I recently did a very scientific (😂) poll via Facebook. You can still participate if you’d like. It’s posted on my personal and “professional” Facebook pages. In short, I feel like we women are too hard on ourselves. I think our own insecurities take root, and we start to believe others view us in a certain way. Our insecurities can make a friend’s nonchalant comment seem like a personal attack. We can turn someone’s positive Facebook post into a post negatively directed at us. We project our insecurities onto others.
For example . . .
It’s so small secret this recent(ish) move has been incredibly difficult on me. While the area we live in provides many, many benefits, I still really miss my intimate circle of friends. It’s been the hardest part for me by far. So this past fall, my son really connected with a couple kids in his class and his teachers shared his friend’s parents contact information (with their approval) so I could try to set up some play dates. As a result, his one friend’s mom invited us over one evening so the boys could play and we could meet.
When I arrived, all of my insecurities overpowered me. This mom is cute and petite, was dressed nicely (compared my my jeans, sweatshirt, and tennis shoes), and had a beautiful home. The evening went well, but I know I was standoffish. I immediately judged her by projecting my own insecurities on her. I believed she wouldn’t like me, and then felt awful because I didn’t want it to affect my son’s friendship. When we got home, I actually cried over it because I felt like my house was a train wreck compared to hers and why would she ever want to hang out with me?
A few months went by and I had no contact with her. Initially, I took this as a rejection, too. But when I was reading through a Bible study one day, the problem became apparent. I allowed my negative self talk to take over. I forgot it doesn’t matter what any one else thinks of me because I am chosen and accepted by God. What more do I need? I walked into that situation with a desire to feel accepted in this new place, and instead my own insecurities fed me the lie that I was rejected. A simple piece of Scripture really helped me. This is my personalized version:
“He chose me in Him even before the foundation of the world, that I should be holy and blameless before Him. In love, He predestined me for adoption to Himself as a daughter through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.” Ephesians 1:4-5
He chose me. He picked me. He accepted me, flaws and all.
After praying through this situation, I reached out again. I asked if her son was doing a camp mine was, and from there came many play dates between our sons. I’ve put aside the lie that I need to feel accepted by her, because God has already accepted me. I don’t need to be best friends with her in order for our sons to hang out. And she’s so nice! I haven’t completely overcome this desire for acceptance, but I do try to go into all my interactions with new people with this attitude of acceptance. I used to believe people would not like me. It was my default so I didn’t feel rejected, although it never helped. Now, I try to go in with confidence because even if someone doesn’t like me, it doesn’t matter. I don’t need the approval of strangers. God already approved me.
Have you ever experienced this? Maybe you are struggling with it now. If so, I encourage you to meditate on Ephesians 1:4-5 and own it. We are already loved, chosen, and accepted. God will move the right people into our lives when we need them.
If you are brave enough to share your story of perceived rejection, please do. We can all learn from each other.