Monday, January 6, 2014

I love Rejection. And Brussel Sprouts. Yes. Totally.

This is a first blog for a new year, and a fun ride it's going to be. See, I agreed, in one of my probably-cold-medicine-induced moments, to a challenge. It's called #RiskRejection, and it's scarily awesome. The instructions?

Starting on Thursday, January 9th, write a post about a risk you are taking (or have recently taken), and then link it up here--http://www.amylsullivan1.com/2014/01/riskrejection-because-im-sick-of-marked.html

The risk has to entail specifically risking rejection--not just any risk. We all know what that means--the scariest risks of all. We hate rejection. We loathe rejection. We run from it full force, despite having no clue what we're running toward. I am guilty. This is the girl who rode her bike four miles to school rather than risk the Junior High School Bus Rejection From Hell. I am a pro, I tell you.

But as I write this blog about facing fears, I know I could not face my mirror, or computer, if I did not accept this challenge. Plus, Amy is an amazing person and just fun to be on a challenge journey with. Definitely check out her blog.

The more I think about this though, the more I am realizing--I am not all that scared. Which either means I'm doing it wrong (entirely possible) or I've learned a few things since junior high (certainly hopeful).

I realized that I risk rejection pretty much on a daily basis, and I am OK with it. Or maybe not so much OK as at peace with knowing it's my calling and where I need to be. Really, that's better than OK.

I write and speak and pastor for my life. Every time I send a query letter into cyberspace, a request to be put on a speaking schedule to the real mailbox, or a blog post into the wild blue yonder, I risk rejection. Someone won't like it. Someone won't want it. Someone won't like or want . . . me. Ouch. For an introvert who would much rather sit at home with her cats keeping her crazy thoughts to herself and never letting the scary world see them, it's kind of like an opt-in button for water boarding that you push yourself. Every. Day.

Unless you do this word thing for a living, you can't quite understand what it's like to put the words out there and know many of them will not be accepted, remembered, or maybe even liked. Statistically, that's just the way it is. In few other professions do you expect to have the majority of your work never succeed. You live for the words that do. And yet, I like this. Go figure.

 Reality--every time I get up behind a pulpit to speak, I face rejection due to the fact that I am female. Male pastors will never understand what it feels like to know someone might walk out and never come back because you wear a dress instead of a suit. (Although, I am sure people would walk out and never return if a male pastor wore a dress. But that is not the point.)

The point is, I've come to terms with rejection. We are not friends, but we are cordial acquaintances who recognize one another's value. I still HATE it. I still want to run (or ride my bike) away as fast as possible. But I don't. I have grudgingly admitted that it is an inevitable part of what I'm called to do. And I don't ever, ever want to give up what I'm called to do.

Because the prospect of not doing what God calls me to do is scarier, in the end, than rejection. Not scary like God is going to get you for disobeying scary, but scary in the sense of, I will miss something beautiful and hurt someone who loves me so deeply. I would hate that more than the school bus. Trust me, that's a whole new level of hate right there.

So, starting Thursday, I'll be writing about this challenge. I started the first one today. Scary letter in the mail and you will learn more about it Thursday. I'll try to find things which really do scare me. I suspect that will involve more personal rejection than professional. Eek. Not at ALL OK with that.

And I invite you to do the same. Join us. Face rejection. Embrace rejection. Write about it on your own blog or on Facebook, and link it up. The more the merrier in this little exercise that makes me feel like I'm on the Giant Drop at Six Flags. What's your challenge?

And, what do you think my challenges should be? I'm open to suggestion. Except the Giant Drop. Nope. Not going there.


14 comments:

Mary said...

I understand what you mean about females in ministry. Right there with ya sister! Happy and honored to be joining along on this #RiskRejection journey with you and the others. My post will go up this Thursday.

Beth said...

I'm coming by from Amy's #RiskRejection page. As I prepare to write my own post on risking rejection, I'm enjoying reading from others. While my risk is very different, it's a similar theme of feeling like every day I face the same rejection over and over again. Not necessarily others. I'm still trying to figure out how to explain my risk in my post. :) Nice to meet you through Amy. I look forward to taking this journey with you.
Blessings,
Beth

Amy Sullivan said...

Beth,
1. Thank you for all of your kind words.
2. I am so, so thankful I met you through, Diana. You + Me = Instant Friends.
3. You are spot on about when someone decides to write. You better prepare yourself for rejection. Oh, it makes you feel so vulnerable.
4. A letter in the mail? I must know more. I can't wait for you to share.
5. I'm like you. I am going to find a bunch of different "risky" things for the month, but I know some are focusing on just one. Either way is perfect.
6. I hate brussel sprouts too. Brussel sprouts and skunks…what WAS God's purpose with those two.
7. I could write in bullets forever. It's just so fun.

Jennifer Peterson said...

Love it and you gave me so much encouragement!! Thank you.

lisa said...

Coming to terms with rejection, a life lesson that is priceless. I'm so excited to follow your journey. As a wife of a pastor, I understand the depth of ministry and how vulnerable your heart becomes. Prayers.

jill said...

I am looking forward to seeing it. So much easier with sisters encouraging one another.

jill said...

How to explain something personal to you and have people get it is tough. I'm intrigued, though!

jill said...

Yeah, an old school real letter :) Would you believe that when I was a kid I begged my mother incessantly for a pet skunk? Descented, of course. I could not see why this was not a fine idea. I plan to ask God what the purpose was with spiders and wasps.

jill said...

Thank you--I am always happy to know someone gets encouraged. It is why I face this rejection stuff every day.

jill said...

yep, no one outside if ministry can fully understand what it's like to risk giving yourself all the time and know you're going to get hurt. Yet for the times we see lives changed--it's why we do what we do.

Positively Alene said...

Oh my, part of my soul is weeping. Women in ministry. Rejection. Writing. Rejection. People. Rejection. But I am so like you -- I'm more afraid of missing out on the beautiful journey God is beckoning me to and the miracles He will perform there than to fear itself. Stepping over fear here -- glad to know your along on the journey too.

PinkStripeySocks said...

Thanks for your wonderful post. I felt tingly just reading it. Looking forward to hearing about your risk this Thursday....

jill said...

It's taken a while to get there, but I'm never going back. Excited to see how your plan comes out.

jill said...

Thanks! I can't wait to read everyone else's.