About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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  1. Jennifer,
    Oh how I despise the “but”…or sometimes it comes in a “however…..”. No matter how it comes and no matter how sweet the rejecting words are, the rejection still stings. A writing friend of mine reminded me that for every “No thank you” I get, I’m getting that much closer to a “Yes.” I am so grateful that Jesus doesn’t make me go through a bunch of “No’s” in order to get to a “Yes”. In fact, we don’t even have to do the asking….He comes to us and says, “Will you be mine? You matter to me.” Our Savior gives us a “Yes,” a “thumbs up,” an obvious “I see you and you are relevant to me.” Whenever I feel rejected, overlooked, and unseen in this world of ours, I turn to the Truth in scripture and read what God says about me. In fact I keep an “Emergency Kit” of scripture (on colorful index cards) that I turn to when the world kicks me when I’m down. Some scriptures speak to doubt, worry, anxiety, loss, fear, but there are also ones that speak to my identity in Christ. When the world dishes out rejection and lies, we need to hold them up to God’s Truth and if they don’t match up, then the lies have to go….no “but’s” about it!
    Love you sweet friend and thanks for daring to be vulnerable,
    Bev xo

    • Bev,
      I love your friend’s words… with every “no” we get closer to the “yes.” Thank you for sharing these sweet words. I’m a writer too and I feel the sting of the “no’s”, but you are so right… These rejections are actually God’s way of pointing us to His BEST! And it always includes more of Him. 🙂

      Thanks, Sister!
      Becky

    • I love the idea of the Emergency Box of Scripture note cards; starting mine right now with some Verses from today’s story and comments. So relevant!

  2. I felt this post in the pit of my stomach, Jennifer. It’s so hard to just roll with rejection when it comes. Yesterday, I was reading about Jesus’s early ministry and the time he left behind a crowd of appreciative followers. He was not crowd -driven but purpose-driven, and I want that for my own ministry and mind-set. It’s so much more fun (dang it!) to write for or to speak to a big crowd, but I want to be faithful where God puts me. Thank you for your faithfulness, and for sharing your struggle here.

  3. I know this same feeling, feeling invisible. For well over a year now, I had taken a different role at work and definitely feels alone even among other coworkers. I feel as if I don’t belong or have anything in common with anyone. So my introvertness (not sure if that is even a word) pulls me back and I become more antisocial and quiet. It’s getting better or maybe I had become more comfortable keeping to myself. Who knows and I am trusting God that this is where I am meant to be at this time. No one can make me feel rejected as I am clearly worth it by the most high King of all, God. We must remember that no matter what happens or how rejected we may feel, God’s love for us is constant and true and He will never leave us feeling rejected. Thank you for sharing this message.

    • Hey there, Maylee. Thanks for sharing your struggle with us. Here’s hoping and praying that 2019 offers a more comfortable workspace for you, where you can feel fully free to be all that God made you to be. You’re absolutely right: No one gets to make you feel rejected when you know you belong to the King. xo

  4. Dealing with feeling invisible, always making myself available when called upon to the point of changing my plans. Recently takeout was ordered and it wasn’t until the food arrived that they realized they didn’t ask me even though I drove out of my way to help them. No matter how many times I speak out, ask for help, or do I feel like I am being used and not appreciated for it.
    I know that if I do what I do with a heart of service it is not a reflection of me when it is not received that way or reciprocated. BUT it still hurts.
    I press toward the mark for the prize…Phil 3:14.

    • Ouch. That would hurt. So sorry, Lynne. Asking God right now to give you a heart of courage to keep asking, keep letting other know you’re RIGHT THERE, and most of all, for God to continue to reveal His great love for you. He sees you.

  5. I find it so hard to not take rejection in a deep personal way, when I know I just need to move on to the next thing, another door that might open.

    And yes, I love that with Jesus I am always loved, always accepted, and that gives me joy and strength every day!

    • Good morning, Kathy. It is hard, isn’t it? Yet we know that — even in this rejection, ESPECIALLY in this rejected — Jesus, who himself was despised and rejected, gets us. He gets us deeply.

  6. Jennifer, your wonderful words remind me to thank you for YOU — and also for your beautiful book. Your publisher sent me a copy of “It’s All Under Control” when it was released. Promptly, it went in a stack of things to read — later. Reading your post today, however, prompted me to go find your book, hold it in my hands, look it over and, first, tell you thank you — but also to say job well done. Your book is like you — smart, insightful, encouraging, helpful, wise, and kind. It’s what countless women need right now.

