Facing Rejection with Humility

Photo Credit: Pixabay.com

It seems everyone has dealt with rejection at one time or another in their lives. Rejection comes in many forms. It may be when you tried to make a friend in elementary school, but was teased and laughed at instead. In high school, you may have wanted to go to the prom with a boy or girl that you had a crush on, only to find out that they already had a date or had no interest in you. Even in adulthood, there are all kinds of rejection stemming from interviewing for a job to being declined for a loan for that beautiful home you dreamed of.

No matter how rejection finds you, the emotions that follow are real. The one person who suffered rejection was Jesus Christ. Throughout his ministry, he was taunted, scorned, and rejected. He could not even provide miracles in his hometown of Nazareth because they would not accept him or his teaching. He was kicked out of the synagogue while speaking, yet he did not walk with a scornful heart.

Rejection is a hard pill to swallow and can lead to other issues if you’re constantly rejected by others. It can stripe you from your self-esteem and confidence leaving you to feel like you’re not good enough or it can be the root of jealousy when you start to compare yourself to others. When you have suffered betrayal, insecurity, frustration, and fear, it tends to overwhelm your emotional state.

depression-1252577_640_edited

Rejection does not feel good, but when you know and understand that there is a process in pain and that the Lord is establishing and guiding your footsteps, as well as shaping your character, it shines a new perspective on such negative feelings.

Here is just a few benefits of rejection:

  • Builds character
  • Develops thicker skin and makes you stronger
  • Provides safety and protection from unseen danger or harm
  • Teaches you how to accept rejection and move on
  • Pushes you to greatness by developing yourself on a personal, spiritual, emotional, mental and physical level
  • Increases patience
  • Motivates and pushes you to try harder

When you feel rejected, understand that there is a loving God who created you and loves you unconditionally. It’s often hard to grasp his love at times because we live in a physical world, but we are made up of spiritual DNA and also battle with things we cannot visually grasp. Our battle is not with flesh and blood but with spiritual things in high places. (Eph 6:10-17)

Don’t allow rejection to destroy who you are. Speak words of encouragement to yourself and to others. Build a support group of positive, nurturing friends who will inspire and motivate you. However, make sure can motivate and encourage yourself. Work on yourself every day.

Learn a new hobby or participate in your community. To attend a conference or seminar to learn something new. Keep growing. Don’t take rejection personally. Stand tall in your abilities, talents, and gifts. Just keep it moving. When you know who you are in Christ, you will not be swayed by the opinions of others and the pressures of the world.

Prayer

Lord, we receive your unconditional love. Heal our hearts from the pain of rejection. Let us not look to the world for our worth, but to you who created us in your image. You hold all the power in your hands. Thank you for your love and the freedom to be me.

In Jesus name, Amen


The Act of Forgiveness

words of anger

“Let all bitterness, indignation, wrath, resentment, quarreling and slander be banished from you. Esphesians 4:31

Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do when someone has hurt or mistreated you. Many people spend years being angry, resentful or even revengeful. Depending on how deep the pain or experience, it may take years to recover and release emotional, mental or psychological abuse.

Just because you forgive someone, does not mean you have to keep them close to you. I remember watching the Oprah Winfrey show years ago and she stated, “Once someone shows you their true colors the first time, believe them.” I thought that was a very powerful statement which I carry with me through life.

True character will eventually be exposed. People may try to mask their negative behaviors or attitudes, but it will eventually be revealed. If you don’t like the way someone treats you, you have a choice to remove yourself. You should also be cautious about who you choose to be in your circle. Negative attitudes and behaviors are contagious. Just like the saying goes, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” However, sometimes it is unavoidable to escape a negative person or environment. But, just because someone has done you wrong, does not justify treating them or others the same way. You are bigger than that situation or person.

Forgiveness is a process of letting go. It is by no means easy. It may even take years to overcome. Forgiveness may start in the mind, but it has to end in the heart. You can tell yourself that you forgive someone, but when you see them again or have to deal with them, negative emotions flair up. You truly know you have forgiven them when you can have peace in your heart, spirit and mind even if you never see them again.

When you live with unforgiveness, you are bound like a prisoner. Your emotions are locked up which can eventually lead to health problems and even terminal illnesses. Conditions of the heart is a real and serious thing. It can eventually destroy an individual, a marriage, family, a friendship, a work relationship or a community.

Jesus was the ultimate example of forgiveness. After being mocked and beaten, He hung on the cross and he said, “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34

Jesus’s whole ministry is about love and forgiveness. Most people in the world feels that forgiveness is a sign of weakness. However, it is a true sign of strength. It takes more maturity, courage, wisdom, strength and power to forgive.

If Jesus can forgive us for all the things we continue to do on a continuous basis and we “as His children” are heirs to the kingdom, we have the ability and the power to forgive others. “He (Jesus) who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4

When you forgive, you are set free. And, “Who the Son sets free, is free indeed.” John 8:36

“Judge not and you shall not be judged, condemn not and you shall not be condemned, forgive and you shall be forgiven”  Luke 6:37

Healing in the Garden

flower-garden-11291224875Iks“Be not deceived, God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man sows, that he shall also reap. Gal 6:7

When you plant a seed in a garden, it takes care, patience and time for the fruit, vegetable, tree, plant or flower to grow. The roots must maintain proper moisture for nutrients to be absorbed. Too much water or sunlight can kill it, as well as extreme temperatures or weather patterns. While the sun provides Vitamin D which is essential for the growth process, the elements of the environment can either destroy, hinder or produce life.

