Rejection

We were 16 and hung out with the same group of friends. He was a friend, but I hadn’t ever given any thought to liking him as a date-able guy. One day he asked me out and no reason to say no came to mind, so I said yes. For me it was more or less a “sure, why not?”

I think I was a little surprised he asked me out, but it ended up being a good surprise. He treated me really well and we had fun together. We kept dating and eventually he gave me his class ring to wear. I think the biggest surprise for me was how much I ended up liking this guy I had never given a second thought to before. He seemed to really like me too—I had no reason to believe otherwise.

Then, one day out of the blue, he didn’t talk to me. He walked away when I came near. This went on for a couple of days, so I finally went over to his house one afternoon to find out what was going on. He told me he no longer wanted to go out with me, it was not what he wanted. Just like that. Without any warning, red flags or tell-tale signs, we were done.

I remember standing in his kitchen not knowing what to say, feeling very confused, trying to figure out what had just happened. How could he like me so much one day and then literally within a couple of days tell me he didn’t anymore? It didn’t really matter, did it? It was done. I was not what he wanted. Ouch.

Adding to the pain was the fact that we hung out with the same group of friends. I didn’t want to give up my friends and I didn’t want to make or be a complete mess for everyone else to deal with. Even though I can’t say I was in looovve with him, I really did like him. A lot. Continuing to hang out with everyone didn’t give me the break I needed to let my heart heal. True to form, I stuffed most of the pain I felt away.

But during those moments when I couldn’t stuff it away, I blamed myself. When the brain can’t make sense of something, it creates sense out of the evidence it has. I must have said or done something wrong, right? Because clearly he had liked me, and then, all of sudden, he didn’t. Why else would the change be so sudden? It must be me. Right?

Why didn’t I just tell myself he was an idiot? Would that have made me feel better?

Perhaps I was too sensitive, and I didn’t realize it then, but I was never able to really trust that any guy actually liked me after that. And things played out that way for a while.

He has long since apologized for how he treated me and we are friends. I am grateful for his friendship mainly because he amuses me, plus, he does seem to have grown into a decent and kind man. So with that in mind and all these many years later, light years ahead in wisdom now, I recently reflected on that time with a new perspective. I don’t know why I let it affect me so deeply then, but I suspect that it has to do with the insight that it was the first time any guy I liked had ever rejected me. It hurt. Badly. As a result, I lost a huge chunk of confidence.

Rejection is painful and, if we’re not careful, we listen to and agree with the voice that speaks the lies. We deserved it somehow, we’re not worthy of love, we should have known better than to trust someone, anyone. We carry those lies around like they are our own special crosses to bear. Then we dig a deeper hole by making decisions and choices while believing bad information.

But the problem with lies, if I may be obvious, is that they are not the truth. Lies not only blind us to the truth in ourselves, but they blur and distort the vision we have of others. More importantly, if we choose to believe the lies, they push us away from believing the truths that God speaks into our hearts.

Truths like we are loved so much that He sent His son for us. We are the apple of His eye. He sings songs of delight over us. He loves us with an everlasting love. He will take care of us. We are His masterpiece. We are beautiful to Him. It is His great pleasure to have us in His family. He wants us with Him forever. No circumstances can separate us from His great love. We are worth something of great value in His sight.

Truth, it seems, truly is stranger and more amazing than fiction, eh? So, why reject all that God says to hang onto lies and the Liar that will eventually steal, kill and destroy?

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