The Redemption of Rejection

photo by Kate Zaidova

photo by Kate Zaidova

I don’t know why.

I have no clue as to how my brokenness seems to evoke my deepest thoughts, my strongest insecurities or my most fragile inadequacies. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I suddenly am forced to process and reflect. Maybe it’s because when I feel like I have life together [laughs hysterically], I’m too busy to stop; too busy to witness the fortunate parts of my current season flying by.

Maybe it’s because my self-awareness causes me to take a step down off of my high horse and come to Jesus, head down, tail between my legs and begging for him to make it better. 

Whatever the reason, I find myself sitting at my computer in front of a blank word document, scrounging for words and chasing my fluttering thoughts that dance through my mind like pieces of paper swept away on a windy day: unpredictable and impossible to catch.

Here is my best attempt. You have been formally warned.

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What I’m learning from a broken heart:

I’m in a period of my life where I have experienced a lot of rejection. Rejection from friends, rejection from my sorority, rejection from the boy I used to date: rejection from people and places I have put time, energy, and tears into. With each, I left a part of my heart. That’s a lot of breaking and A LOT of broken pieces.

I’m overly sensitive to the fact that I am walking through life with a broken heart. Everything I do to mend it myself is like taking a staple gun to an open wound- messy and painful. And eventually, it falls apart; leaving an even bigger mess than the one I started with.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my provisions will no longer suffice.

I need stitches.

The issue isn’t putting my heart into things. What becomes of any success (or failure) if we have not put some of our heart into it? After all, life with Jesus is heartbreaking. We are promised that we will be hurt, promised we will be torn down. It’s because Jesus has created us to give our hearts to others. As women, we are designed and created to be creatures that love and express. That comes from our heart, not our feelings.

In my experience, a hurting heart is a sign of grief originating from the loss of something we once loved. There’s a healthy amount of mourning that is to be felt when we experience loss.

There is a time for everything; and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3:4

My issue came when I began leaving pieces of my identity in the people, in the places of the world. I came to the realization that I was using the rejection as an excuse to mourn the loss of my pride, status, and glorification to my own name.

With the Christmas season right around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in the carols, the candy, the lights, and the presents.

But as I sat down to write, I was reminded of the scandal of Christmas. Most importantly, of that 14-year-old unmarried and scared girl that lived the biggest scandal this world has ever seen.

I have to imagine that Mary was terrified. Mary was rejected. Dang, friends! She could have been stoned! She could have died for saying yes. She could have run away and tried to handle this pregnancy by herself. Instead, she treasured the scandal and submitted to the will of The Lord.

I am the Lord’s servant. May it be done to me according to your word.
Luke 1:38

Friends, Jesus’ love is scandalous! That scandal is a reflection of His great love for US! Yes, you. Yes, me. Yes, the one who hurt you deeply and you still haven’t forgiven - the broken, sinful, unworthy, disobedient and weak.

I sit here in self-pity ruminating on my rejection when Mary lived through more rejection than any other woman will in their lifetime. And it wasn’t easy; she was, after all, human. Just like me. Just like you.  

It’s time that we take Mary’s example. She got on her knees and handed her broken heart to The Lord. Mary let the rejection from her family, friends, and the strangers who judged her transcend into an adoration of The Lord and the living out of His will, even though it hurt.

As it’s much more eloquently said in one of my favorite songs:

Though you slay me, yet I will praise you. Though you take from me, I will bless your name. Though you ruin me, still I will worship. Sing a song to the One who’s all I need."
Though You Slay Me by Shane & Shane

What a blessing it is that the Creator of the universe ruins us, so that we may know Him, even in our suffering!

Make no mistake; I am not attempting to discard the reality of the brutal scars that rejection leaves behind. Those wounds are valid, not to mention they hurt like heck.

But I’m choosing to let Jesus stitch me up, despite the pain, despite the doubt, and despite the time for recovery. Oh, and the waiting… so much waiting.

I’m putting down my staple gun, getting on my knees, and handing my wound to the One who can mend even the deepest thrashes.

I’m finding the Redemption in my rejection.

Will you join me?

-Erin Cosgrove // @e_coz