Growing up in various small towns in Texas, I became accustom to social rejection. We moved from one rural area to another, making me forever the new kid in school.
My mother didn’t have much luck in relationships, so there was always a new guy, a new crowd, and a new town. Where ever we landed I’d have to acclimate quickly, and try to fit in. Needless to say rejection became a way of life for me.
It wasn’t easy, but it did offer me an opportunity to build a relationship with God, that not many people enjoy.
There were days…
when I wished I could just disappear.
With no friends or family, God became my best friend, and my Father in a very real and tangible sense. I learned to weather the bullying, and more dramatic scenes of rejection at school and social gatherings, then I’d retreat to the arms of my loving Father, where He would catch all my tears, and keep them in His bottle.
Over the years the Lord has taught me about life, how to love myself and forgive those who’ve hurt me. Recently as I continue to work through the trauma of my childhood, He’s taken me through the adventures of David, who was the anointed king of Israel and yet was still rejected by EVEN the outcasts. David took down Goliath with a sling shot, and grew into a mighty warrior, and yet was betrayed and rejected repeatedly throughout his life. Scripture tells us that David was a man after God’s own heart, and that he knew what it was to be alone. He had spiritual wisdom that I believe he ONLY could have gained in that isolation…alone with the Lord.
Although he made mistakes and was far from perfect, I admire David and think he was awesome! He LOVED intensely, and would DANCE like no one was watching, while fervently praising and worshipping God!
I myself was an awkward kid, (luckily however I DID eventually grow into my teeth) but whether I really was or not…people called me ugly. My mom kept my hair very short, like a boy’s hair cut…and because I wasn’t the child of any of the men I remember her being with, they refused to provide me with school clothes and necessities. So my mom would have to find some of the things we needed by dumpster diving while I stood watch, then other things she found at various thrift stores. The shoes would often have holes in them, and the clothes didn’t really fit. Many times they were stained with small rips in them and missing buttons, but I think she did the best she could. However it was made clear to me that I wasn’t welcome where we lived, or wanted by the men that my mom had relations with, and that imprinted on my young mind in a way that’s been difficult to overcome.
I seemed to make most people uncomfortable. Looking back, I realize that I must have looked like a rough unkept little boy. But all of this being beyond my control, I had few options other than to just trudge through the circumstances I’d been given, growing up without an earthly father, and feeling very much like the world would’ve just assumed, I’d NOT come into it.
I remember when Christmas or my birthday would roll around, and well meaning adults would ask me what I wanted…my heart would sink into my stomach because I knew that for me there would be no presents or celebration. It would be just like any other day.
One other thing stands out so stark in my memory, as though it were just a moment ago…I noticed the difference in the way I was treated, compared to the pretty little girls with long hair and nice dresses. I found it to be so strange that many of the children that seemed to have everything, had such cruelty in their hearts. And that despite their ugly behavior people LOVED them. So I prayed that one day God would make me beautiful, so that maybe someday someone would love me.
As the years passed I blossomed into a beautiful woman, which brought me some false friends and some true enemies. But to my surprise sincere love, remained elusive. Regardless of my outward appearance, or circumstance…I had to learn to enjoy life while loving myself, and accepting the love that the Lord has for me each and every day.
Sadly the most painful social rejection I’ve ever experienced, has been at the hands of “church people” whom I’d thought would love the way Jesus does. I think that the reason that happens is because they don’t really know God, who’s very nature is LOVE.
I’ve come to accept this profound truth: the way people who claim to represent God treat me, is no reflection of God or His love for me.
You see God is PERFECT, while people just aren’t.
If you are feeling rejected today, I want to encourage you to rest in the knowledge that EVEN if you are rejected by your own mother and father, the Lord will adopt you, and He will never leave you or forsake you.
And if you are trying to connect with a particular group, and they are just unwilling to let you in, then know that there is nothing new under the sun, and Jesus knows exactly how you feel because He was also rejected. Our Lord Jesus Christ has such love and compassion towards society’s outcasts…So as you feel the sting of rejection, know that you are in good company, and God STILL has a plan.
Just keep being you! As awkward, quirky, kind, loving and outgoing as God made you, and as hard as it is…don’t worry about those who don’t recognize your worth.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like:
David, A Man After My Own Heart!
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Very well written and layed out. I could feel your sorrow through the words clearly and the sense of helplessness that you had. Rejection is such a silent enemy.
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