Have you ever been rejected? By your relatives, coworkers, church peers, friends, children, or your spouse? What were the emotions you experienced facing rejection?
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
Bless Online Discipleship For Women
Psalm 27:10-14 is my favorite verse on this topic:
Though my father and mother forsake me,
the Lord will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, Lord;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.
12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
13 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
This is my favorite verse on rejection and acceptance.
It starts with the confident statement that even if your father and mother reject you, God accepts you, Unconditionally.
It’s my favorite because my mother and father rejected me – from a very young age. My entire family rejected me. I always felt like I did not belong. Can you relate?
Rejection can be defined as the act of pushing someone or something away. Today, I will share with you my perspective on and experince with rejection by others and how I deal with it in my personal life.
This podcast is PART 1 of a 3-part seriences on rejection that will cover three types of rejection in the next 3 weeks:
- Rejection by people – SA situation, FB letter from the woman
- Rejection by self – dear Anna Szabo
- Rejection by God – sex addiction, pledge at Perimeter
Before we dive into it, I want to take a moment and thank all of the 8,500 people who downloaded The Anna Szabo Show across the Internet on iTunes, Stitcher, InsightTimer, Google Play, Spreaker, SoundCloud, and YouTube since I started this podcast a few weeks ago.
It’s been life-changing for me to see your comments and stories that you shared in reviews and in personal messages to me on social media, and I’ve been truly overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone listening.
The most amazing thing I wanted to share is the geographical statistics of the podcast reach. People download my podcast in the United States, Ireland, South Africa, Iceland, Canada, Ukraine, New Zealand, Australia, India, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, and Slovakia.
I dream that one day I will travel the world to meet all my podcast listeners in-person and give every one of you a warm hug. I will start with Iceland – a home to over 100 vulcanos, it’s purged on the edge of Arctic circle, and is warmed by the Golfstream. The land of fire and ice!
I wanted to share some of the reviews of my podcast received since I started it last month. The reviews that truly touched my heart.
And as I do this, I will lay the foundation for today’s content about rejection. Rejection of me, my thoughts, my feelings, my content, my vulnerability, my openness, my life experiences…
I will share with you the letters of rejection I received from my listeners. I will tell you how I felt and what I did about it. I will be open and honest with you as always here.
But first, let me share some reviews and letters I received from those who found my content helpful.
“Thank you for this beautiful, deep, dive into the promises of God’s Word to us. I am drenched in affirmations of truth. I will share this, gratefully. Blessings to you, and appreciation for your heartfelt content”
“By far my favorite content. I will definitely use it again. Thank you so much”
“Your beautiful, strong and healing words have come at a perfect time. Thank you Anna … I realize your path has not been easy and I truly appreciate you sharing the gift of the knowledge you have learned. I know that with God there are no mistakes … I found and listened to your content at the perfect moment … we are all truly on this journey together.”
“Absolutely beautiful. Exactly what I needed at this time in my life! I am so thankful for you placing this meditation in my hands! My God bless you!”
“Love the messages and delivery. Having my daughter listen to this. My son could benefit from this too.”
“These truths are beautiful and powerful! I will return to this meditation often as a reminder of the love and power available to me as a child of God. Thank you for creating this content”
“Thank you for this wonderful goodness and for sharing your light with the world.”
“May God Bless you for creating this for us to grow”
“Just lovely. Increases my confidence and deepens my faith each time I listen. Thank you for this, it’s just what I need!”
“This podcast is a very candid and intimate journey in the personal life and marriage of the author. It is so perfect in its depiction of life, as a marriage relationship with God, our Creator. As do many marriages, we more often find ourselves weary of the unknown and nonsensical, abandoning commitment for instant gratification!”
“Straight from the heart, like listening to a best friend. I love your honesty!”
“Painfully beautiful, Raw and generous sharing such personal pain for others learning opportunities. After an especially difficult day in my own marriage, I thought I had cried myself out… But ended up crying with you again. Somehow your sharing made me feel strong and hopeful again. Thanks for sharing your faith Journey with me. You are truly an inspiration! May God bless you and bring you the love and joy you seek”
“Thank you with all my heart, for sharing yours! I needed this more than you can know. God Bless you!”
“God drew me to this podcast tonight. Im very greatful”
“Thank you for sharing your story. It was raw and personal and inspirational all at the same time.”
“This was amazing! Thank you for being courageous to show your vulnerability.”
“This content is so extremely helpful for me. I resonate with this message because it accurately describes my life. I’m grateful to God for this message.”
“This content explains my life and how and why it all came crashing down.”
“Thank you so much for sharing your story, your wisdom and your support and loving kindness to those of us who are also experiencing narcissistic abuse”
“Thank you for Taking me from wounded to warrior”
You’re welcome. I produce this content for YOU. God tells me exactly what to talk about. I often resist. But then I do it. And it touches your heart because this content comes from God. You, the woman listening, the woman who’s hurting, enduring pain, abuse, mental cruelty, the woman who’s being manipulated, being taken advantage of, the woman who suffers from depression or suicidal thoughts and is ful of anxiety – you are always on my mind.
You and I are on this journey together because I am hurting, having endured Narcissistic marriage, Silent Abuse, mental cruelty such as Gaslighting, Projection, abd Discarding, and having experienced depression and suicidal thoughts. I myself am ful of anxiety as I put myself out there sharing my thoughts with you, telling you about my mistakes and failures, pouring my heart out in this podcast…. And I do it SCARED. I’m scared of rejection. I’m scared of haters who have been reaching out on Facebook. I’m scared of the Narcissist who is still not letting go of me, dragging me though courts, demanding money from me, sending me emails still. I’m scared of my own vulnerability exposing all my feelings and thoughts. I do it SCARED and anxious because God called me to.
