I remember P.E. class. The team captains would be chosen. Each team captain would get to hand pick their team. I remember hoping time after time that I wouldn't be picked last... But, the numbers would dwindle..and even though I was quite good at sports, I would be left..like a rotten apple..that no one really quite wanted.
I dreaded P.E. for fear of being picked last.
I wasn't always picked last..sometimes my friends would be captain...but it seemed that when the other 98 percent of the class was chosen as team captain..I was left looking at the bottom of the barrel.
And then, of course, there were the school dances. The sock hops, the Sadie Hawkins, whatever you want to call them.
Truthfully, I don't even really know why I went. Usually, I accompanied one of my best friends. We would spend hours "getting ready."
Primping our hair and perfecting our makeup.
It was fun.
But a part of me dreaded the "slow dances." Every guy from the class would ask one of the girls to dance..and the majority of the time..I watched from the bleachers - a bench warmer.
Feeling, once again, like the bottom of the barrel, completely and utterly "rejected."
There may as well have been some sort of stamp for my forehead. I felt as if there was an invisible scarlet letter attached to my person.
After high school, and upon entering college, the tides changed.
I felt like I was entering the world of new and fresh starts.
I found that guys really did think I was attractive. They had no inkling that I was "a bench warmer" in high school.
I relished the attention. I began to date, but even as I dated, I found that insecurities don't often disappear easily.
They tend to linger.
I went out with some really nice guys but never really found "the one." A part of me was afraid of rejection. Another part, simply recognized that most men really aren't for me. Another part, didn't really feel like I was good enough for true and lasting love.
I'll skip my life story and get to the point.
I"ve endured a lot of rejection. Over the years, it has reared it's ugly head in ways too numerous to count.
Lies, cheating, criticism, rudeness, sarcasm, and oh, the list goes on.
During the past few months,
Rejection has reared her ugly head yet again. I thought that these "feelings" would go away as I grew closer to Christ...
But feelings of rejection don't always just disappate. Lately, I have come to realize that I am, indeed, ultra sensitive at times. I think sometimes people don't even really mean to hurt me..but, when I am hurt, I still the girl sitting on the bench..watching everyone else dance..secretly wanting to cry her eyes out.
Sometimes, I feel the same pangs when my name is casually left off of an invitation. ..Or if there is a family gathering and no one calls to tell me about it.... Or if I spend the day alone...or if I call someone invite them somewhere and they kindly inform me that they have other plans.
I know that no harm is intended towards me. At least, in most cases, I don't think it is..
But I know that I still can be sensitive.
Last night, I started to think about Jesus and how He stood up for those that have faced rejection. I thought about how he stood up for the underdog. I thought about how, when we are facing those feeling of rejection and despair, He is there for us because He understands it. He was rejected.
He was spit on, cursed, ridiculed, mocked, whipped, and beaten down on a cross by people that He only wanted to love.
and even, while He was there...He still found the courage to speak grace into their lives..
"Father, forgive them..For they know not what they do."
One thing I started thinking about last night, in the midst of all my feelings of hurt, is the fact that, like Jesus, we have a choice as to what we can do with those feelings.
We can choose to live out our days in bitterness and anger ..or...we can choose to overcome. We can choose to rise above and shine like a light in the darkness.
I choose the latter.
So, I will take all of those feelings of rejection, both warranted and unwarrented, and reach out to others who have been rejected..
The purpose of this entire post isn't so that I can whine about my past rejections..but to hopefully help others who have felt the same hurts.
I think we have all felt rejected...by the rude teller at the bank, or the angry driver waving his fist, at the backstabbing friend or family member. We've felt it at the people who push past us in line...and then again, by those who curtly brush us off... We've felt it in snide comments. We have felt the pangs of rejection in every single lie that we have been told...We've felt it when people forget to say, "thank you." or when our names are casually left off invitations. Rejection is everywhere.
But, we have the choice to rise above it,,,to "overcome every evil with good."
I will soon be moving into a new place.
I have a front porch.
I"m decorating in a beach theme.
The other day I went out and bought a few mugs..They have a picture of a sailor's wheel and they say, "WELCOME ABOARD."
I want every single person to know that you have a place on my porch, and in my home. I have a badmitton set..a set of Jimmy Buffet style Christmas lights that are going to shine even in the dead of summer... I will serve the finest coffee...I will have a mat at the door that says, "Welcome."
You see, I have the choice to live out Jesus every single day. Even though I am occassionally being hammered down by people in this life, I can still show the same kind of Grace that Christ did as He was being nailed to a tree.
I invite you, over.
I would like to share a laugh and get to know something about you.
So remember, when times are tough and things are hard..when you are staring dead into the face of rejection...you always have a place with Christ..and there is always my front porch..
I have a picture of the ocean that I am hanging in the living room..and soon I hope to have a lime tree growing in the yard.
" For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord..Plans not to harm you, but to prosper you..plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
"Set your eyes on things above and not on things below"