Can I be real and honest? I know the feeling of rejection and I hate it. I hated school as I felt rejection by not being the popular one, not the one the boys would ask out, rejected because I was not of the dominate religion. (I still remember my math teacher smirking at me and saying something ugly because I wore a cross.) I have felt rejected when I put my idea out there and it was instantly turned down or I'm told I don't understand, rejected at gatherings where I know no one and no one approaches me to talk and I end up sitting there all alone. I have felt rejected when I've had the door slammed in my face when we've been out door knocking and passing out tracts, when I'm told I'm too religious and I need to tone it down. Rejected by a family member that I dearly loved but they were too depressed by the chaos of the world and life to love me or anyone else for that matter. I could go on and on, but I have faced rejection, so now even the thought of being rejected sends me running, hiding and pulling into myself. Funny that God would challenge me to be the outgoing one and to talk to those who fear rejection!
Today God made me face my fear of rejection and it was actually a rejection of my own making. I had to run to the grocery store to grab a few items. As I went down the chip aisle there was a guy price checking the shelf or something to that affect. As I passed him he asked me how I was to which I replied, "Amazing!". ( I am always feeling amazing when I am deep into my Bible, prayer and working on being strong in Him) When I told the guy this he said, "I need to be in that place if it makes you feel amazing", to which I replied, "It's easy to be where am." Okay absolutely perfect setup to stop, give the guy a Bible tract and share why I feel amazing, right? So my mind starts running, telling me he doesn't want to hear it, he'd just give you "that" look, giving him a tract will instantly squelch the conversation and make things awkward. At the same time all these thoughts are going through my mind, God was telling me to give him a tract. So what do I do? That's right.....I walk to the end of the aisle and turn the corner as fast I can!
A few steps down the aisle I realized, I was letting myself be rejected before I even tried. If I want to try and love others and help them to feel accepted and wanted, I can't be fearful of rejection myself. I turn back to the chip aisle to do what I should have done in the first place but the guy was gone! I looked around, beating myself up but couldn't find the guy anywhere. I thought to myself, maybe he was an angel put there to test me and I failed miserably!!!
As I approached the checkout and start putting my groceries on the belt I noticed the guy sitting at the front of the store. After my groceries were checked out I took a deep breath and approached the man. I know I must have sounded like blathering idiot as I tried to explain how I'm reaching out to people and my own feelings of rejection. I gave him a tract and my card and told him that was why I was feeling amazing and then we talked about talking to people. This man told me how he loves to talk to everyone and joke with them or give them a hard time. He said he loves being outgoing and friendly and I told him I wanted a personality just like him! I talked to him for a few minutes more and then asked if I could take his picture but he kindly declined as he said he did not want to be on the internet. He really was a wonderful guy and I thanked him for talking and listening to me and left with my heart beating a little too fast.
Talking with God on the way out of the store I realized that I do not have to fall victim to the fear of rejection. God is with me and as he says in 2 Peter, He has given me everything I need in order to live a full, joyful and fruitful life. By letting His love, light and power shine through us, we give Him glory and that is my purpose in life, to give Him glory!
Only 4 days into this journey and already it has been a huge adventure for me! I wonder who and what the next 361 days will bring?