Sunday, November 9, 2014

Go Ahead. Reject Me...I'm OK with it.

I'll be honest, I have never liked rejection. It sucks. One of the things I'm working on is not taking rejection personally. It's hard! 

I spoke at a wonderful conference for women and young women this past weekend. One of the principles I taught them was the the opinions of others are just that--their opinions. Opinions are not truth. 

Rejection is often coupled with a palm to the face, or insults, or words like "It's not you, it's me." I can handle other people having negative opinions about me, but when it comes to the next layer of rejection, that's where I struggle.

I experience a wave of rejection just a few weeks ago. The first was an email I received from a blogger that was supposed to review my book back in January. I emailed to inquire if she had read the book and was planning on putting up a review. She said, "I've never gotten through it. What I've read is good but I seem to read a chapter then forget about it."

Ouch. Not even a typical female attempt to soften the blow. 

The next day I received word that a speaking group I had hoped to become a part of decided I wasn't "a good fit" for them. 

Ouch again.

Then, two days later, I was told by a publisher that one of my book ideas was "gimmicky," that they weren't interested in it, and that it would be damaging to my 'brand' to publish it.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

I tried to remember the truth that rejection is more about the person (or people, in my case) rejecting than the person being rejected. But, I didn't do a very good job. I cried for a few minutes. (Ok, days, but who's counting?)

I focused on the trifecta of rejection until I began to take their opinions as truths. Maybe I wasn't a good writer or speaker. Maybe I was just a gimmick. The more I thought about it and chewed on it, the more miserable I became.  I mean, what if they were right? 

Then I wondered if the friend from the past that called me in January was right. She called, out of the blue, angry. She said she was reading my book, and didn't like it. She then proceeded to tell me I was a terrible person and need therapy. How could I write a book like this because I was such an awful person? She said she'd finish reading my book, but she wouldn't enjoy it. I told her I loved her and I would love to talk with her more about why she felt that way, but she said she wasn't interested. She hung up and unfriended me on FB.

Then, maybe the relative that told me the only reason they spend time with me is because they have to was right. We are too different and they just don't 'get' me.

Then, maybe Tim French from middle school was right when he spit in my face and told me I was gross.

The weight of rejection laid heavily on my heart. The more I though about it, the more I wondered if they were all right. Just maybe.

Then, two wonderful things happened. 

A few days after I became a pinata of rejection, I talked with my husband about the string, and sting, of rejections. I said, "You know, I feel like I'm trying to do good things and and be a good person, and the very ones that are supposed to be the biggest supporters, the ones who should 'get' it, are not only rejecting me, but being not very kind about it. It hurts."

His response was unexpected and profound. He said, "It sounds very similar to someone else you know and love." It took only a moment for me to understand he meant Jesus Christ. Not that he or I were comparing myself or what I am doing to Him, but my husband's point was this: 

Sometimes we focus on how much our Savior understands us--and He does. He has felt every emotion, every sorrow, every pain, every joy, every thing we have felt He has felt. He was perfect love and empathy for us. But, how often to do we focus on understanding how He felt, empathize with Him? 

In that moment I understood just a sliver of what He must have felt. He was rejected, not just by His enemies, by the very people that should have been His greatest supporters. Family, friends, church members and leaders. 

As I let this epiphany sink in, the reality of what my Savior went through became more real. He became more real. He was rejected. He hurt. I was rejected. I hurt. I knew that He understood me, but I felt that I had begun to understand Him just a little more.

Jesus Christ was perfect and rejected. His rejection was a direct reflection of others, not Him. I am totally imperfect and rejected. My rejection is a direct reflection of others, not me. Suddenly my rejection became a source of understanding and a spring-board to a stronger relationship with my Savior.

I felt closer to Him, but there were still some lingering doubts. The Savior is perfect. I'm not. What if they were right...even just by a hair?

Then came the second wonderful thing. A few days later I was scheduled to speak to a group of women about the power of doing and becoming. As I spoke the clouds of doubt left and I was lifted and filled once again. It wasn't from the women who came up afterwards and shared their stories with me (though I loved talking to every one of them!), but it was the feeling I had as I taught them.

When truth is taught, God confirms it by the power of the Spirit. If we are listening for it (and sometimes when we are not), we can hear and feel His validation of the things we are being taught or teaching. That morning I spoke about doubt and fear, and having faith in yourself. As I started to speak I felt like an empty well, but as I spoke, God seemed to fill me up with the confirmation that the things I was sharing were indeed true for them, and again true for me.

I say again because I've struggled with rejection in the past and He has helped me feel better--helped me to see once again see myself through His eyes. Not the eyes of the people who don't 'get' me, don't want me, and simply don't like me or what I have to offer, but how He sees me-how I really am. He made me feel good. He's done it in the past, and He's done it once again just last week.

