Tag Archives: rejection

Growing into her skin

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When we go through our school of missions in our sending agency, we have an amazing program for the kids as well.  The idea is to prepare the kids for some of the challenges that they might encounter on the mission field.  The leadership builds community and unity and identity in the kids by encouraging them to embrace “the MK way” by constantly referring to them as Missionary Kids (MKs).  Most kids bloom under this kind of encouragement and thrive in their identity as an MK.

But not everyone.  Sometimes kids get “dragged along” to the mission field- or so they perceive it that way.  Some kids come out of the MK training and feel displaced and angry.  Change is hard.  These kids are part of a family that is going to leave everything familiar to them, all creature comforts that they love, and travel to a new world to tell people about Jesus.  Some kids feel like, “If Jesus called my parents, then he forgot to talk to me about this decision!”  Some kids end up hating Jesus and his stupid Calling.  This is hard.

Six months ago I met an angry MK.  She was not comfortable in her own adolescent skin and not comfortable in her new school and not comfortable with being called an MK.  She had experienced the double whammy of being a teenager AND having too much change in her life all at once.  She was not happy.  She bristled when anyone tried to show her love.  We loved her anyways.

Six months later, our young friend has changed quite a bit.  I almost don’t recognize her!  Her hair is now her natural color and no longer hanging over her face.  She’s incorporating color into her wardrobe… under her black hoodie.  But most importantly for me- she smiles.  This girl has made close friends both at the missionary kid school and among the missionary families living in Costa Rica.  She is now at place where she is comfortable in her own MK skin.

Recently at a gathering of missionary families, our once angry and resentful kid-of-missionary-parents finally showed that she had embraced her identity as a Missionary Kid.  She showed a video that she had made of her and her friends laughing and doing silly teenage things.  She set it to bouncy, happy music and added cute titles.  And the very last screen was the sentence, “This is the MK way.”  I got tears in my eyes as we all wildly applauded her creative expression of who she finally decided to be.  She had finally grown into her skin and she is happy again.

I didn’t stop the car

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Today I saw someone on the street that I used to be friends with.  I have absolutely no idea why she quit returning my phone calls and emails.  I admit, maybe I scared her away by seeming too eager for friendship.  Maybe I said something that offended her.  Maybe we just didn’t click as well as I thought we did.  Truthfully, I’m just as clueless today as I was a year ago when she quit the friendship.

I can’t remember where I read this (so if you wrote it, I’m not trying to plagiarise, I just have a bad memory) but it has helped me hurt less.  “Looking for the reason why someone rejected you is like running back into a burning building and looking for the source of the fire.”  I always think it would be easier to move on after a hurt if I had resolution, but really, honestly, you don’t really want to know why someone rejected you.  It would be easy to say I don’t care or that seeing her didn’t affect me, but I would be lying.  I felt a pang in my heart.  Letting go of hurt is hard.  I didn’t stop the car.

When I was in second grade I came home from school one day in tears.  I told my mom that my best friend Tammy had told me that I was only her second best friend and that Amanda was her first best friend.  I was crushed because I considered Tammy MY first best friend, why didn’t she return my loyalty and love?  My mom very wisely refrained from giving an easy answer.  She simply said, “The people you love the most can hurt you the worst.”  I cried.

I can’t say that she was my best friend by any stretch of the imagination, but seeing my old acquaintance on the street brought back that same Second grade sense of rejection.  I’m glad I didn’t stop the car.