"I wanted to die," my friend said as she dabbed tears. "I never expected he'd cheat on me. I never, ever saw it coming. I asked him if he still loved me," she said in the midst of sobs, "and he said he stopped loving me a long time ago."
You or someone you know might have tasted that bitterness of rejection. It crumbles our world, leaves us stunned and shakes our security.
And when we try to make sense of it all, self-blame, rather than peace, adds to the heartache.
But in the cold winter of rejection, a spring day appears. Here are seven ways to make the transition.
1. Reject the enemy's attacks. He's a master in bringing on guilt, self-pity and bitterness. Close your mind and heart to those intruders.
"The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
2. Embrace new habits. No more nights with pillows wet with tears. Lonely moments are filled with the confidence in the truth God is actively preparing the best.
"And to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Eph. 3:19).
3. Redefine your identity. You're not a failure, a loser, worthless or unlovable.
Instead, you're God's child. Strong enough to keep going, open enough to receive His love and able to embrace His promise for your future. Trusting not in someone else's love, but in God's unfailing love first.
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, neither angels nor principalities nor powers, neither things present nor things to come, neither height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:38-39).
4. Change the view. Look beyond the circumstance. When your eyes are on the Lord, a new kind of hope and an expectation of new beginnings replace worry.
"My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will lead my feet from the net" (Ps. 25:15).
5. Exchange guilt for hope. The path to healing is paved with confidence, not in our own ways, but in God's guidance.
"Teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long" (Ps. 25:4b-5, NIV).
6. Increase prayer and praise. Even when there's no visible sign of the solution, boldly thank God for the outcome.
"But I would not have you ignorant, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others who have no hope" (1 Thess. 4:13, MEV).
7. Expect the best. And while waiting in expectation, embrace joy as you trust in God's ways, count on receiving His best and watch as His answers appear.
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreads out its roots by the river, and shall not fear when heat comes, but its leaf shall be green, and it shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit" (Jer. 17:7-8).
As spring flowers bloom, a new beginning blossoms when embracing these seven steps. And in the midst of the thorns of rejection, a new rose buds. That's when the garden of life has the scent of a new beginning.
Pray with me: Father, thank you for seeing me differently than I see myself and for finding value in me. Thank you for healing and hope. In Jesus' name, amen.
Janet Perez Eckles is an international speaker and the author of four books. She has helped thousands conquer fear and bring back joy.
This article originally appeared at janetperezeckles.com.
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