Bloggers Note: Rejection is a part of life. Our success is determined by how we deal with it. Too often, we take the closed doors are a sign that we are a failure. I did this for years, but over time I discovered the path God had laid out for me. I hope you enjoy this post, and remember we have a calling, we just have to follow it.
A few years I ago, I traveled from Louisville, Ky to a town near Augusta to interview for a youth pastor position at a church. Our last church had just closed the doors for good, and I saw this as an opportunity for service. After the interview, the pastor told me that it was a no. My wife and I were crushed because we saw this as the place we needed to be. After I returned home, I heard about a book on the news called Other Peoples Rejection Letters edited by Bill Shapiro. Bill Shapiro had been collected letters from people for the last few years showing the way people have been rejected through out the years. One letter was to Picasso from an art museum saying his art would not fit in with the collection. There was a letter written to a woman who had applied to illustrate with Disney, and they turned her down because she was a woman. The letter actually said, “we do not hire female artists.” The book is also filled with break up letters, and even a letter from child telling his mother he is moving on.
It actually took me a few months to get over this rejection. When I was told no at the time, I was crushed and had no clue for what God wanted for me. It took me a few months to get over the rejection, and I would like to say it took me only a few months before I ended up where God wanted me. It took me almost a year and half of prayer and searching to find the place where God wanted me. I had been looking in all the wrong places to find out where I was called to be. I looked for another ministry position for a while, and I even searched for a banking promotion because that was where I was working at the time. Nothing worked out, and in fact I continued to get rejected.
I woke up at about 4:00 am one morning. I couldn’t sleep. The only thing on my mind was how I was not where God wanted me to be. I got up, and started to read His Word and prayer. I believe I was praying through Psalms 25, and my phone went off with an email at about 4:30 (I usually have my phone on silence, but I had forgot to cut it off). I read it, and it was an email from Careerbuilder about becoming a teacher. After I read the email, I thought to myself, this is it. I thought about it, and prayer about that day. Later that evening, I submitted my application, and was invited to interview in North Carolina. After the interview, I doubted I had a chance because their must have been a couple hundred people at this place, and I have to pass the Praxis II to even be considered. When I signed up to take the test, I did not know if it was going to be worth it or not. I signed up anyways, paid the $70, and I started to study for hours every night. A month and half later, I passed my Praxis (by the grace of God because that test was tough), and I was planning to move the family to Charlotte, NC.
Looking back, the youth pastor position was not where God wanted me to be. I thought it was where He wanted me to be because it fit perfectly with the vision I had for myself. I wanted that position for me, not for Him. It is always easier to look back, and see how God has lead me to where He wanted me to be. We have to look back remembering what He has done for us, and look ahead knowing that He will guide us where He wants us to be if we follow His direction.
This post is part of the daily challenge.