Thank you for responding with your life stories. Thank you for YOUR vulnerability. Thank you for YOUR honesty. Thank you for all your wonderful reviews.
Now, let’s talk about rejection by people.
I recently released a podcast called How To Forgive And What God Says About Forgiveness. It is a very vulnerable piece of content, straight from my heart. I share my struggles in it, my mistakes, my pain, and my prayers to God. The podcast is an hour long. The file has a detailed description explaining what it is about – forgiving someone who mistreated and hurt you.
Many listeners have been reaching out to me with Facebook message requests. And just for you, I created a Facebook page called Online Discipleship For Women. There, you can now message me directly.
Among all the great feedback I received from your messages, there was one message that really stood out. It was a Facebook message 3 screenshots long from a woman whose name is Christen. Remember that podcast called How To Forgive I told you about? The podcast that’s one hour long with a detailed file description explaining that it’s about forgiving a person who hurt you? In the beginning of one hour-long content, I set out the expectation just like I always do, making it clear that the podcast was about my personal journey with God to the point of forgiving someone who hurt me.
Here is what Christen wrote to me:
Anna, I just listened to your story on forgiveness. I kept waiting for the part where the person to forgive was you. Forgive yourself for putting yourself in harm’s way.
When preparing this podcast on the topic of rejection, I wanted to share with you that such an irrelevant message this woman sent me as her rejection of my content, didn’t affect me at all.
I wanted to tell you that when I saw her message, which had nothing to do with the topic of my podcast on forgiving someone who hurt you, I just moved on. I was able to quickly erase her words from my memory and never even think about what she said in her long-long letter to me.
Yes, that’s what I wanted to share with you, only I can’t, because it’s not at all true. Her words hurt me.
In fact, for about 3 hours, I was praying and journaling, and meditating trying to figure out how to move on from her long letter of rejection.
And the breakthrough findings of that hard work I did is what I will share with you today.
First of all, I found out by digging deep into my thoughts, that when I HEARD this woman’s words of rejection and condemnation, I instantly took it to heart. It was as if she gave me a jacket and without even assessing if it was my size, my color, my style, I just put it on.
Secondly, after reading her words of rejection over and over, I asked myself: how much of it is relevant?
And thirdly, and most importantly, I finally decided to evaluate this woman’s intentions for sending me that letter of rejection.
So, let me share with you what I think was the biggest and most helpful breakthrough I had in my 34 years of life as it relates to the topic of rejection and opinions of others.
I started this podcast a few weeks ago and already produced 40 pieces of content. Including the podcast on self-forgiveness. My podcast is called The Anna Szabo Show because it’s about nothing else by my personal life, thoughts, opinions, learning experiences, my failures,, mistakes, my pain, my hear ache, my conversations with God, MY life.
I personally do not feel that the topic of self-forgiveness is in any way related to the topic of forgiving other people. I produced a podcast of forgiving my offender to share my personal walk with Christ, my prayers to God, my desire and inability TO forgive, until I forgave finally.
This woman decided to find my content on forgiving my offender, she takes one hour out of her day to listen to it till the end, and then she writes me a letter saying how disappointed she is in MY life experiences, MY walk with God, MY thoughts, MY vulnerability. How what I shared about my life was NOT what she expected to hear.
Hmmmmmmm…. Hm…. Hm…..
Does this sound familiar to YOU? Have YOU ever experienced the same kind of nonsense? When someone tries to fit YOU into THEIR jacket. It’s not your size. It’s not your style. It’s not your color. BUT they EXPECT to see you fit into THEIR own jacket. Ever experienced that?
See, out of 40 pieces of content I published on The Anna Szabo Show, this woman found one, only one. And then she made irrelevant conclusions and decided to write ME a rejection letter. Has this ever happened to YOU?
Because YOU run a Show with YOUR name on it. With many many episodes already published. And ten, someone listens to a part of your show, your life, your thoughts, your feelings, your walk with God, your prayer life doesn’t meet THEIR expectations and they let you have it…
You see, your life is not for everyone. My life is not for everyone either. Your thoughts are unique, my thoughts are unique also. You run your own show that YOUR audience needs to hear and see because it’s helpful for that specific audience with similar to yours experiences.
And same goes for me and for the show of MY life.
We don’t have to reject one another. We can just click away. If my podcast is on forgiving other people but this woman expects to hear a podcast on how to forgive HERSELF, she can go FIND that podcast. People produce podcasts on self-forgiveness.
She doesn’t have to listen to a podcast that is NOT on self-forgiveness wasting one hour of her life being all upset. And because she CHOSE TO waste one hour of her life listening to content that was not on the topic of her interest, she didn’t have to be angry at ME. I never asked her to listen to it, I sure made it clear that my podcast was on forgiving others.
So, what about you? How many times were YOU rejected by someone just like that? After dwelling on it, I was able to experience all these breakthroughs and awareness and here are the steps I created for dealing with rejection:
- Ask yourself: is this person’s feedback even relevant to me? No, this woman’s feedback was not at all relevant to my content.
- Ask yourself: am I trying to fit myself into their jacket that is not my size, style, or color? Absolutely I did that, yes, she gave me her own jacket and I just started putting it on without thinking AND I was all upset that I wasn’t able to fit into THIS WOMAN’s jacket….
