rejection

In the Moment

Yesterday, I enjoyed my first day of snowboarding for this season. I really like snowboarding because it’s the sequence of lots of exhilarating moments strung together over the course of a day. Yesterday was particularly enjoyable because my drive to the slopes was filled with interesting podcasts and I could sense Holy Spirit’s presence in the car and talking with me through these podcasts. The enjoyment continued when I strapped on my board and pointed it down the slope, reminding myself that this is a warm up run and not the Olympics. I had a quick adrenaline rush when I made a sharp turn, caught an edge and almost biffed it, but I caught myself before the crash! I found more moments of pleasure enjoying the spectacular scenery, breathing crisp and fresh air, going really fast without getting injured, along with some quiet reflection on the lift going up the mountain for another run.

While I’m grateful for lots of continuous moments of pleasure yesterday, I’ve also been reading about Absalom, the son of David. And reading about him, shows me a man who had lots of continuous moments of pain, anger, stress, dissatisfaction, disappointment and rejection. I’d encourage you to read about him in 2Samuel, to see a person who lived in continuous moments of pain.

We can observe these moments of pain in Absalom’s life in how he responded to his sister, Tamar, after she was raped by their half brother. Absalom told Tamar to stay in his house and he would look after her, but he never said word one to their half brother, Amnon, for two years. After these two years, Absalom threw a party as a convenient context to kill Amnon. Absalom’s behavior and choices show me a man who lived in continuous moments of anger and revenge.

These moments of pain continued for Absalom as he was exiled for two years from his dad, David, for killing Amnon. Upon returning to Jerusalem, Absalom still didn’t see his dad for another two years, likely perpetuating more moments of hurt, rejection and disconnection. Once Absalom was accepted by his dad, David the king, it’s still obvious that Absalom stays in his continuous moments of pain, because he plots for some years to win the heart of Israel and displace his dad as king.

I would suggest that the culmination of these painful moments happened when Absalom declared himself as king, David ran for his life and Absalom began a war against his dad to position himself as Israel’s king. The end of Absalom’s life of continual tragic moments is when he gets caught in a tree, swinging by his hair and David’s army commander throws spears into Absalom’s heart to kill him.

To me, this story is an epic tragedy, portraying a life stacked full of tragedies, pain, destruction, isolation and grief. While I’m sure that Absalom had some good moments over the course of his life, it seems to me that he became swallowed by the bad moments such that his life became a continuous bad moment and he perpetuated the bad with his hurtful choices.

When I think about how this applies to us, we will have good moments and bad moments in our lives. If we choose to live in the bad moments, we run the risk of getting sour and disillusioned, resulting in hurt to ourselves and others. Additionally, watching Absalom’s choices is a vivid reminder that I actively choose forgiveness whenever I’m hurt. I’m also grateful that God gives us good moments, like my snowboarding day ☺

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

closed doors

I prefer open doors rather than closed doors, but it seems to me that God leads us not only with open doors, but also with doors that are shut airtight.  Sometimes it bugs me when a door is closed to me & I can take it as personal rejection, which is always tough.  But if I choose to see a closed door as part of God’s guidance, then it doesn’t seem to hurt as much & doesn’t feel quite so personal.  It also helps me to remember that the Apostle Paul had his fair share of closed doors, many of which he was locked behind as a prisoner!

Let’s consider that God has the right doors to open for us & we can trust that God is working all things together for our good as we stay in love with God & stay true to the divine purposes in our lives!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, values, watch, 1 comment

How to Overcome Rejection

“He doesn’t like nor love me.” This was a common theme in Leah’s life. Leach was the wife of Jacob & daughter of Laban, Rachel’s sister. Leah’s dad pawned her off to be Jacob’s wife through trickery & then after she was married, she rightfully felt that Jacob “hated” her – Leah personified rejection, the walking illustration of “a chip on the shoulder”.
Rejection is awful no matter when or how we experience it, it’s awful but we all go through it, operative word, “THROUGH”.
Leah’s strategy for rejection management had a few helpful points for us:
*Reuben – her first son was called Reuben, with the declaration that God sees her & we must know that God not only sees us but we must keep our eyes on God!
*Simeon – her second son’s name was meant to say that God hears us – you have God’s ear
*Levi was her third son & his name means to attach or connect – remain connected & attached to God, never rejected by God 🙂

