Living Loved In The Midst of Rejection

Lysa remembers the day her father drove away in his car when she was a little girl. He never came back.  "I didn't realize how much that rejection had embedded deep in my heart until the last 5 years," says Lysa.  When her dad left, Lysa says his rejection sent her the message that she wasn't wanted.  "That lie turned into I'm not good enough which affected all my future relationships."  In actuality, Lysa says her dad was going through some things her little girl brain could not understand at the time.  Yet that rejection sent a message to Lysa of being unwanted -- a message she would battle for many of her adult years. “We connect an event from today to something harsh someone once said.  Their line becames a label. The label becomes a lie.  And the lie becomes a liability in how we think about ourselves and interact in every future relationship.”  For example, the line, I don’t want you, becomes the label, you aren’t accepted. The label, you aren’t accepted, becomes the lie, you aren’t worthy. The lie, you aren’t worthy, becomes a liability script of self-rejection and hinders present and future relationships.

Lysa says rejection is so painful because it travels down the same neuro pathways as physical pain.  She says MRI studies show that taking Tylenol actually minimizes the physical pain of rejection. "It's more painful than if your loved one dies," she says. Death and rejection both have a separation element, but in death neither party wants the separation. With rejection, one of the people involved willingly chooses to separate.  "It's a powerful event that can have dramatic effects," she says.  Those hurts have to be soothed by replacing the lies of rejection sends with the truth from the Word of God. “Rejection isn’t just an emotional feeling.  It’s a message that alters what you believe about yourself,” says Lysa.  "The truth is that the Lord has chosen me as a treasured possession," she says.  

Using God’s Word, Lysa has been able to correct the wrong thinking she has experienced as a result of her father’s rejection. "I like to go right to Scripture and do a corrective experience," she says. She says to let your past rejections work for you instead of against you by allowing them to help you sense the possible pain behind other people’s reactions.  Try to see things from their vantage point and think of how they might be hurting in this situation.  Make a list of good things you know to be true about this person.  This will help you stop the cycle of rejection and hurt.

Lysa visited Israel numerous times over the last 5 years.  During one of her first trips there, Lysa says she visited the Garden of Gethsemane.  “The first time I stood in the Garden of Gethsemane, tears ran down my face,” she says.  The site was so holy that Lysa felt this was the only place she could allow herself to “cry it all out.”  She recalled memories that started the tears flowing.  One of those was of her dad’s face. “I saw myself looking at my dad with pleading eyes to write the opening scene of my life with the theme of love.  He chose rejection instead,” she says.  Lysa realized as long as she kept wishing things with her dad had been different, she would be hurt by him forever.  “I would be stuck in a reality of my past.”  Lysa knew she needed to turn to God and say the words Jesus uttered: Yet not what I will, but what You will.  That’s where she shifted her thinking.  Lysa says the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane painted her a picture of perspective.  “I believe the Creator of all…chose to be in the shade and shadow of the olive trees….and possibly didn’t just choose to be among the olive trees in His darkest hour, but might He have actually created them for such a time as this?”  She further explains that the olive tree needs both the dry, harsh east wind from the desert and the west wind from the Mediterranean that brings rain and life.  “The olive tree needs both of these winds to produce fruit…and so do we,” says Lysa.  She reminds us that we need the winds of hardship and winds of relief to sweep across our lives in order to truly be fruitful.

Mentioned in the Video

Guest Info


NYTimes bestselling author

Has written 20 books, her latest: Uninvited, Nelson, 2016

Has been featured on Focus on the Family, The Today Show, Good Morning America, etc.

Has spoken at Women of Faith events and numerous churches across the country

Married to Art

Mother of 5 children


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