    Then, regarding rejection and feeling unseen, as you share your writing gift with the world, I pray the Lord will widen your lens and show you more audiences to target. Sure, that popular podcaster said no. But, as writers, the Lord shows us His other audiences if we dare to look. Please know first, however, that you ARE seen. Moreover, you are beautiful. An exciting, brave servant of the living Lord. And you are making a difference in the world. I’ll close with this: a woman I don’t know wrote me a nice note at Christmas, saying “keep letting our God use you to bless the lives of others.” Jennifer, I printed out that email and pasted it on the wall next to my keyboard! It so sweetly affirmed to me that “I am seen” and I matter. Maybe not to a big podcaster. But I matter to that one woman and, thus, to Christ, and that counts for everything. So do you. Thank you SO MUCH for blessing us today! (And thank you for your latest book. It’s beautiful and wonderful!) Warmly with love, Patricia

    • Oh Patricia. This means so much to me. For years, I’ve respected and admired your work, and see you as such a vessel for God’s love in this world. I am so thankful for you, and for your wise advice.

      And thank you, also, for holding my book gently in your heart and hands. I am so humbled by this.

      God bless you, Patricia!

  7. Hi Jennifer. First of all (I know you know this) you are never ever invisible with Father God. Secondly, if it is any consolation, every post I read with your name on it, hits the bulls eye of my heart dead center. Every single time. Thank you for your honest, RELEVANT, messages straight from your heart to ours. Love you, Sister!

  8. Know what come to mind ladies as I read today’s reading. Never never forget this. No matter what you go through and even if you feel rejected. You are a Daughter of The KING. God will never reject You. He love you to much. That’s why he came to earth went on to cross. I say Amem to that. Xxx

  9. God Given Strategies
    Read Exodus 14.. God will make a way

    #1. Realize that God means for you to be where you are
    #2. Be more concerned for God’s glory than for your relief
    #3. Acknowledge your enemy, but keep your eyes on the Lord
    #4. PRAY
    #5. Stay calm & confident and give God time to work
    #6. When unsure, just take the next logical step by faith
    #7. Envision God’s enveloping presence
    #8. Trust God to deliver in His own unique way
    #9. Don’t forget to praise HIM

    When God has another plan, we don’t have to understand.

    The Joy of the Lord is your strength.. Nehemiah 8:10

  10. I can so relate to the photographer example because it mirrors my recent actions almost perfectly! I’m in still in the “recalculating” confusion, however your words pointing to scripture are a lamp to my feet. Thank you!

    • Recalucating confusion. I TOTALLY get that, Lynn. I’ve been there, too. It’s such a struggle to feel like you are stepping out in obedience, but not see fruit. I have so often found myself saying to God, “well, then, why are you having me go through all these steps? What’s the point???” I know that this is related to my desire for outcomes.

      This morning, I was reading in Haggai, which I honestly rarely read, I confess, but there I was, and these words jumped out at me from Haggai 2:19. “From this day on, I will bless you.” In this case, God didn’t wait for the people’s particular project to be completed to bless the people. He did it in those first few steps of obedience on their project. Which says to me that even if it feels like he isn’t blessing the work in the way we think he should, he blessing us in ways that far outweigh our perception of fruitfulness. I hope that makes sense. It’s my weird, from-the-gut ramblings. It spoke to me, though. xo

      • Thank you Jennifer. That’s exactly where I am at, including questioning the lack of fruit! Appreciate your words very much as your from-the-gut ramblings are a blessing to me!

  11. Thank you for this. I often feel invisible. You have reminded me that I am “seen” by the One who counts.

  12. Oh Jennifer!

    This. All of it. It’s like you are inside of my head this morning.

    I’m a writer, trying to find a publisher and “build my platform” and it’s a humbling, hard journey. Sometimes I look to God and think, REALLY?! You’ve called a girl who has struggled with her own self-worth to write a book and constantly put herself out there to be rejected?! I basically battle between trusting God to fulfill this dream and locking myself away in a closet. LOL.

    But I so appreciate your life-giving words. This story of the bleeding woman is near to my heart. I just wrote a devotional on her and her courage. And the way Jesus sees her and loves on her is incredible. It’s the same way He sees all of His Daughters, and that includes you and me. 🙂

    Everyday we matter. Every moment we are noticed. For all eternity, we are His.

    Thank you, Sister!
    Becky

    • Hi Becky,

      As an aspiring writer, I’m in the same boat. “Battling between trusting God to fulfill this dream and locking myself away in a closet” sounds familiar, but I would add that this pressure to act to build a platform has a tendency to steal the joy and purpose from my writing. I haven’t figured out how to balance it all yet, but there are a few things I know for sure: 1. God will put our words into the hands of those who need them. 2. We will not always be in on the secret of how or when that happens, or on what scale. 3. It may not look like what we thought, but it will always be good.

