I am reading a book on rejection. I think this author is effective. She is a counselor and has written a series on the common areas people struggle. Our writing styles and her approach to counseling are similar in that there are core issues behind the behavior and behind the behavior are patterns of familiar yet unhealthy thinking deep rooted in the heart. She doesn’t go on some religious lecture quoting all these theological complex thoughts, it’s just real life, real situations, clearly and concisely written without compromising the truth!
I have felt conviction and experienced freedom in the area of rejection. About 10 years ago, the Lord showed me wounds deep down. I had responded to those wounds with judgments, that at that time, I prayed through with a mentor and received healing and freedom. Since then whenever situations trigger rejection I have to work through the layers to identify what I am thinking or feeling when it happens. Recently, the Spirit showed me through what seemed to be unlikely situations in my marriage but demanded certain responses (behavior resulting from what I was thinking) were not really a result of the current situation necessarily rather rooted seeds of rejection that needed uprooting which brings me to the crux of this post.
In striving for affirmation and acceptance we soon discover the futility of looking to temporal things. Clearly, Jesus understood this because we read in John 2 that He “did not commit Himself to them (the many that believed in His Name when they saw the signs which He did) because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” (v. 24-25) Ouch, but thank you Jesus, this is so freeing, even Jesus was tempted to look to his friends for applause.
For me, feeling seen, or should I say not feeling seen has been a real wounding place. Lately, over and over the connection between rejection, value and feeling unseen keeps popping up. Not that I just now am seeing (pun intended) where I have been rejected but more so how I have responded to that rejection.
All through Scripture is the usage of God’s eyes:
The eyes of the Lord is on those who fear him; “the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,” “the eyes of the Lord are in every place;” let these alone sink into your soul! There’s more though:
We are the apple of His eye (Deut 32:10, Zec 2:8);
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to him. (2 Chron 16:9a)
This list is not exclusive, and we don’t find many other anatomical parts of God in Scripture except a few places like: His “arm” is outstretched and not too short to save for example; his “ear” and hearing our prayers and maybe somewhere there is implication that he is using his feet, but His eye is used over 88 times in Scripture.
The eyes being the pathway to the soul are powerful. Rejection is seen in the eyes. We feel valued in being seen, which is why so often we look to man to see us, to feel accepted and affirmed making rejection the most powerful emotion I believe.
June Hunt, in her book: Rejection: Healing a Wounded Heart says:
“Nothing cuts to the core as deeply as rejection. Even death, while heartbreaking doesn’t leave such lasting wounds!”
Another area I think is prevalent among Christians but appears as humility is looking to ministry to find value. Each week, my husband and I lead (whatever we call it as we are not officially leaders) and host, a community group. Even in this, God has used this to show me where true leadership comes from. When we see Jesus over and over again not making a point to inflate or even tell who he is and yet he had all the influence, He is God for crying out loud! But as I grow in influence, because of who I am in Christ, Christ in me, I continue to be reminded that we live in a performance based society. We crave affirmation from man. Being performance based driven isn’t a new societal issue rather it began in the Garden. We want to be seen, noticed and rewarded. We like to hear how great we are. But in God’s kingdom that isn’t really what fills our spiritual beings.
I believe the only way to be healed of rejection and truly feel seen is by seeing God!
Christianity isn’t what “I do” for God. We don’t read our Bible for the sake of reading, we read the Bible to see God! Ironically though, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
In the times that I receive accolades for sharing a word of wisdom, or answered prayers as a result of interceding or helping in a time of need, I remember how frail man is. I remember that one day they may be thanking me and the next I could fail them in some way and they reject me. Grace is free but grace is messy! Love is messy!
I pray we are healed from the wounds of rejection. And that we are set free from the patterns of thinking that lead to more rejection. Lastly, I pray that we see God every time we open our Bibles and press in until we do; that the Holy Spirit would enlighten the eyes of our heart and we would be sanctified and made whole and complete until the day of Christ Jesus because we know we are accepted by God, Amen! (Ephesians 1)