How To Handle Rejection

How To Handle RejectionBy: Elisabeth Klein

When I was nineteen, my first real boyfriend went away to camp and fell in love with a fellow counselor but kinda forgot to tell me. I had to find out through someone else. And once I did, my then not-really-my-boyfriend-anymore boyfriend came up with some interesting reasons why we should break up.

You’re not old enough for me. (I was one year younger.) I’m already looking for a wife. (I never claimed I wasn’t willing.) Maybe once you get your braces off, we could… (Yes, he really, really said that.)

But what it all came down to was this: He found someone else.

Now, the healthier person would finish that sentence like this: He found someone else who was better suited to him.

But what I took it to mean was this: He found someone else who was better than me, in every single way.

In other words, in very real ways, I felt utter rejection. I felt like he had held up our previous five months to his current five days with this new girl and said, “Yep, no comparison. I choose the new one”.

That break-up – my first real break-up – sent me reeling, but not for the reasons you might think.  I liked him. A lot. But I even knew I didn’t love him.  That we were okay together. But not great together. That he was a good guy but that he wasn’t my guy.  That I had to squint pretty hard to see a future with him.

The reason it sent me reeling was because his choice to reject me (my words, not his) echoed my wounds of abandonment and chaos and not-enough-ness that I had felt my entire life.  It was one big I-told-you-so.  One loud confirmation. One glaring just-when-you-thought-you-were-maybe-okay-ish…bam…not so fast.

So, now twenty-some years later, I find myself on the other side of a difficult marriage and difficult divorce. The rejection sirens blaring in every corner of my life.

And I have a choice.  I have a choice to become aware of the voices I’m hearing.  And I have a choice to flesh out lies from the Truth.  And I have a choice which words I will take on and live under and carry with me and allow to define me.

Will I choose to believe that I am worthy of being rejected on a continual basis? That once someone really gets to know me they will surely walk away in disgust?  Or will I choose to believe that some people don’t like me for me, but most people will?  That all people don’t have to like me?  That perhaps I just don’t fit with a handful of people, but there are a ton of amazing people in my life who love me just as I am?

And that perhaps, most importantly, I have a God who looks at my heart and says, “I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”  Will I listen to that Voice?  Will I walk in the freedom that Voice brings?

Walk free, sweet woman.  You are not rejected.  You are free.

You can find freedom here with Fashioned Before the Stars, People of the Second Chance’s Freeway for Women series.

Originally posted at Elisabeth Klein, 2014
Elisabeth is a single mom to Sara (17) and Jack (15-1/2).  She loves spending time with her kids, her friends, reading and writing.  She is the author of Moving on as a Single Christian Mom, Living Through Divorce as a Christian Woman: Questions & Suggestions, Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage: Questions & Suggestions, Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage, At the Corner of Broken & Love; One Girl, Third World; He Is Just That Into You; In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart; and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul.  All these books can be purchased on  Visit her website at If you are in a difficult marriage or find yourself going through a divorce, she has created two private groups on Facebook that she would like to invite you to. Simply email her at for more information.
Elisabeth is a proud Member of Redbud Writer's Guild and has been featured on Moody’s In the Market with Janet Parshall, This is the Day with Nancy Turner, and Midday Connection with Anita Lustrea. If you’d like to contribute to Elisabeth’s ministry, click here.
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