About the Author

Hi, I'm Ruth. I'm a nurse, married with two children and once upon a time I was a teen mum too. I love notebooks, music and buttery toast, but spiders make me cry.

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  1. You are so right Ruth! I can relate to your experience. It takes emence courage to keep your heart open for the possibility of new friendships. Thank you for sharing your vulnerable and seeking heart with us.

    • It really does take a lot of courage, doesn’t it? And it seems we have to keep making that choice to open our hearts, on an ongoing basis.

  2. A wave of pain solidifying into bitterness… Yes I relate. Learning that God doesn’t call me to hide behind the pain of past or current rejections. That risk of rejection is real but also knowing that stepping out can lead to a beautiful friendship that makes the risk so worthwhile! I love your words thank you for sharing! Going to work on that be bold and reaching out thing.

    • You’re so right, it is totally worthwhile! True friendship is worth its weight in gold. And I’ll be working on reaching out, right along with you

  3. Well done Ruth-so proud of you. So pleased you have once more taken up your writing gift. Watch now for what God will achieve through you.

  4. Ruth, thank you so much for your beautifully honest writing. I too find it easier to make myself feel safe behind self built walls following past rejections and hurts. God recently reminded me that I am only truly safe when I am with Him. He won’t force His way into my self built castle, but He offers to be my stronghold. I can only live in one castle at a time. It’s time to move. To move from the walls built up over 50 long years, that I now see stifle me, to the stronghold of life, light, relationship, love. Do you know, moving feels scary but I think it may be my dream house!

    • Ruth, thank you for your transparency and beautiful words. Keep writing. Your words are making a difference in the lives of many!

      My WORD since September and on into 2014 is COURAGE! It takes courage to get back up after rejection. I recently was rejected by one of my close girlfriends when I felt God calling me to a new church. It’s been difficult. Like Ruth above, I’ve built many walls in hopes of protecting myself from pain, but those walls are actually keeping me from being who God has called me to be. Kind, even when others aren’t kind to me. Love, even when others don’t love me in return. Thanks for the reminder not to give up. God has a plan and he is working. My faith is in Him and my future is bright when I trust in Him.

    • Ruth, (great name by the way!) I love your analogy! I’d definitely rather have God for a stronghold than stay put in draughty castle, safe though it may feel!

      • Hi Shelley, I love your perspective and courage is such a fantastic word for the year! I think we’ve all been there at some point, feeling rejected. It certainly does take a lot of strength and trust to open up again.

  5. Hi Ruth, you describe me so perfectly in this post. I am an introvert with a lifetime of rejection behind me, insecure, untrusting and yet desperate to reach out and make friends. This is one of the things that I want to work on this year, making and building friendships. It is SOOO hard for me but thanks for the encouraging post

    • Isn’t it just the most difficult thing, when you long to reach out but you’re not quite sure how to or you’re too afraid? I know that so well and I really wrote this post not as someone who has figured it out, but as someone who is just trying hard to keep working on it. In it together! I pray that this year you see your friendships strengthen and grow

  6. Such beautiful, bittersweet words. Thank you so much for sharing your story and being authentic. The title got my attention right away and the way you spoke about insecurities and the longing to connect made me reflect on the moments in my life that I’ve also walked with those emotions as my companions.
    My word for the year is embrace. I couldn’t help thinking that embracing requires embracing not only the lovely but also the painful. Because by holding the painful and letting it sit God can sometimes stretch us in the most beautiful ways.
    Blessings to you~

  7. Thank you for this timely post. I was just feeling this wave of pain, yesterday! For a fleeting moment, I believed that my worth was somehow tied in with how people acted or responded toward me, and for a moment, I allowed that belief to paralyse me and keep me from pressing on in love and grace. But then I remembered one big thing: the value of my worth or the importance of my person are not always going to be reflected in the way people act toward me, but calculated already by God. Resting in this truth freed me to open my heart regardless of how others received me, to pour out grace and love, regardless of whether or not it was returned to me. And in all that freedom I can find courage to reach out and build those foundations of friendship. Thank you for the reminder and the gentle push to get back up again 🙂

    • It is so very easy to forget where our worth lies, isn’t it?! It’s a lesson I’m still learning, to rest in that knowledge. And it certainly makes all the difference, when it comes to building friendships

  8. Ruth, thank you for your transparency. It is such a good reminder that we are not alone at trying to navigate community and that we all don’t do it well all of the time. At first I thought, whew, I am not alone in feeling overlooked….but then God softened my heart and I thought…there must be more of us who feel overlooked and since I know what it feels like what can I do to look for those. I loved how you went out of your comfort zone to talk to others. And what a great reminder that every friendship starts somewhere!

