Moving Past Rejection
Michelle McKinney Hammond
So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread
and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar, putting them on her
shoulder, and gave her the boy, and sent her away. Genesis
Hagar moved numbly forward, not knowing where she was going.
Left to her own devices, she would have crumbled to the ground
and huddled in a fetal position to ward off the waves of grief
that overwhelmed her. But for her son’s sake, she stood
Never had she imagined this. Yet here she stood, facing an uncertain
future. Life once had seemed so simple but now... oh, what she
would give for one yesterday!
Hagar felt so unprotected, victimized. She had served Abraham’s
wife faithfully. In her desire to bear a son, Sarah had offered
Hagar to Abraham, in hopes that she might bring forth an heir.
Sarah had never imagined that what had transpired between her
servant and her husband could be more than just a physical act.
And yet, Hagar now knew differently. She was merely a servant,
but when Abraham laid with her, something had happened inside
her. Something took further root as his son grew within her body.
The truth was that Hagar had been joined to him not just physically,
but spiritually and emotionally as well.
Sarah sensed this, too, and treated Hagar harshly. So harshly
that Hagar ran away. But the angel of the Lord had bid her to
return. And return she did, until Sarah could bear the sight of
Hagar no longer. Abraham had looked apologetic as he sent Hagar
and their son away, but he was determined to keep the peace in
his home. Peace at any price.
The ache within Hagar grew as she watched Abraham walk back toward
his home, shoulders bent, weary from the bickering of the two
women who contended for his love. Hagar knew she was not entitled
to his heart. And yet, the fruit of their time together had wrapped
its arms around her, tugging her back to present reality. She
would never be able to call the love of Abraham her own, but the
ever-present reminder of their union was manifested in the life
of her son Ishmael.
She treasured this bittersweet gift; it was all she had left
to comfort herself, the sole reminder of a season when she felt
loved. No matter how brief the moment, it would have to be enough
No matter how short the encounter, the act of giving yourself
to another plants seeds within the soil of your heart—seeds
that bear lasting fruit. You can be sure that every relationship
leaves a permanent mark upon your spirit. Long after that person’s
departure, the evidence of his or her presence remains.
Dealing with the residue of past relationships can be an overwhelming
proposition. How do you break free from the constant reminders
of that lost love? How do you come to terms with the injustice
of being cast away in spite of all you have to offer? And worst
of all, how do you deal with having to hurt alone when life seems
to go on without a ripple for the one who left you weeping in
Even through the pain of being rejected, we can take comfort
knowing that God is near to us and is able to turn the bitter
to sweet if we embrace His counsel. For He uses every experience
to perfect us into greater vessels bearing fruit for his glory.
Dear heavenly Father, I have been the victim of bad choices.
Some deliberate, some against my better judgment. I have failed
myself and failed You. I admit that I was not prepared for the
consequences of my actions, and the burden of them seems too much
to bear. So here I stand, looking to Your hands for healing. For
support and help. Whom have I in heaven but You? Whom have I in
the earth besides You?
After all is said and done, You alone are the only one who
will not spurn my offerings of love. Forgive me for taking so
long to see this. But now I come, mistakes in hand, asking You
to take what the enemy meant for evil and make it good. Redeem
my past failings and pain and grant me a new beginning. Give me
a reason to live and love again. As I embrace You, fill the spaces
left behind by those who rejected me and set me apart for your
purposes, to the praise and glory of your name, in Jesus’
Excerpted from Release
the Pain, Embrace the Joy by Michelle McKinney Hammond,
© Regal Books. Used by permission.
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