- Ask yourself: are the intentions of this person genuine? No, of course this woman was not genuine. She was upset at herself not taking responsibility for listening to the content that was not on the topic she actually was interested in, and she decided to send ME a nasty letter to make herself feel better.
So, once I figured all of this out in my head, I felt complete peace. And then, I got a negative review on my podcast called Don’t Blame Yourself For The Narcissist’s Faults. It’s an hour long podcast that from the beginning explains that the content is about a woman who was targeted by a narcissist man and lured into an abusive narcissistic relationship with him.
So, this woman’s review read like this: “Well, this was fine, only not very relevant to me as the Narcissist in my life is my mother. I need you to create a podcast about Narcissistic mothers”
LOL. LOL… When I read these words of rejection, I already had a framework. Let’s walk through it together.
Step 1. Ask yourself: is this person’s feedback even relevant to me? No, this woman’s feedback was not at all relevant to my content. My content was NOT about a narcissistic mother and I made it very clear from minute one, no need to waste one hour of her life waiting for me to talk about a narcissistic mother on a podcast that’s NOT about a narcissistic mother.
Step 2. Ask yourself: am I trying to fit myself into their jacket that is not my size, style, or color? Nope, this time I didn’t take the jacket this woman offered for me to fit into. This time, I told myself: my podcast about my life. I have experienced a Narcissistic marriage. This woman is requesting that I go get an experience with a Narcissistic mother. It’s not my life. Why would you listen to it for an hour if it’s not your topic?
Step 3. Ask yourself: are the intentions of this person genuine? No, of course this woman was not genuine. She was upset at herself not taking responsibility for listening to the content that was not on the topic she actually was interested in, and she decided to give ME a bad review to make herself feel better.
And this time, I actually WAS able to simply move on. What about you? When you hear negative opinions of others about the show of YOUR life, how can you use my 3-step process to help yourself shake it off and not take it to heart?
Let me pray for you.
We love you so much. You make no mistakes. You are sovereign and all-knowing and you created each of us unique for a purpose. You gave each of us a quanique life. You equipped each of us with unique skills.
God, I want to lift up to you right now the woman who is listening. I ask that you open up her eyes to see that people who reject her are NOT her people. You made her just the way she is – perfect in YOUR image.
God, I pray that you allow her to use what she heard on this podcast today and apply it to her own life, to shake off the negative words of other people, to move on from haters who express their disappointment in her.
Father, I pray that you comfort her with YOUR love and unconditional acceptance and show her that NOT everyone’s jacket is for her to fit INTO. And just like Psalm 27:10-14 declares, YOU accept her.
In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
Self-Acceptance Vs Self-Rejection
Romans 8:31 says “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Often in life, the one against us is ourself.
Have you ever experienced self-condemnation, judging and rejecting yourself? I know I have.
I was Anna Stevens until May of last year, an award-winning author of the book called Turn Your Dreams And Wants Into Achievable SMART Goals! I was a woman with 4 diplomas who successfully graduated from a teaching college, two business schools, and a law school. A woman who was smart, beautiful, certainly VERY organized in her life and VERY capable. In my daily life, I was accomplishing a lot and was overall a high achiever.
Then, last year, on May 14 or 2016, I got married. My husband Michel abandoned the marriage right away and said he wasn’t interested anymore in either me or our marriage. Michel attended a seminary and worked at a mega church here in Atlanta. He said all he wants in life is to be an IronMan and compete in Kona.
I now was Anna Szabo, Michel’s wife, and Michel called his bicycle “My other wife I cheat on you with”… the mental haze he put me through caused so much confusion in my head… I was suicidal, under the care of two counselors: a trauma counselor who worked with victims of Narcissistic Abuse and also a Biblical counselor.
Anna Szabo was VERY VERY different from Anna Stevens.
Anna Stevens always lived in the city, close to work. Anna Szabo moved to country to live where Michel wanted to live and commuted 5 hours every day to go to work.
Anna Stevens would have never stayed in that kind of bizarre marriage with a confused husband who lived in a separate bedroom and repeatedly threatened her with physical harm saying “You don’t want me to do to you what I did to my sister”.
But Anna Szabo married Michel for eternity, in front of God, friends, and family, and so she was in a covenant marriage with Michel and God. So, she stayed.
Anna Stevens was always a supporter of women and was an advocate against domestic violence since 2010. She smelled abuse from afar and always took appropriate protective actions.
Anna Szabo was abused every day and she stayed in that miserable house in Cumming GA, because she wanted to be committed and she wanted to love Michel unconditionally, despite his consistent threats and bizarre behavior.
Anna Szabo was so depressed from all the Narcissistic abuse she endured, from Gaslighting and Narcissistic Projection, she was full of anxiety, and from all the threats, deception, and daily devastation at home, she was very suicidal.
She couldn’t organize everything in an 1800-sq-ft 2-story house because she also had 2 back injuries right after the wedding, and she was abandoned in the unfinished-construction house with boxes everywhere, always looking where her underwear was.
Anna Stevens of course always knew where everything was and she certainly would have never tolerated that kind of mental and physical haze. But Anna Szabo did tolerate it.
And Anna Stevens was NOT ok with it.
As you’re listening now, you can imagine what was happening inside my head every day as I was the confused, abandoned, depressed Anna Szabo who was battled by the high-achiever Anna Stevens every moment of every day, only increasing already-devastating anxiety and depression caused by the Narcissist husband.
I rejected myself.
Hi! I’m Anna Szabo from AnnaSzabo.com and you are listening The Anna Szabo Show, a podcast for Christian women where we have conversations about God, Gospel, and the matters of life. If you enjoy this podcast, please write a review on iTunes.
