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Rejection and How to Deal with it

Because of a recent rejection I’ve been asking myself, “Why does this hurt so badly?” I’m discovering some nasty things about myself in the process.


Psalm 55:12-16 “For it were not an enemy [that] reproached me; then I could have borne [it]: neither [was it] he that hated me [that] did magnify [himself] against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But [it was] thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. We took sweet counsel together, [and] walked unto the house of God in company. Let death seize upon them, [and] let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness [is] in their dwellings, [and] among them. As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me.”

We will all deal with some rejection during our lifetime – after all, we are sinners living in a fallen world, surrounded by other sinners. What hurts the most is when we are rejected by someone we thought loved us, as the above verses say.

Because of a recent rejection I’ve been asking myself, “Why does this hurt so badly?” I’m discovering some nasty things about myself in the process.

I began to see my pride. I thought I had done everything right in working to build and maintain these relationships over the past 28 years. I remembered birthdays and Christmas. I attended funerals and kept up communication. I visited as often as possible.

Do you see all the I’s?

As I learned shortly after my mother-in-law’s death, there are things I wish I had done differently. During the early years of our marriage, we had three children in five years while my husband was still in college, so our time alone was very limited. When we visited Dan’s parents we were quick to leave the children in their care. We rushed off to get some much-needed alone time. Looking back, I realized how much Dan’s mother looked forward to our visits. She was housebound and really longed for our chats and times together. I’m sure she enjoyed her grandchildren, but I wish I had spent more time with her, picked her some flowers, and spent more time by her side.

I also realized that during their visits to us I thought I was helping her by doing all the work myself and allowing her to just take it easy. What she really wanted was to be invited in to be an active part of our busy household, as you can see by this poem that she wrote during one of their visits.

It’s rough, Lord,
Being on the shelf
When I yearn so to be
In the middle of the action
In this busy place…

It’s tough, Lord,
In a world where PRODUCTION is all-important
Thanks, Lord, for understanding
How I feel.

Manghild Sather at 4280 Parklawn, 1989

The notation at the end — at 4280 Parklawn, 1989 could leave no doubts. That is where we lived, and the year Rebekah was born.

Yes, there were many things she couldn’t do, but she could have helped me fold the endless stacks of cloth diapers from having two babies using them, or bake some cookies. Once again, I wish I had done more with her.

I also saw my expectations. I expected the reward of good relationships from all I had been doing. Instead of seeking to serve these people just because I loved them, I was doing things I thought would bring rewards to me. My husband likes to say, “I never expect anything from (fill in the blank), and I’m never disappointed.” We laugh, but it’s true. We need to love unconditionally or it really isn’t love.

As I remembered these things in light of my current situation I found myself asking, “Am I really doing what the Lord wants me to do, or am I doing what I want to be doing?”  Am I doing it for love or for reward?

What I thought was rejection has become an opportunity. Yes, an opportunity to see myself as I really am and an opportunity to love unconditionally.

If you liked the poem by Manghild Sather, my mother-in-law be sure to check out this book, Thoughts on Being Left Behind with her other works. It’s a gem for anyone who is feeling left behind because of illness, or homeschooling, or just being a busy mom.


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Phyllis Sather
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