While I don’t remember how old I was exactly, maybe five, the memory of standing on the sidewalk watching them walk away without me is crystal clear.
Just 10 minutes earlier the neighbors across the street asked if I’d like to go on a walk with them. I was thrilled to be invited into their nightly ritual.
I told them I had to ask my mother, so I skipped the few steps home to get permission. Mom said yes, but after an afternoon of playing in the yard, she wanted to clean me up a bit for my special walk. We went inside where she washed the dirt off my face, brushed my hair and buttoned me up a crisp white shirt.
It was only minutes later she walked me back out to the sidewalk … where I watched the neighbors walk away.
They were halfway down the block, too far for me to chase after … and honestly, I just felt embarrassed to have been left behind.
That’s where the memory stopped. I’m sure my mother did her best to try to cheer me up – she was so good to me. But isn’t it crazy that decades later I can return to being that little forgotten girl, and bring up all those emotions?
Feeling left out, left behind, or overlooked just stinks. When it happens, the devil brands those memories in our minds, trying to convince us we aren’t worth waiting for, inviting or being invested in. He plants lies in our minds like these:
No one cares what you think.
They don’t really like you.
You don’t have any potential.
Don’t put yourself out there, you’ll be rejected.
Those lies still threaten me. But I’ve learned a thing or two in the past few year. I’ve learned the truth.
Compare these lies with the TRUTH of Jesus:
You are not forgotten!
“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?” (Matt. 18:12-13)
You have something to offer the world!
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14-16)
You will never be rejected!
“… God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” (Heb. 13:5b)
Last month, my friend Lysa TerKeurst tackled this topic of rejection in her book Uninvited. Friends, if you haven’t gotten your copy yet, I encourage you to get one today.
I love the truths Lysa shares in this book as we all face the power past rejection has over us. Here are few, and I’ve included them so you can share them:
God wants to set us free from the bondage of the lies of our enemy. We were meant to live loved, as Lysa says. It’s my prayer that today we all can step into the future God has for each of us, confident that we are called, accepted and invited.
God wants to replace all those past memories of rejection with His acceptance.
With His great love…