Lying in bed, familiarly wide awake, it occurred to me: I got rejected a lot last week.
Chatting about it with my hubby, we reminded ourselves of the obvious fact: I am not a people pleaser.
The tender truth is that I actually want people to be pleased with me…but I want them to be pleased as a bi-product of living my life; not because I have bent over backwards to persuade them to be pleased with me.
The formula of if I do this, they will like me rarely works for me long term because I am guaranteed to forget the formula at some point. I get blindingly task driven and completing some tasks are not conducive to said people pleasing formula…
Years ago, each rejection would have set me off.
- The people who said I was wrong.
- The ones I made uncomfortable.
- The raised eyebrows telling me I should not even think that way.
But this thing of life is a journey of self discovery, forgiveness, repentance and growth. Several years ago I began a conversation with myself about OWNING MY OWN LIFE. Finding the ability to look in the mirror and look around and say, “For good or bad, all of this makes me who I am.”
Lysa TerKeurst sums up my desires perfectly:
I wanted to get to a place where my immediate reaction to off-kilter interactions with others wasn’t a downward spiral of wonky feelings, but stable love instead.
Sometimes dealing with people leads to a mutual disrespect.
I suspect some think that is not a very Christian thing to say, but I find that it is true none the less.
You don’t respect me enough to hear what I have to say. I don’t respect the fact that you won’t hear it.
There we are. Isn’t that special?
Leading an organization like this one has given me the beautiful opportunity to learn and grow and love the Lord. But it has not yet made my life or my character perfect.
I think that is a bummer.
I have explained to Jesus that I could do very holy things with lottery winnings, but He has not yet seemed to agree with me. I have told Him if He could just help with the people aspect of life, I would be so much more impactful for the Kingdom.
He is helping, just not in the miraculous–strike them with lightening–way I would prefer.
Slowly, consistently, I am reminded that God wants me to offer my life. All of it, with no editing and filters to make it look good. He will take the beauty in it to use for others, and the ugly in it to refine me and I am not always in charge of which situation produces which result.
Sometimes repentance helps to avoid rejection, but not every rejection means I need to repent.
In hindsight, I realize I AM LEARNING what Lysa TerKeurst says in her book Uninvited, that “Giving with strings of secret expectations attached is the greatest invitation to heartbreak.”
I see it because I was not destroyed by my weirdly-rejectionish week. I stayed on-purpose and was not distracted away from the things that matter. I realized I did some things right–in that, I mean I did things that I would do again:
- In one area, I was very clear about what I was hoping would happen. There were NO hidden strings. They did not agree or choose to engage in respectful dialogue, but I was straight forward. No hidden strings REALLY DID mitigate any heartbreak.
- In another area the hidden strings were not mine. I could see them fairly early on, and am praying through ways to deal with them in the future with more grace, but the hidden strings did provide discomfort for the person holding them. (And others as a result.)
- In a third situation, I simply did not care about the strings. Sometimes they come with an “I know better than you” and “you should be ashamed” tone that I am under no obligation to agree with. Sometimes you can choose to disconnect and go get a cup of coffee.
Connection can be a unicorn…talked about endlessly but hard to find in the real world.
How about you? Do you struggle with rejection? Do you find yourself rejecting others more than you would like? Chat with us about it, we’d love to hear from you.