Rejection is a pain known by all who live and breathe. Just mentioning it awakens the hollow ache in your heart, the invisible wound that time numbs but never quite heals. Rejection touches each of us though in various forms. Maybe you worked hard for a promotion that you’ve dreamed of since your youth, and you were passed over. Maybe you need a friend, but instead find yourself sitting at a table for one. Maybe your marriage fell apart and your once whole family is now broken along with your heart. Maybe your life today is nothing like what you had dreamed.
There is no love story so gut-wrenching as one of a woman who commits her life to trying to please a man who never returns her devotion. My friend Leah knows the pain of unrequited love all too well.
Sweet Leah, found in Genesis 29, was given to Jacob in marriage deceptively by her own father, Laban. You see, Jacob wanted Leah’s younger, prettier sister, Rachel. Rachel’s glances made Jacob’s heart flutter. He never noticed Leah.
Leah, the elder daughter, needed to be married off before she became an old maid and burdened and embarrassed Laban’s family. I often wonder if Laban gave Leah false hope in this hoax of a marriage. Did Laban make Leah believe she was wanted? Did she believe that Jacob finally wanted her?
Either way, Leah walked down the aisle veiled from Jacob’s view, her heart hoping for a bright future, dreaming of happy moments ahead of her. Then morning comes…
Poor Leah, unwanted from the moment Jacob found her lying next to him the next morning after their romantic candlelit wedding ceremony.
Did Jacob jump out of bed when he rolled over to find Leah there instead of his true love? Did he leave Leah crying into her pillow confused and alone? My heart breaks when I think of those first few moments when Leah realized she was the second runner up, the less attractive, the unwanted.
Jacob will work hard for fourteen years to earn Rachel’s hand.
He was forced to marry Leah. Jacob never wanted Leah.
Leah was sure that if she could prove her love and her value to Jacob, he would finally love her one day.
“When the LORD saw that Leah was not loved, he enabled her to conceive, but Rachel remained childless. Leah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, for she said, “It is because the LORD has seen my misery. Surely my husband will love me now.” – Genesis 29:3
Take a sip of coffee and grab a pen and paper…
1. Even in our loneliest moments, God gives us something of which to be thankful. God allowed Leah to conceive. When you feel unwanted, or broken, do you take the time to notice the blessings around you? Write down three blessings in your life right now. Look at them through the day to remind yourself.
2. When you feel undervalued, where do you go to remind yourself of how loved you truly are? Do you fill yourself up with food, wine, Netflix? Take time to remind yourself of how special you are to God. You are unique and loved. Whether the world turns its back on you or not, really doesn’t matter. Your worth is found in the gift of love from your maker. Read this verse:
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow–not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below–indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 8:38-39
Write down these words: Nothing separates me from God’s love.
Nothing does separate you from God’s love, not divorce, not abandonment, not rejection, not past sin, not even invisible evils that surround us…nothing. You are forever His.
Soak in that love throughout your day.