Dealing with Rejection

  1. Amy Curran says:

    I have been there done that and bought the tshirt when it comes to being criticized by other Christians for my “crazy beliefs”.  In fact, being from the Bible Beating State of Oklahoma, I have had more than my share of frustration with these issues.  I love your honesty about your faith.  I have a masters in Religion, go to church every Sunday and talk to my children daily about my faith.  It rarely shows up on my blog not because I don’t want people to judge me, but because I do not like to be dismissed based on my non-traditional views of grace, faith, God….the list goes on and on.  However, I will say, I almost joined your Bible Study until I realized you were doing Beth Moore.  At the risk of you feeling rejected from both ends, I am really just curious why you chose her work.  Here is a really interesting post by a former classmate of mine that shares many of my concerns.  Again, I really am just interested in your opinion.

  2. Wow. Just wow. I have felt that same sting, maybe not quite as overtly as you, but still, it has been there. Last spring I was in-your-face rejected and the VERY SAME WEEK, God brought a new opportunity to me. I’m teaching again after five years, and it is the right thing for me right now. He does fill us when we are empty.

    P.S. You could come to Chicago, and I’d be your friend. I like people who don’t quite fit the mold. 🙂

  3. Nicole says:

    Not so much a spiritual rejection, but I was originally rejected in college by my first choice school and had to go to my safety school. Where I meet my husband and eventually started a family. Having kids has been easily the best thing that I have ever done in my life. They make me want to better, try harder.

    And it all started because I didn’t get into my first choice.

  4. Julie Marsh says:

    You know what I love? That I keep coming back to this part of your site, even though it wouldn’t seem relevant to my heathen self. 😉

    I don’t know if it’s God at work, but I do strive to find the positives in being the odd woman out at times. It has strengthened my sense of self, which will hopefully be a positive example for my kids as they navigate adolescence. Perhaps they’ll emerge with greater confidence than I did.

    • Anonymous says:

      I love that too, Julie. As you know, I really enjoy discussing these issues with women of all beliefs, and I’d hate for anyone to feel alienated. 🙂 I think it’s valuable for anyone to look back at the rejection that still colors their lives, and to think of all the good that ended up coming out of it.

  5. Patty says:

    I really enjoyed this, mostly because I thought I was alone in the rejected department.  As I think about your post, I realize that I felt hurt, but didn’t throw a pity party for myself.  I can’t think of direct evidence that God used the rejection, but I will be pondering this for awhile.  Thanks, Lindsey.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep, pity parties don’t do anyone any good. 🙂 It actually wasn’t until I looked back that I realized the big rejections, the ones that hurt the most, all came from overtly Christian women- and I suppose they hurt worse because I had made myself more vulnerable in those situations.  I did focus on the friends (Christian and non-Christian) who didn’t reject me, of course, but it was interesting to realize that. 🙂

  6. Cathy Burke says:

    I think we all feel rejected at some point!  Not unlike any other failure, it is our ability to pick ourselves up and say “so?” and move on and keep trying.  Either with another friend, job, church.  By showing your kids that not everything is easy (especially finding your place in the world) you teach them that when we do succeed it is worth it! I always remember my mom saying (whatever the rejection) that it was “their loss” and I took that to heart.  It is not that we are being rejected-we are being spared thinking we fit in when we really don’t.

  7. christine says:

    absolutely, my friend! ALL things work together for the good of those who love Him…even those that cultural Christians deem unacceptable…perhaps (and I could be wrong here – i often am), you make some ladies a bit, shall we say…UNCOMFORTABLE? reading the thoughts and musings of a sister in Christ who isn’t afraid to be transparent brings up issues in their own lives they may be afraid to confront. that maybe, just maybe, this race we are all running together isn’t about rules…it is about relationships. and about living our lives in a way that honors God while still attracting those who’ve never been exposed to His kind of unconditional love. yes, linds, it is a higher kind of ministry to allow others to gleen wisdom and comfort from your trials. living your life honestly through the lens of the Almighty is never wrong.

  8. SoMo says:

    Thank you.

  9. Melissa says:

    Owch. You just hit on one of my very sorest spots.

    I’ve been on the wrong end of rejection my whole life, it feels like. It started in Sunday School when I was a little kid. Kids are mean. They’ll exclude you for the stupidest reasons. But it still hurts.

    As a teenager and young adult, my worst rejections came at the hands of other Christians. Some of them were so blatant I can’t really talk about them, because they still hurt too much.

    Now, as a nearly 30 year old and a mom, rejection is one of my biggest fears. It paralyzes me. And it drives me crazy that we’re all experiencing rejection from those who are supposed to NOT reject us. So what do I do? I hunker down at home most of the time, only getting together here and there with a few friends who I trust. Because a lot of the time, being isolated is less painful than being rejected.

