Let’s talk rejection.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of rejection? I bet you have. If not, God bless you—your inexperience with rejection is so rare. As for me, I have definitely been on the receiving end of rejection.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t fortunate enough to experience, what I consider, meaningless rejection, you know? My experience with rejection was personal. It wasn’t because I didn’t possess the physical attributes one man liked. It wasn’t because some stranger passed judgment on me because of my looks, friends, hobbies, or whatever.
Now, have I experienced those kinds of rejection? Yes, of course. However, those experiences with rejection didn’t hurt as much. It never bothered me—at least not for long. What bothered me was my misfortune of being rejected by those I was closest to. Although it is not unusual, one of the many, painful, teachable experiences there is, is the loss of a friend. The rejection by my friend felt like a true break-up. She was my best friend, my sister, and it was probably the most hurtful break-up that I have experienced. It took a toll on me emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically.
Believe me when I say, I do not throw words like friendship or sister around carelessly. You see, I don’t let just anyone in, but when I do, I give the friendship or relationship all that I have.
Did I have other friends, associates, and family? Sure. But it wasn’t the same. Sisterhoods and brotherhoods are a unique gift, because although God may be the one to bring them into your life, it’s your choice to keep them there. It’s up to you to care and value that person—that friendship. I’m grateful that God introduced us and allowed us to share monumental life experiences with each other.
I believe that was why the end of that friendship was so sad for me. You expect your homegirl or homeboy to be present for all your life experiences—accomplishments; failures; painful experiences; and joyful occasions.
Let’s be honest, rejection from someone who knows or should know your heart is a hard pill to swallow. It’s difficult to digest and truly understand how someone who you have allowed to take up residence in your heart, say I don’t care for you anymore—I don’t care for your friendship, relationship, or company. If that’s not deeply personal, I don’t know what is.
However, that kind of rejection will teach you quickly that some relationships are seasonal and you shouldn’t fight it. Maybe that relationship has run its course. Maybe you inspired each other, taught one another, and grown as much as you could with one another. Maybe your paths are headed in two separate directions—and that is okay. We shouldn’t get so attached to the familiar that we hold on to people longer than we should. We shouldn’t get so attached to what is familiar that we ignore God’s warnings. We should have godly expectations for our friendships.
You see, rejection undermines our need to belong, creating chaos within. Human connection is necessary. God did not mean for us to be alone. Since the beginning of time, with Adam and Eve, God saw a need for partnership, companionship, and fellowship with one another—for relationship.
However, because of that need, just like in choosing our spouse, God has given us insight on what a true friend in Christ looks like. Proverbs 17:17 tells us that a friend is loyal and presence in one’s time of need. In Proverbs 17:9 we are informed of how important it is to offer one another forgiveness, and how unforgiveness will destroy relationships—for “love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” Proverbs 27:17 tells us that “as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Although, sometimes God will bring separation, it is truly up to us to take heed to His word and recognize when a friendship is no longer positively impacting us or them. When there is strife, take note. When your well-being, whether it be physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually is being threaten, pay attention. When that friend is drawing you further away from who you are in Christ—separating you from Christ, please make a change. All relationships are purposeful. We must think about their influence in our life. Heck, we should be so self-aware that we see how we are influencing them.
Mind you, this is not about you or them being a bad person. It is simply about recognizing that love is unconditional and requires nothing of the other person, but a relationship requires two people—it is a two-way street with expectations that align.
With that being said, do I miss that relationship? From time to time, absolutely. Sisterhood (or brotherhood) is a unique bond that society tends to romanticize. People are rarely as down for you as they say they are. Many friendships are one-sided, superficial, and are usually maintained due to convenience. However, for the friendships that aren’t, remember, just because the friendship didn’t go the distance, it doesn’t make it any less real. It doesn’t erase the good times, and it doesn’t mean the friendship was in vain. It simply means, ‘time is up.’
So instead of fighting God, instead of being sad or angry about how or why it came to an end, just appreciate the lessons you learned. Appreciate the fun times you had together and the memories you share. Respect that friendship that once was and bow out gracefully.
One last thing, don’t partake in slander. Don’t walk around being a bitter Betty or Billy. Don’t spill your insiders or divulge what was shared with you out of confidence in the relationship. Don’t taint the memories. Accept the end of the friendship, gracefully, and trust that God doesn’t take away one thing (or relationship) to hurt you—He does it to grow you.
Until next time,
Peace & love.