Two sweet-looking little girls, about four years old, are running along beside a playground, ponytails bobbing in the sunlight. They are clasping hands, a symbol of their friendship. Tagging along right behind them is another little girl, whose longing to join the duo is clear. She catches up to them, grabbing the free hand of one girl, who quickly shakes it off.

Instantly the two children turn on the third, one glaring furiously, the other making a nasty face. Neither says a word, but their message is clear, their rejection of the third child painfully obvious.

The two children turn on the third, glaring furiously

Bewildered, she stares at them, shocked by their cruel rebuff, uncomprehending sadness in her brown eyes. The two girls scamper off, still clutching each other’s hands, their smug silence louder than any scalding words they might have tossed at her.

Looking at the child’s dejected little face, I share her hurt. Though it happened decades ago, I still vividly remember the pain of rejection by my mean classmates, like a shard of glass in my heart.

Part of me wants to scoop up this little child and gently wipe away her painful tears.

“Those girls have a lot to learn about kindness,” I want to tell her. “They don’t appreciate how sweet you are. Soon you’ll find some real friends, much nicer girls than those.”

I realize this is just her first taste of the bitterness of rejection. Unfortunately, as she grows through her life’s journey, she will have to face many other painful moments of rejection.

When she sits there, anxiously waiting, and isn’t chosen for the softball team after all.

When she tries out for, but doesn’t get, a part in the school play, while her less-talented classmate is given a starring role.

When she receives a brief, polite letter from the college she was longing to attend, disappointingly turning her down.

Later, when the hoped-for engagement doesn't happen after all, though the two of them had so much in common and communicated so well, and she felt sure this time that he was the one. Her bubble of happiness bursting in her face, she is left devastated.

The job interview that went so smoothly—she handled the challenging questions easily, possessing all the required knowledge and experience—but in the end, she doesn’t get the position she knew would have been ideal for her career.

Yes, little girl, I can relate all too well. Like all writers, I have to face rejection on a regular basis, each time the story or I can relate all too wellarticle in which I invested so much time and effort turns out to be “not suitable” for the publication’s current needs. Yet I have come to realize over the years that achievement and acceptance are hard work, acknowledging there is more work to do before we are as polished as we need to be. I’ve become realistic that more learning and experience are often needed.

Rejection, though often painful, is a part of life, and we need to find a way to recoup and try again. Of course, it’s completely normal to feel upset after a disappointment. However, if you permit yourself to feel frustrated for too long, then you risk negatively affecting future events. You should view this experience as an opportunity to learn and approach the future with more resilience.

Sometimes you realize later on that the situation actually turned out to be for the best.

I recall a saying I once read: “After a rejection, you could get bitter. Or you could get better.”

Sweet little girl, still standing there in dazed puzzlement, what can I say to you now to comfort you?

You must remember there is Someone who will never reject you, no matter what happens. Your Father in heaven will never turn you away, and you can turn to Him always.

As King David, personally familiar with the bitterness of rejection, says in Psalms: “For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but G‑d gathers me in.”

May He always watch over you, little girl, as you set forth on your own journey through life, with all of the challenges that lie in store.