I received an email the other day from a legal department I wanted to work for so bad I thought my heart would rip apart. This particular email only added to the growing list of rejection letters stating that “while the choices were difficult, we decided to go with another candidate”. Nothing makes you feel lower than a “thanks, but no thanks” kind of email to kick off your Monday morning.
This job, sans explicit details, felt like the perfect path to start working towards my dream career. I would have been working with the particular group of people I want to work with while gaining a deep level of understanding to help bring justice to people who had been victimized. This is what God has called me to do. This was right. The interview had gone wonderfully. I got along with the interviewers extremely well, we were synchronized and excited the whole time. Even in my limited interviewing experience, it felt so, completely right. I left the interview practically floating on cloud nine, thanking God the whole drive home for putting this job in my path and for helping me nail the interview (pride comes before the fall). I was told to wait two weeks to hear back from them regarding their decisions, one way or the other. For two weeks, I balanced on the tipping point of crazed excitement and impatient insanity. I just knew God would not have put this opportunity in my path if it wasn’t mine for the taking. I mean how many other people would have been called to this career path the way I had been? (I really hope at this point in the post you are reading this with the heavy sarcasm I am trying to emphasize. The irony and truth of it all still stings though.)
After two and a half weeks had passed, my hopes waned and my enthusiasm found itself barely living. I went to the opposite of extreme excitement and found myself anxious, frustrated and somewhat angry. I was supposed to do this…duh…so why would God be making me wait so long?
Three and a half weeks after the interview, I received “the email”. The one that totally takes your breath out of your lungs, puts knots in your stomach, and causes your eyes to brim with tears you refuse to spill. I didn’t get the position. I was dumbfounded, I stormed around the house for about an hour getting mad at everything, finding myself wrapped up and overthinking every answer I gave them in the interview, wondering what I had done so horribly wrong to cause them to say no to me. After the storming came the anger at the person who had received what I had wanted so badly. God called ME to this, not them, ME! I remember that deep stirring in my heart when God began to orchestrate things so powerfully that he redirected everything I thought I was supposed to do into what He wanted me to do. At least I thought I had heard Him when He told me to follow this career path. God is not a God of confusion or chaos, but here I was grasping at straws completely baffled. After about a week of pure frustration, I gave up. I was tired of being a brat to God. I was just tired of not knowing why it had not worked out.
Scrolling through Facebook last night, I came across a video that literally had nothing to do with what I was going through, but God used it to speak right to the anger, frustration and hurt. “I didn’t call you to that job, because I called them.” In the midst of my pride and the fall that ensued, I had completely become wrapped up in myself and my wounded ego. I had never, for one second, stopped to think that maybe God hadn’t put me in that position because I wasn’t the right fit. I was qualified on paper, but God saw something I hadn’t. Someone else in the picture besides myself. After God dropped the mic on my selfish attitude, my perspective on the matter changed. I was no longer offended. I prayed for that person that had been offered that position, that they would do the job better than I could have ever imagined. I prayed that they would see that group of people like God wants them to be seen. I prayed that their heart would not grow weary and they would fight everyday for justice. And I prayed that if they didn’t know God, that they would find Him moving in their lives in unbelievable ways.
Every email I have received since then, denying me an offer of employment, I have humbled myself before God, setting aside the hurt and confusion and asked for the person who had been placed in that position to pursue it more passionately than I could have. Because God calls each of us to things in our lives that will not only better ourselves but further His Kingdom as well. I hope that you will see as well, that when God shuts a door on us, He isn’t shutting a door in His Kingdom. He is using someone else to further it and grow it exponentially just as He will use us to grow His Kingdom in ways only we can. Until then wait, pray and humble yourself.