REJECTION! That’s a strong word. A really strong word. A word that makes you feel like someone has put a label with the word worthless on you or there’s a big wall beside you that keeps excluding you from some good and important things in life.
The sharp pain rejection puts in the heart makes you wish you could turn back the hands of time. You wish you never laid eyes on the person that has inflicted this pain on you. You wish you never got involved, never opened up your heart and feelings to this person. Whether the rejection came just as you started having such strong and deep feelings for the person or it came after you told your friends and family that you had finally found the man or woman of your dreams, or it even came on your wedding day when you were left standing alone at the altar, it’s very painful to be rejected, especially by someone you love or care about. You feel like your heart has been ripped out or cut into a hundred different pieces.
There was a time in my life I experienced this heart-piercing pain. No part of your body aches, but you are in pain. It’s not a pain that any doctor or drug can take away. It’s not one of those pains that crying can make you feel better or get off your chest. It’s a pain that only God can reach deep into your heart to heal. And when He steps in to heal, believe me, you will wonder why you were so upset and discouraged in the first place. You will feel very foolish for ever pinning away over what that person said or did to you because when God binds up the broken hearted (Psalm 147:3), He opens your eyes to see that the failed relationship which you thought was the end of your world, was the beginning of something great in your life. He helps you see that it wasn’t a person that walked out of your life but a problem you don’t have the capacity to handle that just left you.
There isn’t a year that goes by that one, two, ten, a hundred, or even a thousand people aren’t heartbroken, disappointed, and rejected. You may be reading this today and that’s exactly where you are right now. You actually thought this year would put an end to your spinster or bachelor days and translate you to the domain of the married. But here you are heartbroken and devastated because someone you were considering spending the rest of your life with, has trampled on your heart and feelings. What aggravates the pain is the fact that the person didn’t even have the decency to talk things over with you; he or she just left you a note or sent you a text to end the relationship.
I know what you are going through hurts, but you must put things in their proper perspective. Though you have been rejected by a guy or a lady, you haven’t been rejected by the Person that matters most; you haven’t been forsaken by God. Probably, you have cried your eyes out, you haven’t been sleeping well, have lost weight from thinking and thinking and thinking, and now you are a sorry sight to look at. I know what it feels like because I’ve been there before. But I want you to put everything that has happened to you in its proper perspective; I want you to see where you still have an edge.
Imagine if this was your last day on earth. The day the curtain of your life is closed and you have to stand face to face before God. As you come before God happy that finally, you get to meet the One that controls the entire universe, you hear loud and clear “depart from me you workers of iniquity, I know you not” (Matthew 7:23). That’s a type of rejection I pray never to experience. That’s a type of rejection that pales into insignificance any heartbreak you could ever experience in the hands of a guy or lady you love. At least when a guy or lady rejects you, there’s every possibility that you will meet someone else and get into another relationship. But when God rejects you, who and what do you fall back on? David understood that it’s better to be rejected by man than for God to be the One rejecting you. This was why he correctly stated in Psalm 27:10 that “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up”. When men reject you, God takes up your case. But if it is God rejecting you, tell me, who has the power to revisit or take up a case that the Almighty God has thrown aside? The consequence of being rejected by God is eternally disastrous, it’s not something to just cry or be sad about for a month. So my first encouragement to anyone that has been heartbroken is don’t be sad to the point of despair. Don’t give in to self-pity, don’t cling to your pain, be thankful that it is a person, not God that has rejected you.
Having established that you are on safe ground; you still have God with you and by your side, the next thing to understand is what happens when God takes up the case of someone who has been rejected by man. Isaiah 60: 15 says “Although you have been forsaken and hated with no one traveling through, I will make you the everlasting pride and the joy of all generations”. What this scripture means is that though you have been through failed relationships, though no one seems to be interested in you, no one has ever asked your hand in marriage, or everyone you ask keeps giving you a capital NO! Considering that it is a man, not God that has rejected and forsaken you, there’s still hope. You can still be a candidate for a miracle. God can take up your case and give you a testimony that this generation as well as generations after you will be talking about. I pray God gives you this kind of testimony.
Rejection if not put in its proper perspective can breed an inferiority complex. You start thinking it’s because you are not pretty, handsome, smart, nice, intelligent, or even spiritual enough that’s why you have been rejected. You start feeling so inadequate. Where there are areas of weakness or mistakes you made along the way that shipwrecked the relationship, surrender them to God and receive divine grace to learn from your mistakes and improve where you are weak. But don’t allow a bad experience or anyone’s negative opinion of you to become the mirror through which you see yourself. The truth about who you really are can only be found in God’s Word.
The rejection you are experiencing today is nothing compared to the kind Christ faced. People booed Him out of their city (Mark 8:34, Luke 4:29), and many looked down on Him and didn’t bother to listen to Him because as far as they were concerned He was nothing but the son of an ordinary carpenter (Mark 6:33). You have been rejected by one or a few people, Jesus was rejected by a whole generation (Luke 17:25). But because Jesus was able to see Himself through the eyes of God, not through the eyes of those who rejected Him, the stone the builders rejected became the capstone (1 Peter 2:7). This is what happens to a person that is rejected by man but not forsaken by God. When God has His eyes on you, when God hasn’t turned His back on you, though you may be rejected today, He can raise and link you to other people that will celebrate you. This will be your testimony in Jesus’ mighty name. God will lift you out of the miry clay of rejection and surround you with people who will honor, celebrate and value you.
No matter what happens or doesn’t happen in your life, keep praising God. His plan for your life is infinitely greater than what you think or what anybody thinks or says about you. Nothing beats the plan of God. It’s His plan not just being able to tell people that you are married that you should pursue. As you stay focused on God and keep praising Him, His plan will unfold. When it does, you will be grateful for some ‘bad’ experiences you have been through.
Tesh Njokanma is a lawyer by training whose heart is in writing. She is a prolific writer with 15 years of experience as a Magazine Editor. She is a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God with a prayer and teaching ministry. Tesh is married with children.