You don’t know I’m writing this. In fact, if you did, I’m not sure what you would think.
You’re not just one boy. In elementary school, you’re the one who wouldn’t pick me for team sports. You’re the one who acted resentful when my grades were higher. You’re the one who called me ugly, and stupid, and fat. You’re the one who always had crushes on the prettier girls over me.
In high school, you’re the boy who would ask for help in math class but ignore me in the halls. You’re the one who would ask me out and then change their minds. The one who would be my friend until you realized I had started liking you, and then you would bail which made me feel like my friendship never meant anything to you.
In university, you’re the one who kissed me in the garden, but then decided I just wasn’t ‘the one’. I guess I’m a bad kisser. You’re also the one who would joke, and tease, and flirt, but then start dating another girl. Or the one who just started avoiding me instead of outright ending our relationship.
So where am I left? It’s hard not to take it personally and blame myself completely in each of these instances. But what I’ve come to realize is:
What’s in me is relational brokenness. And it’s in you too.
In times of rejection I’m tempted to listen to the voices in my head that say I’m not pretty enough or that my personality is too much. Voices that tell me that I’m a loser. They taunt, ‘how could you ever think he would want you?’ These voices whisper into my ear when I’m alone, and haunt me before I fall asleep.
But there’s also God’s voice. It tells me that I’m desired deeply by himself. I’m pursued, cherished, and adored. God’s voice reminds me that I have worth because he gave it to me. And no matter how others view me, or even how I view myself – that worth cannot be taken away. God’s voice tells me that I’m never too much and never not enough. I’m just right, because I was made with purpose.
Sometimes I don’t know which voice to listen to.
There’s a battle in my heart and mind that rages fiercely. I get confused and often I’m not sure which voice is right. I deeply want to believe God’s voice, but it’s easy to fall back into old patterns and believe the voices that whisper mean and terrible things into my ear. In the pain and hurt of being rejected, the battle to choose to believe what God says can feel overwhelming.
The journey is hard. But not impossible, because God helps me each day to choose him. To listen and believe his voice. His truth. And slowly, learn to respond to my rejection and pain with grace and compassion both for myself and for those who reject me.
So in my own relational brokenness and rejection, I choose to respond by praying.
I pray for God’s best for you. And I pray for God’s best for me too; not so that you and me can be ‘us’, but that each of us can experience wholeness in him.
Help me understand more of who you are. To know deep in my heart, and in my mind that you are good, in control, and sovereign. To know that you care both about the big things in the world, and my ‘small’ emotional and relational struggles. It’s all important to you.
God, help me let go of the desires I have for my own life, and of my expectations. Even my God-given dreams. Help me let go of my hurts, pains, and fears. Each one is material for sacrifice. Each longing can be offered back to you, who understands perfectly. Help me trust that as I surrender and lay everything down before you, you take each thing and transform it into something that brings you glory.
God, it hurts. I so badly want a relationship to work out the way I envision it. I don’t understand when it doesn’t. I know you’re involved in the process, and perhaps even protecting me from future pain that I can’t ever see or know.
Help me know deep in my soul that you see me. You know me. You will lead me into a relationship when it is the right time for you. In your wisdom you know better. In my pain, and even in moments of joy or excitement, I confess that I don’t know what’s best. I will never fully know the depths of what you know.
God, help me experience wholeness that’s found in you. Part of that I think is viewing others as you view them. It means extending grace, love, and mercy even in the middle of rejection, pain or confusion. I pray for the boys who have rejected me: my friendship, my heart, my care for them. Help me respect and value them. Help me choose to think the best of them, and also to be honest when I’ve been hurt and disrespected.
I pray that they would know you and grow close to you. That they would listen as the Holy Spirit guides them into relationships, friendships, and in life. I pray that they will grow into men of Christ that leave a legacy of faith for generations to follow. That they will serve Jesus in the small moments of each day, in the subtle choices and decisions that overtime build up to a lifetime of faithful living.
My feelings of rejection will pass. God I trust that you will restore my heart. I’m grateful for those boys, and how God you shape my trust and dependence in you because of them. God, thank you for always turning what’s broken into your good.