Warning- this post may be long...
Oh goodness where to start? On Thursday this week one of the girls in my bible study asked if we wanted to do dinner on Friday. Most everyone could not do dinner on Friday but there was interest in getting dinner after church on Saturday night. I always get a little nervous about making plans because they always seem to fall apart for me...but church and dinner sounded like a good plan to me.
A girl I work with had gone to Christmas at the DPAC with me and had said she wanted to go to church with me sometime and we had talked about her going with me on Saturday. I asked if she was up for dinner too and she said she was.
Then I got an email from Summit Kids leader asking me if I could help out this weekend. I told him I might be able to do the 4:00 service and asked if I could bring my friend. So now I had to tell the girl I worked with the situation and asked if she wanted to help out in Summit Kids with me too. She said she was up for that too. Thank goodness...plans were teetering, but still ok so far.
Meanwhile the b-study group text was blowing up about which service everyone was going to go to and where we wanted to eat. We picked a place and I volunteered to make the reservations.
Between the time of this text when I volunteered to make the reservations and when I got to church on Saturday, FIVE people cancelled on me. Two girls had to cancel within hours of making plans because they had already made plans for Saturday but forgot. Another girl cancelled the next day because she needed some downtime and to save a little money. I had already asked another friend to join us and hadn't added her to the reservation yet, so thankfully didn't have to call and change it. But that friend cancelled the day of because she had some dental work done the day before and was in too much pain. And my friend from work cancelled 10 minutes before I had to be at church.
Y'all I do not know why but people cancelling on me or even just telling me no when I try to make plans hurts me. Which is why I hardly ever am the one to try to plan something up or even invite people to things.
I didn't bring this up before, but that baby shower we threw...besides Kristin and I (the hostesses) and Stephanie (the one we were throwing it for)...only three other girls showed up. We invited 15 or so girls and more than 3 had RSVPed yes, but yeah that kind of hurt too after putting all that work in to it.
The shower ended up being great with the smaller group and dinner on Saturday ended up being perfect with just three of us, but as I was driving to church I was so frustrated and hurt I cried out to God and asked why I took this stuff so personally and why it felt like such rejection and hurt me so badly.
I could feel God telling me He is no stranger to this. People reject him all the time. People say yes that they believe in Him and will follow Him no matter what but end up forgetting about that promise or doing what they want to do rather than what they had promised to do (myself included).
I had said yes to God, but for years forgot about Him and did what I wanted to do. Even now that I love Him so much and am strongly pursuing Him, I still reject Him sometimes. I do what I want to do instead of what He wants for me. I felt so sorry for having said no to God so much because I know how much it hurts to feel rejected. I told Him how sorry I was for rejecting Him and how sorry I was for all the rejection He has to deal with in general.
When people say no to me or cancel on me, it makes me want to not invite them to things anymore. I know that is bad, but I would rather avoid future rejection than try to plan something again. (This tendency of mine is probably another one of the reasons I am still single. I have such huge rejection issues.) In fact I told you, most of the time I am never the one to initiate planning of anything because of this. I have such a hard time asking anyone for anything because I take "NO" so badly. I am so thankful that I have friends who ask me to do things because otherwise I might never leave the dang house!
Anyway, the message at church that night was just what I needed to hear. It was on Genesis 37 and the story of when Joseph's brothers sold him in to slavery and told his father he was dead. Joseph's brothers hated him because he was daddy's favorite. But despite their rejection of him, Joseph still loved and pursued them. He went out to the wilderness looking for his brothers and when he finally found them his brothers ripped off his robe and threw him into a cistern. They contemplated killing him, or just leaving him there, but then some traders going down to Egypt came by and they decided to sell their brother into slavery to them. The brothers then took his robe, dipped it in blood, and took it to their father so that he would think Joseph had been killed in the wilderness.
The sermon was so good but I was processing even more from this story.
1. Joseph pursued his brothers even though they rejected him. Same thing goes for God. He still pursued us even though we reject Him. THANK GOD! I need to do this in my life. I need to fight my natural urge to not plan things or invite people to things because of my fear of rejection. I need to love them more than I fear the rejection.
2. Even though this rejection hurt Joseph (my goodness, I can't even handle people cancelling on me, I might not have survived this) God was using all this for Joseph and his family's good and also to tell His (God's) story.
If you don't know the rest of the story eventually Joseph comes in to power in Egypt (after years of slavery and even prison) and is able to save his family. The pastor said "Joseph was rejected for the salvation of his family. Jesus was rejected for the salvation of mankind." So even though rejection hurts sometimes, God is using it all for our good. And I just need to rest in that.
One of the other things the pastor pointed out- Joseph's brothers dipped his robe in blood to try to cover their sins before their father. What a shadow that is of how we now can cover ourselves in the blood of Christ to cover our sins before our Father. And the fact that this little detail is part of the story- amazing! I tell you it is just amazing how God used all these stories in the Old Testament to point to Christ. How He used these people's lives to tell His story. I even whispered to my friend "How can people not believe this (the Gospel- Jesus)?!" Everything points to Him. He used all these things to foreshadow it. GOD really is the best writer ever and I can't wait to see more and be a part of this wonderful story of His!
P.S. If you are one of the people who cancelled this weekend and/or didn't come to the baby shower, please do not take this personally or get hurt by this blog post. I often try to hide my feelings and keep everything inside, or not blog about it for fear of hurting someone else, but I couldn't keep all this in out of fear that getting my feelings hurt and blogging about it would hurt someone else.
Believe me I know you have to say no sometimes. I was even thinking of saying no to some more things this year because I tend to over commit myself. And just last week I had to pull out of my New Year's Eve plans because of my tooth pain. If I could make myself not hurt when people say no and/or cancel I totally would because I don't like feeling hurt. But that's the thing with feelings, sometimes you just can't control them. So I apologize in advance if this blog post hurts you in any way, but I just had to get it all out.
Everything ended up just the way it was supposed to be and both events went perfectly, so you were probably meant to say no and/or cancel. This blog post is not about that or you personally. It is about the hurt of rejection and what I learned from all this.
Am I alone in this? Do any of you guys get so hurt over rejection (and or perceived rejection)?