Rejection is one of the most painful wounds you could ever receive. Not only does it damage your self-image and confidence, but rejection wounds your soul and spirit like nothing else can.
Because God is Love, rejection is one of Satan’s weapons of choice. He works very hard using whatever, and whomever he can to make us feel unloved and worthless.
In my own life, seeds of rejection were planted in me while still in my mother’s womb. As my tiny fingers and toes were being formed, so was the knowledge that I was unwanted. To some, that might seem strange, but our spirit is fully formed at the time of conception, and is able to pick up on our mother’s feelings. Even medical science has proven that infants in utero are aware of and react to external stimuli.
In the 1940’s, many women who conceived out of wedlock used homemade remedies to try to abort unwanted pregnancy. Fortunately for me, none of those remedies did away with my physical existence. To add to my mother’s fear, doctors had warned her that giving birth could kill her because of a severe heart condition she had since childhood. I heard this sad story constantly growing up—reinforcing the fact that I was a mistake.
My childhood and teen years were marked by physical and emotional abuse at the hands of my mother, who also had been raised in an abusive home. All this turned me into one rejected mess! It was etched into my soul that I was unwanted, had no value, and shouldn’t even exist. As it often does, rejection turned into rebellion; and a hardness began to grow inside me, along with anger and bitterness. I can remember lying in bed as a child and vowing that I would never let anyone hurt me again. Subconsciously I said, “No more” and put on a defensive front for self-protection.
When I came to Christ in my twenties, I brought all that ugly baggage with me. Instead of surrendering it to the Lord, I thought it was up to me to fix myself (as if I ever could).
I loved God. I knew if I died I’d go to heaven, but I couldn’t get victory over the anger, rage, and rejection that were controlling me. Yes, there were areas I had allowed Christ to touch and heal; but in the areas where I was most wounded, I remained unchanged.
Healing takes time and commitment. It’s a process. After all these years, God is still working in me, still healing me.
I shared all that because most people don’t like to admit that they still deal with rejection. They’ve spent so much of their lives trying to cover it up with all kinds of defense mechanisms.
Some of you might be thinking, “Well, I’m ok, this isn’t for me.”
Trust me, God isn’t finished with you either. We all need more healing.
If you still get hurt or offended; if you get defensive at times; if anger sometimes rises up from nowhere; if you blame-shift or gossip even once in a while—guess what? You need more healing. Emotional healing is key to our spiritual growth. It’s key to breaking free and living well. You can’t mature spiritually if you are wounded emotionally.
The way I grew up—and maybe you too—was the exact opposite of what God planned for us. God’s perfect plan is for all children to be raised and nurtured by godly parents. Our earthly father was meant to be a picture of Himself: loving, caring, protecting. Our parents were to lead us into a personal relationship with Christ, teach us the Word, take us to church and live godly lives before us. That was God’s perfect plan.
Unfortunately, that’s not how most of us grew up. Sin entered that perfect picture and perverted everything. Parents are more likely to pass on to their children the same brokenness and dysfunction in which their parents raised them. You can’t give what you yourself haven’t received. Satan is a very real enemy and he wants to destroy you any way he can—the younger the victim, the better he likes it.
When we don’t receive unconditional love and nurturing; when we get the exact opposite—abuse, criticism, anger, sarcasm, rejection—these things sink their roots deep into our souls. When you hear daily: “You always mess up… You can’t do anything right… You’re stupid… clumsy… ugly…” you fill in the blank—hear it enough and you begin to believe it. Inferiority sets in, self-hatred, fear, depression.
Rejection causes you live life by your feelings. Your emotions control you. You make wrong choices to accommodate your fears and insecurities, and life keeps getting worse.
But know this: God has healing for you! Not only does He want to heal you, He wants to be that perfect, loving Daddy to you. He wants to love you with a pure, healthy love. He wants to fill up all of the empty, broken places inside of you. He wants to make you whole.
Some of you are still carrying pain from things you experienced many years ago. Satan won big-time. He was the one in control of those bad situations or people who hurt you. I think it’s time to take back what’s been stolen, don’t you? It’s time you and I win. That’s what we’ll talk about next week: Solutions and strategies in the Healing Process.