In the second session of the series, we are looking at how we handle disappointment and rejection. The sad reality is that we will all experience the upset of not achieving something we’d hoped for or not having our expectations met. Experiencing rejection is inevitable but we can process it healthily and see it as an opportunity for God to bring something better into our lives.
Open in prayer asking God to help you to be honest about the places in your life where you feel disappointed and/or rejected. Then read the following Bible passages together.
• John 14:1-3
• Psalm 34:18
• John 14:27
Read this text together.
Disappointment is just the action of your brain adjusting itself to reality after discovering things weren’t the way you thought they were. – Brad Warner (Zen Wrapped in Karma Dipped in Chocolate, New World Library, 2010)
Ultimately, if we can adapt, we can survive disappointment. Being adaptable is so important in a changing world. I know, when I was younger, I had such set ways I wanted things to go in my life – in reality, none of that stuff ended up happening! I don’t regret the way my life has turned out at all, though. I just had to adapt to what was handed to me.
Every time I thought I was being rejected for something good, I was actually being redirected to something better. Steve Maraboli (Unapologetically You, Better Today, 2013)
The ultimate trust in God or a spiritual higher power is in saying, ‘I surrender. I can’t understand why this is happening to me, but I will have faith in the idea that this thing I wanted wasn’t right for me.’ In my life, even if I have really desperately wanted something to happen, I have learnt to accept that there was a different and hopefully better outcome for me.
Often disappointment simply redirects you to the place you are meant to be.
Let-downs in life can be the catalyst for change. Sometimes, the change is unwelcome, which will push you out of your comfort zone, but that’s when you can start to make new discoveries about your character. I am finding, as I get older, I can take such trials better than I used to because I can anticipate that although it might not feel right for me at the time, it might lead to something better.
Become so confident in who you are that no one’s opinion, rejection or behaviour can rock you.
I’ve had to work really hard to make sure that my confidence levels aren’t related to how accepted I feel by others. It’s tough to stop other people’s opinions swaying how I feel about
myself, but it’s been such a valuable thing for me to invest in. Ideally, we all want to be unshakable and completely immune to outside influence. In reality, it’s not that simple, but we can at least be working towards a strong sense of self that will not be moved off track by other people’s storms.
Nothing can change God’s love for you.
Sometimes it can feel as though I’m just getting everything wrong. I can convince myself that I’m a bad person and I don’t deserve anything, but I now recognize that’s the fear we
develop as we experience rejection from other people. This quote is so reassuring when we feel like this as it shows there is no such thing as you going ‘too far’ in some way to be loved: God’s love is limitless. Sometimes I have to remind myself of that.
It can be painful to think about rejection. Be kind to yourself as you process your experiences and invite God into those difficult moments. Ask God to strengthen your faith in his plan for you and to reveal to you how disappointments in your past have turned out for your good.
Close with a time of prayer, asking for God’s healing in your disappointment and rejection, pray for each person to have a renewal of their faith and trust in God for his plan in their life.