For When You Face Rejection

My heart hurt as I held yet another letter with a loved ones handwriting reading “return to sender”.

Seriously? They couldn’t just throw it away if a letter from me was such a digrace? They had to make deliberate and calculated gestures of their disapproval?

Do not be offended, do not be offended…” I muttered as I walked back to the house.

I quickly buried the letter in the trash where my husband wouldn’t find it. I didn’t want him to know.

For when you face rejection

I knew the returned letters were simply ways for our loved ones to feel justified in their misunderstanding of our choices to leave the Amish culture to pursue a life of obedience and freedom in Christ. 

We knew to expect the rejection. We knew the responses we would get. But knowing all that doesn’t make it any less painful.

Even the disciples were told they were to expect rejection.

When Jesus sent them out to reach the Jews, the Lord’s chosen people- the very people who should be most excited to meet His messengers and accept His message- the disciples were told to expect resistance.

They were to bless these people. But, if their blessing of peace was rejected or “returned to the sender”, they were to leave that home or town peaceably.

They would meet the spiritually blind. Their message of Christ would fall on spiritually deaf ears.

Since such people must have someone or something to lash out against in order to feel justified in their misunderstanding of the message, they lash out at the messenger. They reject and return the unwanted message.

In the event that the disciples would face rejection, they were told to leave the home or town and they shake the dust of the town off their feet as a sign of judgment against the people. (Luke 10:11-12)

But, here’s the thing, they weren’t told to stop loving the people. They weren’t told to retaliate. They weren’t told to become angry or indignant.

They were simply told to relate the message, and if the massage was rejected, they were to leave.

As Christians, disciples of Jesus, we too, are called to relate His message.

We will face rejection. Sometimes people will deliberately turn us away. Some will take greater measures to hurt us. They might return a simple letter, they might slam doors in our face, turn their backs, order us away, and they might even rally others to take a stance against us as well.

Jesus says we should be prepared for rejection. We should not be surprised when we face this trial.

It is our job to love others with a genuine love and concern for their soul.

It is our job to be kind and generous to those who treat us rudely.

It is our job to pray for those who despitefully use us.

It is our job to be peaceable with others as much as possible. If that means remove ourselves, or “shake the dust”, so to speak, so that we are not a hindrance to their walk to accepting Christ, then so be it.

Remove yourself. Love them quietly and from a distance. But don’t stop loving them.

Sometimes shaking the dust means not retaliating. It means minding our own business, seeking the Lord diligently exactly where we are.

Being completely gentle and patient in our responses to their deliberate rejections will speak louder to them than our words.

It is not our responsibility to make them see the light of Christ.

It is God’s job to determine how the message of Christ will effect them. If our words don’t work, let it be spoken through our everyday lives.

So, dear one, if you are facing rejection from family, friends, or a general public, it is okay to remove yourself, if necessary.  It is okay to stop reaching out so much if that out reaching is only met with greater anger and resistance, or could potentially harden hearts forever.

But don’t become angry or callous enough that you remove your love.

Shake a little dust.

Love a little quieter. Pray a little harder. Trust a little more.

God will do His work of pursuing the hearts of your loved ones.

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19 comments

  1. Kelsey Ferguson says:

    What a beautiful, honest post. Facing rejection has been one of the hardest lessons for me. For a long time, I wouldn’t put myself in situations that I could be rejected from. Sometimes I still struggle with it, but through some awesome work God has been doing in my heart I have gotten so much better at putting myself out there, again.

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this, Kaylene! I read it last night before I went to bed, and I knew I needed to comment this morning. I hope you are having a wonderful day! 🙂

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      I’m so glad it spoke to you! And thank you for commenting. I probably would have forgotten! Praying for you as you striving to show the heart of Christ to those who need your example. Blessings, sweet friend!

  2. Sabra Penley says:

    “Love a little quieter. Pray a little harder. Trust a little more.” LOVE THIS! Kaylene, these are words of helpful healing! Thank you for sharing from your hurt and encouraging with words of wisdom.

