“Who has ever felt personally victimized by Regina George?”
*All hands go up*
Have you ever felt alone? Misunderstood? Excluded? Almost every person (at least once in their lifetime) has felt some form of rejection. Whether that rejection came from a parent, co-worker or friend is completely irrelevant. See, no matter the source, rejection’s sting hurts. It is a familiar sting that I have felt many times in my life. I had the hope that once I was out of high school I would never have to deal with petty drama or “cliques” again. I thought that the back biting and gossip would be tossed out the window right along with that cap and tassel. Talk about a rude awakening. If anything, high school just prepares you for adult social life. A social life that causes you to see the ugly side of humanity.
Early in my adult years, I decided that it was easier to keep a small circle. Ok, I am lying. I would like to say that’s true but it totally goes against my personality and to be quite honest, my motto is the more the merry. This philosophy has gotten me in trouble many times as I am prone to think that everyone has my best interest at heart. I confide in absolute strangers sometimes because in my heart, they are already a friend. I am the girl who brings home the stray dog (or stray person, let’s be honest). Seeing someone sitting alone pulls at my heart strings and if I hear of a bullying situation, please know I am already in tears. As much as I hate to admit it, I haven’t always been this way. In high school, I was the Regina George. I personally victimized. As the good ole saying goes
Hurting people, hurt people.”
I called people names and made them feel inadequate and intimidated. (If I did this to you and you’re reading this, please except my deepest apology.) I can’t make excuse for my behavior but I can give you some insight on how to handle situations of rejection.
While brainstorming for this post, I decided to reflect on what made me operate in intimidation. If I can get to the heart of the matter, I wanted to push you away before I got pushed away. It’s a defense mechanism. Deep down inside, I wanted to be your friend. I wanted to let you close but letting you close meant that I ran the risk of rejection in the future. If I could reject you first, then I had the upper hand. Excluding you from my group gave me the power. It allowed me to make you feel a way that I never wanted to feel. This is the mind of a hurt person, hurting people.
I had to give off the persona of a mean girl in order for my fragile heart not to break. So I created this identity of a strong, bold girl that wasn’t scared of anyone because if I dare let anyone see my weakness well then it was over. My cover was blown and I was on the verge of being hurt. In the midst of this survival mode, I lost my identity. I lost my meekness, tenderness and gentleness. I turned into someone who wanted to fight instead of face hurt. Hurt is an inevitable part of our journey here on earth. You can’t escape it. Jesus even went on to say
I have told you these things that in me you may have peace.In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
The Lord promises us trouble and sometimes trouble is our portion in some seasons. But TAKE HEART! He has overcome the world. It is finished sweet girl. The sweet testimony of this story is that I found Jesus and my life radically changed. I stopped trying to be the mean girl and stepped into my true calling. A girl who walks in mercy. I am a mercy giver. A friend seeker. I’ve become the girl who wants to sit at any empty table with any empty soul. That is not on my own account.
This week I had my own experience with a mean girl group. We’ve all either encountered them or we’ve been them. The girls whose glare can break through glass. They’re the ones whose foreheads read “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US.” Those are the ones. And I am not going to lie, I wanted to just crawl into a hole and die. I know a lot has to do with the fact that I was already on the sensitive side but honestly if I could’ve ran out, I would have.
I finally got a taste of the poison I spewed for so long. I don’t believe in Karma and I am more than confident that Jesus has forgiven me for my past mistakes. I will say that I do believe the Lord allows us to feel the sting of past sin only to show us how far he has brought us. It’s almost like a reminder of how bad you used to be and how far you’ve come. (I love these moments by the way. Great reminders!)
I sat in this very awkward situation and couldn’t help but mourn for every girl who has ever felt misunderstood, alone or rejected. I wanted to hug any and every person that has felt victimized by any sort of Regina George. Life is rough ladies and cliques are everywhere. They are in our workplaces, our families and yes, even in our churches. (Almost ALWAYS in our churches…unfortunately.) But I am here to tell you that you are never rejected, misunderstood or alone. You are loved by the Creator of the Universe who saw it fit to create you..Yes, YOU!
I am reminded of Joseph in the Bible. (He is the son of Jacob who was the son of Isaac who we know as Abraham’s promised son. The one whose lineage the Messiah would come through.) Joseph has a dream that one day his brothers would be bowing down to him. Clearly, his brothers didn’t like that vision and they were determined to get rid of Joseph. They had ill intent towards him. They end up selling him into slavery for shekels of silver (which sounds similar to another story..right? *Wink Wink*) and Joseph ends up in Pharaoh’s home. Long story short, Joseph ends up being the head honcho and during a famine, his brothers come searching for help and to their surprise, end up bowing down to their brother. The same brother they caused harm to. Little did they know that their wicked plan was actually God’s plan of redemption.
See, Joseph felt the same sting of rejection that you and I feel today. It’s the same rejection that was felt by the adulteress woman in the New Testament and even the same rejection felt by Jesus on the cross. All of these stories speak of rejection and the ill motive behind it but God had a plan in each circumstance.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
Friend, do you know what that means for us? No matter if your flesh is screaming “You’re being rejected”, your soul can whisper “You’ve already been accepted by the great I am.” No matter the ill intent that man may have for us, God’s plans are bigger. I want to share a testimony with you about this.
When I was around thirteen I had these two girls I used to hang with. They were my really close gal pals but being three of us, two girls always seemed to gravitate closer together. I was always the odd ball out. The two girls would always hang out without me. I was jealous of their friendship and wondered why I wasn’t good enough. Those same girls ended up getting involved in drugs. Both of them loss a lot of their life to their addiction. I always wondered why I was left out but looking back I can see the hand of God so heavy. He kept me from something that was never meant for me.
When I was being ‘rejected’ I was actually being redirected by God.
Years later and I am beyond thankful for His grace and redirection. I don’t know where I would be without Him. All of this to say, I know what it is like to stand on both ends of rejection. The giving and receiving. You are not alone, my friend. If you feel alone or left out, please know that you have a friend in me. Most importantly you have a lifetime friend in God. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He will always shower you with truth and love. If your like the old me and are finding yourself rejecting others because of your own fears, please, stop. It’s not easy but I promise that the King of Kings has better plans for you.
Living & Learning.