The Pain of Rejection
The second my eyes saw him I darted the other direction. It didn’t matter that I was his teenage daughter and he was my father; coming face-to-face with him unleashed a mountain of fear I couldn’t suppress.
I ran to the one place I was sure he wouldn’t go…the women’s clothes. Hiding behind a rack filled with the latest fashions, my heart pounded and my mind raced.
Why had he not wanted me?
Why did I have to go through this?
What if he sees me?
I continued hiding knowing he was sharing an experience with his other children that I would never have…picking out school supplies. It may have seemed insignificant to anyone else, but to me it was one more moment I missed out on. With my knees shaking, I concluded there was no way I could go back into the same aisle as him. In fact, I couldn’t continue shopping at all. I left the store with a black cloud over my head and heaviness in my heart.
Feelings of Loss
I had come to expect the feelings of loss. Each time I witnessed a friend engage in a tender moment with her father, I felt a slight jab of emptiness stirring inside me. But this time was different. I wasn’t just watching someone else’s father. It was my own father with his sons—the children he chose, while I remained the daughter he had rejected.
My father’s decision was set in stone before I took my first breath. It was solidified with four small dashes stretching across a blank line that could have bore his name on my certificate of birth. Gazing upon those dashes I wonder what it would have been like to be loved by a daddy. To crawl upon his lap, wrap my arms around his neck, and say, “I love you.”
It has the potential to corrode the life of any person—regardless of age, race, gender, social, or spiritual status. The spirit of rejection seeks to attach to the core of a person, producing insecurity, fear, doubt and anguish.
As a young girl I never sought to understand my father’s rejection. As far as I was concerned, no daddy meant I could sleep with my mom more. In college I began realizing his absence was having a profound effect on the way I viewed God. I began crying out to God for help and He led me to Psalm 68:5, (God is a) “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows–this is God, whose dwelling is holy.”
This verse encouraged me and introduced me to a love I had never known.
My questions started becoming less about what was and more about what could be.
What if God could fill the gaping holes in my heart created by my father’s rejection?
What if His redemption included not just my future, but also my past?
In my daily quiet times I began digging deep into God’s extraordinary love. A love that not only receives me, but also washes over every hard place in my life. Yes, my father rejected me; but that fact no longer defines me. The truth is God defines me.
The enemy had a ruthless plan to steal, kill and destroy my identity as a child of God, but God had a plan to bring me into His family and lavish His love upon me. If I had continued viewing God through the lens of my father’s rejection it would have most likely kept me on a path of defeat. But by choosing to see life through the truth of God’s Word I’ve experienced joy that fills my soul.
God Restores What is Broken
Are there days I still battle rejection? Oh yes. I’d be amiss if I led you to believe growing closer to God made me immune to rejection. It didn’t. We are all susceptible to rejection at any moment in our lives.
But I can tell you this: God will never reject you. He promises in His word to never leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Precious one, whether you’ve experienced rejection from a friend you dearly loved or a family member who left too soon, the Lord wants to heal that tender place in your heart. He will use every hurt for your good and His glory.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Genesis 50:20 (emphasis mine).
God wants to restore all the broken places in our lives; including the years of rejection. Restoration begins when we seek the truth about who God says we are in His Word, and it continues as we commune with him daily through prayer.
Rejection may mark the beginning of your story, but it doesn’t have to define the end. I encourage you to draw close to God today and let His truth mold you into the mighty warrior He designed you to be!
Leigh Ellen Eades is a writer, but more so a friend. Her mission is to encourage women who are weary and wounded with the promises of God. She desires to help women develop a deeper relationship with God so they can live confident, victorious lives. She’s passionate about her family, treasures coffee with friends and relishes quiet moments reading a book. You can connect with Leigh Ellen on Facebook, Twitter or her website. Website: www.raisinganarrow.org