Friday, August 4, 2006
The Fear and Pain of Rejection
There are many reasons we decided to
homeschool, but one of them was to avoid the painful social scenarios
that so often happen in a school setting. Unfortunately, we can't
avoid all those painful moments of judgement and rejection for our
children. We've experienced them in a Homeschool Co-op, along
with other negative stuff that led us to pull out of the group.
(But that's another post ... why homeschool groups mimic the school
setting?) We've had some negative experiences with neighborhood
girls, as well. Enough so that my children no longer desire to
play with them, to be honest. The other setting where our
children have run into this social garbage has, unfortunately, been at
Usually, it is not a problem. Our church really does have a great
group of children, and since my girls have grown up in this church with
these children, they're fairly well accepted. They get the
occasional question about homeschooling and occasional questions about
why we usually wear dresses. But most of the time they are
accepted and loved.
Recently, though, a new girl has come to our church. She's
attended off and on all her life since her Grandma attends our church,
but mostly just occasional Summer visits. Unfortunately, being
the "new girl" she decided to resort to school-yard tactics to
establish herself. She singled out my oldest girl A as a threat
and then spent alot of her time at the Vacation Bible School Campout
trying to put my A in her place. At every opportunity, she had a
negative comment about A or A's ideas. Whenever A did or said
something, she tried to "top" it.
A has not had to experience this before and by the last day of the Camp
Out, she was worn down emotionally. Steve was camping with them
and he got to listen to her cry her heart out about how hurt she was
and she just couldn't take one more negative comment. He's such a
good Daddy, and he listened to her and loved her. And when she
came home, I had to explain the petty social games girls play and why
this girl had felt the need to verbally hurt A.
But my heart hurts for A. I know all too well what that feels
like. I went to public school. We moved every 3 years,
which only made it worse. Just when I'd start to find my niche in
a school and begin to really belong, we'd move again. Add to that
the fact that I was an honor roll student who did NOT excel in sports
or P.E., and well, you can guess how I was treated.
I've felt the betrayal of those you thought were your friends.
I've felt the rejection of continual verbal jabs. I've felt the
ridicule of P.E. class, and the loneliness of being the last one
chosen. I've been the pawn in social games, with friends playing
me against other friends. I've come to realize more than once
that I was only a "disposable friend", and not a truly valued
friend. I've been the "friend for this class only, but don't talk
to me anywhere else."
I've tried to find my value in others' acceptance. I've tried to
fit in to gain the approval of others. I've tried to dress right,
look right, speak right -- usually unsuccessfully. My rebellious
nature often says "Forget them! I'll do what I like." And I do
for awhile, but even now as a 33 yo woman, I find myself trying to gain
others approval. I still find myself trying to base my value on
how others view me.
I know that we need to find our value in our relationship with
God. He Created us in His image, and He desires to have a
friendship with us. We are His Children, when we accept His
Forgiveness. I love that in His Word, He calls us His Children!!
I'm trying to teach A that her value lies not in her appearance or her
popularity, but in her life as a Daughter of the King (Romans
8-9). But it's a hard lesson to learn and accept. Her 10 yo
heart wants to be accepted for the outer things. She isn't ready
to embrace the Truth on this yet. But I'm going to keep saying
it. I'm going to try to keep modelling it. And I'm going to
keep listening and comforting when the rest of the World tries to knock
her down. I'll teach her to brush herself off and hold on tight
And I hope she embraces this lesson earlier than I did. I hope
she emerges as a young woman with fewer scars than I bear. That's
one reason I chose to homeschool. So my children can enjoy their
childhood and enjoy learning without the distracting and painful
school-yard social games. I don't think God intended for their
learning experiences to be sullied with that type of garbage.
I can't protect her from all hurt, but I can shield her from some of
it. And I pray that when she emerges as a young woman, she'll
have enough confidence still intact to be able to face the World with
dignity and courage.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!