This is episode #39 and we are talking about rejecting ourselves and self-acceptance.
Rejection can be defined as the act of pushing someone or something away.
This podcast is PART 2 of a 3-part seriences on rejection that covers three types of rejection which Christian women experience:
- Rejection by people, last week’s episode – SA situation, FB letter from the woman
- Rejection by self today- dear Anna Szabo
- Rejection by God next week- sex addiction, pledge at Perimeter
This podcast comes out on iTunes every Saturday at noon.
Before we dive into it, I want to take a moment and thank all of the 10,000 people who downloaded The Anna Szabo Show across the Internet on iTunes, Stitcher, InsightTimer, Google Play, Spreaker, SoundCloud, and YouTube since I started this podcast a few weeks ago.
To read your comments and reviews, your life stories that you share – it’s such a privilege. And since so many people tried to message me on my personal Facebook, I went ahead and created a Facebook page just for you – Online Discipleship For Women, so you can message me there.
I’ve been truly overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone listening and for all the positive reviews you shared on my content.
The most amazing thing I wanted to point out is the geographical statistics of the podcast reach. People download my podcast in the United States, Ireland, South Africa, Iceland, the Republic of Mauritius, Brazil, Mexico, New Caledonia, Scotland, Greece, Canada, Ukraine, New Zealand, Australia, India, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Belgium, and Slovakia.
When I look at where my listeners are located – all over this beautiful planet, it blows my mind. I started this podcast in my closet on the floor for good sound quality, on my 2011 old beatup MacBook Pro with simple iPhone earphones. And to know that I can talk to you guys from my closet’s floor and you are everywhere… WOW!
I shared with you last week that my dream is that one day I will travel the world to meet all my podcast listeners in-person and give every one of you a warm hug. I shared with you about Iceland, and my next destination will be the Republic of Mauritius. If I mispronounce it, please forgive me. I try to watch some YouTube videos about the countries where my podcast listeners live and unfortunately I couldn’t find any videos where people actually pronounce the name of the country, so I hope I didn’t offend anyone. But it’s a heaven of islands in Indian Ocean, my favorite ocean, BTW as I spent a looooot of time in Bali. So, when I come visit you guys there, we will go snorkeling for sure.
And now, I have a question for you: have you ever experienced the same rejection of yourself I as I described in the beginning of this episode?
I remember attending a DivorceCare group at church and we were asked to count all our losses. It was May 13th, 2017, a Saturday when I taught a LinkedIn workshop for a leadership class at DevRy University here in Atlanta. As I was referring to my own LinkedIn profile that day, I heard myself say Anna Stevens. I wept. I realized how ashamed I was to be Anna Szabo. I never wore a nametag at any events or at work after I married Michel and became Anna Szabo. That Saturday, was one day before my one year wedding anniversary with Michel who filed for a divorce twice in our 8 months of marriage, and I wept, right there, at DeVry University. I wept because I remembered vividly how Michel and I were walking my dog Bruno around my apartment, talking about our future wedding, and there Michel asked me to take his last name.
He knew that Anna Stevens was a brand. I asked him if I could think about it and he told me that he really wanted me to honor him by accepting his last name. And I did.
Here I was, on May 13th of 2017, just a year later, being divorced by Michel who was not alt all interested in our marriage and who traded me in for a bicycle in pursuit of his dream of becoming an IronMan.
I felt stupid for marrying Michel. After he told me that he didn’t want to have sex with me because he needed to save himself for his IronMan training, I felt worthless and ugly having been so deceived and betrayed.
The main feelings I experienced in my marriage with Michel were all very negative:
And for the fact that I did honor him and accepted his last name, I felt as if Anna Szabo betrayed Anna Stevens. I hated my wedding pictures. I wanted to go back to being Anna Stevens. I wanted to UNdo the I DO. I wanted to wakeup from the nightmare I was living in with Michel.
All of that self-rejection and self-condemnation compounded by Narcissistic mental cruelty at home, kept me a prisoner of my severe depression and suicidal thoughts and there were days when I was unable to even getup.
Then, I would lie in bed staring at the ceiling, judging myself for NOT getting up and on and on and on it went – a thought loop with no end.
STEP 1: grieve the YOU that is NOT there
I prayed to God on my knees crying out for help, I wrote prayer poems that I will share here today. And when I became aware of what was happening in my head, the first step for me was to count Anna Stevens as my loss and grieve just as I was asked to grieve all of my losses in these two divorces Michel filed, and so I did.
This first step on my journey of self-acceptance resulted in a letter that was the most important asset created in my healing process because time and time again I read and re-read it to facilitate self-acceptance of Anna Szabo, which finally resulted in me printing a huge canvas of my wedding picture and hanging it above the fireplace in my new home. I always say that it’s my last picture of Anna Stevens and my first picture of Anna Szabo and the two finally are ok.
Before I read you the Dear Anna Szabo letter of self-acceptance, please remember that this podcast is recorded live and delivered to you unedited. I don’t know what kind of feelings reading this letter now will bring up and if I cry from grief, just give me a moment.
DEAR ANNA SZABO…
In December of last year, I was the most suicidal as after the first divorce filing, Michel asked me to reconcile and then abused me, so I had to flee from our marital residence and stay with a friend for 2 weeks to put my head back together.
He told me he will go get mental health help and I came back. After that, he served me with the second divorce summons.
In December I started listening to meditations on the InsightTimer app, which literally saved my life. The headspace I was able to create helped me develop the WATCHFUL OBSERVER. I meditated hundreds of hours a month, which was the essential part of Step 2 in my self-acceptance process.
