“Number 17, number 9, number 4,” the master called out, as we stood there in our best black leotards and pink tights. Hearing my number would mean just one thing. I would be a snowflake in the Nutcracker ballet! I held my breath and listened.
My number wasn’t called.
The new snowflakes skipped out of the room where proud mommas waited. I lined up in the corner with the remaining ballerinas. The next numbers called would join the cast of party clowns. Not as glamorous as a snowflake, but still included. One by one we cartwheeled across the floor. The girls with the best cartwheels heard their numbers.
My cartwheel didn’t show much promise.
Last chance… The final few returned to the corner, again. Our audition was about to end, but the director still needed to cast the mice. Not as fun as a party clown, but at least I would get to participate, right? He sang the directions in cadence. “Run out into the center and act like a mouse.”
How does a mouse act, anyway?
Without a clue what to do, I followed the other mice wannabes. I scurried, scratched my nose, and wiggled my tail with as much mice-like conviction as I could muster. It just wasn’t enough. With the final numbers still lingering in the air, my Nutcracker dreams died.
Rejection doesn’t end when we grow up. Those feelings can follow us into adulthood. Even when I have a handle on my identity and feel like I’ve moved beyond the need for acceptance, one simple event can bring me back to that memory, when my number wasn’t called.
An email stating my writing isn’t what they’re looking for.
A call saying they’ve given the job to another applicant.
Hearing, “We appreciate your offer to help, but you’re just not the right fit.”
That thought wondering why I wasn’t invited to lunch with the others.
Any of these scenes can send me back to that moment on the dance floor, searching for a place to hide. Holding my breath once again, feeling that heavy heart drop when I’m not included.
But when feelings of rejection surface, we have four strong promises from the verse above to hold onto.
God goes before me.
God will be with me.
God will never leave me.
God will not forsake me.
The truth is, we never have to feel abandoned when we have God. Rejection is a lie created to make us think we are less than who God says we are. Deuteronomy 31:8 speaks straight to that lie and offers neverending hope from the threat of rejection.
Let’s recite these aloud today.
Proclaiming these promises restores our identity as daughters of the King. So even if we aren’t destined to be a snowflake, a party clown, or a mouse, God’s plan is more fabulous than we can imagine.
And His love for us will overpower rejection every single time.