Have you ever felt rejected? Me too.
This biblical devotional is for you if you have so-called “issues.” Do you? I know I do.
What “issues” do you have? Anxiety? Insecurity? Self-doubt?Anger? Or something more serious, like addictions? What are your skeletons in the closet that you can’t tell anyone about?
The “Skeletons” In My Closet:
- Childhood abuse
- Sexual assault
- Suicide attempt
- Sexual addiction
- Domestic violence
- Narcissistic abuse
- Mental cruelty
Just some of them to share with you, but there’s more, trust me. The one I’ll share later today is the one I was humiliated and rejected for publicly, which felt so painful.
Feeling like you’re weird and being rejected because of it is always painful.
Let me share with you my story of rejection. But first, I’ll share with you my love story.
My Love Story With Michel
I remember January 31st of 2016, a beautiful cool last day of a special month.
I had a boyfriend. His name was Michel.
I wanted to help Michel feel special, so I prepared a picnic for him that day. Homemade food and a beautiful view of a fountain on a small lake. The scenery was breath-taking. It all took place at Perimeter Church late Sunday afternoon.
Why was I with my boyfriend at church picnicking late Sunday afternoon? We were getting ready to go to pre-engagement counseling class at Perimeter Church called “Right Path.”
Michel signed us up for that class because he had told me he wanted to marry me a few weeks after we started dating. I said I’ll consider if we go to pre-engagement counseling. Michel chose Perimeter Church because he graduated from Metro Atlanta Seminary there (according to him).
I said I would need pre-engagement counseling before I could respond to that idea of marriage. That’s how we got into the “Right Path” class.
That afternoon, we were hungry. We were about to go to the class and learn about marriage. A picnic seemed to be the best way to spend our time together while waiting. I thought it would make Michel feel special.
The weather was cool that day, so I brought a blanket. I was wearing a black jacket with a leather belt from H&M to stay warm.
picture of us getting engaged from IG
I was setting up the picnic, turned around, and there was Michel kneeling in front of me with a ring.
Are you curious to know my response? First I yelled “What the hell?!” No, I’m not kidding… I actually responded with those very words. Really.
After that, I looked at Michel and saw a future together. I saw the man I respected and loved. Seeing him humbling himself and kneeling before me with the ring, not only did I say “YES” to his marriage proposal but I also said this:“Michel, you are the most Christ-like man I’ve ever met. With your behaviors, actions and interactions with me and others, you’ve exhibited the Fruit of the Spirit” – and I named the nine – “I’ll be honored to spend the rest of my life with you.”
Michel worked at a mega-church in Alpharetta at the time and portrayed himself as a seminary graduate who loved Jesus. It seemed as if God was Michel’s priority.
All the qualities I listed verbally as his own, he truly exhibited in our dating relationship. Most of the time when I thought about Michel, I thought “Christ-like.”
We were married on May 14th, 2016 in front of family and friends.
[our wedding picture]
As I walked down the aisle, there stood Michel, the man I loved and adored! He had the tears of happiness in his eyes. Michel declared his genuine love for me to the world that day.
Our wedding was very happy and memorable. I became “Missis Szabo” and looked forward with a hopeful heart to spending the rest of my life with the man I loved and saw as Christ-like.
My Story Of Rejection
After the wedding, Michel abandoned our marriage and declared to me: “My bicycle is my other wife I cheat on you with.” He said that he wasn’t interested in me and that all he wanted was to be an IronMan and complete in Kona.
We never made it to even a honeymoon. Instead, right after our wedding, we went to Chattanooga, TN for an IronMan competition.
[picture of us there from IG]
I was getting used to being rejected by Michel. He rejected me not just verbally and with his daily actions, but sexually, too, stating that he needed to save his body for IronMan training.
Michel’s behavior was becoming less surprising as His mental cruelty was increasing. But one issue I couldn’t imagine he’d use for mental games. I remember that one afternoon. It was a few weeks after our wedding…
Let me first give you some background information.
For many years, prior to getting married to Michel, I lived in my very safe apartment, on the fifth floor of a nice luxury building, with 64 video cameras in the building and remote-controlled doors and elevators, in the nice neighborhood, with police living on property, and it was very safe. I felt safe.
When Michel and I were dating, I was very upfront with him about my so called “issues,” just like I am here with you.
I was honest and open with him. There were absolutely no secrets about me. The reason why was becausehe told me after six weeks of dating me that he wanted to marry me.
On a regular basis, I tried to talk Michel out of it, because even though I loved him so much, I knew that living with me would not be easy.
Why? Here’s why.
Michel and I met a few days after someone followed me to my apartment, after which I bought a $500 professional taser. Michel himself helped me assemble and test the taser. So, Michel was aware of the “issues” I’m about to share here.
