By Yamileth Lopez
Rejection. The word itself already instills a sense of dread and despair in me.
Rejection. Why does this concept affect us so negatively?
Rejection. When it happens, we find ways to not feel it. Some people drink, some use drugs (legal and illegal), some drown themselves in work, some eat excessively, but some spiral into depression. Rejection is hard to accept, but I think it is because in that situation we aren’t seeing the big picture. We never truly overcome it until we see beyond the spot we are focused on.
When I was a senior in high school, I applied for the prestigious full-ride scholarship at the university in town. My teachers and some professors assured me that I would get it, so I hadn’t prepared for a different outcome. One week after the final interview, I received a letter in the mail that started with, “We regret to inform you that you were not chosen to receive the scholarship.” I didn’t even read past that first sentence because I was overwhelmed with sadness. The next day, I mustered the courage to read it all the way and it went on to ultimately tell me that although I was a great prospect, I didn’t meet what they were looking for. I immediately began wondering: What did I do wrong? Is it because I am not smart enough? Pretty enough? What about me do I need to change? I am inadequate. I must not be a great person or I would have been chosen. The scholarship people clearly noticed, that’s why they rejected me. Why did I make the conclusion that I was not good enough or, in some sense, of less value?
At the time, I was ‘the smart kid’, I always made good grades, I was involved in clubs at school, and I was always placing in academic competitions and winning awards. I was super involved in church and I was on track to become a leader in my youth group. I loved my life and had no intentions of starting over. These are the details of my life that caused me to not see the bigger picture. I had become so attached to my academic and social status. I then created these expectations of how my life would be if the desire of getting that scholarship was given to me. Before I knew it, I had created an identity around this situation I wanted. When I got rejected, I felt my whole identity was rejected. My reaction of sadness, fear, and confusion was because I went into an identity crisis. That is why people react so negatively when rejection occurs. The more attached we were to a job, relationship, or situation, the harder it is to cope with the rejection. We shouldn’t attach ourselves to our desires so much that we make it our identity. Our identity is written in the Bible. For example:
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
We are God’s masterpieces! And did you notice that it says He planned for us and our part? Or take what 1 John 3:1 says,
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are.”
We are His children. We are loved by Him and valuable to Him.
After understanding my identity, I realized how wrong it was for me to let rejection make me doubt my worth. I was rejected and felt my life was at a road block and there was no other way. After some prayer and guidance, I felt God was telling me, “This is not the best path to take. There is another way.” This is what led me to apply to other universities and consider leaving home. I now recognize the freedom I received in shedding the old version of me. When I look back, I realize I know exactly what my life would look like if I had stayed. That is what is truly sad. I am so thankful for that rejection now. If I hadn’t been rejected, I never would have applied to Texas A&M (the best school ever!) and found my Two42 family. I wouldn’t have been thrust into the unknown and had to rely on God to get through life. I never would have known the beauty of being alone and seeking God to chase away the emptiness in my heart that was being filled with loneliness, uncertainty and fear. My life is still a mess and I know I don’t yet see the full picture. I probably never will, but I trust God to reveal it to me bit by bit as long as I walk with Him.
Rejection. Don’t fear or dread it.
Romans 8:14-15: For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Rejection. It should no longer mean, “I am inadequate,” it should mean, “This is not the path I will take.”
Romans 8:28: And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Rejection. You will no longer mar my perception of my value. I am a child of God. Through Jesus’ sacrifice I was redeemed. Before I was even born, God determined I was worth saving. Jesus Christ is the same today, as He was yesterday, and how He will be tomorrow (Hebrews 13:8); therefore, to this day, I am still worth saving.