    I hold on to the hope that I CAN overcome this (there are times when I do overcome it), and that God can bring something good out of it. I just wish we didn’t have to go through all the crap to get to the good stuff, y’know? 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Melissa, I hope you gain the confidence to get past your fear of rejection. I totally know what you mean about not wanting to put yourself out there anymore- I’ve felt that way SO MANY TIMES. One thing Beth Moore said in this study that was so good was that if you put yourself out there and love, you’re going to get hurt. It’s part of having relationships. It helps to know that going in, and know that anyone who’s human is going to fail you at some point, no matter how great they are. 🙂

  10. HopefulLeigh says:

    Great thoughts, Lindsay!  I went to a private k-8 Christian school.  I do have some good memories there but junior high was brutal- talk about rejection!  And yet, I survived and perhaps that’s why I’m as compassionate as I am.  Which isn’t to say I’d like to repeat any of that but I can see how God used it for good.  I’m glad you can point to the ways God used rejection in your own life. 

  11. Knewman4 says:

    Interesting post!  I have the problem of over-reacting to rejection (rather than standing my ground) and one of the things I am trying to learn is how to be truer to myself despite of the rejection that might be coming.  As I write this I am working on my seventh attempt at a cultural review story for a big-name news outlet;  I keep getting rejected but I keep getting invited to pitch again.  Fingers crossed!

    • Anonymous says:

      Oooh, good luck! That invite definitely indicates that you’re on the right track! That reminds me of when I was submitting essays to parenting magazines, back before I started this blog. They were rejected, but one of those rejections was a long, handwritten letter from the magazine editor. I took that as a sign, despite the fact that it was a REJECTION, that I should maybe keep writing!  🙂  Glad I did!

  12. NancyB says:

    Without going into great detail, my biggest rejection was from my husband’s personal choices for about 5 years.  I felt like by making the choices he was, he was rejecting me, that he was so unhappy in our house he would have to “dull his senses” to make it through an evening.  Feeling rejected, I was mentally checking out to the point I would have been happy with a divorce and then in the morning I would wake up and think I must be imagining it, it can’t be that bad…and then it would start all over again.  It broke my heart to have him acting like such a jerk in front of our son.
    I don’t know what changed within him.  I only know one holiday with family he told our brother-in-law he had to stop and he did and I was finally able to talk to him about how sad I had been all those years.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s amazing, Nancy. How fortunate you both are that he was able to change! I remember watching one of those typical interviews of an old married couple, when they were asked how they’d stayed together so long– The couple said that they hadn’t had rough weeks or rough months in their marriage- they’d had rough YEARS. I really liked that and remembered it, because in our society a rough YEAR would spell divorce for so many couples. Period. But if you’re truly in it for life, you keep working to get through it, no matter how long it takes.

  13. Jenna says:

    You know, I’m going through something like that right now. My husband’s job moved us to a place I feel I just don’t fit in and where I am miles from family. I started my blog for very similar reasons to you: I just can’t find any friends. I am a stay at home mom to a 2 mo old daughter who I am so grateful for. But, it would be nice to have some adult girlfriends. I get to make some connections through my blog, which is great, but it has left me with a strong sensitivity to rejection. My mom put it in perspective for me: I am sure glad that this is my cross to bear and not something else! I only wish we lived closer! Punky would make a great friend for Ellen someday 🙂

    Thanks for posting this and letting everyone know that this is normal!

    Jenna (formerly momofmanyhats!)

    • Anonymous says:

      Hang in there, Jenna. It takes time (as in YEARS) to make good friends, but it will happen. And in the meantime, isn’t it nice to be able to make these connections online?  (P.S. I wish you were in Nashville, too!)