STEP 2: don’t judge the YOU who doesn’t meet your expectations
Ad I advanced to the next step, I was learning to be depressed without judging myself for being depressed. I would still lie in bed and not move, only now I would not have self-condemnation. And instead, there was room to hear from God who begun blessing me with Biblical poems.
In the process, I wrote 42 Biblical poems and prayers on the topics of love, marriage, forgiveness, Narcissistic Abuse and my conversations with God. They are now available on Amazon as framed Spiritual poetry. And with that, I was able to graduate to the next step.
STEP 3: focus on who God says you are and not your emotions
I was hopeless and felt worthless when out of desperation I began to seek in the Scriptures what God said about me, who I am, and while I did that, I also authored 52 devotionals for women.
These are short Biblical affirmations I wrote to memorize and repeat to myself when panics attack or negative thoughts try to take over my mind. Let me share some of the #52 Devotionals with you and you can download the entire book I wrote called #52Devotionals at AnnaSzabo.com. Just scroll to the bottom of any page and click the orange button to get your free #52Devotionals book
Today, I made the #52DEVOTIONALS available on Amazon as Biblical canvases with a mix of my two favorite colors – white and orange. I designed them myself with love and care for all the hurting women who need the Biblical affirmations like I do…
Of course, today Anna Szabo and Anna Stevens still have some disagreements, but there is no judgement anymore. The watchful observer developed through the practice of meditation helps negotiate inner peace and self-acceptance.
What about you? Is there something you condemn yourself for?
Is there a part of you that you’re rejecting? Do you have a hard time accepting yourself?
Let’s just walk through the 3-step process I created to help myself with self-acceptance. My hope is that this process will also help YOU:
Step 1. Grieve the YOU that is NOT there
Step 2. Don’t judge the YOU who doesn’t meet your expectations
Step 3. Focus on who God says you are and not your emotions
I want to leave you today with this prayer poem I wrote for God struggling with my lack of performance up to my own expectations, suffering from a broken heart and being weak from depression. As I was realizing that my only true identity was being a daughter of our sovereign God, the King of the entire universe, I named thIs poem “I AM YOUR PRINCESS”
Rejection By God & My $50K Court Hearing w/Michel
Thank you for tuning in to hear today’s episode on feeling rejected by God. I am recording this show on 12/7, a cold Thursday evening BRRRR and as always it will air on Saturday at noon.
On the agenda for today are 3 questions:
- Can God actually reject us as His children?
- What can we do to earn God’s acceptance?
- and Does rejection by Church equate to rejection by God?
We will discuss in great detail with some practical real-life examples 3 most common circumstances in which we are the most tempted to feel rejected by God:
- When we are suffering and going through adversity in life
- When we make mistakes & feel like we’re not good enough
- and When people at church let us down or betray our trust
As always, on this podcast, you are in for a real treat: I will share lots of actual, practical real-life examples, no fluff, no talking in some concepts or theories… You will walk away with solid practical understanding of the topic AND will be able to use what you hear on this podcast today to process your own daily life.
If this is your first time listening, WELCOME! I am Anna Szabo from AnnaSzabo.com, the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, which you can find on Facebook and message me there.
This is episode #40 – part 3 of the REJECTION series.
Make sure you go back and listen to episodes #38 and #39 on rejection by people and self-rejection.
Rejection can be defined as an act of pushing someone or something away. Today, we will discuss whether or not God pushes us away, ever.
Before we dive into it, I want to take a moment and thank all of my listeners who downloaded The Anna Szabo Show 11,000 TIMES across the Internet on iTunes, Stitcher, InsightTimer, Google Play, Spreaker, SoundCloud, and YouTube since I started this podcast 2 months ago.
Now, this show is coming to iHeart Radio and Spotify mobile app.
1 Peter 3:14-16 tells us to ZEALOUSLY SHARE THE REASON FOR OUR HOPE. That’s why I started this very podcast. I share my hope with you.
My hope is in the Lord, our good God. And I candidly invited you through this podcast to walk my journey of pain with me to show you that I don’t have rainbows and unicorns in my life, my dreams have not come true, I have been deceived by The Narcissist and put through such mental haze that I felt suicidal and did not want to live. At all.
Here, on this podcast, I share with you how I stand on God’s promises while I’m in the midst of so much adversity and heartache.
I think it’s easy to talk about God’s goodness when our lives are peaceful and wonderful.
But when people go through tough trials, they often feel rejected by God and turn away from Him. I was angry at God, too. I understand.
It’s such a privilege to have this platform to share with you how I hold on to God’s promises in my painful and devastating life season today.
I want to give all the glory and honor to God and I want you to possibly see your own adversity and pain through the lens of God’s promises.
I’ve been truly overwhelmed with gratitude for everyone listening and for all the genuine, heartfelt feedback you shared with me in reviews.
A few weeks ago, before Michel and I had our divorce jury trial, he tried to pay me a little over $1000 to sign a document demanding that I never talk about what he did to me, what happened in our marriage, and all the mental cruelty I endured from him. I refused his offer because freedom of speech is my Constitutional right and even more importantly – my Biblical obligation, according to 2 Corinthians 1:3–5.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort others with the comfort, which we ourselves are receiving from God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort, too.”
Seeing you, guys, on my livestream, and witnessing how you come back over and over to the content I produce for you, I am so glad I refused Michel’s attempt to shut my voice. Some of you, guys, spend hours at a time as I see you listening to my show called tell me how you really feel.
