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I started to do what I often do when life refuses to cooperate with me. I started talking to myself.

Frustration lifted from my nerves right out of my mouth.

What The Luggage Handler Said

“I’m just such an idiot. I invite so much unnecessary drama and complication in my life, because my pace and my brain aren’t in sync. I mean, seriously, what is wrong with my brain?!”

The luggage man made an abrupt about-face turn in my direction, extended his arm, and held up his hand, signaling me to stop.

“Not in my presence,” he said. “Not in my presence will you talk about yourself this way. Absolutely not.”

His command startled me.

His words stopped me.

Lysa Terkeurst, author of Univited, shares her own deeply personal experiences of rejection— from perceived judgment to the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father. Lysa reminds us we are destined for a love that does not reject or uninvite.


And suddenly I wondered if I was having a conversation with an angel.

“Spit happens, woman.”

Only he didn’t say spit. He said, well, you know.


Wouldn’t you know it? I have an “angel” that cusses.

So he wasn’t a divine presence, but some of his words certainly were.

They stuck to me.


Like when a two-year-old spends an hour working a large lollipop into a gloopy, gummy mess and then runs her hands through your hair. That kind of sticking, it’s serious.

And so was this.

These words – “ Not in my presence will you talk about yourself in this way”—they don’t brush off easily. Nor should they.

Sometimes a phrase lands in your soul with such weight it leaves the deepest impression.

I collect these phrases like other people collect stamps and Beanie Babies. I fill the unlined pages of notebooks from Walmart with these phrases. These words that move me are treasures.

Center Stage

My fingers twitched, eager to add this to my collection, but my Walmart notebook was inside the luggage hopefully speeding, but not breaking-the-law speeding, my way.

In the absence of the notebook, the only thing I could do was let the words take center stage in my mind.

I heard them over and over and felt peace.

With car fumes and sharp airplane noises providing the unlikely backdrop for a church-type lesson, I realized why these words were so personally necessary for me.

Negative self-talk was a rejection from my past that I had allowed to settle into the core of who I am. I talked about myself in ways I would never let another person.

Hints of self-rejection laced my thoughts and poisoned my words more than I cared to admit.

The Thief

Rejection steals the best of who I am by reinforcing the worst of what’s been said to me.

Rejection isn’t just an emotion we feel. It’s a message that’s sent to the core of who we are, causing us to believe lies about ourselves, others, and God. We connect an event from today to something harsh someone once said.

That person’s line becomes a label.

The label becomes a lie.

And the lie becomes a liability in how we think about ourselves and interact in every future relationship.

APPLICATION: What does your internal voice sound like? How do you cope with rejection. Please join the conversation and leave a comment below. Thank you.

I write to inspire people to be real, grow an authentic faith in Jesus, enjoy healthy relationships and discover their life purpose. If this material is helpful to you, please follow me.

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Bob Jones

Happily married to Jocelyn for 44 years. We have two adult sons, Cory and his wife Lynsey and their son Vincent and daughter Jayda; Jean Marc and his wife Angie and their three daughters, Quinn, Lena and Annora. I love inspiring people through communicating, blogging, and coaching. I enjoy writing, running, and reading. I'm a fan of the Double E, Bruins, Celtics, Red Sox and Pats. Follow me on Twitter @bobjones49ers


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