It was the last year of junior high. The clock was ticking down before the boy with sandy brown hair and big brown eyes would be off to a different high school than mine.
I had a crush on him since the beginning of seventh grade, but I never got the nerve to talk to him. Until we started dance lessons in gym class. Finally. Square dancing was just the ticket.
We were told to pick our partners to do-see-do. I took a deep breath, and made a bee line to Paul. The gym suddenly felt too warm, like a furnace burning right where I stood.
I smiled. “You wanna be my partner?”
“Hell, no! Are you kidding?!”
I’ll never forget that moment. I wished I was dead. Then, he walked away.
The Golden Rules Of Rejection
I didn’t know what was wrong with me. But, I believed something definitely was.
I was rejected.
This little incident was very big. I drew some lessons that I call The Four Golden Rules of Rejection:
1. Avoid getting rejected.
2. Play it safe.
3. Don’t be a fool.
4. Don’t think you’re all that. ‘Cuz you’re not.
This adolescent memory of rejection was merely the first of many waiting for me in life.
There was — just a sample — losing friends in college, getting dumped, failed interviews, being judged by others, even in ministry, and affections that weren’t reciprocated.
A Mode of Acquiescence
I learned that no matter how confidant I could be about an outcome, I could fall harder than hard. I wish I could say that I’ve learned to dust myself off each time and got back in the saddle.
Sometimes, when you try to live a life, some injuries go deeper than expected. There are hurts that last beyond what actually happened.
The real damage happens when we carry “The Four Golden Rules of Rejection” into as many areas of life as possible.
We slide onto a precarious ledge of rejecting the life God has waiting for us.
… We people-please.
… Say what we think others want to hear.
… Repress our desires.
… Lose our vulnerability.
We move into a mode of acquiescence, rather than living. We become invisible.
How do we combat the fear of rejection?
We reverse the paralysis of risk-adverse living — by following The Four Golden Rules of Fearless Living.
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” 1 Timothy 1:7
Click here to read about The Four Golden Rules of Fearless Living. Don’t miss it. Subscribe now via email (click here) or RSS (click here).
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN, FAITH BARISTAS!
Pour your shot of faith. Write a post on the topic “Rejection” on your blog and share it here with us. Just enter your link below. If you don’t have a blog, you can still share by posting a comment.
I’m looking forward to drinking in your brew! I’d like to encourage us to read the posts shared and comment (as your time allows). By writing what’s true in our lives and giving voice to what we really think and feel, we’re practicing fearless living together.
By keepin’ it real, we’re keeping our faith real.
** Faith Barista Friday Giveaway! **
One faith barista who shares a post today will be randomly selected to win a Faith Barista Coffee Mug — to pour that extra shot of coffee, to go with those extra shots of faith! Check it out!
A big thank you goes to all the faith baristas who served up special brews on rejection! I have been thinking about the posts this weekend — It is amazing to connect and fill in pieces of the puzzle from each of your experiences. Thank you for taking the time to share.
And now — Congratulations to Steph of Layton Family! A Faith Barista Coffee Mug is on it’s way to you!
There are hurts that last beyond what actually happened.
I read somewhere recently that others can only make us a victim once. After that we do it to ourselves. That’s true with situations which are not recurring.
I’m not sure, but I think situations of recurring rejection require looking for how the other person is trying to avoid rejection, determining that we’re not doing that, and understanding the balance between healthy confrontation and what’s not worth making personal.
.-= Anne Lang Bundy´s last blog ..Shared Rejection =-.
You don’t pull punches, Anne… in a good way. 😉
Bonnie, I hadn’t thought about my comment that way. I hope I don’t give even the tiniest hint of apathy for the pain of rejection. It is a pain that can go deep and last long. We can build walls to prevent the pain for recurring. I’d rather build bridges. I pray God uses me that way.
.-= Anne Lang Bundy´s last blog ..Shared Rejection =-.
