{REAL TALK}: The short article you are about to read was one that I submitted in a devotional entry contest and it was rejected. Read on to see why I viewed this rejection as God’s redirection to post this on my personal blog instead. I pray it blesses you. #realtalkwithRachael

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

It was my eighth-grade year and we had just moved out of state which meant I would be attending a new school. I remember picking out my fanciest sweater vest, blue with lime green stripes, and putting extra mousse in my hair to help calm the natural curls God so sweetly gave to me. As I walked into school I was immediately greeted by a very cute eighth grader. He asked if I was new in school and then offered to let me sit with him and his friends at lunch. I was so excited I could hardly wait for lunch. When it came the time, I grabbed my tray and headed in the direction of the cute boys. As I started to sit down, he started laughing and yelled: “Did you really think we would let you sit with us?”. I shook my head sheepishly and took my tray and fancy sweater vest to the furthest table in the room. I sat alone, eating slowly and choking down silent tears. I had just experienced rejection at its finest and I never wanted to experience that again.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t the last time I felt the sting of rejection. Even as an adult woman, I still find myself struggling with rejection. Recently, I wasn’t invited to a ministry event that I normally am a part of with no explanation as to why. As I watched my friends post pictures of the event that I was not included in the rejection rushed over me like a tidal wave that was so strong I could hardly stand. As I sat with the Lord, pouring out my heart to him about feeling so rejected and overlooked, I felt him whisper “Rachael, don’t be mad at them. It was me who closed those doors. “. Wait, what? He proceeded to show me that often rejection from man is redirection from God. God is the one who opens doors for friendship and opportunities. He also closes those very doors when it is time for us to move in a different direction.

If we aren’t careful, these rejections can leave us with a root of bitterness and resentment in our life. Ephesians 4:31-32 reminds us to let all bitterness and anger be put away and instead to be kind to one another, forgiving each other as Christ has forgiven us. This is not something that comes naturally to many of us so we must decide to put a stake in the ground and not allow a seed of bitterness to be planted in a moment of rejection.

Have you been rejected by people? Bring that to the Lord. Sit with him and let him show you where he was in that rejection. Perhaps he is redirecting you to a new path and a new season. In the meantime, stand your ground and do not allow the enemy to plant bitterness in your heart. Open your deepest wounds to the Lord, you can trust him.