If you have ever felt rejected, it might be hard for you to, as they say, “put yourself out there again.”
Maybe you loved someone and you were not loved back. Maybe you lost a job you loved.
When that happens, it’s easy to feel defeated and want to give up. You just want to curl up in a ball, and hide. That’s they way I felt when my 11-year marriage ended, and lost what I thought was a dream job. You might be surprised to hear that Jesus knows exactly how you feel.
You’re not the only one
I was reading this morning in my Bible about when Jesus went back to visit his hometown, Nazareth. He had been traveling, healing people, casting out demons from people, and finally He arrives back home in Nazareth and is the guest preacher at the Synagogue that He grew up in. In the town where his brothers and sisters still live, where He was a carpenter. You would think that he was celebrated as a home-town boy that made it and it was a packed house. Nope, they rejected Him. In fact, the Bible says they were deeply offended and refused to believe in Him.
“Then Jesus told them, ‘A prophet is honored everywhere except in his own hometown and among his relatives and his own family.’ And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief” (Mark 6:4-6).
That makes me sad. It also reminds me of the humanity of Jesus. We forget that yes He was God, but He was also a human and dealt with the same rejection that we deal with. The thing that’s so great and different about Jesus is that He didn’t give up. In fact, that’s when things went viral.
The very next verse says, “Then Jesus went from village to village, teaching the people. And he called his 12 disciples together and began sending them out two by two” (Mark 6:4-7).
He sent out his disciples after that experience. They divided and conquered.
The very thing that could have stopped Him in his tracks inspired Him to work even harder. This is the Bible’s version of Go Big, or Go Home.
The Best Worst Thing
I remember after my marriage ended four years ago I felt like I’d been thrown out with the trash. I was discarded, considered not needed, unloved and traded in for a newer, thinner model. My children were 4, 20 months and 9 weeks old. I was postpartum, breastfeeding and still wearing those stretchy maternity pants. I weighed 200 lbs.
I crawled in that “hole” for a while to hide from the world, but I didn’t stay there. The difference was, I knew Jesus. I knew the power he has to transform lives. This time, I asked him to do it for me. He gave me the strength and courage to crawl out of my hole and go to the gym. At first it was an effort to get my ex-husband back, or to just get even (gotta be honest). I got skinny, but it didn’t get him back.
Then one day, I walked into a CrossFit box. Suddenly I didn’t care about getting him back or getting skinny, I was going to get STRONG. After two years of box jumps, burpees, thrusters and snatches, I learned: You never know how strong you are until you have to be. The result has been more than “getting skinny.”
I got strong. I like myself.
Turns out the rejection that I was experiencing was self-inflicted. I’m the one who chose to feel “thrown out with the trash.” I had rejected myself.
Now I choose to love myself and love the life I live. I don’t need anyone else to define my worth other than my relationship with Jesus. Who cares what others think! Yes, I have muscles. Yes, I can dead lift 324. No, I don’t know what I weigh. I don’t care. I discovered how strong I can be, physically and mentally. The biggest benefit is my children see an example of a strong, capable and independent woman. Him leaving was the best, worst thing that ever happened.
My friend, if your marriage, your love or your career aspirations have been rejected, please don’t give up. Take the example of Jesus, and let it propel you forward. Live Life Big! Maybe for the first time allow yourself to accept the love and forgiveness that Jesus died for. He suffered so you can love the life you live. He was rejected. He would never do the same to you. He didn’t suffer so you could ignore him, reject him and beat yourself up for mistakes (that he paid the price for).
Ask him for help to find out how strong you can be when you let him into your life. Accept His help. This just might become the BEST worst thing that has ever happened to you. Time to reinvent yourself.