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Pursuing Friendships in the Wake of Rejection

By: Guest Blogger

“I gotta go straighten up, I’m having the girls over tonight,” she said as we got off the phone. I sat there with the phone pressed against my ear long after the call had ended. She was having her friends over and I wasn’t invited.

Throughout life, each one of us has experienced exclusion. From classmates chatting excitedly about this weekend’s sleepover to friends planning get-togethers without you to coworkers talking excitedly about last night’s dinner in the break room. This particular conversation on the phone, however, stung more than usual.

The woman on the other end of the call was my childhood best friend.

Over the past few months, I watched her form friendships with pretty amazing women at church, many of whom I had become friends with as well. But on this day it became apparent that I was not one of “the girls.” As the night went on, her social media profile filled with pictures of the ladies on their fun night together. They were smiling, laughing, and enjoying wonderful fellowship. Each picture was followed with the hashtag #jesusgirls.

Oh, how I wanted so badly to be a part of the #jesusgirls that night. Rejection slithered in like a snake and began feeding me lies. Que the feelings of abandonment and the negative inner monologue that many of us have unfortunately had.

Rejection comes from the Latin word rēicere which literally means “to throw back.”

And that is exactly what it tempts us to do. We can be thrown back into the shadows of despair. That’s what I did. I retreated. I stopped attending social functions. I canceled plans and stopped opening up in group Bible studies out of fear of further rejection. I pretended that I was comfortable in isolation. That I preferred to be home on the couch eating a Ben and Jerry’s and binge-watching Netflix. Fear of rejection kept me in a place of familiarity and isolation.

Retreating from relationships out of fear doesn’t actually help us in the long run though. Trying to do life alone is detrimental. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity and one who falls and has no one to help them up.” This verse emphasizes the benefits of companionship, friendship, and that sharing of life that brings relief from isolation.

It continues in verse 12 which says, “though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

The nerdy nurse inside of me couldn’t help but think of the human heart when reading that verse. The chordae tendineae, commonly known as the heart strings, are a group of elastic/collagen strands in the heart. To prevent the valves in our heart from blowing out under the extremely high blood pressure within the ventricles of the heart, these strands hold and support the valves to remain closed or open while the heart pumps vital blood to our body. Since the force of the blood is so strong one cord would not be sufficient enough to do this job, so there are multiple strings working together, supporting life. Isn’t God amazing?!

Just like the heart, we need people in our lives for support. We need them in the good times and in the bad times. We need them to keep us from blowing out under pressure, much like the strings in our hearts.

It didn’t’ take long for me to crumble under life’s pressures in my isolation.

I began longing for friendships once again. I cried out to my Father. I immersed myself in His truths and protected myself against the lies. In Christ, I found comfort and healing that I never could have found from another person. God used this season of loneliness to draw me closer in my relationship with Christ. And in that, I found freedom. Freedom from rejection and the chains that come with.

As I realigned my identity in Christ, I once again embraced His love for me. 

From a place of fullness in Christ, God gave me the courage to start branching out again. I started by simply keeping plans that were made with friends. I determined to make my yes a yes and my no a no. I accepted invites to things I normally would never have said yes to. I went to a Lauren Daigle concert where I knew only one person in a group of women. I accepted coffee dates on my only day off of work while my house was a mess. I joined Bible studies as well as began leading one.

None of these things are easy for someone who has dealt with relational rejection. These simple things were difficult and awkward for me internally. I had to fight the lies that told me I was unloved and would never fit in. God has been faithful to me.

Throughout this journey, I have met people that I never would have met and formed relationships that would have otherwise never happened if I didn’t say yes.

Once we step out of our comfort zone and pursue relationships from a place of love, things begin to change. 

As we navigate through life we form many different types of relationships. Some of these relationships are lifelong and some are for a season in our life. Each relationship formed in your life needed to happen in order for you to be who you are today. God is using the joys, sorrows, rejection, and acceptance to draw us closer to Him.

Looking back now, I’m grateful for my friend on the other line that day. I will park my mind in a place of sweet memories and gratitude of the journey God has used to grow me closer to Him and to others. I now know that I don’t have to be a #jesusgirl to accepted. I am already Jesus’s girl — and because of that, I will never be alone.

Please share your thoughts with me below!

  • How have you faced relationship rejection?
  • What do you think God wants to teach you in the midst of that rejection?

This guest post was written by Christina Zambrano. To submit a guest post to GirlDefined, please see our guidelines here. 

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18 Responses to Pursuing Friendships in the Wake of Rejection

  1. Brooke Mazyn says:

    Wow, God is SO incredible! I have actually been dealing with this same struggle over the last few months. In November, my best friend’s family along with other’s in our church betrayed me in some of the most hurtful ways. After my family striving to work through it in the Biblical way and them choosing not to work through it, it was in the best for our family to move on to another church because of the unhealthy environment. With the betrayal and the church move, I lost all of my local friends. We have just now settled at a church, and I am so grateful to God for His faithful provision. Over the past few months, I have grown in Christ more than I ever have before. I know Him so much more intimately and deeply because of the hurt I experienced. That has been a constant comfort for me in this season. Now, you can ask anyone I know, I LOVE people! I’ve never had a week where I didn’t show up at church and give countless hugs and spend time fellowshipping with sweet family in Jesus. I love to laugh, to have meaningful conversations, to take pictures, to hug, to cry, to love Jesus, to grow with people. I’ve always had “my people” who I knew I could lean on and they knew they could lean on me. All of a sudden, in this season, the only two friends who hadn’t been apart of the betrayal were long distance. Think Texas to Indiana! Even though those friendships are so priceless and valuable to me, I have missed my people here at home. In the past few weeks, God has taught me so much through this trial! He has helped me remember who my true friends are, how important my family relationships are, and how vital it is for me to reach out and be a friend to others. To this day, I don’t have any “my people” yet, but I DO have a God who holds me, a family who accepts and loves me, and a promise that my Lord will never leave or forsake me. And, I sure can’t wait to see who God puts in my life and what He does with those friendships. Yes, oh my goodness, it is so hard. And I feel really lonely sometimes. But God promises me that He knows what’s best and He has a much greater plan than I could ever come up with.

    Thank you so so so much for this article. It was so timely because just this week, I have been praying for God to comfort me in this area and allow me to trust Him more. This was a gift, and God is so amazing! Thank you, Christina, for your beautiful words! You are a gem!

    I’d love to hear if anyone else has dealt with betrayal in the church and how you grew through it! And, if there are any Jesus loving girls in Houston, TX, maybe we could meet up sometime and talk about what God’s been doing in our lives over some Chick-fil-a. 🙂

    • Virtue says:

      I wish I lived in Houston Texas just for that chat and chick fil a! My chick fil is over an hour away and my few friends further!

  2. Johana Navarrete says:

    Ah!!! Thanks for sharing your experience/ story with us! This brings me so and much hope for the season I’m in! Blessings and love from your sister in Christ! :))))

  3. Tabby RH says:

    Goodness, I needed this today….I’ve lost two friends over the past year and a half, one of whom I was pretty close with. It’s crazy hard and I’m still learning how to navigate the losses especially since the friend I was pretty close with still attends my church and I seem them rather frequently. We’re just not as close as we used to be. Also, this particular friend has become friends with another close friend of mine and it’s painful to watch them interacting or hear about their conversations, knowing that I just probably won’t be a part of that circle. I’m still praying to the Most High that I won’t let bitterness take over my soul ’cause I can feel it creeping in sometimes. But it’s sooooo stinkin’ true!!!! He brings people into our lives for a season and not everything or everyone is meant to last. It’s such a ridiculously hard truth/reality to take hold of but it’s true. We need to be SOOOO secure in Him and in our relationship with Him because if we have Him, we have EVERYTHING! Thanks for this post, Christina, it was so beyond timely for me. Keep pressing on!!!!

    • Christina Marie says:

      I’m so glad, Tabby! Keep giving those feelings to Him and hang on because God may even use this season in your life to equip you to help others. ❤️

  4. Aleya Beadles says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and thoughts. I was in tears while reading. Not just for you but also because I have personally experienced this. In fact tonight my siblings and some of their spouses are going to dinner and I one wasn’t invited and plus I’m stuck doing something else. Anyway my mom was saying how she was so glad that ALL her kids we’re going out together….except I am not and I’m also her child! It’s always kinda been that way though so I should be used to it, but it still hurts. It doesn’t help that the same thing is happening with my two childhood friends:( I really needed yhit because I find that I just avoid social anything. TgaTha again for sharing!

    • Christina Marie says:

      Aleya, I’m sorry you are going through the feelings of rejection. I pray you find peace knowing you have a place with our Father and you are always welcomed and wanted. Don’t give up putting yourself out there-you just haven’t found your tribe yet! ❤️

  5. Rachael says:

    Wow this came at the perfect time for me. My whole life I feel like I was left out of the “fun” because I was the good girl. I was never very bold as a teen and so growing up making friends was hard. Most of my life I was convinced something was wrong with me. This past August I moved to the other side of the world to take a teaching job in Indonesia. And while I adore my job and love my students, it is incredibly isolating to leave all you know behind. Everyone in this community already has their friend group so I sit alone most nights grading papers and telling myself that someday it will get better. I know God has plans for me so I thank you for giving me hope.

    • Christina Marie says:

      Relocating to a new place can be tough especially when groups already have been formed. But I believe your tribe is out there and it may be in one of those groups! Put yourself out there and get connected. ❤️

  6. Claire says:

    Thank you for this post, I also find myself sometimes the odd one out of my friends at school and this is really helpful!

  7. Kaitlin Masters says:

    Yah i totally get this. I have been going through this a lot and I have been working on putting myself back into the group too. It is such a hard thing to do, but I know it is the best thing for me. I want to grow in God and with these connections hopefully they will help me with that and I can help them grow in God too.

  8. Leticia says:

    This is so helpful! 😀 Rejection is so painful but I know from experience that if we let it, it will powerfully draw us to God. I find great comfort in the words of Isaiah 53 ¨He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.¨

  9. Damon Snelling says:

    Rejection is a iniquity that Satan and his devilish friends tempt us to commit against our brothers and sisters in the Lord by giving up on them.

  10. Ellie says:

    Yep. Rejection hurts. You’re speaking to an expert who’s received it one too many times.

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