    • Oh I think there are so many who feel overlooked – maybe all of us at some point or another. I love that you want to actively seek out those who might be feeling that same way – how very amazing would our communities be if we all did the same!

  9. I was only ever lonely when I bowled cos all I ever did was bowl and nothing else.
    People don’t turn up on engagements sometimes. Cos, something better came up. Not to worry. It’s just a get together. Today might not be the right day and the person might not be the right person. There will always be someone else. Look who’s talking. I’m always with my husband. Ever busy just hanging out with him.
    I’ve been rejected, stood up, spoken to badly. Thrown out of the place. Sometimes I wish I could forget these people and their heartlessness and then by God’s grace I forget and for a long time the memories of their horridness is gone from me. Then, in the unexpected moment, I’m reminded once again of their lack of love for me, a person. A human being.
    We live in a hard world but thank the LORD and praise HIS HOLY Name, HE is a just God and righteous and we can always depend on HIM for constant conversation.
    Walls. I’m good at building walls.

    • I guess we all get pretty good at building walls when we’ve experienced a lot of hurt. I’m so sorry that you’ve been treated unkindly. People certainly do let us down at times, but you’re so right – our God is dependable and He loves us absolutely. Keep reaching out, Karyn and thank you for taking the time to comment today.

  10. I can so relate to this post, thank you for the encouraging words. Reaching out has been brought to my attention several times the past few weeks- I have never done the pick a word thing, but maybe this should be my focus for 2014: reaching out! We get what we give so why not reach out beyond myself and sow seeds of His love in the lives of others? A year of exploring the millions of ways this could be done would be a good year!

    • Reaching out would be a great focus! It would be interesting to hear how this impacts your year! I’m joining in with choosing one word for the first time too this year and already it has made a tremendous difference, just two days in!

  11. Ruth. Thank you for your open Heart. I also face this & have for over 2 years since my Mom passed & my accident. It’s not easy when you get older & then there’s distance with family (relationships) changed after Mom passed. Lost a lot church, friends & distant family members. I thank God for (in) courage you have been my life line for communication & friendship. It’s good you have kids to help you stay connected with others keep reaching out. Blessings~Carol

    • The online community is so precious isn’t it? It sounds like you have been through a truly difficult time – I’m so glad that you have found support and friendship here.

  12. To tear down a wall, brick by brick, is very scarey. Trusting God to help you brick by brick is where true healing begins!! Thank you for such wonderful words!!

  13. Tjis is me too Ruth! I am so trying to break down those walls, but when I get hurt again they are built once more. Would love to be your friend. I just moved here almost a year ago and am sooo looking forward to meeting that close best friend mom. My kids and I go to the park often and talk with other parents, but I would love to have a really good friend. Where do you live? I am in California near the east bay. Thank you for such a beautiful post. I wish you were my closest friend. We sound similar. Xoxo

    • Oh Elizabeth, I wish we lived closer! I’m over in the UK. It’s hard to move beyond that small talk in the park to real friendship. I pray that you find that person and know that in the waiting time, it is no reflection on you as a person. I think God does a lot of work in us in these situations xx

  14. To tear down a wall, brick by brick, is very scarey. Trusting God to help you brick by brick is where true healing begins!! Rejection hurts my heart in ways that can scar. But to trust God for the healing while removing those bricks is what we must do. Thank you for your openness, I can certainly relate. ~Vonda

  15. Thank you, Ruth, for holding the mirror up. I see that I am truly lonely. I’m overwhelmed at where to begin to find friends. You are absolutely right…start by talking to people without the expectation that they will become acquaintances or friends, let alone life-long friends. I am weary of always being there for others and feel like I get nothing in return but I know that this is my calling. I firmly believe that God will place people in my life who will support me in areas HE knows I need help with. I may not recognize it at the time. My only job is to open the door…something I fail at miserably. But, I rest in HIM knowing HE is my strength, my protector, my redeemer! We can do this. 2014 will be the year of great friendships!

