It must be genetic, but all my daughters ask probing questions. The eldest in particular can be insistent on a line of enquiry when the mood takes her. Recently, on one of the numerous walks we take together, she asked me a series of questions about what I would do if she did certain things. Underpinning those questions was her seeing if there would be any circumstances in which I would reject her.
Among other thoughts in my mind was a concern about if she felt insecure in our relationship. As it turned out that was not the case, but as she has friends who are in households where the parents have split up and she has witnessed the impact it has had on her friends, she is nervous to see if she could suffer a similar fate. Understanding that made me all the more consciously aware of my need to love God wholeheartedly and live by His love and grace in my life so I can be faithful to those crucial relationships.
It also took me back to what it was to live through rejection. There are a few episodes in my life where I have endured rejection – from friends, family, work and church. I must add here that to my shame I have also rejected people either as an individual or complicit with others. Those are painful episodes in my life. Both as the recipient and the perpetrator.
As a recipient, the experience of rejection lead to great humiliation and a desire to hide. A great urge to be submerged and never emerge again. At its worst, rejection heightened my sense of inadequacy and rendered me almost unable to function properly. There are still scars in my heart from those episodes.
It is a consolation to know that Jesus knows what it is to be rejected. It is a consolation to see Him still persist in relating to me even after the times I do reject Him. It is a consolation to know that His promised presence helps me to work through those traumatic episodes of rejection.
He is the primary and ultimate reason why I can live at all after rejection. I am grateful for the relationships He brings my way to support me, but often in the quiet of my heart it is that consolation of His presence with me that makes all the difference.
It’s why I am so keen for my daughters, my wider family and indeed all those in my circle of influence to know Jesus for themselves. You can be so susceptible to damaging lies when you are rejected and the truth of His presence can liberate us from those lies. Otherwise we could be choked by those lies from the life that remains in the debris of rejection.
It’s why I hope my daughters will be able to turn to Him whenever they experience the pain of rejection. I hope, like I have, they will find great consolation in Jesus.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden