My high school and college years were miserable. It felt like I was constantly being rejected. Every girl I pursued turned me down. Friends just stopped talking to me, and there wasn’t anyone standing in line to take their place.
I couldn’t help but wonder, What’s wrong with me? Every time I put myself out there, no one seemed interested. Life was full of rejection. I felt unlovable. I’ve never felt so depressed in all my life.
But rejection wasn’t my greatest enemy at the time. Neither was the insecurity that grew as a result. My greatest enemy was the person turning my rejection and insecurity into an opportunity to distract me from the truth: I was already loved.
Fight the enemy, not your vulnerability.
Vulnerability. It’s the soft spots, the exposed parts, the insecurities and the perceived weaknesses that God builds into our physical, mental and emotional makeup.
In the dating realm, it’s walking up to your crush and asking her out. It’s going out on a limb and saying the words “I love you” first. It’s getting down on one knee and asking someone to spend the rest of her life with you.
These are the pressure points Satan will target. By applying a little pressure in just the right spot, Satan can cripple you. Like a predator studying his prey, Satan is watching you and is always ready to exploit your vulnerabilities.
Nothing hurts more than when you expose where you’re most vulnerable and someone stabs you. And when you tell someone how you feel but the feeling isn’t mutual, it stings.
Like most people, I’ve never handled rejection well. If I pour out my heart and someone says “no thanks,” then I internalize it and tear myself apart. Nothing amplifies my insecurities like rejection. Through rejection, I’m reminded I’m not ______ enough or that I’m too ______ (we all fill in the blanks differently).
Satan doesn’t want you to feel loved.
Satan wasn’t the cause of my rejection, but he filled my head with lies just as soon as I hear the word “nope.”
His lies are subtle and disguised as comfort. Satan would have you believe he’s got your back by delicately tearing you down so it feels like he’s building you up later. It goes something like this: “Oh dear, that must hurt. Don’t worry, though. You’ll find love someday. Keep working on your appearance and self-confidence. That’s the key.” Satan takes your rejection and focuses your attention on your insecurities and where you’re most vulnerable. “Fix these things, and you stand a better chance of finding love,” he says.
Satan was telling me a lie: that what other people thought about me was important and that being who people wanted me to be was the pathway to love and acceptance. And I believed this lie.
So I responded to rejection by focusing on winning people’s approval. I obsessed over outward appearances, keeping up with bad trends to fit in, building self-confidence. I avoided conflict when it shouldn’t have been, and I let people take advantage of me.
I needed a reality check, and it finally came in the form of a trip to Asia. I needed God to pop my self-loving and self-loathing bubble. As long as I was obsessed with finding my true love, I was oblivious to the love I already possessed.
When I saw firsthand how the other half of the world lived, it was eye-opening. My heart was broken and mended at the same time. When, I heard terrible stories of persecution, I was deeply ashamed that I had so many gifts and blessings from God, even God himself, and yet I had let silly dating rejections and Satan’s lies convince me I was unlovable.
You are loved.
As long as you feel like love is just out of reach, you won’t notice that it’s already sitting in your lap. And Satan will never remind you of the true source of love: “By this we know love, that [Jesus] laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16).
Love isn’t earned. It’s freely given. Jesus didn’t lay down His life for us because we earned it. He laid down his life for us because we could never earn His love and it had to be freely given.
When the right person comes along, he or she won’t reject you. And it’s not because you’ve mastered the art of earning people’s love and acceptance. All the superficial things that Satan focuses your attention on won’t matter. This person will love you simply because his or her love is freely given.
Satan’s lies prevailed in my life when I made love all about what I could and should get out of it. When I put the last things first and the first things last, everything was a mess. I was so focused on finding love and acceptance that I denied the love and acceptance I already had in Jesus.
It’s no wonder God kept putting rejection after rejection in my way as I searched for love. You could say I had a garden full of the best fruit in the world to eat, but the fruit I wanted most was the only fruit out of reach.
And that’s why Satan is so dangerous. This isn’t his first rodeo. He’s been doing this for a while now. So don’t listen to his lies, and remember that rejection doesn’t mean you’re unlovable.