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OUCH! Her words hit me like a backhand to my face. Or maybe a sucker punch to the gut. Either way I was left with the wind knocked out me, unsure how to reply. She continued spewing her disapproval of my choices and well-meaning advice after. Slap! Slap! Slap! Her words cut deep. I prayed for the conversation to be over so I could retreat to a safe corner of the world and lick my wounds of rejection.

A seeming rejection from someone else is often more of reflection on them, than it is on us. But that’s hard to remember when someone is reaming you out for not following the life plan they thought you should have. The words of another’s dislike or disapproval over your life can be enough to send your heart into a tail spin. Trying to analyze how you could have done better to gain their stamp of approval on each and every one of your choices. It's enough to make a girl crazy!

Rejection down right hurts. And everyone has experienced it on some level. Whether that rejection was felt as a child when the kids at school didn't like you for some uninformed reason. Or the disapproval of a parent on your life choices. Maybe it was a “no” to the job you wanted that went to someone less qualified than you. Or perhaps the loss of a friend or relationship, to someone else. However mean and ugly the package of rejection may look on the outside, the inside is just as yucky, prickly and painful.

Satan knows how much our hearts long for security here on earth. So, he tempts us to find it in the people around us. All the while, he knows that if he can keep us stumbling around under the weight of disapproval, we will never be able to be used the way God would want.

In the heat of the moment, what we so often fail to remember, is that the only one who will ever unconditionally approve of us, is God. And his plan was never for us to seek out and win the love and approval of the people around us. Because he knew we would never be able to gain it in its fullest and purest form. So, he made a way out. A way for us to find our safety and love fully in him through faith in him. A place where we still feel the pain, but where we turn and surrender it into his arms where it can't be used by the evil one against us.

Zephaniah 3:17 says, "With his love he will calm all your fears." Or another translation says, "He will quiet you with his love."

The words "He will quiet you", come from the Hebrew word charash, which means to engrave. So, in its most literal form, God is saying he will engrave his love on our hearts. And that engraving of love is what will quiet, or calm us from our fears. Even the fears and pain of rejection. When we come to faith in Jesus, God engraves the word beloved on us. A word that covers all the painful things we will experience here on earth. This one word can be a shield against the fiery darts the evil one throws at us in the form of rejection.

In this world we will be faced with rejection over and over. But we don’t have to let those rejections define us. It is our choice how we handle it. How we process through those pains. We can internalize them, sharing them with the world around us, hoping someone will put their stamp of approval on us, all the while deepening the roots of bitterness in our hearts. Or we can surrender those injuries to Jesus. Looking to him to fill us up when we are hurting. To engrave his love over our hearts so that when the rejection does come, we can confidently declare, "Not today Satan! I will not take this rejection!" And repeat it every time we feel angry or hurt until God's love covers up the wound and brings us full and complete healing.

Walking wrapped in beloved, we are free to stand confident in our choices, bodies, and relationships, no matter the disapproval of others. Trusting God will keep his promise to guide us on each and every step of the path ahead, forever quieting the noise of rejection with his love. Because in HIM, we already are enough.

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