  14. Anna says:

    I have been thinking since yesterday about commenting here, as rejection is sort of an interesting topic for me.  Although I have been rejected in my life, I feel like most of the time I was the one doing the rejecting.  Not so much in a bad way (although I did break up with lots of boyfriends, lol) but more in a “I don’t feel like I fit in here, so I’m going to move on” type of way.  Your post discussed this in view of Christian circles and this got me thinking as well.  I thankfully did not have the outright rejections that you received, but I did always sort of feel like I didn’t fit in at church.  Lots of “churchy” types were always around, and it seemed like I could never be like, live up to, or relate to.  And unfortunately in lots of cases, there were people I didn’t want to be like.  I’m very down-to-earth and I felt at a loss between trying to “act” like a “super good Christian” when that is just not who I was.  Although I always believed in the Lord, I was not always a follower, and especially in high school and college I did some pretty crazy stuff.  Finally, in my early 20s, I met a couple that showed me that you could be fun to hang out with, real, and also Christian.  What a relief that was for me!  I also learned – what is the point of having a savior if you don’t need one?  Jesus came for those of us who were not perfect and didn’t have it all together.  (Not meaning it’s okay to go out and do whatever you want; if you are a follower then you understand what Jesus has done for you and it changes you by making you want to do what he’d like you to.)  What this meant to me was that it was okay to not be perfect, I could still be a Christian and that was okay.  It has taken me some time in my life, but I am at a great church now that “gets” that.  And I finally feel like I fit in, at least most of the time.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s awesome that you’ve found a good church fit, Anna! I suspect you have a history of rejecting before you (think you’re going to) get rejected– I’ve done my share of that too. I think that with the Christian friendships, I may have put myself out there far more initially than I would have if they had not been Christian friendships. I was probably too trusting and that’s why the rejection was much harder to take.

      And I really believe that those of us who believe in God and want to follow Him, but don’t feel like we fit the “churchy” mold are actually the silent majority! Now we just need to all band together!  🙂

      • Anna says:

        I think you are exactly right about me rejecting before I think I’m going to get rejected…. I am pretty guarded and so I think I usually fail to put myself really “out there” until I really know someone.  Thanks for the insight – I need to think about that and why I do it.

  15. Cyndie Todd says:

    You know, just because someone calls their self a Christian does not mean you can place higher expectations on them.  They are Christians because they accept Jesus Christ as their savior.  They did not make a personal commitment to unconditionally love everyone on the planet.   Their just people.  Like you.  Like me.

    I once had a very good friend reject my friendship – turned on me on a dime! – for reasons that are still unclear to me, and it had nothing to do with faith (he was atheist) or romance (I was also friends with his wife – that was the worst part, losing her friendship as collateral damage).  And it hurt.  It still baffles me.  But since then I’ve made umpteen-bazillion new friends that are great and haven’t done one rejecting thing.  Even when no one came to my birthday party, it was easily chalked up to the snow and I got many apologies.

    You’re a smart and clever gal with strong opinions.  Some folks just aren’t comfortable with strong opinions.  You just have to let them have it.  And if their catty on top of that, p’shaw, you don’t need that kind of negative energy in your life. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I think it has been particularly hard for me because I’ve never had trouble making friends. All my life, I’ve had lots of friends- still do- so to be rejected as an adult by a particular group of women that I really wanted to get to know was a big (and totally unexpected) slap in the face.

      On the other hand, I know now as a result how it feels to face that sting of rejection and I try to be verrrry careful not to do it to other women I meet now in social situations. I would have been far less sensitive if it hadn’t happened to me, so it may have been needed for growth.

      Still. OUCH. 😉

  16. Anonymous says:

    I’ll be your friend! Slight problem with geography though….  Nashville and Minnesota aren’t exactly right by each other.

  17. Jenny Lomax says:

    I really loved this week of the study.  I think that I often don’t take chances because of fear of rejection, but it’s true . . . some of my rejections in the past have led me to a better place and for that I am so thankful for the rejections that once caused pain.

    I love this post of yours too, because I have often felt right there.  I’ve searched for true and valuable friendships and often feel as though I’m not “good” enough for my Christian friends and but still have a faith that I can’t share with others who are willing to accept me regardless.  And I really, really want to share my faith.  So, yes, I am glad for your past rejections because you can count me as one of the ones whose lives are being changed by this study!

  18. Anonymous says:

    I realized as I watched this session that I have felt rejected by the people we serve here in Zambia and this has caused me to pull away and reject any new relationships as a consequence. I had been wondering why it was so difficult for me to form relationships. Babies and kids I can do, big people–not so much.
    To be fair, most of the rejection is cultural and not outright rejection. But, I’ve been lied to, stolen from, betrayed and let down.

    What really struck me was the whole sovereign/supreme God thing. I’m going to keep serving God knowing that He has a purpose for me here. My job is to love. His job is to take care of the ending to the story.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am continually in awe of you, Amy. You’ve taken on a job that almost no one else ever would or could- I often wonder how you maintain any hope at all in a situation that seems so filled with hopelessness. All this to say that I’m so grateful the Internet lets me peep in on your life. You really inspire me, and I know you inspire so many other people, too. I’ve been invited to go on several high-profile mission trips, but I told Dennis last night that if I go ANYWHERE, I’d want it to be to your orphanage. He agreed with me! 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        That’s a wonderful thing to say, Lindsey! You would be so welcome to come and visit us. I know I mentioned this briefly on the FB page, but I’m seriously considering a trip to Nashville in the spring. We need to discuss….

