Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Closer than a brother

“I think I’ve been dumped”
“What makes you think that?”
“well, it’s a lot of things...”
“Like what?”
“Well, she hasn’t called me in 3 days and when I call her, she doesn’t have much to say. She has not sent me one text message in, like ages. I waited to see if she would send me an e-mail, comment on my Facebook...ANY_THING...and for a few days now, I got nuthin. She won’t even respond to my posts.”
“Maybe she’s just busy. Isn’t she going to summer school?”
“Yeah, I thought so too BUT she put pictures of her and some other friends on Facebook. She went with them to the lake last weekend. They didn’t even ask me to go. Didn’t even mention it. But then she put pictures on Facebook like it’s all good and stuff. Now she’s all of a sudden got nuthin to say to me. I guess she found someone she likes better than she likes me.”

Such was the beginning of a very long conversation with my sweet niece. She’s still a baby (even though she certainly thinks she is grown) and this is her first real taste of rejection. Sadly, this will not be the last time she feels left out, nor will it be the last time she feels the crushing blow of rejection. Jr. High and High School are full of lonely times. Many a teen has lamented over feeling left out and alone. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could leave those feelings behind when we graduate High School? OH! If only that were the case!

Life is full of rejection. I see it all around me.

I have a friend whose husband sat down with her a few weeks ago and said “I don’t want to be married to you any more”. Now she has moved out of the house that was their home and is feeling the full weight of rejection from the one who promised “til death do us part”.

I have another friend whose husband had an affair several years ago. They tried to work through his infidelity and make the marriage last. She just caught him stepping out on her again. This time he does not want to work things out. “I never loved you like I love her” are the words that haunt her as she lays in her half empty bed.

I had lunch with a 20 something friend a week or so ago. She lamented that she feels left out and alone because all of her friends are now married. She said that her friends do not invite her to do things with them anymore because they think she will feel out of place being the only single person in the group. "But this just makes me feel lonely cause I'm at home all by myself when I could be with them."

There are hundreds of other scenarios that leave a person feeling rejected, lonely, and otherwise left out. We've all been there. You don't get the invite to lunch with your co-workers, a group suddenly falls silent when you approach, you find out on Monday that "everyone" got together to watch the game over the weekend...or, like my little niece, there is suddenly an unusual silence on your cell, e-mail, and Facebook. Sometimes you just know when you've been "dumped".

Why does rejection hurt so much? As adults, we know that we are all different and that we have different personalities, likes, and dislikes. As adults, we know that some people have more in common and get along better than others. Unfortunately, we also know that not every person who says "I do" believes in "til death do us part". If, as adults, we KNOW that not everyone will accept us, then why are we so hurt by rejection?

I think it is because to be rejected is to be deemed unworthy. To be rejected is to be flawed. To be rejected is to be labeled "not quite good enough". To be rejected is to be tossed aside for something better.

Thankfully, Christ is "closer than a brother". Praise God that I "cannot be plucked from His hand". I find great comfort and peace in Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

If you are feeling rejected, lonely, or otherwise left out, I hope that you will find the place where you belong for all of eternity in the arms of Christ. He will not leave you nor forsake you. He will lift you up, dust you off, and fill your heart with peace, love, joy, and contentment that no other relationship can deliver.

Do you know the sting of rejection?

Has rejection cast a shadow on your heart and robbed you of joy, peace, and contentment?

If so, reach out to the Savior, he is ever faithful.

Father God,
Thank you so much for promising to always be with me. Thank you for promising to fill my heart and my soul as no person in my life can. Help me Lord to always remember that You are for me and that through YOU, I am holy, perfect, and completely acceptable before God. Help me to remember that I am yours and that nothing can seperate me from you and your love.