Wound of Rejection

r e j e c t i o n

rejection is something
we all have experienced
in one form or another

rejection stings
e s p e c i a l ly
when it becomes
a recurring thing

a ping, ping, ping

rejection starts
as a certain ache

if sustained,
this ache develops
into a deep pang

the first time it happens
we might opt to self-evaluate:

perhaps if we change and
do something different
then we can avoid the ache

but what happens if we
encounter rejection again?
and again? and again?

do we keep changing our ways?
do we try to avoid the ache?
or do we only encounter an ever-growing pang?

we are all wired differently
but along the way
each rejection we face
makes us change

(for better or for worse)

maybe you pivot
maybe you persevere

maybe you run away
and are quick to close doors
because you’re afraid
they’ll slam you in the face

maybe you’ll become immune:
develop a resistance to rejection

or maybe you’ll start to question
your self, your surrounds

sunrise, snow, lake, tasmania

we often struggle to put our finger on it
but we sense this growing discomfort

we do not often like or understand
when we are rejected
we ask ourselves
w h y

we wonder if we fall short
or are not good enough
or if there is something
w r o n g
with us

after a while
this discomfort
translates into pain

we feel the ache of being
unwanted and abandoned
as others turn and betray
or as doors slam in our face

o f t e n
rejection feels like a sword
a stab in the soul
an attack

after too many of these attacks
our hearts start to learn
this rhythm of rejection

we start to listen to this lie
that stems from the sting:

i am not enough

every time we are turned down
from an opportunity, we hear:

i am not worthy

every time we are not welcomed into
conversation or community, we hear:

i am not wanted

every time we are ghosted or abandoned
by a romantic connection, we hear:

i am not loved

and the scary thing is:
we start to not only
listen to these lies
we believe them

and so forms this
wound of rejection

sunrise, snow, lake, tasmania

a wound of rejection
ultimately speaks
to a deeper desire
for connection

this wound is both
emotional and spiritual

arguably this wound
can hold us captive to a
fear of rejection
and consequentially a
fear of connection

there is no cause-effect analysis
we can conduct on our hearts
to understand this wound

the answer to healing a wound of rejection
is not to apply a dose of connection

what we find is that the deeper
our wound of rejection is
then the deeper our fears
a n d
beneath our fears are doubts

we do not believe:
we are enough, we are worthy
we are wanted, we are loved

so we start to reject ourselves
and in turn, reject others

do you see the irony?

when we try to protect ourselves from pain
what we actually do
is protect our pain

let me say that again:

when we try to protect ourselves from wounding
what we actually end up doing

is protecting and therefore projecting our wounds

we listen to the Wound speak mis-truths:

don’t ask that question … you won’t like the answer
don’t ask that girl out on a date … you aren’t in their league
don’t put your hand up for that opportunity … you aren’t qualified
don’t share that talent … you aren’t good enough
don’t apply for more jobs … you fail to meet the criteria
don’t invite that group of friends to brunch … they always cancel
don’t ask for that promotion or pay rise … they won’t listen

note that there is a nuance there
in how we can interpret mis-truths

most of the time
we make it about us
we are the reason
we are being rejected
(we reject ourselves)

but there are times
we blame others
for rejecting us
(we reject others)

so maybe it is more accurate to say that

rejection and connection
are a double-edged sword

our fear of rejection leads
to this fear of connection

snow, sunrise, tasmania

when our souls are wounded
by this sword of rejection
our survival instinct kicks in

pain and fear
are drivers of this instinct

pain motivates us
to withdraw
to avoid the sword
to protect ourselves
from damage
and hurt

fear motivates us
into flight-or-fight
in the name of

when we operate
from our survival instinct
from our pain and fear
we spend ourselves
by focusing on the weapon
instead of entering
into the real warfare:

the battlefield of our minds

the danger of believing lies about our worth
and our capacity for rejection and connection
is that we can begin to lose the battlefield of our minds
by harbouring these hidden hurts in our hearts

we can begin to fill ourselves
with fear instead of what our hearts
are craving: love and acceptance

we allow this
wound of rejection
to become a stronghold
in our lives

and this is
the real danger

a stronghold
is defined as:

“a place that
has been fortified
so as to protect it
against attack”

“a place where
a particular cause
or belief is strongly
defended or upheld”

when we allow
mis-truths and wounds
to form strongholds
in our hearts and lives
we choose to be
protectors of wounds
n o t

warriors of healing

we enter into this battle
where at any sign of attack
(a possible rejection or
opportunity for hurt)
we enter into self-defence

we opt to protect our wounds
because we so fear that sting

but the irony is that in
protecting our wounds
we allow the mis-truths
to take a deeper root

it is tempting to believe
that we are less likely
to be hurt and stung
if we hide our wounds

but the reality is that
wounds never heal
unless they are exposed

b u t

exposure is scary

and it is the last thing we want
when we have been so vulnerable to attack

b u t

are we too busy defending our wounding
that we are not fighting for our healing?

there is this part of us
that fears being attacked

b u t

what if we reframed this
and asked ourselves

w h y

our hearts are so vulnerable
and prone to feeling this way

does this reveal something
about our human nature?
our core longing for love
and desire for acceptance?
does a fear of rejection
actually point to our deeper
fear, of not being chosen?

