Finding Joy in a Season of Rejection
You know when you’ve been anxiously waiting to hear back if you’ve been accepted/chosen/hired for something and the email/letter finally comes and the first line doesn’t say “congratulations!” .... Yeah, me too.
Inadequate, flawed, unwanted, and insufficient is how we are often led to feel when we are turned down from something. This season for me has felt like a season full of “no’s” in which I’ve been turned away from jobs, cut at an audition, and didn’t land a leadership position that I wanted. Needless to say, it’s been a time of growth and reflection.
When rejection had come in the past, I’d usually just brush it off, so that’s what I tried to do this year. But in a time of “no’s” coming one after the other, I realized it did actually bother me that I kept being told I wasn’t wanted. It left me wondering about my identity; if I’m being told I’m not enough for all of these positions that I thought I was good at, then who am I really crediting myself to be? Do I no longer have the justification to call myself a good dancer, singer, leader, photographer, worker, etc.?
It was hard for me to understand why I wasn’t chosen for some of these positions that I felt like I worked hard for and thought I was qualified for, and I may never know why. But I’ve been working to find comfort in the fact that, for some reason, God closed those doors for me- sometimes even slammed them shut. After I realized that, I was able to find bits of joy in the wonders of God’s closed doors. For instance, I am able to delight in the opportunity that God needs me in the summer job I have, instead of the one I originally wanted. He placed me there, and He has a plan for me there. For some reason, He is speaking “not there” and “not yet” into plans that I had made for myself, and I have to be okay with that.
A few years ago, when I was going through a tough time with rejection, these words came into my head: “I know I will be okay because my identity is not found in humans, but in Christ”. I repeat this phrase to myself in times when I lose sight of my true identity in the context of this busy world because it all comes down to the fact that I am a child of God, and in Him I am enough. I praise God for giving me this truth so that I can stand strong in times of uncertainty.
God equips us. I can’t give people the control to determine my abilities because my gifts come from the Lord and I will pursue them and use them for His glory. This year I didn’t get a leadership position I went through multiple interviews for, but I’m leading a small group this summer. I was rejected from a photography internship I wanted, but I’m booking my own shoots. I didn’t make it at a dance audition I thought I would land, but I am continuing to take challenging classes and follow my passions. I’ve been told I’m not a good singer, but I will worship the Lord with the voice He has given me.
All this is to say, people on Earth can’t define us and tell us who we are. Only God can, and he tells me I am enough, I am equipped, I am wanted, and He will provide. I’m only beginning to learn that when the world tries to tell me I’m not good enough, God is chasing after me, choosing me, and pushing me to follow my passions anyway. He is relentless for us, so we must be relentless in what we are called to do.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2
Sarah Crawford // @sarahcrawford12