There is a special pain that comes from rejection.
That feeling of believing something was for you, only to receive a declination notice.
The saddening, yet humbling, realization that you aren’t as invaluable as you thought you were.
For me, that pain was felt on Tuesday night when I received word that I did not receive the position that I had applied and interviewed for the day before. There I was, bachelors and masters degrees in hand, yet the one interview that I had been invited to in over a year ended in a big, fat NO. I felt broken and rejected; embracing the belief of “failure” just a little too much. I texted my circle to tell them the news (with my boyfriend calling me almost instantly) and then I cried to my ABBA. I had to be a failure. I am a Jane of All Trades, having become a master of none; my existence felt synonymous to failure.
I have been in ministry since January 2017 but it was just last year that I was finally able to stop comparing my journey to the journeys of others. I would see the life markers that others were experiencing and think of myself as more of a failure than words can truly describe. I’ll be 34 years old in September and some of my high school peers are married, divorced and remarried, parents, and a BIG deal in their respective career lanes. Yet I could barely will myself to stay at a company beyond a year. In comparison to them, I just knew I was a failure. I had to diligently and relentlessly seek God’s heart in order to truly accept that my path was not theirs and theirs was not mine. I had to cry tears of release and joy as I thought about God’s grace for allowing my life to occur the way it did. No, my life has not been perfect, but my God has been and He has never left my side through it all.
Yet there I stood in my bathroom Tuesday night crying and secretly shouting “FAILURE, FAILURE!” at my reflection in the mirror. I didn’t have to speak aloud because only God and my heart needed to hear my words. My head felt it so my heart needed to hear it. But then, God…
When I finally composed myself enough to finish brushing my teeth, I moved my pity party for one into my bedroom with my journal in hand. My entire journal entry for Tuesday is a lament of my failure… right up until the end. I felt led to open the Bible that sleeps on my bed with me and research what God says about failure. My gracious Abba led me to a scripture passage in the New Testament and then even sent a full Word with it (you have to wait until God releases me to preach that Word…). Having been fed with His Word, I felt complete.
Ninety minutes; by far the shortest amount of time that I’ve ever spent at a pity party.
During my therapy session with Seth Rogan (remember, that’s what I call my therapist since I can’t use his real name… and he reminds me of Seth Rogan) on Wednesday he challenged me to recall the time of year that I typically grow bored with my jobs/education. Before we even got off the phone I had my answer- summertime. Historically, it is during the months of June, July, and August that I grow tired of where I am or what I am doing and seek to find something new. Seth Rogan and I are still working to unlock the “why” behind all of this, but at least we know the “when” and with one question answered, I know God will answer the rest.
Therapy is now the time during my week when I get to discuss God with no bias. Seth Rogan is not a Christian counselor, but he is a counselor who is a Christian. Knowingly or unknowingly, he leads me back to God in all of our conversations. Unlike my pastors and my Christian framily, Seth Rogan does not know me and his only vested interest is helping me unlock answers for myself. No matter how much we think that we can separate our personal bias from the work that we do with those we know and love, there is always a bias residue that remains and I’m grateful to not have this as I work with my therapist.
Therapy is currently keeping me in tune enough with God to stay sane amidst surrounding insanity.
Close your eyes, Beloved. Picture the sun shining brightly in the sky, so brightly that your eyes are sensitive to its light. Now imagine that while your eyes are closed, seemingly blocking the sun’s rays, you feel cold rain drops falling on your bare shoulders. How would you feel in that moment? What would you think? Well, those were my thoughts when I rose on Wednesday morning. I was confused and hurt as I tried to think of what God could possibly be doing in my life. None of it made sense and I desperately needed everything to make sense. I needed to be able to understand what was happening so that I could try to solve it in some way.
There is no “I” in God, Abba, Father, Lord, or Jesus… yet, I kept trying to fill all of those roles as though vacancies existed and I was even remotely qualified.
To me, trying to navigate this life on my own is like rain on a sunny day- God’s pressing beauty is marred by the impatience of my desires. As I prepare to head off into whatever else God has planned for me, I challenge you, Dear Friend, to let God’s light shine- independent of your own heart- letting Him supply you with all that you need. For me, I just needed to be reminded that I am not a failure because I am a reflection of Him and He cannot fail. I needed to be reminded that God has purpose for my life and that it extends far beyond what I can see or think. I needed to be reminded that God’s Son still reigns, even through the rain on a sunny day.