    • It’s a lonely place to be and it takes such a lot of courage to keep giving. But yes, let’s keep giving, let’s keep on reaching out this year and see friendships form and take root and blossom!

  16. Sweet beautiful and vulnerable. Thanks for that, I’m pretty sure we’d be fast friends if we met in person.
    Thanks for the encouragement.

  17. Being brave…. reaching out being vulnerable… not easy to do again, when I keep getting hurt, even if it is unintentional. I feel so hurt by so many things in life lately, yet I know I need to keep reaching to God and to others. I am trying, but it is so hard sometimes.

    • I’m sorry that you’ve been hurt, Katie. I pray that can know how precious you are and how loved. And I pray you can feel able to allow others close again. It is just unbelievably tough at times, isn’t it? Such a journey and a daily process, to keep making that choice to keep reaching out.

  18. I see a lot of myself in the words you wrote, Ruth. Thank you for opening up and saying what so many of us feel so often. My One Word for 2014 is BRAVE, and your post is so encouraging.

  19. It’s the easiest way of hiding myself behind high walls when I’m hurt. And I’m hurt a lot actually. Need to say to me that God didn’t want me to see desperate and hiding. It’sr really hard but that’s not what we are made for.
    God didn’t gave us a spirit of fear but of courage to stand every small and every great storm with Him.
    Thanks for reminding me!
    Rosie

  20. I feel this every day at my job. I love what I do and I love my company, but I am so often excluded from lunch or other things. I try to stay friendly and motivated. I tell myself that work is work and I keep myself occupied with other outside activities, but it still hurts and is painful. I keep moving forward and try to never do that to anyone. Thank you for the post.

    • Oh I’ve been there, Laura and it hurts. It’s so difficult not to take it to heart. I know I do, too often. I love that you’re taking your experience of feeling this way and ensuring that you don’t inflict the same hurt on someone else. Keep going, Laura!

  21. Thanks so much for sharing, Ruth. Rejection runs deep. I’m so sorry for the pain of it in your life. I know how much it can hurt and how much it affects us throughout life. Walls seem so much easier to build than taking the risk to be hurt again, and it takes so much courage to step out of it. I wish you the very best!

  22. Oh, girl, this post brought tears to my eyes too…I can so relate to what you shared and I needed encouragement to keep reaching out today. Thank you for so beautifully sharing your heart here.

    • Oh Holley, I’m sorry that you could relate, but I’m so pleased you found encouragement here. It seems so many of us have been through or are going through this same hurt. Deep breath and take down walls!

  23. Why ? Why do we act that way. Thinking about your post….is hard. I am an introvert. I have had to accept that there is nothing wrong with getting my energy from within and not from people. But, I have to take those steps..because what seems to be oblivious to me there are more of us out there not reaching than reaching. Why am I still letting silly kid let downs still affect how I interact with people? Maybe, just maybe if I open myself to those first words…that first invite to coffee…maybe I am healing that fellow girl that has been rejected. Instead of waiting for someone else to make the move.

    • It becomes so terrifying to even make that first move sometime, doesn’t it? But maybe like you say, it is really is healing to start making connections again and to be bold enough to be the one to do the inviting!

  24. Ruth, Thank you for this post. I’ve heard God calling me to come out from behind the walls I’ve built and was afraid to try. I know it leads to freedom and He can strengthen me as I trust him. Thanks to everyone for sharing your experiences, it gives me hope to know that I’m not the only one struggling with this.

  25. Yes….it is difficult and Yes…the words “you’re just not worth it” creep in…YES.
    But God has called us to to fellowship. Hard as that is for some of us. He has called
    us to love others, to bring them alongside of us on our journey to Him.
    We must. Move. Talk. Invite. Share.
    “Love like you’ll never get hurt”.
    He knows.