When it comes right down to it, God knows me better than an old friend, a publisher, a speakers group, a blogger. Though they may even have valid points, it doesn't change my worth in God's eyes. It was a difficult, but sweet, reminder to me once again how important it is that we seek His perspective in our lives. I also felt His love for me, and it sweeter than anything I've ever tasted. Even Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie pie. It's that really good.

He also knows you and your worth. If rejection ever has or will come knocking at your door (or email, or phone), I hope you turn to Him. It's easy to get lost in the world of opinions, but He knows more about you that even you do, and His opinion is more important--and more true--than anyone else's.

To me, that's the power of perspective--it can not only help you see the good things in your life, but take the sting out of the negative things. Perspective also gives you the power to direct your eyes, your happiness, and ultimately, your power to where it needs to be--in God and in yourself. 

I gave my power over to others for a few days, but I took it back. I don't dwell on the opinions of others. God knows who I am. I know who I am. So, go ahead. Reject me. I'm OK with it. 


  1. So great. Eloquently said. I love this. And we all need to hear it. Love you!

    1. Thank you. I should have included conversations with friends as the third wonderful thing! :)

  2. Thank you for this post.

    You are lovely, inside and out. I am absolutely certain of this fact, but I'm glad you were able to get confirmation from the one who counts. I know it's been a long time since we've hung out, but I will never forget what a delightful friend you are. You've made me laugh, made me cry, brightened my day, supported me when I felt devastated. I love you.

  3. Thanks Jami. You are precious! Our friendship isn't based on visits, but on those moments we connected and helped each other long ago. :) I loved you then and still love you now!

  4. For some reason today your blog post popped up. i'm going to call it divine intervention. We've only met through a book giveaway with Connie Sokol, around Mother's Day. What you've been through is tough! Something my dear friend, Kris, once told me to help me through a tough spot was this. She said, "Jodi, there is one being who will do everything and anything to STOP GOOD FROM HAPPENING. He'll even use the trusted people you love, respect, and adore to discourage you and that will be puzzling to you. But remember...God will never use discouragement as a tool. Only Satan will.”
    The adversary's role is ADVERSARIAL. So, call it like it is. Then walk away, head held high, knowing God will lead you along and help you accomplish what He’s asked you to do. God’s not asking for perfection. And He’ll enlist ANYONE who raises her hand and says, "I'll do my best, Lord." He'll put her to work! The Lord said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20.) And, guess what? As far as I can see you are a producer of GOOD FRUIT. Satan doesn't want you to share GOOD FRUIT with anyone. So he's going to tell you the fruit you are offering doesn't taste good enough. It's not packaged pretty enough, or that it's not as good as the other why bother offering it. But Michelle...the Lord reminds us: “For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Your tree of talents is a GOOD TREE! And it brings forth GOOD FRUIT. I've read your book and pulled from it wonderful insights that draw me closer to God. That tells me what kind of a tree you are. :)) So, take others' insights for what they are. They’re opinions. Remember ALL good fruit in the Lord's eyes is welcome at His table.
    I found the following talk from 1984 and it has brought great comfort to me as I've journeyed as an author of inspiration women's books. This is how I've come to measure my contributions to God's kingdom. It's from Elder Royden G. Derrick (1984). He taught this formula. It's a way to ask ourselves if we're on the right track. 1) Do I show faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in myself? (2) Do I study eternal truths? (3) Do I ponder and pray for understanding? (4) Do I strive to incorporate principles of truth into daily living, (5) Do I exercise integrity in all that I do? (6) Do I strive to do everything I do to a standard of excellence? If you can answer these questions with a YES, then you’re doing great! So, put aside the negativity. And GROW. AS TALL AS YOU CAN!!!! Even if your tree grows only a foot tall (which I don't believe it will because I believe your message will grow, and grow and continue to influence women and young women), but even if it did only grow a foot...if you can answer YES to all those questions...then you can count your talents as a success. Michelle, I can say without ever meeting you in person that I love you as my SISTER IN CHRIST. You are diligently using your God-given talents to speak and write and inspire others to love themselves more fully so they can feel the love God. I can't think of a better tasting fruit! (Not to mention a fruit with the lowest calorie intake! Score!) When we meet someday I plan on giving you a big ITALIAN hug!!! Keep writing and sharing!!! I don't like rejection either. But you're right. It does help us appreciate the Savior. That makes it worth it. THANK YOU for putting into words, simply, what we women feel. Can't wait to hear what else you have on tap. Your thoughts are given to you from God for a reason. TRUST HIM. He's never let me down. And I know He won't let you down, either. :))

    With love and friendship, Jodi Robinson (, Author "Precious in His sight", "A Royal Guardian", "Women of Virtue")

  5. Beautifully said, friend. Don't let the hangups take you out of the game. need more players just like you