Her greatest strength, the one that had enabled her to overcome incredible challenges, was not only being called into question but was condemned. It was our daughter’s first real job, her first time out of state, on her own. Really, her first steps into the world of adulthood. But a critical roommate turned what God intended for a blessing into months of rejection and pain.
And as I listened to her relay all her roommate had said and done, my anger and sorrow began to rise. Had we been discussing an issue of sin, then perhaps I could’ve understood. Even agreed with the young woman, encouraging my daughter to embrace truth as she attempted to grow in her faith and talents.
And perhaps had our daughter been home, surrounded by her friends, her support system, the criticism wouldn’t have cut so deeply. But there she sat, over 1,000 miles away, barely twenty years old and embracing a role many adults would find intimidating, and her every move, her every word, her very identity, was being challenged. To make matters more confusing, this other woman, who was older than my daughter, claimed to be a Christian, and often used Scripture to back up her condemnations.
“Mom, what’s wrong with me?” my daughter asked.
My response: “Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Do not let her challenge the core of who you are. Those things that make you strong. That make you you.”
Though my daughter knew I was right, it was hard to shake off the insecurity her roommate triggered. Those inner lies that cropped up when life became hard and others acted ugly, lies that told her she was annoying or not good enough kept playing through her mind.
But my daughter kept pressing, kept praying, and kept going to work each day, refusing to cower to one woman’s faulty opinion. And over time, reality hit. She began to notice instances when her roommate was critical of others, belittled others behind their back, and viewed everyone and everything through a lens of judgment. This provided the context that allowed my daughter to see the situation more clearly.
She gained the wisdom necessary to shake off the rejection and move forward in godly confidence.
In Matthew 7:5, Jesus instructs us, when in relational conflict, to first remove the beam out of our eye so that we can see clearly. In context, He’s addressing the person doing the judging, the person with a critical spirit, but I believe the general principle applies to both sides. So often, we have planks, whether pride, areas of deception, or wounds caused by past hurts, that distort our vision. Only God can see the situation clearly. Therefore, the best thing we can do, whenever conflict arises, is to seek Jesus. To ask Him to show us what’s really going on—our role and the other person’s.
When we do that, we may find, as my daughter did, that the issue isn’t about us at all. Other times, He may show us areas we need to change. Either way, by leaning into Him and seeking His wisdom, we step deeper into freedom and in situations like my daughter experienced, learn to move from rejected to deeply and wholly loved.
If this post encouraged you, pop over to the Wholly Loved website to watch a short video devotion on “shaking off the dust” of rejection. You can watch it HERE.
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Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com.
As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women experience Christ’s freedom in all areas of their lives. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.