  26. I’m so thrilled. I thought all you wonderful incourage writers lived across the pond. I too am in the U.K. living in London and loving the encouragement Incourage is.
    Thank you too for responding to what I posted before. Yes! We share a beautiful name! X

  27. your words were timely…thank you! I struggle often with relationships…people are interesting creatures…I’m finding that my one and only true best friend is Jesus…yes, I desire a close friend, but believe God is teaching me that His Son is the only Person who will be forever faithful and who loves me in spite of myself…I hurt, but He is my comfort and a Friend who will never leave or forsake me…I have to remind myself of this often!

  28. Thank you for courageously posting about an all-too-common issue in our neighborhoods and churches. Community is exactly what we need and if we are courageous enough to be transparent about our need, we will find others need us just as much as we need them! Well written!

  29. Its nice to feel a connection through all these posts. We’re not alone in these experiences and can draw courage to take the risk of being vulnerable once more evn when we’ve been hurt. Thank you Ruth and Thank you all my Sisters in Christ for openning up and sharing. May his love always guide us.

  30. Oh my so close to home this post. Sometimes I think I should be past this now but I recently had the same experience. Kept saying to myself, am I not good enough? But if they rejected Him, why would I ever think it would not happen to me? And by staying in the pitiful state of mind, doesn’t that make me more likely to fall short of what I am here for? Those feelings disable me and I want to recognize that. The enemy wants me to dwell there but I want to be strong enough to tell him to take a hike, buzz off, adios! 🙂 thank you, Ruth for sharing what has touched so many. God bless.

  31. Thank you so much for this. I have struggled with these walls for so long. I have recently started taking them down, brick by brick, but if anything ever goes wrong it is so easy to rebuild them quickly. Like many other people pointed out, these walls keep me from living the Iife God wants me to live. Rejection like this brings its luggage, self-doubt, fear, and insecurity, and I have to really fight to keep them from moving in.

  32. I just read this post and it describes me to a T. I have felt so unworthy and just not worth it for most of my life and still struggle with it. I so want to have friends and even at my age, I really don’t. It is hard to keep opening up my heart.

  33. Ruth,

    Great poetic writing! People tend to build walls to “protect themselves” from rejection. We as Christians need to be more open & loving toward one another. Get courageous and talk to people at church. Show a little love & care for others & you might end up with a close friend.

    Thanks for a wonderful post! Have a blessed year! 🙂

  34. Hum – hum! That’s all I can say! The memories run wild. I recall the silent phone and no answer at all. Today, I keep questioning myself should I can again. To the simple no I can’t of the other friend with excuses to any request. Good elaborated excuses. Good founded replies. Another elegant way to say no. “It’s a book reading club not a Bible group.” I keep reaching out, trying to laid foundation. Bless you., sweet Ruth; bless Us.

  35. Ouch! So sorry for the rejection you described…Thank you for your tender post! I pray that you will have great success with the reaching out you are doing.

    For me…I just don’t have the strength…I’m not an introvert…I actually kind of like people! But, it seems that I wear a sign that tells people: “Be as blunt as you can and tell me how little you think of me!” I’m just tired! And people are just busy! And there are millions of really important people for others to be really busy with. and while it would be nice to have a friend, I feel the need for caution…a way to guard my heart from destruction.

    I’m trying to listen to God…to hear what He has for me…maybe a friend or maybe a season to just listen to Him and not seek out other voices…I don’t really know…I just know that I need a break from the rejections.

  36. Wow does this one hit close to home! I’ve built up WAY too many walls for too long now that it is beyond terrifying to be brave and trip over my words to reach out to another live human being. Bravery is something I’m learning a little bit more about every day. Thanks for this post. It breathed a bit more courage into my terrified being. 🙂

  37. This is how I feel so often! I need more bravery instead of crawling in my shell to hide. I’m learning, but sometimes it hurts. Thanks for the encouragement and letting us know we are not alone in our thoughts!

  38. Ruth,
    I recently found your blog through an acquaintance via FB. Your words resonated with me, I pushed myself last year and made a great friend, however I felt rejected by another. But I want to keep trying and overcome fear and my own shyness. Thanks for the encouraging words!

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