We are also a product of our environment. From birth, we have been conditioned and influenced by our families, communities and our society. We may have grown up in a negative environment or developed negative habits along the way. Negative attitudes, habits or behavior is like a virus which is very hard to get rid of. However, we also have the ability to change. “Be transformed, by the renewing of the mind.” Rom 12:2

It takes time and effort and can also be very painful or scary to take a good look in the mirror and analyze yourself. It may not even be your own fault. Abuse, neglect and other painful experiences and memories can cause a blockage or magnify negative emotions. But once you decide to weed out the causes of the behavior and get to the root of the problem, you will eventually dismiss those negative behaviors and habits and begin to bloom and flourish. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It takes time just like a seed deeply buried in the soil. Growing and healing is like watering a garden. However, we should not exclude Christ in the process. “I can do all things in Christ which strengthens me.” Phil 4:13

Just like the seed that is planted, we are also motivators in our social circles. Let us be mindful of the words and actions that we sow into the lives of others. Let us walk with integrity and respect reflecting the love of Christ in our lives wherever we go. We have the capacity to produce a beautiful, luscious garden in our lives and in our environment. As Jesus stated, “I am the vine, ye are the branches, those who abide in me, abide much fruit, apart from me; you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 

Jesus is our source and the one we can rely on; not only when life fails, but at all times. Many times we forget God when there is no pain or suffering but let us not forget that we can do nothing without Him.

“For us the earth brings forth her bud, and as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11

Seeing Past Your Blindspot

IMG_2235

“Brethen, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.” Phil 3:13

When you look through a rear view mirror, you cannot see a specific area when you are backing up a vehicle. If you assume or estimate the distance without really knowing if anyone or anything is behind the blind spot, it can lead to imminent danger if you are not cautious.

Many times in life, you may face a blind spot. The blind spot is a very uncomfortable place. You feel stuck. You don’t know which direction to go. You don’t have clear vision. You may not even understand how and why you got yourself in such a predicament, situation or circumstance. It’s a lonely place. It’s a temporary place. It’s an unpredictable place.

In the blind spot, people’s approval or opinions does not matter. It’s a place of solitude. You do not care about seeking advice or listening to a circle of friends, but you are in desperate need to hear from God alone.

The blind spot was designed to remove you from your comfort zone. It was created to stretch your faith. It is a place and moment in time where God gets your attention by calling you to a new place either spiritually or physically. It’s a place that you’re yet to discover. It’s also a place where you can’t force things to happen on your own terms, in your own way and on your own timeline. You must trust God in knowing that He is working behind the scenes.

Although it’s beautiful to hold onto joyous memories, it can slow you down or hold you back if you continue to hold onto the past or feel that life will never be the same. Due to unfortunate circumstances such as a death of a loved one, an illness, a sudden disability, or even surviving a natural disaster, it’s possible that life will never be the same, but God has much more promises and dreams to fulfill in your life. He has much more people for you to meet. He has many more opportunities to receive. Many more mistakes to learn from and many places for you to visit and explore. He has much more love for you to share. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” Jer 29:11

You can’t continue to go in reverse and keep dwelling on past mistakes, bad experiences or memories. You must forge ahead with assurance and confidence knowing that you have much more to experience, learn and understand. You can’t move forward if you continue to look backwards. You have to give the Lord the driver’s wheel and trust that He will lead you in the right direction.

“Faith is the evidence of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Heb 11:1

How God Speaks to me

WD-1

I was really down this week. I’ve felt completely drained, discouraged, depleted and unmotivated. I was feeling overwhelmed with life. I was lying in bed with the Writer’s Digest Magazine on my stomach staring at the ceiling.

I was determined to finish reading this magazine before the month was over. It was one of my silent New Year’s resolutions–which I really don’t believe in because I never attain the goals….so I simply call it my daily or monthly plan.  Anyway, I was looking up at the ceiling in silence and then closed my eyes for about 45 minutes before I even decided to pick up the magazine.

I started reading page by page struggling  to gain focus and concentration. I was determined to read every page because sometimes I cheat and skip the minor details in anticipation to get to the big, “How-to” articles.  But then, it happened!  As my eyes skimmed the pages, I saw my name in print!!! “Yolanda Berry” as my eyes slowly looked above my name to see the piece I submitted back in December. It was a letter that I submitted via email to the editor in frustration about how difficult it was to be recognized as a new writer without samples of your work in the publishing industry. 

They published my clip in the February 2009 issue of the Writer’s Digest!!! The title, “Write Your Novel in 2009.” I remember picking up the mail the day after New Year’s and finding the magazine in the mailbox.  The title seemed to scream, “Write it Now!” It was a very subliminal message which I took acknowledged secretly.

I’ve subscribed to this magazine for years and have been more of a dedicated reader than a writer. I read my clip and instantly got a boost of motivation!!! This is exactly what I needed to start off my New Year!!! No more procrastination. This is it!  This is worth the “Fight of My Life!!!” I can put on my running shoes now!

Thank you Writer’s Digest!!!