He is, girl — He is! You keep pouring those shots, Anne. Only you can do what you do.
WOW….I need to take a deep breath, calm my fears that creep up even reading your blog and just dive in! (This is my 2nd time posting and I feel like you’re speaking directly to my heart!)
I’m deeply afraid of rejection. I can’t believe I just typed that. I mean really afraid; I have a deep root of this fear that I know God wants to RIP out. As a christian, I know it shouldn’t be there. As a Jesus Girl, I’m not supposed to give in to fear. I know all that and yet…..
Here’s another thing I’m willing to admit: I often lash out so as to “get ’em first”. I know how incredibly immature that is but I’ve found that this wall I’ve put up prevents me from being rejected–at least a lot of the time. It’s interesting that you wrote about this because, Bonnie, God has REALLY been working with me on this. My husband and I were actually just talking about this the other day. It’s so hard as it does interfere with people I love, like my husband, who would NEVER reject me. You see, for those of us who fear rejection, we do in fact follow the ‘Golden Rules of Rejection’ and for me they have become habits.
By reading God’s word each day, I’m learning that I’m so much more valuable than I think and it’s not right for me to base my worth on what other PEOPLE say/think/show. Even typing this is a sort of healing for me. I need to let out the hurts and then be DONE with them. I agree with what Anne wrote–that a person can hurt me once but then as long as I let that hurt me, I’m the one hurting myself.
This is lengthy but it is so near to my heart; I don’t want to be tied down by my irrational need to be liked, to people-please. I want my TRUE SELF to be known to the world! Thanks for the transparency, Bonnie.
You are definitely a barista, girl! You can write what’s on your heart so directly. I can identify with every single word you’re sayin’. Thanks for keeping it real. It’s an ongoing common struggle, but once the cats outta the bag, it can’t shame us any more. And we are open to being changed. Thank you!
Bonnie, as I read your words, linked posts, and comments, I see a common thread to my own thoughts in “Choosing Rejection”. We must choose to be our true selves, to be as real as the words you share faithfully, if we are to find true acceptance. Runnning from rejection brings a heavy, dark cloak that robs us of the freeing joy of acceptance.
My first MckLinky! Thanks so much, Bonnie! 🙂
Thank you for the honor, Susan! You’re post is BEAUTIFUL – word wise, content wise — and love the photo you picked.
[…] at Faith Barista for Bonnie’s community writing project on […]
Thanks for organizing this post Bonnie. Rejection can be tough when we link our identity with the response of another person.
And if we need a little comic relief while pondering such a weighty topic, I suggest viewing this video from The Flight of the Conchords:
.-= Ed Cyzewski´s last blog ..It’s Hard to Find Time to Worship: Lent, Week 3 =-.
Thanks for posting — and that clip is hilarious! I loved the part where he goes out the balcony and just croons! Thanks.
Oh yes, I’ve been rejected. It’s subtle with women, so I have developed a wary attitude towards them. I have a good group of friends who appreciate me, but I’ve run into quite a few who didn’t. I don’t remember noticing it until I entered the 5th grade where in a new school; I was brought to my teacher. She was a stocky, friendly lady; and I relaxed just a bit. She introduced me to the class, and a group of boys in the front said, ‘She can sit here.’ I went and sat down in the empty seat. Now, you all know that when the guys like you—the girls don’t—so I got the cold shoulder from a lot of the girls at that point. It’s hard to have that happen when you’re young. It may seem like a small thing, but I didn’t realize why I was pushed aside until much later.
In middle school, I decided I wanted to try out for cheerleading. It looked like so much fun—but when I went for practice, one of the girls got in my face and started saying mean, scary things to me. I remember feeling terrified and quietly walking away. I’ve often wondered why people are like that. What makes them that way? Insecurity?
In high school, I remember being screamed at by a girl whose boyfriend walked me down the hall, being bullied by a girl on my bus, called ‘stuck up’, Saint, etc., etc., etc. Once a happy, joyful person, I learned to be shy and very quiet. I didn’t understand ‘mean.’
