Let us continue on the topic of purpose and the effect of rejection when struggling in a time of uncertainty. Let us not deny, rejection is common; rejection is not necessarily a bad thing. However, when you are already in an overwhelming situation where anxiety and fear is high; then rejection can seem like the be all and end all. You see your life crumbling around you, and you feel the responsibility is all in your hands. Everything you try, to take steps forward seems to be met with NOs and closed doors. It is terrifying and hard; it is something I have been experiencing over the past few months along with many others around the world. While I can only talk from my experience, I know there are people in far tougher situations. I will be linking organisations/charities which help with debt, poverty, and homelessness. I pray you would not struggle alone; it can be worrying and you may feel ashamed to speak up about your problems; it is the first step to help.
In this blog I will continue with a faith and biblical approach. I always write to offer hope and encouragement. There has been great suffering due to the pandemic and people have lost loved ones, homes, jobs and so much more. I do not want these blogs to undermine the huge amount of loss people have gone through. I do want to write this series for all those who are trying to pick their lives up again but who are struggling. It is not an easy with how uncertain everything continues to be but I hope in writing these they will offer some support, to those who are feeling alone with their struggles. I do not write these blogs lightly, but I do write them with my faith in God because it is through this season, I have truly realised how faithful He is and close He is.
Let us rewind to the beginning of March this year. The pandemic was beginning to consume the media and our everyday life. We were seeing the effects of it around the world and it was just beginning to worsen in the UK. I was a temp in a sort of call centre job. It was fast paced, I felt undertrained and it was overwhelming. It was the sort of job you should not take home with you, but my thoughts were constantly consumed with how I had not measured up each day. I decided to leave as I was only a temp with the hope of picking up another job. It was not the case; the pandemic came full sweep, and everything went into lockdown. Job’s became scarce and I became worried. My finances were enough for a couple of months, but I would need another job to keep me steady and my finances secures.
Fast forward to September and I am currently still unemployed. My finances are low, and I have received a ton of rejection. I have applied to various amounts of jobs and have not made it through to the interview process. It has been disappointing, overwhelming and my self-worth felt diminished. I was constantly overthinking how I could have done everything better in the past and then I would have been more successful. My prayer became cries of disappointment and anguish as I tried to find a solution to my problems.
A passage I have continuously has put in front of me is Mathew 6v31-33:
So do not worry, saying ‘What we shall eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
Honestly, when I first read this, I did not realise the impact the truth of these words would have over my life. Truthfully, I was striving so much in my own strength to attempt to sort out my own life and get it back on track. It led to so much pressure because I did not want to disappoint people or look like a failure. It impacted my whole life; my emotions were incredibly low and my relationships with people broke down. It was hard to process everything going on, not just jobs but what was going on in the world, and sadly it was easier to push people away than let them close. I felt low, I kept isolating myself and I was struggling to see the bigger picture when everything which was a certainty seemed to be crumbling.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3v5-6)
I am not going to deny in this season I have struggled to be faithful, but I will admit this season has led me to a closer relationship with Jesus. One certainty, I had in my life was the word of God. No matter how I felt I would try to read or meditate on some of God’s word. I truly found this time precious. I have spent a lot of time in the Old Testament this year; I would be reading about the life of David or some of the Israelites in exile. I was learning how they were being faithful in a time of uncertainty. I was learning how honest they were with their struggles and how dependent they were on the Lord to meet their needs. These were people walking through similar struggles as you and me; they chose to put their faith in God instead of themselves. It took sacrifice, they made mistakes but ultimately, they chose to pursue and offer their life to the Lord.
And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. (Psalm 9v10)
It has been the uncertainty and the rejection which has led me closer to the Lord. The realisation, I can not do life on my own is a valuable but a tough lesson. It does not mean I now lay back and allow everything to fall into my hands, because I trust in God. It means I do life with the Lord, side by side going through life.
I have learned to be honest with the Lord about everything. As the verse in Matthew states, God already knows our needs but what we need to do is seek him first. I am learning to be honest about my finances, my need for a job, my relationship with my family and friends. It helps to know I do not have to carry it all on my own.
Rejection has many avenues it can lead us down. For some it will lead to constant improvement to gain what they want. For others it will lead to them giving up. In some cases, it will make the individual lean on others in realisation they cannot do it all alone. It is not easy to reach out to other people; it can be embarrassing, or you feel too ashamed. The more we do things alone, the more we struggle. We are limited on what we can achieve on our own. God is an abundant and all-powerful God. When we trust Him, He leads us to the right places, people, and resources.