You see, I was raped twice as a teen. I was abused at home growing up every day. Beaten up, I had no safe place at all in my home environment. My family was extremely violent. When I was 5 years old, my aunt chased me with a knife to kill me. My grandma tried to chock me when I was very little.
I can go on and on about everything that happened to me in my earlier years of life, but we don’t have all day for that. The point is that I lived through a lot of violence. Safety was something I never had at home or in the city where I grew up.
The issue I am about to tell you about was caused by all of the above. That issue which I had shared with Michel consistently when trying to talk him out of marrying me was my complex PTSD.
Living With Complex PTSD (C-PTSD)
Suffering from C-PTSD is an everyday battle. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD, also known as complex trauma disorder) is an anxiety disorder that can develop in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape. It’s an anxiety disorder caused my prolonged emotional and physical trauma.
Having a safe home is the #1 priority in my life, otherwise I become paralyzed by anxiety. I must be confident that I’m safe. I have to know that no one’s looking through my window. Safety is very important to me.
I can’t have glass doors and neighbors staring inside my house. I must have privacy. I must have security.
Michel had promised me a safe home, privacy, and security if I marry him and move to Adair Park in Cumming, far away from everything I knew in the city where I had my safe heaven.
I married Michel. I moved to Cumming. But he failed all his promises. The most important ones were those of safety.
He left me stuck in an 1800 sq. ft. country house with no security cameras or alarm, a glass front door where neighbors looked inside my home seeking to find me there, uncovered windows, and so many other unsafe conditions that caused severe daily anxiety and pain.
The house was an unfinished construction with all electrical outlets uncovered, unfinished floors, windows with no blinds, and Michel gave a code access to our home’s garage doors to random strangers.
So, here I was, living trapped in this miserable scary house, feeling unsafe, and crying on the couch that one afternoon when he walked in and saw me completely crushed.
IronMan vs Marriage
Michel had abandoned our marriage by then already. It happened right after our wedding. He said he changed his mind and realized that all he wants is to be an IronMan and compete in Kona.
Michel was gone most of the time.
That afternoon he came from another 10 hours of training for IronMan, so I remember he walks in, sees me crushed and in tears on the couch… I’m weeping, he comes close, and gives me this disapproving look of contempt and rejection…
My blood turned into ice and hair stood up on my back.
With this reptilian stare, he looked down on me for a long time with the look that said: “I despise you, you are worthless.”
[narcissist’s reptilian state video]
Combined with Michel’s words and actions of daily rejection, I cannot tell you how painful the experience of that marriage was for me. No words can express how hurtful it was to be married to a man who took all your vulnerabilities and used them with cruelty to mentally manipulate you.
[narcissist manipulates your mind intentionally]
Rejection And Mental Cruelty
There were no blinds on the master bathroom window, but there was a big tree, so I felt ok since it offered privacy from the neighbors.
Then, Michel put a huge ladder there to look inside my bathroom window when we already were living in different bedrooms. I lived in the master bedroom. He lived on the other end of the hallway in the guest bedroom.
The night I spotted the ladder, I was in the bathroom taking a shower, so I was naked and vulnerable when I saw the ladder right outside my bathroom window!
As you can imagine, I had a severe panic attack, I was scared and devastated! When I came to him to ask him about it… Michel laughed. Yes. Laughing was his response. And then, more rejection. More contempt. More mental cruelty.
I asked Michel to remove the ladder and he promised to do so. Of course, he never removed it and continued using it to mentally abuse me. Eventually, a neighbor moved the heavy ladder seeing the mental cruelty Michel was imposing on me making fun of the vulnerability I had shared with him openly and honestly when we were just dating.
The trauma I experienced in that marriage resulted in me going through a severe depression and having suicidal thoughts.
It was a dark time. I felt helpless and hopeless.
And then, I turned to the Bible to find out WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT ME instead of focusing on Michel’s rejection of me.
Being Accepted By God
I found out that God made me perfect in His image for His divine purpose. And I discovered that the Bible teaches us to accept one another as Christ accepted us.
Romans 14:3 says this:
“The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.”
What does this mean to us today?
In my case, it means that when Michel was incapable of understanding my anxiety from the unsafe house I had to live in with him in such a cruel environment, he was not to judge me. He treated me with cruelty for fun and out of contempt. He wanted to make me feel crazy and scared.
This verse also means, that when Michel did cruelly use that vulnerability to mentally abuse me, I was not to focus on Michel’s disapproval of me but instead focus on God’s acceptance of me, which I did not do initially but I did focus on God’s acceptance of me eventually.
It is one of God’s Promises: we are accepted.
[god’s promises poem video here]
In your case, whatever your “issues” are, others have no experience or understanding to judge you. Nor can they reject you because you are already accepted by God just the way you are.
