In moments when I scream “I don’t know!!” or “I can’t take rejection anymore!!” God shows up. Every. Time.
Some times take longer than others. Sometimes He waits patiently while I stupidly exhaust all avenues before going to Him. But He’s always there. In the stillness. In the peace of my prayer time.
One particular morning last week was tough beyond measure. I’d spent a sleepless night tossing and thinking. Anxious about an email I’d read before sleep. Obsessing over one too many rejections. I cried. I released my pain with tears — Hold up! Wait a second. This point actually needs a side note and background clarification before I continue…
Since our foster daughter left in mid-July, I can count on one hand the times I’ve cried. The first time took over a month to transpire. I was numb. Frozen in shocked remorse. I longed for a release but I somehow couldn’t.
I talked with a friend of mine who’d lost her husband two years ago. Her eyes glistened and streamed as we shared common moments in our stories. But even though my heart ached, my eyes remained dry. I felt inhuman. Cold. Unable to fully process.
I’d never had issues with my emotions before. Haha, honestly, I think I was TOO emotional. When I had friends or relationship issues in my teens and twenties, I’d have to excuse myself from conversations to have a good cry in a bathroom stall or else display the waterworks for all to see. So, when I couldn’t cry when bringing up this year’s experiences, it felt unreal and disjointed. Like the wounds could never heal. I’d see an outfit she had on another girl, a backpack she owned on the shoulders of a stranger, a stray artwork stuck under a bed, and I’d feel like I ran into a brick wall. But I never showed it. If you can’t show it, how can it truly be processed and felt??
So, with this background knowledge, know that when I cried uncontrollably last week, it was the first miracle. It might not seem like a miraculous event to some, but to me, well, it was a dam release.
Look for those uncharacteristic miracles. They’re often the most reassuring of God’s love and care for us.
As I released my soul onto my husband’s increasingly wet shoulder, he tried helplessly to comfort me. He mentioned the verse about how a cornerstone that the builders rejected becoming the chief cornerstone. The sentences barely registered as I cried about a true mountain of issues that didn’t simply contain my latest rejections in my art career.
A rejection from a job or a person might hurt, but it’s often not the true root of a problem. In this case, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Maybe you too have been rejected by a job you were counting on, a career path you thought you were destined for, a person you thought you could trust, a future you envisioned, or a hope you cherished. Through a cold email, a text, a phone call, or maybe through no words shared at all. Ghosted is a form of rejection too, after all.
In my cries, I shouted to God. I screamed in my head and I screamed to my now vacant house. “I don’t know what to do!” “How could I be so confident in a future with no hope now?!” “God, where are you?!”
And in the echo, He whispered.
I cried as I flipped through my Bible. I let the pages fall in random order. Often times when I do this, they open to Psalms or Proverbs since they exist in the middle. This time though, Acts flew into view. Chapter Four stuck out. I read. I prayed and I read. My gaze glazed over. Verse eleven shimmered. Could it? No, it is! But how?! I didn’t know this verse existed here!
“He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone.” – Acts 4:11
The verse Andrew mentioned. I had no idea it existed in Acts.
Renewed tears cascaded. My heart burst. God heard me. Jesus heard me. “Thank you!” He knew exactly where to bring me. To hug me. To reach through His Word and embrace my aching self.
I lamented on how Jesus was and is rejected again and again and again. By His people. His own creation. He understands firsthand what I’m going through. And I’m NOT insignificant to the creator of the universe.
I know I’m being vulnerable with y’all. I’m letting you “see” a part of me no one but my husband witnesses. The underbelly of my smiles. The rawness of my strained laugh. For some reason, it’s easier for me to be more “real” on a page versus in person. Maybe it’s cowardly. Or maybe it’s because the written word is my comfort zone. I think it’s why a rejection from a stale, cold email hurts far greater than if I were to hear it in person. The letters burrow into my eye sockets rather than forgetting ears. My failure stares in black and white.
But so does the Word of God.
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For it stands in Scripture: ‘Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.'” 1 Peter 2:4-6
But here are the REAL words I needed to hear so, so badly…
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” – John 15:18-19
Even though I’m blessed with a wonderful family and amazing friends, I’m almost daily reminded that “the world hates me.” Ugh, I feel it so much some days. It’s like I’m fighting an uphill battle. And sometimes those same wonderful family and friends, well, sometimes things aren’t so wonderful. Let’s leave it at that. I think we all get those days. But even when the closest people among us let us down, God has words of comfort for then too:
“Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.” Psalm 27:10
Who or what has rejected you? Are you like me and have received rejections in both your career and hoped-for futures? Or has a loved one let you down? A supposed friend rejected your true-self reveal? A relationship crumbled? Whatever it is, know you’re not alone. Sometimes it feels like I’ve been through it all and can’t take another step, but that’s the very moment God catches me. He never ever wants us to go through things alone. He experienced it all so we can know deliverance. Rejection hurts, but it’s not the end. Not even close.
What’s the ol’ saying? “When God closes a door, He opens a window?” HA! I don’t think so. He has much, much better than a small window for us to shimmy through. That quote isn’t scripture. In fact, when you search for “closed doors” in the Bible, you’ll find how God opens the right doors:
“I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.” – Revelation 3:8
There are many things in this world that don’t benefit us, and God knows all of this. It’s the world that’s doing the rejecting though. God’s just showing us the RIGHT way, if we’d only listen. If we’d only stop trying things in our own power with our own mindsets.
Rejection hurts, but it doesn’t mean God’s angry with us, or that we’re being punished. It’s important to realize this because it helps us to heal. It helps us to turn to the only person who can pick us up. When the world rejects us, it’s God who shows us the open door that, perhaps, was there all along.
I hope this encourages you today. I’d love to hear about the amazing open doors God’s leading you towards! You’ll be hearing some of mine in the months to come. God is good – ALL the time!
“For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.” – Psalm 94:14
This is beautiful, Laura! The work God does in our hearts, through His Word, during times of difficulty is such a precious thing. I think of you often and pray for you when you come to mind. I love what you said about God showing us the RIGHT way, even when it looks like a closed door to us. “We wait for the Lord; he is our help and shield. For our hearts rejoice in him because we trust in his holy name. May your faithful love rest on us, Lord, for we put our hope in you.” (Psalm 33:20-22) Hugs!
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Thanks so much, Whitney. Praise God! He’s so so good. No matter what. Hugs back to you!