyzed by the fear and pain of rejection, and instead be propelled into your purpose filled, Holy Spirit empowered life.
What we call rejection, God calls protection and redirection.
God has protected you from what was on that path by redirecting you to another.
THAT is when the fear of rejection no longer controls us and FAITH takes the reigns.
Don't let fear of rejection paralyze you.
Let it propel you toward a deeper faith in Jesus, knowing that He has a perfect plan for your life. He has prepared you for every step and He will never leave you.
This is #SimpleTruth that can help you navigate rejection all the way through to Christ centered, Truth empowered healing and freedom.
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.”