In this excerpt from her new book Uninvited, author Lysa TerKeurst shares how we can fight rejection with faith and positivity.
- Posted on Sep 14, 2016
Adapted from Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than Left Out and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst. Copyright © 2016 by TerKeurst Foundation. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.UninvitedBook.com.
I scooted into the restaurant booth beside my daughter Ashley. Her first-semester college grades had been posted for two days, but she’d refused to look at them. We decided to review them together at one of our favorite restaurants.
Together is a great way to press through something you’re afraid could make you feel a bit undone.
School hasn’t always been easy for Ashley. When she was in the eighth grade, her teachers requested a meeting with my husband Art and me. We were stunned to find out she was failing every class.
It wasn’t from her lack of effort. She simply wasn’t grasping the new curriculum her school had switched to that year. And their only suggestion was to have her go back and repeat seventh grade.
Immediately, I knew that would never work. I also think the school knew this wouldn’t work. So they offered to help us have her transferred to a different school.
It wasn’t intended as a rejection. But it sure felt like one.
Yet slowly, little successes at her new school gave her enough confidence to believe it was possible to turn things around. And by the end of that year, she was on the dean’s list. By the time she got into high school, she was making great grades and even graduated with honors.
Now in college, she’d chosen an academically rigorous major. She’d given it her all. But the exams all carried a lot of weight toward her overall grades, and she just wasn’t sure how she’d done. And though that eighth-grade rejection was very far from her at that point, the fear still lingered.
This fear is a corrupting companion. It replaces the truths we’ve trusted with hopeless lies.
So what’s a brokenhearted person to do? We must take back control from something or someone that was never meant to have it. To help us see how we can practice this when the worries of rejection try to control us, here are three things to remember.
1. One Rejection is Not a Projection of Future Failures
It’s good to acknowledge the hurt, but don’t see it as a permanent hindrance. Move on from the source of the rejection, and don’t let it shut you down in that arena of life. It has already stolen enough from your present. Don’t let it reach into your future.
Replace the negative talk that will hinder you. Replace it with praises for God, who will deliver you.
2. There is Usually Some Element of Protection Wrapped in Every Rejection
This is a hard one to process at the time of the rejection. But for many of my past rejections, I can look back and see how God was allowing things to unfold the way they did for my protection.
In His mercy, He allowed this.
3. This is a Short-Term Setback, Not a Permanent Condition
The emotions that feel so intense today will ease up over time as long as we let them. We just have to watch how we think and talk about this rejection. If we give it the power to define us, it will haunt us long-term. But if we only allow it enough power to refine us, the hurt will give way to healing.
As I sat in that restaurant with Ashley and helped her process her fears through the filter of truth, courage emerged that no matter what happened — good or bad — she could trust God.
Finally, she clicked open the e-mail revealing her grades. Not only did she pass; she was on the dean’s list.
I was so thankful that day hers were tears of joy. But I’m also well aware that in the tomorrows that come, things could be different. Rejections big and small just seem to ebb and flow in and out of life. Troubles will probably still find us. But if we trust in the Lord and have faith, they won’t be able to rule our lives.
Lysa TerKeurst is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Nelson Books, August 2016) and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. For more information, visit www.UninvitedBook.com.