What Do You Say When They Say No?

What Do You Say When They Say No?

Rejection. No one likes it. No one seeks it out. And yet it’s a fact of life. The answer isn’t always going to be yes, so the important thing is to figure out how you will deal with that two-letter disappointment.


Often, we get caught up in the anticipation of answers that could determine significant directions to our lives. You can pick your “they”. Whether it revolves around our careers, the option to move, financial issues, or even the relationships in our lives, our character shines through when we receive an answer we don’t want.

Think back to a situation when you received rejection. How did you feel? What did you do in response? Who did you turn to?


Flickr- KatLevPhoto

My reactions often flow like this:

Shock. Disbelief. Revisiting the exact conversation to see if I missed something. Anger. Hurt. Sorrow. Anger again. Sadness. Feeling unqualified or unworthy. Disappointed. Despondent.

Do you resonate with any of this? Some no’s aren’t as bad as others. The process will often change depending on the “level” of rejection, but a lot of these feelings tend to follow a disappointment.

 How we handle these emotions is the key.


I think back to David and the Psalms he wrote after a disappointment or during a difficult time…

 My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?…O my God, I cry by day, but You do not answer; and by night, but I have no rest. – Psalm 22:1-2

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye is wasted away from grief, my soul and my body also. – Psalm 31:10

Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation. – Psalm 42:5

My soul is among lions; I must lie among those who breathe forth fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows and their tongue a sharp sword. – Psalm 57:4

They are raw. Sometimes so much so, that you wonder if he was crossing a line. I’ve wondered: Can you really say that to God? But the overwhelming answer is YES!

What do we do when they (whoever your “they” is) say no? We say yes to God (a phrase I’m borrowing from my friend Jennifer). Sometimes the most beautiful things come from an answer we never expected. From an answer we never wanted.


Flickr- Leo Reynolds

Take these verses as a healing balm for your cracked and broken heart…

 But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand… – Psalm 31:14-15a

For He has delivered me from all trouble… – Psalm 54: 7a

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. – Psalm 55:22

But as for me, I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. – Psalm 71:14

Read that last part again…

 “[I] will praise You yet more and more”.


There’s a nugget we can hold on to. When we’re faced with rejection, we need to turn to the Lord, and to praise. I know that’s not easy, but I do believe it’s a choice. We can choose to wallow in the disappointment and hurt that follows having out hopes dashed, but we can also choose to focus our hearts on the only One who can truly heal us.

Take your anger to him. Take your hurt, your sadness, and any feelings of unworthiness straight to Him and be honest. Then, drink in the cool blessings of His word and be rejuvenated. Why? Because we know that He holds all plans in His hands. He will work things out for His good, and He will be near to the brokenhearted.

Plant in dried cracked mud

Flickr – Olearys

So, are you facing rejection? Have you gotten a “no” recently? Is your heart aching from pain—whether that’s from the past or the present? Don’t let it sit there. Don’t let it fester and root into bitterness. Instead, turn it over to God! Give Him the opportunity to grow praise from the dry ground of your hurt.

Emilie Hendryx About Emilie Hendryx

Emilie is a freelance writer, photographer, and graphic designer living in Northern California. She’s a member of ACFW and writes Young Adult fiction. In her spare time, you can find her designing fun bookish items for her Etsy and Society6 shops all while drinking too much coffee.
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  1. Connie Hendryx says:

    Deep thoughts….great thoughts….really made me think….thanks, Em!

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