You know, this time last year, I remember coming home to Michel after a long day at work, it was Monday, very rainy, I attended Women In Technology meeting that evening, so it was after 9 pm and I just walked in. He came down, set me in the kitchen, and started asking me to never mention that he filed for a divorce. In December last year was when he dismissed that first divorce filing and asked me to reconcile.
I remember sitting there, looking at him, so puzzled… He was full of shame and I told him that Jesus died to set him free of his shame and insecurities and that we needed to give glory to God for saving our marriage. I told Michel that everyone who knows our last name could for $1 obtain his divorce filings in Forsyth county with no questions asked. His divorce filings are public records and instead of sinking in his shame, I asked Michel to focus on what God was doing in our lives.
He exploded with anger, called me names, raged at me while I sat there paralyzed by fear. And then, he went to sleep. I couldn’t even get up and move but I texted my girlfriend and she came to pick me up.
I had to flee that house while he was asleep, because I was so afraid of his rage – all caused by his shame for filing divorce after divorce with Forsyth court. I stayed with my girlfriend for 2 weeks, so scared of him.
Matthew 7:17-27 says we must seek to do God’s will, and I chose to follow God’s calling to comfort you, guys, in your own life trials – by sharing about my own trials and how I find comfort in God’s truth.
Reading your letters to me and your stories, I’m so glad that I rejected Michel’s money and chose to speak up about God’s works in my life.
Michel actually filed another Motion with the Forsyth County court and he is dragging me back to have a hearing next Tuesday. This time he demands that I pay $50K to his attorney to cover his cost of litigation, after he filed for a divorce twice since we had our wedding last May.
And in today’s episode I will talk about this situation as it relates to the topic of being rejected by God. It all has to do with shame and grace.
But first, I wanted to update you on the geographical reach of this podcast. We now made it to Russia, Japan, and Thailand, in addition to having loyal listeners in the United States, Ireland, South Africa, Iceland, the Republic of Mauritius, Brazil, Mexico, New Caledonia, Scotland, Greece, Canada, Ukraine, New Zealand, Australia, India, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Kazakhstan, Belgium, and Slovakia.
You, guys, have no idea how much it means to me that we can be the students of Jesus, His disciples, and have the conversations about the Gospel here, on this podcast, as I’m recording it in my closet. Right now!
Jeremiah 15:16 asks us to DELIGHT IN GOD’S WORD.
That’s what we are doing here! Thanks for helping this podcast grow and for sharing it with others. It’s spreading fast around the globe.
Glory to God!
Now, I have a question for you: have you ever felt rejected by God?
Have you ever felt not good enough? Like nothing you do can be worthy of God’s love? Like no matter how hard you try, you can’t meet His expectations?
Or maybe, like me, your life crushed and burned right before your eyes.
Maybe your life is so painful that you don’t even have the ability to comprehend what happened to you. That’s my case. You know that Michel targeted me for 11 months while I was on my no-dating journey.
Once he got a chance to meet me, he started very eloquently courting me for marriage, presenting himself as a very solid Christian who attended a seminary and worked at a megachurch here in Alpharetta.
He persuaded me to remodel his house for us to live in. Which I did.
We got married on 5/14/2016, and he abandoned the marriage right away. He demanded that I allow him to sell our marital residence where we lived after the wedding at Adair Park in Cumming for a $99K profit.
But I wanted Michel to be present in the marriage he lured into and I was so confused with all the mental cruelty and manipulation from him.
On 9/25/2016 Michel served me with his 1st divorce summons when I was attending a Christian conference Harvest in Duluth. Then, he dismissed that divorce and 5 weeks later he filed for a divorce again.
In August of this year we had our divorce jury trial. The sell of the house he was so eager to execute was scheduled for 11/15/2017 for $245K vs $146K that the house was worth last year in February before I redesigned it and gave it a complete makeover.
Talk about selling your soul for cash… it all feels surreal. So, if your life feels surreal to YOU, I understand your pain and devastation.
You already know that I was depressed and suicidal, enduring Narcissistic Abuse in my bizarre marriage with Michel.
I lost my job in the meantime, and my church stepped up to pay my rent, utilities, car loan, insurance, phone bill, wifi, gas, and food.
I’m talking to you about God’s promises not from a vacation in Bali.
I’m going through it. Right now, I am in a pit. I’m in pain. I’m suffering.
I’m not on the other side of this haze.
Michel is now demanding $50K from me for his attorney fees.
Is it easy to say God is good? No. I can’t lie to you. It’s not easy.
So, YOU might have been deceived and taken advantage of, too.
Or maybe you lost your child or parent.
Or perhaps, you also lost your job like me and have debt, even for other people’s houses. I’m still paying debt for remodeling our marital residence.
Maybe, you’re very sick. Maybe you’re depressed or even suicidal.
I shared with you my depression and suicidal thought at www.AnnaSzabo.com/ABOUT
Maybe you have an addiction. I too suffered from sexual addiction most of my adult life, which is how I met Jesus and gave my life to Him in 2014.
Maybe you’re enduring beatings or threats of safety and you’re suffering from panic attacks. I do, too. I even recorded one on video to share with you that YOU are NOT alone in this. You are not crazy.
I know how you feel. I know what it’s like. I understand your pain.
I even had to install video cameras outside each of my windows because Michel had told people at Highlands Church in Cumming that his plan was to divorce me to date me again.
It is scary. It is a threat of stalking. That’s why I went to the local police station once I moved to my new home. And we have neighborhood security, too. But I also installed cameras. Michel carries a gun always.
