When you’ve been rejected, do you just shrug it off? Or, do you lean into the Lord so He can heal your heart? Jessica Van Roekel shares three ways we can handle rejection in a healthy way. With these steps, you can invite the Lord to heal your heart so that you become a testimony of His glory to those around you.
I’ve recently chatted with Jessica on the Your Hope-Filled perspective podcast about rejection. You won’t want to miss either episode as Jessica walks us through how to reframe and cope with rejection and how to overcome it.
Be sure to read to the end for a book giveaway!
(If there are affiliate links in this post, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you)).
Three Ways for Handling Rejection in a Healthy Way
Jessica Van Roekel
Did you know that our brain reacts to rejection the same way it does when we experience physical pain? Yet, too often, we don’t take the time to process our emotions surrounding rejection in a healthy way. Sometimes we shrug it off and deny our heart the space to it needs to heal. Other times we cultivate and sow seeds of bitterness about what happened. For some, it leads to perfectionism and a merry go round chase of desiring another person’s positive opinion. No matter our response, handling rejection in a healthy way is worth walking through three steps.
3 steps to handle rejection in a healthy way
Handling Rejection through Expressing Pain
I burned the palm of my hand when I brushed crumbs off a burner that hadn’t cooled down. I needed to stop and deal with the burn. Yet, when I’ve been rejected, I just keep right on going. Me? Hurt? Nah. But secretly, I replay the conversation like a record needle stuck in a single groove. So, why not pause and bring our hurts and confusion to the Lord?
In the Psalms, David shows us how to process negative emotions and pain. We can learn how to be honest with the Lord by reading the Psalms. When we follow David’s example, we see that God wants to hear about the hurts in our hearts. It’s okay to give words to the pain rejection caused. It’s in the pouring out of our hurt that God draws near to comfort.
Handling Rejection through Remembering
The second way to handle rejection is remembering who you are in Christ. In him you are chosen, beloved, accepted, and approved. He loves you with an everlasting love and a faithfulness that endures. In a world filled with fickle people who praise us one moment and reject us the next, we need to keep our focus on our identity in Christ. What people say impacts us, but it doesn’t have to define us.
Our definition is not determined by what we do or what value we bring, although those are important reflections of Jesus in us. Our identity does not find its roots in people’s approval or disapproval. Our identity rests solely on who Christ says we are, and we are his. As we surrender to him, he guides our steps and brings us to and through situations where our suffering becomes a place of identifying with Christ.
He suffered. He experienced rejection. Yet, he did not let that sway him from who he knew he was and what his goal was. Our goals are not to please people and avoid their disapproval. Our goal is to walk in the way that the Lord lays out for us. We stay steady, trusting him with our struggles with handling rejection.
Handling Rejection by Trusting Him
The third way of handling rejection is entrusting our healing to him. When our heart breaks, it takes time for healing. It becomes a multi-layered process because there’s forgiveness to be done and there’s personal examination of choices that need to be made. Sometimes rejection stirs up long buried memories that the Lord wants to bring into his healing light. We can resist him, or we can run to him.
He longs for our healing. When we cooperate with him in our healing, our lives become a place of testimony of his glory and faithfulness. We can trust him with our heart when we place our pain surrounding the rejection in his loving hands. Handling rejection takes courage because it requires us to face situations and people we’d rather forget. But when we choose to look at the memory through the lens of God’s word and his love for us, we establish another testimony of his faithfulness in our lives.
The three ways of handling rejection are expressing your pain to the Lord, remembering who you are in Christ, and entrusting your healing to him. These steps provide a way to address the hurts from rejection, remind yourself that your identity is secure in Christ, and that he can heal your heart so that you become a testimony of his glory to those around you.
What healthy ways have you used to handle rejection? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
About Jessica Van Roekel
Jessica Van Roekel is a worship leader, speaker, and writer who believes that through Jesus, personal histories don’t need to define the present or determine the future. She inspires, encourages, and equips others to look at life through the lenses of hope, trust, and God’s transforming grace. Jessica lives in rural Iowa surrounded by wide open spaces which remind her of God’s expansive love. She loves fun earrings, good coffee, and connecting with others.
Connect with Jessica: Website / Instagram / Facebook
In conjunction with this post and the podcast interview, Jessica is giving away a free copy of her book, Reframing Rejection: How Looking Through a Different Lens Changes Everything.
Leave a comment below sharing with us one thing you learned about reframing rejection so you can walk in courage and hope and you will be entered into the contest for your chance to win a copy of her book.
You could also share this blog post on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter then comment here to tell us where you shared it and you’ll also be entered into the drawing.
The winner will be selected at random and announced next Monday, February 13, 2023. Continental United States only.
Anytime, I feel rejected, I counter it with thoughts of how God accepts me and loves me.
I posted a Tweet about this article/podcast.
Trying very hard to follow these steps. It is a struggle as my discomfort keeps returning! I try to remember that the difficulties often give a clue about the other person more than about me, and that I can have compassion for them. It helps to lessen the sting I feel.
Well, I’ve always pushed my feelings aside when experiencing rejection. I always thought that expressing the pain and speaking to God about it was complaining. I do talk to God and give it over to Him. He always sustains me and allows me to heal. Sometimes the Holy Spirit will speak to me and give me ideas of how to heal. Talking out the feelings and allowing yourself to express the pain first, now that is something new to me. I would like to understand this a bit more.
I so love this message. I have used some of these 3 ways to heal from rejection. On one occasion the rejection came from Christian friends who decided that the ministry we had done for about 10 years did not meet their expectations so when we presented a project to them, they decided they wanted to do it another way and basically dismissed us and did their own thing. As we turned to leave, one person close said, but we love you. We smiled and walked out the door saying Lord, is this You, and we realized in that moment that He had released us from that ministry because He had another place for us. We stepped into that new area and never looked back. A year or so later the leader of the rejection came to us and told us that he now appreciated what we had always done because it was not as easy to do as he thought. Hmm, we had already forgiven all involved so we accepted his confession and assured him of our forgiveness and love. We did not go back there because Father had planted us where He wanted us so we kept going forward. Thank you both for both podcast messages and thank you Jessica for both blogs. I was so blessed by all that was shared and realized that healing has happened in most areas of rejection and that there is some work to be done in other areas. I did share on Facebook and would love to have the book.
I felt rejected for a large part of my marriage. My opinions and convictions were minimized and mocked. My husband was not a Christian, but I thought he’d soon change after he attended services at my church and socialized with many of my friends. He never seemed to be uncomfortable with the topics but also never entered into the conversations. By the time we married, I was so in love with his charm and caring for me, that it didn’t matter. I felt accepted and loved and that’s what held us together for the first ten years. Afterwards, it all changed when he held up my beliefs to ridicule and questioned my state of mind. It was a matter of more years before I realized this relationship was all about him and my wishes were sidelined. God in His mercy helped me to find a way to leave and yet I still have times when I miss him and forget the agonized times of feeling rejected. I have found hope as I focused on the Lord and found new friends who cared at a church where God is honored, and I can worship without fear of taking too much time. Now I am thriving in a place that God has placed me to grow in faith and find contentment and His peace. It took me too long to continue to be emotionally abused. I know God values me as His own and wants me to follow where He leads.