Even at church, I did not feel accepted by the women in the Woman’s Missionary Union. When I stopped going, they called and called telling me they really cared about me and wanted me to come back. I found a job and never went back. I was tired of snobby women. It was something in the way they acted and never really saw me.
I was a Daddy’s girl. My mother never approved of me—wanted me to be like someone else—criticized me to my face. I told her she wanted a Madam Alexander doll not a real live daughter. She said I was like my Daddy, and Daddy wasn’t good enough for her either. He liked my sketches taped to the wall in my room. My mother always glared at them sighing in a disgusted way. Daddy just said, “It looks like my daughter lives here.”
When I had children, I decided they were His gift to me. My job was to love and nurture His precious treasures watching them unfold giving their beauty to the world. So I did. Now, they are wonderful adults. Any mother would be proud. Rejection often says more about the person who does it than about the one rejected. I have to remember that, but sometimes it is very hard. Thank goodness Abba is there. I’m still pretty much of a Daddy’s girl.
I feel so touched you’d share your story here. Rejection is painful, esp. as a little girl. I didn’t grow up with an earthly father, but like you, I’m my Daddy in Heaven’s girl. And I’m learning to really jump into that skin. Thanks for sharing.
I added my link.. a clip from my NaNoWriMo work. I didn’t try to analyze, explain or in any other way add to the words.. that would indeed be a whole other post!
.-= HisFireFly´s last blog ..Rejection revisited =-.
Actually, changed my mind.. can’t just leave my post as is.. I’m editing and adding a few words of truth from our Lord!
.-= HisFireFly´s last blog ..Rejection revisited =-.
Cool! Thanks His FireFly! I loved reading your story.
Great post Bonnie! I added my link. 🙂
.-= Brett Barner´s last blog ..What Can You Get for a Buck These Days? =-.
Loved how you opened the post! Bam – you got my attention!
[…] Barista is talking about rejection today on her blog. Check out what others are saying… tweetmeme_url = […]
Great post Bonnie- rejection is a terrible master. It kills our hopes and dreams when we’re dominated by it. Big issue, but thankfully we know a big GOD.
.-= jasonS´s last blog ..Light Friday Hit List: 3/11/10 =-.
A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Just tweeted this as a quote!
Ah, junior high square dancing! This has nothing to do with the post I linked, but I have my own jr. high square dancing story. This guy (NOT the kind of guy ANYONE would want to be friends with, much less date) had a major crush on me. He finagled it so he’d have to be my square dance partner. As we were going around the square, he asked me out. I said no. He kept asking over and over and over. I said no every time. He finally said that he wouldn’t leave me alone unless I said yes. I told him I’d never say yes. He asked one more time after that and then, thankfully class was over. A few weeks later, he moved across town and he never bothered me again. Well, except for one incident in high school, but he just talked at me for 20 minutes while I ignored him and carried on a conversation with other people that were around. Finally, he left and I never saw him again. He was quite creepy.
Anyway, the post I linked is about my senior year in high school, and how I learned that my true friends will always be there for me, and how rejection can be a blessing instead of the curse we make it out to be.
.-= Rachel´s last blog ..Back in the ER =-.
Loved your post.. now, just for the record, I only asked him *once*. I’m a smart gal… as for that “guy” from your jr. high. c-r-e-e-p-y… LOL.
These words sting. They pierce deep. Sometimes, you don’t realize you’re doing something until someone says it and you hear it and you know.
.-= Kelly Langner Sauer´s last blog ..I’m doing the mommy thing today… =-.
Well… there’s a reason why I was able to write those lines… me, too. 😉 thnx for sharing. so cool you’re here, Kelly!
woo who – bring on the mug! I need ’em – coffee in the mornings, hot chocolate in the afternoons!! =)
Enjoying your blog!
.-= stef´s last blog ..Bible Study Rejection =-.
