I wanted to write about rejection. Last week I wrote about how we don’t have to have it all figured out, and this week is the part two that goes along with that idea. Not a direct sequel, but still related. Think of last week being Alien and this week being Aliens, both related but you don’t need to see both to understand. Okay, weird tangent; I wanted to write about rejection. You see, there have been a lot of no’s in my life. I use the word wanted, because I wasn’t in a good mental state thinking about it. I had just gotten another rejection from another job. My story has had many times of rejection. From high school being rejected by teachers who thought I was dumb. There was a day in my senior year where I received three letters from three different colleges telling me I didn’t get in. I remember being alone in my room and screaming at the top of my lungs, why? In college, I had an internship where I wasn’t able to do what I thought was best. At my church job, I wasn’t given a chance compared to others. I have been rejected, but the truth is, I cannot live in the belief that I am rejected.
I wanted to write about rejection, but then my wife reminded me of what I truly am.
When you live with a rejection mindset, Satan traps you in a downward spiral. You live defeated, being the victim in every situation and telling yourself that you are worthless. These are lies that keep you held back. They keep all of us held back. I recently discovered I am a three on the enneagram, three wing four to be specific. A thing to note about three’s is that they like to succeed and win at what they do; the core fear is being worthless and core desire is to feel valuable and worthwhile. So, for me, I take rejection heavily. I hate feeling rejected, but instead of talking about the lie of rejection, I want to look at the opposite. The opposite of rejection is accepted, but I don’t think this is true. Acceptance has a lot of room for grey areas. I could change every aspect about me and be accepted by a group I am trying to impress, but that’s an empty life of lies to live.
The opposite of rejected is actually, chosen.
Living chosen changes our focus.
In conversation about some of these feeling with my dearest Danielle, she told me that I am chosen by God for a purpose and plan. My focus shifted. You see, when you feel like a reject, you take everything to heart. When you live like the chosen one, you feel like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. My memory of that show was Sunday afternoons watching it with my dad, it’s cheesy and great, but the main character is the chosen one. She knows what she has to do, and every problem is looked at from a perspective of I must win. We need to live like the chosen one, seeing every challenge as a stepping stone to something else.
P.E. can be one of the worst things in the world. I am not the most athletic person, but I love winning, that’s why sports kill me. I remember in my P.E. class we were about to choose teams for handball. I remember the captains choosing who they wanted, I was normally picked close to last, again, I was pretty uncoordinated. Then I heard my name, first pick. That never happened, I remember something was said along the line of, “he’s got some long arms for blocking.” It was then decided I would be the goalie, I was chosen and now it was time to step into that. The coolest thing was, we won. Not just a game, but the P.E. in-class tournament. We got our picture taken and everything.
Living chosen reminds us of who chose us.
We have all been chosen. We all have a purpose for being on this earth, it’s the reason we were created. We were created by a great creator. The one who knit you together, gave you your quirks and talents. That same God who created you, wants you to enter a relationship with you, he chose you. You don’t have to live like a reject, because you have been chosen for things you might not see now. He has a plan for you. No one else is like you, that is intentional because we all have a unique purpose over our lives. When I let the lies of rejection seep in, my mind lives in the state that I am worthless and that not even God knows what to do with me. It’s a lie, God wants me, just like he wants you.
When I remember who chose me, the narrative of the past becomes clearer. The teacher who said I was dumb, created a deep sense of empathy in me for those who have been marginalized and told they are worthless of love. When I was told no by those colleges, it set my life on a course that would teach me so much about growth and allow me to meet my best friend and now wife. In my internship, I was able to learn the importance of giving opportunity to those in the younger generation. In my ministry job, I learned not to compare myself to others and that a job does not define who I am at my core, and when others can’t see that, that’s not on me. You see I wasn’t rejected, I was chosen.
We are all chosen.
It’s important to know that in those battles I have walked through, I don’t have ill feeling towards anyone in those situations. Was I mad and still mad? Yes, I am still in a process of mourning for time that has been lost and the things that, “should have been.” At the same time, I am joyful in where I am now. This past week I posted a picture on Instagram and talked about what joy means to me. I said that joy is not the same as happy. Happiness changes with the wind, but joy, joy is knowing that in all things there is victory despite circumstance. I am joyful because I am chosen. I am joyful in all things. I just moved to Orlando, Florida with my wife. I still don’t have a job, and that’s kind of scary. Despite my circumstance, I am confident because I am chosen.
It’s time to be confident in who you have been made to be, because you too are chosen.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__