      Blessings to you and may doors open for those big dreams in 2019!

      Kerry

      • Kerry, thanks so much!! It’s encouraging to know you are not walking around in the boat alone. 🙂

        I LOVE your points and I completely agree. Building a platform can become this bizarre focus, and then I miss out on the beauty and joy that made me want to be a writer in the first place. Thanks for the sweet words. I needed them today. 🙂

        Dreaming with you,
        Becky

        P.S. I’m a blogger. Do you have a blog? I’d love to check it out… 🙂

  13. So much truth here. And honestly, knowing this feeling is universal helps me reach out with compassion to others, rather than waiting for the cool kids to reach it to me. Thank you for your helpful vulnerability. Again. Per usual.

    • Lisa, love this takeaway!

      Jennifer, love YOU, my friend. I just want to reach through this screen and hug you. You have a gifted way about pulling back the layers of pretense and giving us the real you, which is really a picture of the real of all of us.

      Oh, Jesus, thank you that you don’t let us go undiscovered. Help us to reach for your hem today. Amen.

  14. Wow! God used your struggle and feelings of rejection to write THIS article that touched me in a BIG way. Thank you.

  15. Jennifer, my Michael always says that the BUT (yes, ahem, the big but!) always negates what comes before. This was verified afresh in a book I was just reading. And his point to me is that we ourselves often “but” our way through life by withdrawing over disappointment, saying, “But Lord, my platform is invisible, my gifts don’t count, You can use others more, and You do!” So the but helps us to give up on whatever Jesus has called us to do. I’ve uttered that “but” to negate what I know He wants me to do, because I fear disappointment and what always follows: discouragement, depression, even despair. He wanted you to offer an interview, and you obeyed, no buts about it, despite the risk of rejection. He noticed your obedience, even if the lady didn’t. He always notices our obedience. For me, I think, sometimes I have had different outcomes in mind for what my obedience will yield. I wrote a book (my passion book) out of love and obedience to the Lord, and love for the women I’d hoped He’d reach, and it didn’t sell well, and then, despite my willingness to promote it and do whatever, in my own small way I could (before the days of the Internet), to ensure its success, He told me to let it all go. “BUT, Lord, that makes no sense! How will women read Your message for them–the one You’ve given me to share–if they don’t know about the book, that it even exists?” A dear friend (now deceased) and well-known Christian author, Anne Ortlund, told me, “Lynn, you obeyed the Lord and wrote the book for Him. Now plant it on the backside of the desert for Him alone.” Tough counsel, accepted through many tears. I know I’m rambling here, Jennifer, but I realized what she was saying is what you are, that Jesus noticed and that matters a great deal, just as I matter (and you!) to Him. He always notices His beloved. He always notices our obedience. And one comes to a place of deep acceptance and trust that that is ultimately for what we are searching and Whom we are seeking to please. He notices our obedience, our risks, our sacrifices for Him. And I don’t think anything that you do for Him will be ignored or wasted on the other side of that “but”! Perhaps our expectations are momentarily disappointed, but (ahem!) I have found that many times, He has been working behind the scenes, and that what seemed like rejection at the time, was not His plan. His plans are better, and many times, and often, He is planting seeds to bring to harvest later. Even now, on occasion, quite out of the blue, I will hear from some reader who was blessed by my book. Another example on timing of the harvest of our noticing God: Two years ago, I was obedient to share about my abortion publicly in church (I had never done that before to the entire congregation). Long story, but it made no sense to me because of the four-minute time frame I was given to share such a deep, painful story. I was also given only three days to pray about whether God was leading me to do it. None of it made sense. But I knew God wanted me to say yes. I obeyed. Days later a woman approached me who’d heard my testimony, having just discovered her family member was planning an abortion, and she wanted me to pray and to send the video of my testimony. Surely I thought this was why God had led me to speak! BUT, the young woman went through with the abortion. She had rejected my testimony. I felt liked I’d failed, totally inadequate, that my testimony was not good enough. BUT God had noticed. And two years later, I have learned that another woman noticed; she shared the testimony very recently with a young family member bent on abortion. BUT this girl (after hundreds of people prayed and she and her mother saw the video) has chosen to keep her baby. The baby is due on my birthday. How I praise God for His leading, His timing, His noticing. I believe He had noticed that young girl two years ago, knowing she would find herself “with child,” unmarried, and He had a plan of which I was unaware. I’m rambling again. Sorry. I hope this is making sense to you. I’m so glad you obeyed, Jennifer. God noticed, and He has given you an important message to share today, despite your initial disappointment. God noticed, and He is already reaping a harvest from that so-called rejection, right here, to hundreds of thousands of women who are reading your post today!!! Sweetest Jennifer, you are helping women to reach for Jesus’ hem, and as a result, they are reaching for His heart. He notices them, He loves them, and He will meet them (and you and I) where we are, and give us what we really most desperately want and need–to be seen and loved by Him, alone!! I love you. Keep on reaching out in obedience!
    Lynn

  16. Add me to the legion of writers who dream of publication, but who have nothing but stacks of rejection. My writing friends are now starting to land those coveted contracts, and I try so hard to be happy for them, but there’s always part of me that wonders, hey, how come You’re blessing them, but not me? So right now I’m feeling unseen even by God Himself. Anyway, thank you for letting me know I’m not alone.