Loved your Bible Study rejection post. I’ve experienced that, too. Sometimes, it’s just bad “fishin”. Keep throwing the line out there… 🙂 Loved how you asked the REAL questions and kept it real, Steph!
I didn’t go very deep with my post…the first step is admitting you have a problem, and even though I know I’m allowing acquiescence to run my life, I’m still working on moving past the fear. Great post, Bonnie…and the coffee mug is super cute! 🙂
.-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Sometimes it hurts =-.
Girl, it was a great post! .. whatchu talkin’ ’bout!?
Thanks for this 🙂 I’m going through this right now and honestly, it never gets less painful, no matter how old I am. But what has changed is my perspective. Laced with Truth now…knowing that indeed, there is nothing wrong with me. Cause aren’t we tempted to think that very thing? When we’re rejected, the first thing that comes to mind is “What is wrong with me?” And even though my heart desires to grow and learn from everything the Lord allows to touch me, I know now that He is my hiding place. And I can fight my emotions with the Truth of His word.
Loved it 🙂
It is a lifelong lesson … until we get to heaven & truly belong — and there is no rejection at all there. Loved your affirmation here.
[…] To read more about rejection, head on over to The Faith Barista for a double shot of […]
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This post was mentioned on Twitter by TheBonnieGray: New Post– Come Read Bloggers Open Up About REJECTION http://bit.ly/aNAtCy I Share My Rejection Story, too…
I wanted to add something else to my previous lengthy comment!
**Brooke, I too am going through this right now and I’m right there with you and everyone else who is. (Even more so, Jesus, our High Priest is right along side us)
I’ve come to realize that not only have I put up this brick wall surrounding my heart–but I’ve also allowed the lies of satan to penetrate deep within my soul: “I’m not good enough; I will never be as “spiritual” as so-&s-so; I can’t get this motherhood thing right; etc, etc. God is helping me put a big old stop to that line of thinking. I’m SO THANKFUL for places like your blog, Bonnie and for others who are honest enough to post and be transparent.
As I read through Romans 5 in my NLT bible today these verses stuck out and I hope they bring as much joy to everyone as they did me: “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Rom. 5:3-5, NLT) Despite my fears of rejection and my unmet expecations and disappointments, there is One who loves us unconditionally, without exception; One who will NEVER EVER reject us. God is big enough to conquer our greatest fears and build us up to be the men and women He created us to be! Here are the steps I believe are the ones I need to take to be free from the iron clasp of my rejection fears:
~Give these fears to God
~Be vulnerable; open up to others (the hardest one for me!)
THIS really helped me today….as usual you do Keep it REAL and honest…Love you all and God’s Peace to all !!!
These are great posts, aren’t they!?
Bonnie, if I had been your gal pal in Jr. High, I would have smacked that mean ol’ boy upside the head for you!
Just kiddin’! Sort of. 🙂
Unfortunately, your 4 rules of rejection look waaay too familiar. I will definitely be tuning in to read your 4 rules of fearless living!
Thank you so much for posting this. I am doing a Bible study now on insecurity and this post is right on par with the things I’ve been learning. I love how God works that out! 🙂
Have a great weekend!
.-= Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms´s last blog ..A Posse That Won’t Give You the Boot =-.
I wish you were there, Kristen! That would have been AWESOME! LOL! 🙂
Rejection forces us to focus on ourselves, trying to see what the other person not only saw, but didn’t like. Looking at ourselves isn’t good at all. At least not beyond some healthy level of introspection. I think it’s wonderful that you’d pick rejection as a topic for all of us to write on because frankly, we’ve all been there. We all need healing from it and God is the only One who could do it.
.-= Jake´s last blog ..You’re Staring at My . . . =-.
We all need healing — how reassuring is that! We know it in our heads, but when we see it in print, like we do hear, it really reminds us we are all the same. And it is strengthening and heartening. Thnx for your post, Jake!