When I heard his threats of stalking as people were calling me in shock sharing what Michel was telling everyone, cold blood ran through my veins. That’s why I recorded a podcast on understanding Narcissistic Abuse. Because people were asking me if Michel was crazy or joking, and I knew he was VERY serious.
And, on 11/19, a few days ago, Michel actually emailed me an invitation to a 1:1 meeting with him. I replied to it stating clearly that I won’t be meeting with him ever, that I do not want any contact with him whatsoever, and that if he continues contacting me, I will file a restraining order against him. I love him. I miss him. And I pray for him.
Prayer is my act of love. No meetings and no more abuse. I’m done.
I’m going to do a video for you, guys, with screenshots, so you can see that fears and panic attacks are real to me, too. I’ll show you his invite.
Whatever you’re going through, whatever your pain is, I am here to tell you this very important truth that I discovered while searching the Bible to find out what God says about me and how God feels about me:
You’re loved by God unconditionally for eternity.
For your salvation and life His Son He sacrificed.
Nothing can take away from you this certainty –
You are inseparable from the love of Jesus Christ.
Can God actually reject us as His children?
Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Wow! When I learned this truth, I was stunned.
Growing up in Russia, the Orthodox religion I observed taught me that I needed to be perfect, wear the right clothes, cover my head, have the right shoes, before I could come to God.
Learning that Jesus died for me WHILE I was sinful was liberating.
If you now google “Rejection by God” you won’t find anything.
But you will find millions of conversations on rejection OF God.
We reject God. God doesn’t reject us.
The effect of sin is always insecurity. The more we sin, the more insecure we become. I am insecure. Because I am a sinner. I know that I was, am, and always will be a sinner until I die.
That’s why Jesus bled for me. So, accepting Him as my Lord and savior, I am accepted into God’s family. No conditions. And YOU!
I have many people in my life who also lost their jobs, like me. Lost their relationships, were cheated on, and they share that they feel PUNISHED by God with adversity, which they equate to being rejected by God.
The truth is, God doesn’t PUNISH us with trials. He said in John 16:33 that we WILL have troubles in this world. NOT because we are bad, but so we can rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer as Romans 12:12 teaches us.
If I did not experience this miserable marriage with Michel, I would have not been in need of searching the Bible to find out who God says I am, while Michel was devaluing me every day.
Had I not searched for that, I would have not written the #52Devotionals book for you and I would have not produced the content you downloaded 11,000 times globally in the last 2 months. I would have had nothing to comfort you with.
AND I would not have experienced my church being a church to me stepping up to pay my rent and car and power bill. I would not have been in need of God.
I will expand more on this topic in my podcast on why God allows bad things to happen. But for now, just remember, God is NOT punishing you or me with adversity.
He just wants us to depend on Him in life.
Repeat after me:
I’m loved by God unconditionally for eternity.
For my salvation and life His Son He sacrificed.
Nothing can take away from me this certainty –
I am inseparable from the love of Jesus Christ.
What can we do to earn God’s acceptance?
Nothing. We are acceptable to God, not through what we’ve done, but through what Jesus has done. He bled and died on the cross, paid for our sins, and covered us with His grace, forgiveness, and love. God sees us through the blood of Jesus as perfect, even though we are so imperfect.
All we have to do is accept what Christ has done for us and submit to His will for our lives.
Right now, my will for my life is NOT to do this podcast. I do NOT have any willingness to share with you about my failed marriage, about Michel’s divorces with me, how he cheated on me, how I was humiliated and abused, how I was depressed and suicidal…
I surely do not have any desire to share with you here how I was angry at Michel FOR his abuse and sent him middle-finger pictures accompanied by VERY mean words. I don’t want to be judged by you, I want to keep it all to myself and forget it all.
My will is to forget every detail of my unbelievable story, take my own name – Anna Stevens – back, give Michel the Szabo name back, move on, put a smile on my face, and pretend that I’m happy and cheerful. I certainly do NOT want to say I miss Michel.
My will is NOT to love Michel, and praying for him is NOT my will.
But God’s will has nothing to do with my will. God instilled so much love for Michel in my heart. And I’m not resenting it anymore. I accept it daily. And I grieve. I feel my sorrow.
Every single day I pray for Michel.
And I’m doing this podcast for you: 40+ episodes in 2 months!
It’s not been easy, but Jesus gave me comfort in my suffering, and I must follow God’s order to comfort YOU in YOUR suffering.
And I can only do it through vulnerability and sharing. It’s His will
When I was a sex addict, I was trying to figure out how to be good enough so God would be pleased with me. You know what happened? I had even more shame from that thinking.
More shame led me to more sin as I was trying to escape my painful actions and insecurities into more sex and alcohol.
It was a vicious cycle, until I fell on my knees and gave my life to Jesus, realizing what He had done for me.
Realizing that I will never ever be good enough to earn God’s love. Realizing that God loves me as His precious daughter seeing me perfect through the doings of Jesus and NOT my own doings.
Now, can we then go ahead and sin all we want counting on the truth of God’s grace?
Why would we? I mean we sure do sin. I know I sin. Let’s take the mean text message to Michel with the middle-finger picture.
I did that in my flesh. I instantly regretted it in my Spirit. I then, met with Pastor’s mom to confess to her and tell her how I was NOT who I wanted to be. But later I realized the one I needed to confess to was Michel, whom I offended in anger.
And I wrote him 10 letters of forgiveness since he wasn’t around for me to ask him in-person. I will be sharing those letters with you here when we talk about how to ASK for forgiveness. Those letters were also subpoenaed by Michel’s attorney for our trial.