  19. Robin says:

    Thanks to Angie Mizzell for sharing this on FB. I cried tears. 

    Needed this encouragement today. I am working on my second book where I write VERY candidly about my less than perfect faith and it is so hard. Not because it’s difficult to write necessarily but because I am TERRIFIED that I will be rejected by my non-Christian readers and by my Christian readers. But like you said, I KNOW that God has used everything in my life to bring me to a place where I can minister to others but it takes a lot of faith! 
    Thanks for the post! 

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck with that book, Robin! From my experience, if it feels uncomfortable and scary to write and you’re afraid to turn in the manuscript, you’re on the right track! The posts I’m most afraid to publish (like this one) are often the ones that resonate with readers the most. 🙂

  20. Ariana Evans says:

    Girl, I feel ya.  I just had this conversation with another lady at our church who can’t understand why I don’t go on a regular basis and why my hubs doesn’t go.  (I have a nearly 3yr old and an 8 month old and our church meets AT NIGHT.  5p-7p which encompasses Dinner and Bedtime!  And if I go, I have the kids by myself.  Nuf said.)  Even in our church which seems to take in the fringe of our faith, I feel weird and not accepted.  Is East Nashville too far to go for a friend? 🙂

    • Anonymous says:

      Not at all! In fact, we have a few Nashvillians in the Bible study and a few more readers who’ve e-mailed me after this post. I think a coffee meet-up is in our future!
      P.S. Not to promote my church or anything, but have you tried Cross Point? The Nashville campus is in Sylvan Park, there’s 4 Sunday services (with childcare) AND an Internet service every Sunday and WE LOVE IT. And the whole reason we started going there was that we realized that tons of people we respected, loved and identified with had told us at some point that they were going there… We thought it was a good place to start in our search for a new church– and we never went anywhere else!  😀

  21. I absolutely love this post.  I’m so sorry rejection at the hands of supposedly “Christian” women is commonplace, but I am so encouraged by your post.  I grew up in the church and as I got older I started seeing a complete disconnect between the Christian principles being taught and the way many of my female peers and even older women in the church treated those who didn’t fit a specific mold. 

    Both of my sisters were seriously hurt by judgmental women in the church we grew up in and the hurt and rejection was so complete that it has taken them almost a decade to give church a try again.  Ever since all of that went down years ago, I became determined to never give another woman walking into a group I am a part of cause to feel rejected.  I’m sure I haven’t always succeeded, but I do try because I can’t stand the thought of other women being hurt the way my family has been.

    Thank you for sharing your honest feelings, that couldn’t have been easy.  I love your blog and it brings so much encouragement to me! 

    • Anonymous says:

      The Christian community would be wise to do whatever it takes to eliminate its stereotypes– the problem is that they come from both outside and INSIDE the faith.

      I totally know where you’re coming from. The first church I attended as a child had me convinced I was going to hell, at AGE SIX. That’s why I was baptized, and I’ve felt a little cheated ever since. I would have loved to have done it later and have felt that true “conversion” experience. But no. I just remember feeling relieved that I had gotten it over with before Satan had a chance to get me.

  22. Two questions: (1) How have I been on the internet this long without finding you? and (2) Can I be part of your blackballed club?

    I just discovered you through Angie Mizzell and have had the most fun exploring your site. This post hit home, though – as it clearly has with so many others. I’ve been on both sides of the issue: the one who sat on the couch while everyone made plans around her, and the one who realized too late that she went the entire meeting without saying hello to the new person. It sucks. But I think you are right – God knows what he is doing. He’s got a plan, and sometimes we’ve got to go through some “sucky” stuff to get to where we need to be. You are now changing lives in this forum, and that might not have happened if it wasn’t for the rejection. Very cool. I’m looking forward to reading more . . . 

  23. Brenda Mills says:

    WONDERFUL thoughts. Count me among those who can relate, and thank you for sharing.

  24. Shannon says:

    I stumbled across your blog today searching for some wise words about rejection, something I have been experiencing. Thanks so much for writing this! We moved to a new town a couple years ago. I’m a stay at home mom who homeschools. Two very isolating things. I joined a Christian homeschool group hoping to find friends. I experienced the very same thing you did. The cliques were already formed and I never found a place to belong. I did find a couple friends and had high hopes. They are both Christians so I never expected to be dumped. One just stopped returning my texts and emails. The other sent me an email saying she was just too busy to find time for me. Let’s just say it has been tough. But it so comforting to know other people have experienced this and bounced back. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

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