My birthday came and went without a card, gift, letter, or phone call from my mom or sister. I was ok with it because, being stationed in Germany, phone calls were expensive and mail took a long time to arrive. My brother was stationed in Germany, too, and I heard nothing from him either, which bothered me a little.
A month or so later, a friend of mine, who had recently moved to Germany, was to come visit me. I was so looking forward to her arrival to talk to her about the things of God and share our experiences. I was hoping she could help me understand Him better. I waited all day for her to arrive. She never came. I was disappointed, but figured something had come up. I wrote her asking what had happened.
It was a Friday, when the mail arrived with two letters. First one I read was from my mom, which was dated on my birthday with no mention of what day it was in any part of what she had written. The second letter was from my friend telling me that she didn’t come because God had told her not to, that He told her He had told me the same thing, she was writing to let me know-since I hadn’t heard what she had, and we were not to have contact with each
other ever again.
I looked up at God and said, “If You did tell her that, I am mad at You.”
BAM! Straight to the heart. I felt abandoned…REJECTED by my mom, my sister, my brother, my friend, and my God. The pain was so intense. It was like a raw wound in my chest with blood pouring out without any clotting, just a constant flow full of pain and anquish for 3 days. Nothing anyone said made me feel any better. No one who had a relationship with God would I listen to because they were ‘in with God’ and I was on the outside.
I was miserable the rest of the day. Saturday came with me weeping continually and not in my right mind. I went for a walk yelling and crying out to Him in my anquish. I wanted Him to tell me why. I asked Him to tell me if He was real or had I been believing a lie. I wanted proof. I wondered if everything I had believed about Him was a lie. He said nothing. Thoughts of killing myself kept coming at me. I would not do that because, at the point of death, I didn’t want to be disappointed that there was no God.
I scared my children so much that the oldest went and got my hubby. He did not realize how bad I was until he got home. He couldn’t do or say anything to help me, neither could my children.
Unbeknowst to me, many people were praying for me.
My hubby became afraid for me and would not leave me alone. My children were afraid because they could not understand what was wrong with mommy. My hubby called my brother and told him what was going on. When he heard I was doubting God, he knew things were serious and the two of them worked out a way for me and my brother to get together.
Sunday morning my hubby took me to see my brother. I had no hope anything would come of the visit. My brother and I discussed the circumstances. I was able to listen to him because he did not have an ‘in with God’. He apologized for forgetting about my birthday. He also said, “Based on all that you have told me in the past about God and Satan, it sounds to me like you were able to withstand the attacks from the enemy when each attack happened, but when the attacks hit you all at the same time, you caved in.”
I saw the truth and told God I was sorry for doubting Him. I forgave my brother, my mom, my sister, and my friend. The blood started clotting, the pain and anquish ceased, and the wound started healing.
Within the next couple of weeks, I received birthday presents from my mom and sister. They hadn’t forgotten me. It just took a very long time for them to arrive. I had so let the enemy deceive me.
It took a while before I allowed myself to fully trust God’s and my relationship again. During this time of healing, God showed me His faithfulness and love in small things. He taught me to trust Him, even when a friend writes or says things that hurt me.
I was at a prayer meeting and told the women there of my struggle and how Iwanted everything to be right between me and God again. They all prayed for me and as they did, He spoke to me telling me that He had forgiven me, now I needed to forgive myself. I did and
the floodgates opened. All the pent up guilt washed away. I was covered by His amazing love. Our relationship was healed and whole again.
What has amazed me about the whole incident was He never left me, even though I thought He had. He was never angry with me, even though I thought He should be. He had protected me the entire time, which is why I did not kill myself. He did not leave me in my quagmire, but put me with the people who would draw me out. I have never doubted His love for me again.
God loves us so much, He won’t let us suffer beyond relief. What a sharing in hindsight. Thank you!
Whoa….I’m so afraid of rejection that I’m even afraid to comment here!! I fear being rejected period. Like Amy V. I feel I should be past this. I’ve been a child of God since High School and I’m a 52 yr old grandma now.