Some, if not all of you reading this may be struggling to see God’s faithfulness in a season of rejection and uncertainty. I want to talk briefly about the idea of scarcity and God. This is something I have been learning through the books I was reading. Some of us believe that God does not have enough to meet our needs. He blessed our ‘neighbour’ with exactly what we needed and now there is not enough for us. Scarcity is a problem within our world, there is only so many jobs, clothing, food, etc. May we not put this belief on God, he is truly an abundant God, who is not rejecting us in our time of need.
‘Rather than trusting in his abundance, we try to be enough and get enough as if there isn’t enough. And we are exhausted from trying to do this on our own.’ (Jennie Allen, Nothing to prove)
God is not a genie, you wish for something and it magically appears. However, he is a God who meets our needs and in the most incredible way. In which we can only glorify God for it.
Back in June, I was still searching for a job but due to the needs of life had fallen into my overdraft. I was constantly praying/complaining to God how I needed a job now in order to get out of this debt. A few days later someone came and said because they had been blessed, they wanted to bless me with a certain amount of money. I had told no one of the debt I was in but this sum of money covered my debt plus a little more. I do not tell this story to gloat or to say everything will be sorted this way. It reminded me how abundant God is and how I am not powerless when I serve an all-powerful God. He is able to meet my needs, I do not have to struggle alone.
May we learn to be more prayerful and to trust in who God says he is. Even when it seems so hard due to the situation we are facing. God is gracious and merciful. We are not condemned because of our mistakes/failures, Jesus has set us free from all of it, but we do not need to repent and trust in God.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened… If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7v7-8,11)
Rejection leads to a period of waiting; the waiting period can be disappointing because we feel our life is on hold. It can make us fearful and worried. Within the waiting, growth happens. It may not feel like it but it does. If we keep comparing our lives to those around us, we will miss out on the blessings. They may be small in comparison, but they will be valuable for our lives. As I reflect back on the past few months, I see the greatest blessings came when I was obedient and sought the Lord first.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27v14)
Waiting is not easy, and it is not the way we would normally fix our problems. Waiting on the Lord means we walk with him, through every situation we are facing. We do all we can, and we trust God will provide. The world will always make us feel inadequate because we do not measure up to all their standards, we are useless.
In all the rejection we have faced, God has only ever wanted us to feel accepted. It was always His desire for us to be with Him, it is in our own pride and selfishness we reject Him. None of us are perfect but may we trust a God who is and will walk with us. May we not let shame and rejection define us. We were created for so much more.
Overall, I am still looking for a job and my bank account has certainly seen better days. I choose to allow myself to put my trust in the Lord, even when the rejections come. Trusting the Lord has not brought me this far just to leave me here. To be blessed does not mean to have all the riches I desire but to know there is hope even within the toughest situations.
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart I have overcome the world. (John 16v33)
Referring to my previous blog, we need to stop putting our worth in what we do and achieve. There will be many disappointments along this path of life. If we let every single one diminish us, we will not get very far. Rejection mixed with anxiety, over thinking, fear, etc; is a truly horrible mix. It can feel like life is being crushed out of you. I truly hope there is one person you would feel comfortable to reach out to. I pray if you have been struggling to connect with God, in small steps you would take time to reconnect. Whether through journaling, prayer or speaking to a trusted friend or church leader. I pray, where the world would want to crush us; we would step out in faith and trust and see all God can do in his abundance.
Rejection is painful, may your heart and your mind take courage in rejection not defining you. It is okay to ask for help! You are not a failure because of your struggles. The people who love you and care for you, will not be judging you at this time. They honestly want the best for you, do not feel you are alone. There is always hope, it may seem small but have faith to take small steps forward.
Application: It may seem silly but truly allow yourself to breathe. To find a place of peace whether it be somewhere if your house or somewhere outside and take time to breathe. If you want to do this with someone, then ask for someone to come alongside you. Allow yourself to take in what is around you and focus on something beautiful. Allow peace to be yours if emotions come then let them. If it helps write down your thoughts or say out loud all you are struggling with. Possibly with the support of someone see how you can take small steps to work through them.
You are loved, you are cherished. God bless, Victoria. xx