I enjoyed a lot of nice surprises this month. My sister delivered a beautiful baby boy the day before Thanksgiving, erasing the memory our family held for years where that day was always the day our baby nearly died. Talk about redemption. He is a keeper and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to take a quick trip to my hometown to meet him.
Another pleasant happening was the thankful series I mentioned in my last post. There were so many new guest bloggers this year and the topics were inspiring. I looked at the stats and over 24,000 people took a peek. One day I had an open spot so I decided to share my own story, and the theme definitely drew attention. After all, not everyone can say they are thankful when they say they are thankful for rejection.
You read it right, I’m thankful when I experience rejection.
That doesn’t mean I enjoy it or look forward to it, but I’ve finally reached the place that I understand it isn’t just part of life, it’s necessary and an opportunity for me to grow. A few years ago I read Becoming Lovers: From Disciple of Christ to the Bride of Christ and I believe it was in those pages Joy Chickonoski talked about rejection meaning promotion.
Yep, you read that right, too. Rejection means promotion.
That took me a long time to understand. Not so long ago I went through a season of personal rejection that if it were possible, could have turned me inside out because it felt so brutal. It was consistent and one of the most painful times of my life. But when it started I clung to the Lord and asked for His help. I relied on His strength and became a true picture of the person being carried in the “Footprints in the Sand” poem. The more I surrendered my hurt and fears, the stronger I became. I received step-by-step direction on how to lovingly respond that I believe was Holy Spirit led. When that season reached the apex I was able to deliver truth with a peace that absolutely passed any definition man could have. I knew whatever happened next, it would be okay.
Fast forward and everyone involved in that season is better for that rejection. It was a valley experience that refined me. Since then I’ve faced writing rejection and things of that nature that I feared for decades. After thriving past that true rejection, the other kinds didn’t seem that daunting anymore. If anything, I licked my wounds, laughed, and moved on.
I read a lot and I interact with a lot of people in different circles. As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach I’m observing so many people battling rejection. Perhaps it is marriage related and custody or perhaps in-law issues. Family wounds with parents or siblings. The unemployment rate is a big factor this year to families across the country and although most of the time a layoff or job loss isn’t personal, it sure feels that way. Friendships or relationships that are barely hanging on or ended. Rejection is the understudy in a play praying the lead gets sick so they can take over.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. When I write things I’ve either recently come through it or am going through it right now. If you can relate to rejection, are you able to embrace it?
Turns out from reading the feedback, few thought about being thankful for such a thing. If you’re unemployed, can you be thankful for that “no thanks” on the job hunt? Perhaps it’s a no because something even better is ahead. Are you thankful for relationship troubles? Who knows, that adversity could be a refining fire to change your life for the better. Writers—rejection is part of the process. Are you thankful for it?
Try it. You just might find a pleasant surprise through your thankfulness.
Surrendering the good, the bad, and—maybe one day—the chocolate