  17. Jennifer, yes! And ugh, the fear of insignificance is a beast. But without those times of invisibility, I wouldn’t know how good it feels to be seen by Him, how good it feels to know He’s looking at the true me, the inside me, the me that matters. Thanks for the reminder today!

    And keep trusting and obeying 🙂

  18. Jennifer,

    Rejection hurts deeply. You feel like no one likes or wants you/what you have to offer. It can leave us feeling unseen, unloved & unwanted. This world cries out for big platforms & being seen/heard/liked by millions. That is not how God operates. God has special plans for each of us. We just need to obey Him. Sure we want the book contract, job offer, podcast, etc. That may not be in God’s plan for us. Also we need to be aware of His timing. He may ask us to do something & all we are required to do is be obedient. We plant the seed & He will do the reaping in His perfect timing. I know this well. Back in 2016 I decided to go back into the work force part-time. Almost immediately God gave me a good job close to home. Fast forward 2+ years-I received a separation notice this week due to lack of work. Once again I find myself unemployed. Now I am able to go back full-time if it is God’s will. We must remember that we are never left alone, unseen or unwanted. God sees & loves us immeasurably. So don’t take the rejection to heart. Talk to God about it & tell Him how you feel. He understands for He Himself was rejected by His own. Take heart we are not alone!!

    Blessings 🙂

  19. Thank you so much. I pray for my girls every day that they would be confident in God’s love, treat others well, and spend time pursuing Him. I so appreciate your ministry that speaks to these goals. Focusing on those things has helped me focus less on failed things I really hoped for and more on how God sees me, which is so freeing. Especially to know He knows the big picture and our hearts. Thanks!

  20. Jennifer,
    I’m reading this a day late but just wanted to thank you for so graciously putting this into words. I’m sorry you went through that I understand that feeling of what sounds like, “You are not good enough,” but then sometimes those rejections lead us to other God intended things.
    Blessings to all,
    Penny

  21. Ohhh this is exactly what I needed to hear!! This morning I was thinking to myself, when will I stop feeling rejected? Other people don’t get rejected like I seem to do.. how wrong I was!! And now to read this! Thank you so much Jennifer! I keep remembering that my value is never placed in any person’s hands.. only His. And sitting in his presence daily and worshipping him in song truly centres me in his love and strengthens me as I declare truth over my soul. It really helps. Bless you all here! <3

  22. Dear Jennifer, thank you so much for sharing this with us.. As a fellow author, I can empathize whole-heartedly . When I was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy(RSD), followed by the drastic changes RSD brought to my life-I felt rejected by my own body. Thank you for reminding me that I am fully known, fully loved, and fully relevant by and to Jesus. You and your inspiring words are a blessing. <3

  23. JDL, this is so good. Thank you for your transparency and courage to share this. I needed to hear it today. (Well, let’s be real, I need to hear it almost every day!) xoxo

  24. A particularly hurtful rejection occurred in my life a number of years ago. Several mornings after the initial shock, my Bible study at the time included John 13:7: “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” God reassured me that even the rejections in life fulfill a purpose. I may not be able to perceive it now, but one day I will. Praise God for his compassionate reassurance!

  25. Thank you so much for this article – I feel as though its been a life long struggle no matter where I am in life. In light of your article I would like to pose a question which I hope will be answered somehow since its been quite an issue with a lot of my own friendships. I find myself pouring into people and friendships, always the one to ask how the other p[erson is, and care for them in some way or the other. Even in long-distance friendships overseas, I always seem to be the first to ask, and in one case, I am the only one to inquire as to how my friend is doing. I long for her to ask how I am , in the midst of difficulties at present, and though she and I are very close and share a deep friendship, and although I know she cares, she never seems to ask me how I am. I don’t mean to be selfish and have come a long way in trying not to be self-focused, but as everything in friendship should be two-sided, it hurts that she does not seem to care to ask about my wellbeing or recipricoate my verbal concern for her. How can I see this differently and work through this with her? Blessings!