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“That’s alright. They didn’t need you anyway. They don’t know what they’re missing,” my brother responded. His compassionate answer was a hug to my hurting 9th grade heart and ego.
Puddles formed, a tear was certain to fall soon. Staring down at the worn, off-yellow plastic plate, it’s daisies looking a little less cheery with each passing year, food awaited. On this night, I had little interest in its nutritional showcase. I was full, yet painfully empty. An extra large serving of rejection had been served just hours before.
I was cut from the volleyball team.
As an athlete on my inaugural volleyball tryout, it seemed reasonable to believe the necessary skills would come quickly. The coach, however, didn’t see it that way. Like a fairy tale gone bad, a fear of rejection and I linked arms and sprinted away, not-so-happily-ever-after. Rejection was a heavy burden to bear for a fourteen year-old.
But rejection’s target isn’t solely teenagers. Not too long ago, it served up a plate of its lies to me, an adult riding the downhill portion of her 40’s.
In July of 2014 I joined a Christian writer’s training group to support the God books and blog posts that were whirling inside me.
Write for magazines! Write for compilations! Ezines are an option, take-home papers too, they coached.
Take-home papers? What are those?! Although I blogged sporadically in the past and self-published a book as a newbie writer a few years earlier while in a “sporadic” phase of writing, these terms were altogether new.
The coaches opened a world of unknown and its writing options. I submitted several stories and devotions, but none were accepted. The rejections began building. Confidence folded inward, cowering behind the computer screen in fear. It felt similar to the volleyball team cut once again. I wasn’t good enough.
I could run down to the market and get a job. I love that store. Wouldn’t that be better?
I’m beginning to feel guilty about not contributing financially. Lord, maybe writing’s a dead-end street, and I didn’t hear you after all.
I questioned the call. Fear caused me to question God’s plan. The idea of quitting danced in my head. But this time, I didn’t run away.
I ran to the Lord.
Lord, is this you? I’m not so sure right now, but I’ll keep facing the rejections if writing is your will. The prayer was silent but very real.
Within the week there were three, distinct confirmations. It was God. (I’m smiling as I type this. The Lord is faithful. I love it!)
“Lord, I hear you. I will continue,” was my answer, a smile perched beautifully on my lips. I was ready to battle, even if it meant proceeding with fear prepared to serve its dish. After all, the Lord was on my side.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? PS 118:6 NIV
Are you facing something new?
Did you hear God call?
Are you questioning whether you heard correctly? Below are two thoughts to aid in answering those questions.
2 Steps to Remember in the Face of Rejection
1. Remember the conscious move, asking God for guidance. Running to Him proves to be a trustworthy move every time. If you’re facing fear, consider His wisdom available for you. Simply go to God and ask.
2. Make a calculated decision in the face of fear, with eternity in focus. Continuing the venture into new territory, I learned about and submitted various stories and articles, often proceeding with knees knocking. It was about God, about eternity, not me. Battles in the Old Testament were calculated as well. Think Jericho. They “heard” what to do, then they “did” what God called them to do. The victory wasn’t as quick nor easy as a snap of the fingers. They didn’t eat from fear’s plate. They ate of the Lord’s faithfulness instead. You and I can too.
My friend, what’s on your plate? Is it rejection or God’s faithful daily, life-giving bread? With the Lord on our side, fear doesn’t stand a chance. Be encouraged and walk boldly in His will for you.
Did You Know?
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