  3. Aimee Imbeau says:

    Yes, I’ve had to shake the dust off my feet and ‘leave town’ recently. While it still hurts – mostly because I wish it was different – but there are only so many times I can keep going around that mountain. I feel God’s peace about it.
    I appreciate you being so real and transparent here. When we hide these things, we begin believing the lie that we are the only ones who experience this kind of thing.

  4. Tina Truelove says:

    Kaylene, This is so beautiful. I’m so sorry you have been deeply hurt. Recently, a loved one mistreated me on social media because she didn’t agree with one of my faith-based posts. She is a professed Christian and yet she chose to attack my character publicly. I was deeply hurt, but even so, I can’t imagine the grief that comes from total rejection by your family, especially due to your faith or differences in theology or the way you worship. The good news is that you are using your situation to encourage others who might be in the same position and by doing so, you are glorifying God. Thank you for sharing this personal story.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Tina. Rejection can be so hard, but in Christ we have the strength to keep showing them His heart. May you & I continue doing kingdom work! Much love!

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Tina, sometimes I think rejection from fellow believers is just as painful as from family. We all love the same Jesus and He loves each of us with the same big love. We need to stop being so detrimental to each other, but more importantly, His church. It’s hard for non-believers to want to be part of His church when we act behave badly toward one another. Praying for you as you minister quietly to your loved one in patience and kindness.

  5. Arabah says:

    Okay I saw this on pinterest. Had to click over because I’m up at 2am because of… well, you guessed it… rejection. I needed to hear truth this morning and I’m thankful the Lord led me here, to this trusted place. Thank you my friend.

  6. Joe Keim says:

    Thank you for taking the time to share your heart, Kaylene! You speak for many who have left their Amish background; myself included. Some former Amish struggle more with rejection than others, but all struggle to an extend. God bless you and the ministry.

    • Kaylene Yoder says:

      Thank you for commenting here, Joe. Yes, we all face rejection. Such a hard part of leaving the culture. Such a hard part of life for all people. I pray that sharing tidbits of our story will encourage many to focus on Christ rather than than the pain, To keep doing good for Christ even when all others disagree or even shame and mistreat us. Taking our eyes off Him will only make us feel isolated, which is exactly what the enemy would have us believe- that we are alone and have no purpose, hope or future. May we find joy and peace as we seek to live a life of freedom in Christ.

      Thank you for the ministry you and your wife are leading. Trusting God to lead many to salvation through you.

  7. Tammy Vaughn says:

    My story is very similar. I was excommunicated from the Mennonite church. I wasn’t raised Mennonite but was in Sunday School when I was around 5.

    Even though I hadn’t gone there for about a year, it was still hurtful. God used a little boys smile at me to give me an assurance that I was doing the right thing. Then, the DJ on the Christian Radio Station; he quoted about faith and works. God is so good!

    Thank you for your blog.

  8. Tayrina says:

    Loved this Kaylene –> It is God’s job to determine how the message of Christ will effect them. If our words don’t work, let it be spoken through our everyday lives. This is truth!!! Thanks for sharing this amazing post in Words of Comfort Link Up!!! Be Blessed!!!

    Tayrina from A Tiny Mix Of {Formerly TGAWrites}

  9. Tai East says:

    Great post, Kaylene! Love your heart for CHRIST and your courage to live for HIM, Dear Sister! You are an inspiration to us all! Thank you for sharing this. Infinite blessings to you and your family, Love! 🙂

  10. Danielle says:

    Hello! I really enjoyed this post! It’s so practical! I love the ideas you put forth in this post about what to do when you’re rejected by those you love. I really want my readers to know about this too! I want to share this in my weekly series called “Roll Out The Red Carpet Thursday” – I share bloggers’ amazing posts that I’ve found during the week. I hope that’ ok! Have a great night!

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