rejection imageHey Friends –

Manda, Me, Sarah

Manda, Me, Sarah

Today is my daughter Manda’s birthday!

How fun to think 11 years ago today, God blessed me with the gift of being a mom to the first of two beautiful daughters.

Today is also a big day for my sweet girl for another reason.

Manda — fun loving, can’t stop singing, “Taylor Swift wanna be” Manda — is trying out for the Middle Schools’ Honors Choir.

She’s excited and nervous and courageous and anxious and hopeful — all at once.

Her mama is too.

Friends, Manda’s try-out is bringing back up all sorts of pain from my past.

You see, when I was little, I desperately wanted to be a cheerleader.

I went to cheerleading camps, watched tons of cheerleading programs on TV, dressed my dolls in cheerleading uniforms, hung cheerleading posters on my wall — but when I tried out for varsity cheerleading, the message I heard was —

 

rejectedCindy, you’re not good enough.

We don’t want you. Nobody wants you.

You’re not wanted on our team.   

 

Now, those may or may not have been the coach’s exact words, but that’s what I heard and believed — for way too long.

How did I cope with the rejection of not making the cheerleading team?

I told my parents I was “fine,” then spent the afternoon declaring to myself cheerleading was dumb, removed any traces of my previously beloved pastime (posters in the trash, cheerleading figurines destroyed), and privately vowed I would NEVER, EVER let anyone hurt me like that again. Ever.

Lovely, huh?

The older I get, the more I realize experiencing rejection is a necessary life skill.

I can decide as a fifteen year old girl that no one will ever reject me again, but guess what — rejection is a part of the broken world we live in.

  • We won’t always make the team.
  • We won’t always be invited to the (fill in the blank).
  • Friendships will go south.
  • We’ll see FB pictures of fun events where we weren’t included.
  • Job/ministry opportunities will go to someone else.

Instead of trying to set up the world so that my feelings never get hurt, or my kids always make the team, get invited to the sleepover, and never experience feeling left out or rejected — what if we learned how to walk through rejection in a healthy, whole way.

Here’s the promise I’m making to my family when/if the answer is “No”:

  • I will pay attention. I can’t tell you how many times my kids have come home in a funk — only to find out its because they were left out on the bus, at recess, or during lunch time. I promise to pay attention to how my kids are doing — really — and help them talk through hard days.
  • I will affirm and acknowledge my kids’ feelings. If they make the team, we will celebrate. If they don’t, I’ll say, “Wow, this is hard, isn’t it.”  If it means staying up a little later with them at bedtime (why do they always open up so freely when it’s bedtime and I just want to watch American Idol?!) — I will listen to their heart and let them share how they are feeling.
  • I will daily remind them they are loved. Aren’t you glad our lovability is not based on how many FB friends we have, or Instagram pictures are liked, or party invitations we receive? Friends, we are loved. Period. Unconditionally, lavishly loved. I promise to remind my family members, friends (and myself) of this life-changing, liberating Truth. Loved {period}.
  • I will not let allow one try-out to decide everything.  I’m so sad I let one cheerleading tryout decide I would NEVER cheer again. Who knows? Maybe the coach was having a bad day.  I let one opinion carry way too much weight in my life. As I look back over my son Jake’s hockey career, there were many teams he made, and a few he didn’t. What if Jake would have allowed one try-out to decide his whole hockey career? He would have missed out on this —
My boy Jake -- goalie extraordinaire

My boy Jake — goalie extraordinaire

  • I’ll (try to) model healthy coping skills. When I feel left out, hurt, or rejected — I’ll share my feelings with my family. I’ll ask God to help me be an example of how to walk THROUGH hard stuff, like disappointment and rejection — not numbing out, stuffing, or going AROUND the hurts —  but trusting God to get me THROUGH it.

I’m curious, when was the last time you or a loved one experienced rejection? What did you learn? Is there anything you can add to my list? Share with us please!

Well, friends, I’m off to pick up Manda from her Honors’ Choir try-out. I’m so proud of my girl! Although she is in the 5th grade — and we’ve heard 7th & 8th graders are the ones who mostly make it — Manda’s been practicing all week and is ready to give this singing thing a shot.

I promised to come early and sit in the parking lot and pray for her the whole time. We’re praying not that she makes it — although we sure hope that she does — but that God would give her the courage and strength to do her very best.

And if she doesn’t make it this year, Manda’s already declared she’ll give it a try next year!  (But I’ve got a confetti wand ready for this years try-out, just in case!)

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkle*! May God infuse you with the courage and strength YOU NEED for all of the tasks He brings your way today too!

Sweet blessings,
Cindy sig-01

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