I read a blog by Citizen Girl about surrendering to God’s Will instead of adapting and it and this blog have struck a big cord in my heart. I feel as if I am dodging bullets all the time. People pleasing, apologizing, over caretaking, making sure I never allow myself to be selfish. I WANT CHANGE! I want to want what God wants. I want to quit making it so hard. I want to trust God to show Him how much I love Him.
I love you ladies and am so thankful for all of you. I’m stepping out on a limb and trusting God to carry me through this time in my life and to give me wisdom. Dealing with “stuff” that always pops up when I decide to take a stand. I will be praying for all of you and thank you for praying for me
Love, a sister in Christ,
Yeah, Corie! To every system, when a new dynamic is introduced, there will be change. You stepping out to tell us you want change — being real — that is a mark of trusting God. Change is gonna come.
My dad walked out when I was 5 years old. I explain that I was 35 years old when I was delivered from that rejection. However, somehow at age 7, I grabbed hold of God and never let go. I was a child of Hope and Faith. I was too tall, had bugs bunny teeth, and was painfully shy. I was definitely a late bloomer. However, that rejection made me think about what kind of life I did want, what kind of spouse, what kind of parent I wanted to be. That rejection spurred me to make better life choices. And it gave me a compassionate heart. My dad never met my sons and died when he was 56. I remember hearing “Butterfly Kisses” and saying,m “O.K. God – you are the world’s best father – but I definitely need something down here.” An 70+ year old couple from our church somehow became like spiritual parents to me. My friend’s husband would say to my husband, “Maryleigh, you look lovely today. ” And then he’d turn to my husband, “Have you told your wife how lovely she looks today?” And little comments,s little things like that – father words that I’d never had before. Yes, my own father rejected his family and me – but God healed me inside and out!
What a beautiful testimony — that is real. Now, that is powerful. Thank you for taking time to share. My dad left when I was five, too…
I have been rejected recently – strongly.And the sadness engulfs me. I’m trying to learn a lesson here, but it’s difficult. All of these comments help!
Sometimes, in the moment – there are no lessons, other than trusting there will be one. Thanks for sharing, David. And yes, we all share this rejection thing in common. We’re in it together. 😉
Is this ever timely ….
I was just sharing with a friend this morning how there are certain things I won’t do or won’t risk because of the fear of rejection. Great post.
.-= Jennifer´s last blog ..What To Do With the Pain =-.
Ah… Now, you got me curious… 🙂 If you happen to do “it”, lemme know. I’ll be there to cheer you on. Most importantly, God will have your back.
I linked the beginnings of some thoughts on this… Been thinkin’ all weekend…
.-= Kelly Langner Sauer´s last blog ..Self-Portrait: Covered =-.
Thanks for the link up. What a beautiful post.
[…] I got it wrong. I will be burned regardless of how I saw the water in my glass. Rejection is a universal human experience. […]
[…] couple weeks ago, I put a call out for bloggers and readers of Faith Barista to share their stories of rejection. We have also been exploring the whole notion of God’s blueprints for our lives and trying […]
[…] Steph Layton did just that. Steph participated in Faith Barista Friday by writing a post about rejection a couple weeks ago. Inspired by fellow bloggers’ posts, she decided to approach Studio JRU […]
[…] Faith Barista Jam Invitation: Take The What-If […]
It is hard not to say what you think others want to hear. It is hard not to “people please.”
Don’t we all want to be liked/loved? It is part of human nature.
[…] 7. The Golden Rules of Rejection […]
[…] with a group of other bloggers, who have joined with Faith Barista in discussing Rejection….check it out over at her blog. […]
[…] I got it wrong. I will be burned regardless of how I saw the water in my glass. Rejection is a universal human experience. […]
Thanks for a marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it,
you can be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back later in life.
I want to encourage yourself to continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!