Fear of rejection is like a monkey on the backs of many adopted kids, teens, and adults. Most tend to see rejection when none was intended. The turning around instead of being face to face. An unanswered text. Being stood up for a date with a first parent.
Is this a permanent disability? Will adopted kids ever get over it? Can they throw the monkey off their back?
Only with hard personal work can we heal. However, healing doesn’t mean that the tendency goes away. No. It means that we aren’t triggered by it anymore.
It is possible! I’m writing a book about it right now.
So, on to our friend, Moses.
The Story of Moses
Since God had seen every part of Moses, he fully expected God’s bar of justice to come down on him hard. It seemed certain to Moses that God would declare him guilty for killing the Egyptian and therefore worthy only of rejection.
This fear of rejection came from the primal wound of separation from Moses’ birth mother. No matter how loving the adoption plan, the disappearance of the birth mother translates to the baby as rejection. The infant carries this into all of life’s relationships. Moses’ fear of rejection also came from guilt—true guilt, for Moses truly had sinned when he murdered the Egyptian. In fact, he pursued a sinful lifestyle because he hadn’t loved God with his whole being every moment of every day.
Much to Moses’ surprise, God revealed a specific plan for his life. A plan that would relieve the suffering of the Israelites and give them freedom. “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt” (v. 10).
“Could it be? Could it really be that God could and would use me to help accomplish his will?” Moses may have said to himself.
All of a sudden Moses’ mind flooded with fear.
Have you ever wondered if the reason your birth mother relinquished you was because
you were a bad baby? Explain.
How Moses Saw God
Moses may have thought that God was “the big fly swatter in the sky,” knocking you down whenever you do wrong.” Moses had an incredibly guilty conscience. More than anything, he needed forgiveness for his sins. Moses couldn’t provide it for himself. If it were possible, he would have done it long ago. He had come into the presence of Jehovah-Jireh, which means, “The Lord will provide.” It is a testimony to God’s deliverance from sin. What Moses didn’t know was that God required that the blood of an unblemished lamb be shed for the forgiveness of sins. The sinner would slay the lamb, take it to the high priest, who would then take it into the tabernacle and ask forgiveness from God. Years after Moses died, God himself, in the Person of his Son, became the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. “The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1: 29)!
How You See God
Please refer to the list of Names for Jesus in Scripture in Appendix B and list three to five names for God that stand out to you. It will be encouraging to look back when finished with the workbook and see how your perception has grown!
You can record your words here:
Learning about Adoption
Robert S. McGee, Pat Springle and Jim Craddock write in Your Parents and You, “For better or for worse, parents represent God to their children. A child’s emotional and spiritual foundations are to be provided by them. Most of all, parents are to model the love and strength of God to their children. They are responsible for portraying his reliability, his unconditional love, his acceptance and his purposeful discipline.”
Putting My Feelings and Needs Into Words
- Do you “read” rejection into circumstances and relationships when there is none intended? (Example: a closed door for a part in a play, an unanswered telephone call or letter, your mail icon on your computer indicates you have no mail.) Name specific circumstances when this has occurred.
- What would you feel like if you, like Moses, met God personally? Would you feel guilty or peaceful? Why?
- Do you ever reject others before they can reject you? If so, give examples.
Writing a Letter TO and FROM My Birth Mother
- Write a letter TO your birth mother about your fear of rejection, if you struggle with this. If not, write her about what was meaningful to you in this chapter.
- Write a letter FROM your birth mother, expressing feelings and thoughts you believe she may want to convey to you.
Letters TO and FROM My Birth Mother
Digging Deep for Answers to my Adoption Questions
- Read John 1:11. Who in this verse experienced rejection from family? How does this make you feel?
- What is the antidote to the fear of rejection and the need to be perfect? See I John 4:18.
- Where can you find this antidote? See Jeremiah 31:3.
- Read Isaiah 41:9-10. What is the message adoptees need to hear when afraid of rejection?
- What is the “take away” from this chapter? How will your life change?
Thoughts, Insights, Goals and Prayers
A close companion of the fear of rejection is a struggle with self-esteem. We will cover that topic next.