If someone hasn't already told you to read Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst, I'm telling you to right now. Whether you have experienced horrible, heartbreaking rejection or you just find yourself feeling like everyone's second choice, rejection is something that we all know, all too well. As women, we were created to crave connection, therefore we also crave acceptance. But because of The Fall, most of our hearts are just as familiar with rejection of who we are as they are with acceptance of who we are. This is why rejection hurts so much. Rejection cuts to the core of who we are. In Uninvited, Lysa illustrates a beautiful picture of what it means to overcome the lies of rejection and instead live loved. Such a beautiful and full-of-truth picture, in fact, that I found it hard to take it all in at once! So, I want to share with you a summarized version of these beautiful truths through 16 bite-sized principles for living loved:
- Embracing our true selves is intimidating. Think about it: we would much rather showcase a perfect and polished Instagram account than our truest selves. But the first step towards living loved is embracing our true selves and comparing them to the truth of God's Word. Because as daughters of God, our truest selves are found in Him! Each lie you believe about yourself can be combated with a truth, but you must be honest enough with yourself to identify these lies first.
- We all have beliefs that are foundational to who we are and how we live, and overtime, these beliefs form our identities. So, what do you believe? Do your beliefs build a strong identity foundation or a weak identity foundation? A strong identity foundation is built off of the truth found in God's Word; essentially, that God is all-good and all-powerful. When we truly believe these truths, we form an identity that is unshakeable, no matter what life throws at us.
- Rejection is what happens when we are denied love. Of course, there are varying levels of this, but essentially this is rejection. So what if we lived from the place that we are loved, no matter what earthly love we are denied? Practically, living from the place that we loved means spending time in the place from which we are loved, or more accurately, with the God by whom we are loved. Are you practicing the discipline of living loved every day, by just being with Him?
- The result of living loved is having the Holy Spirit with us wherever we go. And in having the Holy Spirit with us, we won't need to be filled by anyone or anything else because God is all that we need. What a beautiful freedom this brings! So, the next time that you're about to set foot out the front door, go first to the God by whom you are loved and let him fill you to overflowing with his love! Note: As daughters of God, we always have the Holy Spirit with us no matter what. But by practicing the disciple of living loved, we become much more aware of His presence in us!
- One of the most important principles for living loved is living from the truth of God's Word. This is a key theme! We live in a world where lies targeted at our beliefs and our identities are thrown at us left and right, and if we don't truly know what we say we know, we will eventually give in to these lies. We must be so deeply rooted in the truth of God's Word that the lies of the world won't uproot these beliefs, no matter what it looks like to the rest of the world.
- One of the most common places that rejection makes itself known is in a falling out, or even just an argument, with a loved one. When this happens there is a temptation to prove ourselves right, whether out loud or in our hearts. But, we are called to keep pure hearts and to live in harmony with each other. The next time that you find yourself out of harmony with a loved one, instead of fighting against each other, fight for each other and against the true enemy.
- In life, there are things that happen that we wish wouldn't. And when these things happen, we have a choice: do we play the victim, or do we continue to live in victory? When we continue to live in the victory that Jesus has already won for us, we are making more room for grace in our hearts. But when we play the victim, we are pushing aside this opportunity. What situation in your life is not quite what you wish it were, but is giving you an opportunity to grow in grace?
- Acceptance is powerful. For someone to know that they are accepted and understood is for them to feel that they are loved. Oftentimes, the reason why people don't act “acceptable” or “lovable” is because it has been communicated to them that they are not. The next time that someone acts poorly towards you, instead of walking away in a huff, look into their hearts and consider what lies they may be carrying. How might you graciously help them correct these lies?
- Rejection and loneliness tend to go hand in hand, and loneliness feels like being set aside. But, there is a difference between being set aside and set apart. To be set aside is to be rejected, but to be set apart is to be saved for something special. Instead of feeling humiliated, let's be humbled. Instead of feeling lonely, let's find communion with God. Instead of feeling silenced, let's have communication with God. Are you living as one who is set aside, or who is set apart?
- We live in a world where making our dreams come true and watching others' dreams come true is easier than ever before. In most ways, this is great! But what we must remember when we're tempted to engage in comparison and coveting is that God created us to live with a mindset of abundance, not scarcity. He made you for a purpose that only you can fulfill! No one can ever take that from you, ever if her dream seems the same as yours.
- There are so many things that must be taken into consideration when we feel rejected. While the hurt should be acknowledged, it should not always be accepted for exactly what it feels like. Lysa lists ten things we must remember when rejected, and these ten things pose questions like the following: How might this rejection be an opportunity for something better? How might this rejection be protecting me? How might this rejection make me more into the woman God wants me to be? Again, I encourage you to read the book and take a look at the rest of her thoughts!
- Living loved is a battle, because there is an enemy who wants us to live unloved, undesired, unaccepted. But again, this is where knowing the truth of God's Word is oh so important. This truth is our weapon in battling the enemy. What lies are you most susceptible to, and what truths can you battle these lies with? Knowing your answers to these questions is important, because anticipating the battle is winning half the fight.
- Transformation is found in personal application, friend. You and I can soak up these truths all we want, but if we don't pray and ask God to help us apply them, we won't be transformed. But fortunately, we serve a God who promises to give us our desires as long as they align with his, and I really believe that the desire to live loved as a daughter of God is a God-glorifying desire. Pray that he will help you to live loved, practice the discipline of living loved, and trust that your application will turn into transformation.
- Without pain, there is no healing. It is easy to move through life without dependence on God's strength when there is no pain, but as soon as there is, dependence on God's strength becomes much more real. In these times of pain, the best thing that we can do is run to God in prayer. He is our comforter, our redeemer, our healer, our provider, and the foundation on which we can live loved no matter what. Pain has the ability to truly transform us, but only if we let it.
- Sometimes it can feel like our rejections define us. But no. Jesus, and his love for us, defines us. And if we live like we believe that, the times of rejection and heartbreak will simply grow us in this identity. In fact, without these times, we wouldn't grow in this identity. Because of our human nature, we would continue to search for our identities in all the wrong places. Do you have rejections that you live defined by? How can you let Jesus define you instead of that?
- No matter whose love we are granted and denied here on this earth, we are wholly loved by the Creator of the Universe. Sometimes, this will help the pain of rejection. And honestly, sometimes, rejection will hurt just as much as it did before. But no matter what, we know the beautiful truth that the total knowing of us and the total acceptance of us is awaiting us in eternity. And if we practice the discipline of living loved here and now, we will get a taste of that total knowing and total acceptance, and be given the opportunity to share it with others.
You are loved. You are accepted. You are delighted in. Go, live loved.
Written By: Tiffany Butler