But once I asked Michel to forgive me, I needed to repent.
Not out of fear to lose God’s acceptance, but out of gratitude for Jesus’ sacrifice and for my salvation.
What about you? Do you hold on to the belief that you in your own strength can earn God’s approval, acceptance, and love?
Do you believe that one day through your own actions you will be good enough? Do you feel stuck in shame and self-condemnation? I was there, it’s a dark place. Very dark…
I invite you to ponder this truth from my ebook called #52Devotionals which you can download for free on AnnaSzabo.com:
You’re loved by God unconditionally for eternity.
For your salvation and life His Son He sacrificed.
Nothing can take away from you this certainty –
You are inseparable from the love of Jesus Christ.
Does rejection by Church equate to rejection by God?
When people at church let us down or betray our trust, it’s very tempting to feel rejected by God. We expect that somehow people at church ARE the very representation of God.
I did that. I expected that. When Michel was courting me for marriage, he worked at a megachurch in Alpharetta, he was officiating weddings as a pastor, always talking about his time at a seminary… And he sent me an email 4 days after he met me with a PDF attachment called The Right Man where he described what a Godly man was, leading me to believe that he was that man. That lasted till I said I DO and he dropped his mask then.
I also had a mentor from that church where he worked. She was the person who knew the most about me. And she came to my divorce jury trial and cried on a witness stand telling my jurors how jealous she was of me and the remodeled house…. wow…
I had another friend who was from the same church and introduced Michel into my life saying “with him you’re even safer than with me” She knew every detail about his abuse in our marriage and when subpoenaed by my attorney to testify in my trial, she texted me how much she loves Michel and doesn’t want to come to my trial to testify…. It was a spirit-crushing experience. It was surreal. It was NOT believable. But it was real.
If that wasn’t enough, our marriage counselor came to court to testify. Last year, I did some extensive research after Michel abandoned our marriage following the wedding. On Psychology Today I found this Christian couple in Alpharetta who I called and asked to start seeing Michel and me for counseling. We went a few times but the real Michel never showed up, unfortunately.
It was me who searched and found them, called, arranged counseling, and now this counselor was sitting on a witness stand, asked to testify UNDER OATH which one of us, Michel or me, sought counseling for our marriage and reached out to them…
You want to know what he testified? He said: Michel did….. WOW!
Did I feel rejected by God from all these people’s betrayal?
Almost. Only I caught that thought timely and I realized: all of these church people who betrayed my trust and lied or admitted their love feelings toward my husband at the time – they are JUST humans, NOT God.
And I forgave them, one at a time. Over and over again.
Repeatedly, since this divorce has been so long-lasting.
That’s why I published so much content of forgiveness.
Definitely go listen to How To Forgive podcast and Forgiveness Meditation. And next week, I will introduce to you the 5-step model I designed called The Jesus Forgiveness Model.
Tomorrow, I will publish a few poems here for you.
The first poem you’ll get tomorrow morning is called “Loving My Husband” I wrote it during this divorce jury trial, having accepted the fact that God wants me to feel love for Michel, not hatred. I love him.
The second poem I’ll share with you this Sunday is called “My Husband For A Reason” I also wrote it during our divorce after accepting the reality of my miserable marriage with Michel, his abandonment and cheating, and God’s promise to use my tears and sorrow for GOOD.
In the midst of Michel’s haze, God’s presence became so real and so strong… I wrote this poem just recently that reflects how close God is.
God’s Presence Everywhere
God, I see your presence everywhere.
To hear your voice for me is not at all rare.
Once I finally quit being so worldly and blind,
Now, in everything your purpose and glory I can find.
Anywhere I look, God, there you are!
In my suffering, you count my every scar.
My pain you turn from dust into beauty
As I follow your calling and fulfill my Biblical duty.
God, I don’t need any special presents.
All I want is to continue being like this, in your presence.
I love leaning on you and having you near.
To my heart, God, your intimate presence is very dear.
I will update you next Saturday on the results of our Tuesday hearing. Here’s a prayer poem I wrote in my conversations with God while struggling with the fact that Michel is still dragging me through courts.
I paid $25K for my own attorney fees after he filed for these two divorces.
He is demanding from me to pay $50K to his attorney with his new motion, and to respond to that motion, I had to pay my attorney another $1400 WHILE I have no job and my church is paying my bills.
CRAAAAAAZY but! I’m standing on God’s promises. I trust His word.
What about you?
Standing On God’s Promises
Life is a series of seasons,
With moments of sorrow followed by happy moments.
To question God we have many reasons,
Especially when facing some devastating disappointments.
Sometimes we question God’s very existence,
Or just His presence in our lives.
We may confront the idea of God’s goodness with resistance,
Especially when grief our daily emotions drives.
Our emotions are not a very reliable source of information.
How we feel changes often too randomly.
That’s why to confidently walk toward our destination,
We need to immerse ourselves in truth extendedly.
God’s promises are the only solid ground to stand on –
Everything else is unstable and temporary.
His Word is the truth for us to lean on,
So that our lives can be for His glory and extraordinary.
Dear #TruePrincesses! I’m Anna Szabo, the founder of Online Discipleship For Women. This Christian ministry was founded in 2017 when I was struggling with severely suicidal depression. God grew my faith and hope and asked me to share the Gospel with you.
My mission is to alleviate suicide among women by encouraging YOU to grow in faith and hope.
My vision is to help YOU create a joyful life by embracing God’s word.
My goal is to make the Gospel practical and applicable to YOUR daily experiences.
Share this message with a woman who needs it now.