Listen. You are accepted by God as is: nothing about you needs to change. God loves you already. You are His masterpiece made perfect in His image and set aside for His divine purpose.
My Path To Self-Acceptance
Others can’t really reject you because the King of the universe accepted you. Christ accepted you. Can you reject yourself?
I rejected myself a lot. I had such internal conflict between who I was before I married Michel and who I became after I moved in with him following our wedding.
[anna stevens vs anna szabo video]
Romans 15:7 says this:
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”
So, by receiving acceptance from Jesus Christ, we bring glory to God. How?
By accepting ourselves and having peace about who we are. When we’re focusing on God’s grace instead of our own perceived strengths and abilities or weaknesses and weirdness, we give God all the honor and glory.
Instead of pretending to be perfect or having it all together, I can tell you about my issues and God’s grace in my life, and through that you can have hope, too.
After I accepted my own imperfections, I’m now more likely to accept your imperfections, too. After I started focusing on what God says about me rather than focusing on my perceived strengths and weaknesses, I’m now more likely to remember what God says about you and how much He loves you.
My hope is that you’re encouraged and empowered by this devotional and that you’ll think about yourself and how you can share your imperfections and help others.
You could comfort another woman who may have the same vulnerability as you and perhaps feels inadequate and lonely. By sharing, you could show her that she’s not alone. You’d empower her!
You may have a powerful message for someone who feels rejected and maybe even depressed or suicidal like I was. Hearing from you about your real life and struggles may be all a woman needs in order to feel connected and have hope.
Self-Acceptance And Self-Love
The process of discovering what God says about me and how He accepts me the way I am led me to a breakthrough. Even though Michel did not love me and he did not have any compassion for me, my Lord and Savior loves me with deep compassion. Even though Michel rejected me every day in every way, Jesus welcomes me with acceptance and passion every second.
I realized that when my fears and anxieties would overcome me because of my humanity and flesh, my past trauma and pain, the Spirit lives also in me and I can choose to rest in God’s peace any time. I can choose God’s Spirit of Truth vs my worldly Flesh, fear, and anxiety.
I can die in my flesh and walk in God’s Spirit. All I need is to remember the Promises of God and who God says I am in Christ.
Michel and I are now divorced.
Since I was traded in for an IronMan bicycle by him, feeling ugly was the biggest insecurity I inherited from a marriage with Michel.
I’ve since learned to accept myself just the way I am: with my fears, C-PTSD, belly fat, cellulite, sponge-like hair, acne, and dark circles under my eyes.
That process lead me to discovering self-love.
Self-acceptance and self-love empowered me to get on camera in my swimsuit without any makeup and share my story.
When I stopped fighting and rejecting myself, I got energy to start a 100 squats a day fitness challenge to get my energy, clarity, and life back.
Self-acceptance and self-love led me to transforming my body, mind, lifestyle, mental health, and my relationship with God.
Choose to believe what God says about you and not what the world says about you. Choose to walk in God’s Spirit of Truth and not your worldly Flesh (negative self-talk and self-rejection).
Honor God by trusting what he says about who you are as His precious daughter.
You are in a process of becoming more Christ-like, more perfect, more holy, but it takes a lifetime. It’s called sanctification. Right now, you’re perfect to God already, just the way you are, nothing is wrong with you. It’s called justification. You’re perfect because of Jesus.
You are accepted. You are loved, just the way you are, right now. Jesus adores you. He welcomes you with open arms. No makeup needed, no dressing up, no high heels. With your hair undone, with your current weight, the black circles under your eyes, with your wrinkles, and your grey hair, with your fears, anxieties, and our whatever else – you are accepted by God as a perfect masterpiece made by Him for a special divine purpose in Bis kingdom.
Do you believe this? If you do, memorize the Biblical affirmation below and practice it often to remember that you are accepted by God.
I am accepted
I have been accepted by my Lord and Savior.He loves with compassion, and to Him I’m welcome.I am here to honor God with my behavior,To become more Christ-like, choosing flesh more seldom.
How does it feel to know that Jesus accepts you just the way you are right now? Let me know in the comments below to give God the honor and glory.
If this devotional was helpful, download all #52Devotionals now.
Dear #TruePrincesses! I’m Anna Szabo, the founder of Online Discipleship For Women.
On this Christian blog for women, I write about the six pillars of joyful living: Faith, Food, Fitness, Finances, Felicity, and Fortitude.
Please post your comments and questions for me. Your opinions, thoughts, life stories, and experiences matter. Why? Because every story is for God’s glory. I share with you my life experiences and believe that God has each of us on a very special journey. He wants to uniquely equip and qualify us for special ministry in His kingdom. The purpose of adversity is for us to persevere, grow in faith, and share hope with others. So, share freely here!
May this ministry be a blessing to you!