By Emily Salerno-Oswald
Rejection-this might be one of the worst feelings. It is the feeling of putting yourself out there only to be unreceived, or worse, pushed away. Whether it be the result of unrequited love, a break-up, or even the loss of closeness in friendship, it never feels good to be rejected.
A lot of times, the experience of rejection is two-fold. You feel rejected by an external source and then you internally reject yourself as a consequence. It can be tempting to internalize the rejection of another as if it were caused by something that is insufficient within you.
Or, you can start to think that there’s something wrong with your dreams and desires. It can be tempting to give up on your desires, disillusioned with what is essentially a lie: that your dreams were too far-fetched to begin with.
One of the most healing acts one can perform in the face of rejection is that of self-acceptance.
But how do we accept ourselves? Furthermore, how do we come to believe that rejection was not caused by our dreams being too big?
In his famous piece, The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis writes: “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak.”
God designed us to dream big, because what He can give us is infinite. We accept ourselves by learning to accept how much He loves us.
One feeling that I’ve experienced recently is what Lewis would call “acceptance by God”, and that feeling is very different from the feeling of rejection.
One of my favorite ways to contemplate God is in thinking about the vastness of outer space. Psalm 19:1 states, “The Heavens declare the glory of God.”
Scientists estimate that 200 billion galaxies exist in the observable universe, and those are just the ones that we’ve been able to count. That’s galaxies, mind you. Not just planets, but 200 billion galaxies. It’s difficult to even conceive of anything past our own Milky Way. Now, try to imagine 199 billion other places as grand and impressive as the Milky Way.
Now, think about the fact that the Being who created all of that thought it necessary that YOU be an integral part of that cosmos. Tiny little you, who lives on just one planet in just one of those 200 billion galaxies. He thought that all of it would not be complete without you.
The statistical odds of you even existing are so slim. Think of everything that makes you, you- from your physical features to your personality to your idiosyncrasies and the intangible things that make up the essence of who you are. If just one of those things were different, you would not be you.
If some baby were to be born to your parents on your birthday, with your name, but with just one, small alteration- a different eye color than you have, a different shade of hair, a different laugh, it would not be you. But it was you that was born. There’s a reason for that.
God-the maker of the stars-saw a reason to create YOU. I can’t convey how insane this is.
With the knowledge of that truth– that you are enough for God- how could you let some human who rejects you convince you that you’re not enough? How could you not be enough for yourself?
The fact is that you are enough because God thought so, enough to create you. You are enough. Just sit with that for a second.
God accepts you, in your brokenness, in the times you wish you were different, in the times when you feel like you’ve failed, in the times when you feel rejected. He accepts you and He loves you so much.
You never didn’t exist in the mind of God. The idea of you, even before you came into being on Earth, has always been there and will always be there. How crazy is it to think of God having an “idea of you”? It means that God has always loved you. There will never be a time when He doesn’t.
What else does God’s acceptance of you carry with it? It means that the One who holds the entirety of reality in balance– every gentle breeze that blows, every bird that builds its nest, every blade of grass that springs up from the ground—who is behind everything that exists, is also holding everything in balance within you.
So, if you feel like you are shattered interiorly, or if the rejection becomes too much, just remember that even those awful feelings inside are a part of God’s perfect plan to create balance in your soul. What seems like extreme imbalance is actually a pivotal part of God’s journey for you to come to new life.
P.S. One more thing- God will never reject you. His arms are open wide to receive you at all times. If you ever doubt it, just look to the cross.