John Paul Jackson said,
“rejection always distorts the truth.”

what we have been exploring
is how a wound of rejection
can stem from mis-truths

are we wanted? are we worthy?
are we enough? are we loved?

are we chosen?

if we are to embark
on a journey of healing
we need to expose
the mis-truths
of our wound of rejection
and speak Truth
to our desire for connection

this wound of rejection
is a part of my story

i have allowed this fear
to be a stronghold in my life

it prevents me
from living healed and free

but i don’t want to be
a victim of my wounding anymore
i don’t want to live in fear
i want to pursue healing

instead of allowing my wounds to speak mis-truths
i need to allow Truth to speak to my wounds

for me, this journey to healing
looks like turning to my Healer

so i asked the hard questions:

what is God‘s perspective on and response to rejection?
what can we learn from Him about
how we should respond to rejection?

we see rejection
first appear in the early parts
of the Genesis narrative

prior to rejection
humanity experienced
complete intimacy with God

b u t

rejection emerged
when we allowed something else
to captivate our attention, our affection;
to influence our action and direction

we chose the apple
we were enticed and tempted
to choose a temporary pleasure
over the eternal joy and intimacy
we were invited
and created into

in choosing Other
we rejected God

so God knows and understands rejection
far more deeply and richly and passionately
than we could ever dare imagine:

His very own creation
chose to reject him

He created for them an
environment for flourishing

b u t

He also created for them the conditions
conducive to flourishing: free will
and in providing them with such Freedom
they could choose to reject that which
would enable them to flourish

(in turn, rejecting him)

so, they chose to turn away
from His presence, plan and purpose

they chose to listen to their own
hearts and minds and desire;
instead of His heart, mind and desire

instead of asking after His intention for them,
they assumed His intention
and started to question His intention –
was it really for their good?

so they rejected Him
in every sense of the word

Him as a person, His presence
but also His heart, His intention
His plans and purpose for them

they questioned His goodness,
His provision, and His nature

oh how much
this would have grieved God!!

and what do we see emerge
in the face of rejection?

we see God express this grief
as this pain manifests in His wrath

notably this is a
secondary characteristic

His primary character
before the fall was holiness

the tainting and rejecting
brought about a grieving

a righteous anger
and disappointment
that is only born from
that deep heart place
that desires intimacy
but is met
with broken humanity

is this not one of the most universal experiences?!
have we not all experienced some form of rejection in our lives??

a mere taste
of what God experienced
when we first rejected Him

but do you know what??? 

though we first rejected
He first loved

and His love
was set upon us
{ ps.91:14, 1 john 4:19 }
b e f o r e
we rejected Him

“long before he laid down earth’s foundations,
he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love,
to be made whole and holy by his love.”

{ eph. 1:4 }

despite our best intentions
to avoid rejection
we are not treated or loved
as we would dare hope

a n d

despite God’s deliberate design
for our lives and our flourishing
we did not respond or reciprocate His love

so there was a consequence
a wounding
between us and God

God responds
to our rejection
with His wrath

His first response
to rejection
was to reject

b u t

His rejection
was not motivated
by self-preservation

His rejection
was a divine intervention

for in that place of pain
He offered us
His grieving grace

in Jesus

He does not condemn
or reject us anymore

His wrath is satisfied
{ rom. 5:8-9, 1 the. 5:9 }

In Jesus

we who were once far away
r e j e c t e d
(distant from God)
are brought near
by the blood of Christ
{ eph 2:13 }

we see God respond to rejection
with an invitation to connection

He offers us an opportunity
to return to Him, to be united to Him
and to be found again with Him
in His conditions for flourishing
with access to eternal intimacy

at first,
when we were offered
eternal intimacy
we chose rejection
over connection

but now,
we are invited
to choose intimacy
instead of our wounding
to choose to fight

for our healing

a n d

what if we choose this
trinitarian, divine connection?

it is

t h e n

that we can receive the Truth
that will deliver us from mis-truth
into the light and knowledge
of our eternal intimacy and identity


let us be found in this Love Story
allowing our wounded spirits
to embark an eternal journey to

h e a l i n g

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