Rejection: the Shell Defense


I think I handle rejection by trying to be in control of it.  (This may get really confusing when I write it.)  If I am rejected and I am not at my best, I have a great excuse (or maybe several!) to fall back on.  “Well, this isn’t the best I can be.  This isn’t the REAL me.  I can be really pretty if I want to be.  I can play the part of caring and gracious and giving pastor’s wife if I felt like it.  They only rejected me b/c they didn’t see the BEST me.”  You see, how much more scarey it is to face rejection when I AM my best self… when my hair and make up are beautiful, my clothes complement my body perfectly, my demeanor is calm, my movements are graceful, and I am delightfully witty, insightful and charming and not putting my foot in my mouth.  If I am rejected then, there is nothing to fall back on.  Nowhere to deflect it.  No thing on the outside of me to blame it on.  It would be because of me… who I really am at the center… my very heart. 

And so I have put away this one God made me to be and don a shell that will stand between the rejection and my raw, hurting heart.  I talk to it daily to make sure it stays tough:  You are ugly.  You should’ve known better.  You could do better.  You are a liar.  You will never be any different.  You aren’t standing straight.  You shouldn’t be sitting down.  You are lazy…  on and on it goes until I have the new layer of protection on.  At the same time, as I have written before, Jennifer is lonely and hurting and wanting to be loved.  And the shell that I built to protect her from the storm keeps her prisoner.


No more.  It is for freedom that Christ sets me free.  The prison door is already open.  I must just be willing to walk through.  Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!!!



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