Be very clear that God never turns a blind eye not deaf ear to you & that you are wholly accepted, embraced & celebrated by the Creator of the universe, fearfully & wonderfully made!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 1 comment

help with rejection

“Eveybody likes you, Sarah!”  That’s what my dad would always say when I’d come home from school, complaining that no one liked me.  Now that I think about it, the truth is somewhere between the 2 extremes:  everyone & no one.  Rejection is tricky, but all of us have to manage it at various times & in varying degrees.  Here are some thoughts that I hope you’ll find helpful:

reject-2

  • rejection is universal:  everyone gets rejected at some point (some of those points are linear, connecting the dots & some are hops & skips)
  • being rejected isn’t as important as what you do with it
  • is there a reason for you being rejected?  Do you need to make some adjustments?
  • forgiveness redeems rejection & transforms it to something of great value (consider Joseph & his brothers who sold him into slavery in Genesis)
  • God never rejects you – you are accepted among the beloved – Eph 1:6
  • In Jesus’ life, His crucifixion (the ultimate rejection) came immediately on the heels of Palm Sunday
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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments

Some thoughts about rejection

Rejection is a tricky topic because sometimes our perceptions aren’t always accurate. But whether rejection is real or perceived, we have to deal with it constructively or it can be extremely destructive. So here are some suggestions:
*focusing on rejection usually seems to only make it worse or to be magnified in our thinking – better to bring it to Jesus
*consider the roots of rejection, if it comes from yourself or from something external
*rejection is always eligible for redemption (Joseph, Jacob, Jesus & more)
*forgiveness is a necessary ingredient for rejection to be redeemed 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, 0 comments

the power of a closed door

I’ve been thinking alot about the closed doors that Jacob experienced in his life: the door was closed for him to stay at home when he tricked his dad for the blessing, the door was closed for him to stay w Laban when he recognized that he’d “worn out his welcome”, the door was closed for him (or so it seemed) when he “lost” Joseph to a wild animal, etc.  Jacob had ALOT of closed doors in his life & I think that these developments were extremely disturbing to him.

I think that perhaps the same is true for us – we don’t like it when things change & places of previous acceptance & comfort are no longer available.  Understandably, we tend to dislike instability.  But here’s the power of a closed door:

  • it means that God has something different open for you,
  • it means that you may possibly be moving into a new season,
  • it could mean that God has a promotion for you,
  • it could mean that the vision for your life has been too small

Don’t wallow in rejection or closed doors.  Don’t get obstinate & refuse to change or move forward.  Celebrate because God is up to something really good in your life!!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, 4 comments

holy week

Sorry for the long delay in blogging.  Last week was a rough week – I caught the cold my kids had, we had TV taping & I had a few other plates I was trying to spin (I dropped a few plates). 

Here’s something interesting God spoke to me last week & perhaps you’ll find it helpful:  “don’t reject or diminish God’s provision because it doesn’t meet your expectations”. 

rejectedI’ve really mused on this idea, especially in light of the events of Jesus’ life leading up to His crucifixion.  Humanity rejected God’s provision of Jesus because He didn’t meet their expectations (along w many other reasons).  I see myself doing this as well.  For example, God will give me strength to go through a situation but not rescue me from it.  So because He doesn’t “rescue” me, I get bent out of shape w Him rather than being grateful for His strength.  How about the times when I’m not really happy w Reece (my husband) for whatever reason?  Or what about when my job isn’t going quite like I want it to? 

Please understand, I’m not saying that we should just bury our head in the sand & pretend that everything is always sunny w no rain.  However, I think that we can often be a gripey bunch of humans when we don’t get our way.  If things aren’t going as you’d wanted or planned, then look around for God because He’s probably doing things off the plot – praise Him!  Whew!

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Posted by sarahbowling in living, spiritual, 1 comment