Week 4, Day 5

Have You Ever Felt Alone?

Rejection, at its core, is a feeling of being unwelcome by the people we long to be with. They consent to our presence, but we feel our presence at best is a burden and at worst unwanted. This causes an emotional pain much like physical pain. But the difference is, left unhealed, emotional pain can be re-lived and re-experienced much more vividly over the years of our lives.

When my daughter Jessica was four years old, I felt as if my world had been turned upside down. She had begun having seizures and though we had no diagnosis at that time, it was clear that she had a developmental disability. We were alone and afraid, knowing no one who understood what we were facing.

Recognizing that I was in a desperate place, a friend invited me to attend her church. I was reluctant at first because Jess had trouble sitting still and I didn’t want her to be a distraction in the service. My friend, who was the pastor’s daughter, recommended that I let her stay in the church nursery.

The first three Sundays, I wept through the entire service. My heart was dry and thirsty, and I received the ministry that I so desperately needed. On the fourth Sunday, I walked toward the nursery and noticed new signs on the wall that said, “The nursery is for ages two and under.” I didn’t think that rule pertained to Jess and with her in my arms, I approached the door. The Children’s Pastor met me there and told me that although Jess had caused no issues, she could not stay in the nursery. When I asked what I should do with her, she told me that there was a small room down the hall with a monitor in it where we could sit and watch the service...alone.

I wore this wound like a coat for many years. It affected my entire life, and I viewed every situation through the lens of rejection. I struggled with thoughts such as, “if we aren’t accepted by the church, will we be accepted by anyone?” Rejection always hurts, but when we feel we are rejected by the body of Christ, the sting is almost unbearable.

“Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:4-5).

After years of struggling, I began to ask God how He saw Jessica. I searched the scripture and learned that even Christ was rejected. He began to heal my heart and when I was able to give the hurt over to Him, He created something beautiful out of my pain.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 138 14-15).

Reflection Questions

• Learning to walk rightly through time of rejection is critical in life. What was Jesus’ response to rejection?

• Reflect on times you have felt betrayed or rejected. How can your response to rejection model Christ’s response?
Nettie leads the Breathe special needs ministry at Heritage Church and also runs the breathe.org ministry organization to serve as an advocate for families with special needs and to help churches all over America establish special needs ministries.
Posted in ,

No Comments