Being told “no” is tough. Being told “you’re just not cut out for it” stings. We’ve found someone else. You’re just not as qualified as we’d like. You just don’t have what it takes. Words of rejection. It just doesn’t match up to what it feels like when someone tells you yes.
For those who don’t know, I’ve been working two part-time jobs for the past 4 or 5 months… or however long its been. I didn’t even apply for the second one. My boss set me up at a lunch with a heavy-weighted-in and my resume was passed off and an email ended up in my inbox a few months later, followed by a phone call three days after I had lost my other job. Pay increase and a position in the direction I was headed career wise. It didn’t take long to say yes and I had a lot of faith and gratitude; God was with me.
Starting work, my coworker is a believer and is trying to reach out to our other coworkers. Day two and we’re already sharing our testimonies. Things are going well. I meet tons of people and learn a lot; I’m even envisioning my life working for this company. I meeting a lot of people and making a lot of connections. #blessed, right?
Time wars on. The 76 mile trek wears on me. My life starts to look a lot different and my priorities have changed. I have a meeting with a research scientist and on my drive I’m praying “God, if there’s a job with this scientist- I pray you’d let me know.” Before the words even leave my mouth completely, the guy assures me there’s no jobs in that field. “Ok, God. Guess that was pretty clear.” Maybe a week goes by, corn prices drop and people start getting fired (I work for a corn seed company). My supervisor stops in my cubical to check on my work and to give me a heads up on how things are going. She tells me I’m the best intern they’ve ever had, really quick and efficient, but there’s just not any room for full time. She discussed the end of my internship and suggested I start looking for other jobs. “Cool, thanks for letting me know,” I said.
Closed door. I remember driving home I didn’t really think much or pray much, not because I was entirely mad or angry. I don’t think I knew what to feel. I think I was just disappointed. Things are really exciting when God opens doors- its not quite the same when they close.
Pondering this weeks later, that’s where I stopped. Isn’t a closed door just as beneficial as an open one? Isn’t being told no just as helpful as being told yes? If direction is what we’re looking for from the Lord- isn’t either good?
I’d like to reason that it is. And while I can’t dispute or explain quite why being told no feels like rejection, I’d like to suggest an attitude adjustment. We get so disheartened when things don’t work out the way we’d like or initially hope. Sometimes people even doubt or question God because of it. Sure, it’s a little awkward- our pride gets hurt a bit in the process… but that’s all it is then… just pride. Maybe its good it gets a little hurt even once and a while- keeps us humble and weak.
While, I don’t have a lot of bible verses for this one this time- I have a suggestion:
Be encouraged by a “No” just as you would a yes. Be encouraged by a closed door just as you might an open one.
Proverbs 16:9 says “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Be encouraged that a sovereign Lord who loved us enough to die for us on a cross has a mighty loving hand in the direction our lives go.
And now, I suppose for me a prayer request or two. Looks like I’m starting to walk in a different direction by joining up by working with our college ministry, God provided health insurance for me with my first job and some extra income to get ahead on my loans so it’ll work out great to transition. The only thing it feels like its in the opposite direction so its kind of intimidating. While God is closing some doors, He’s opening some other neat ones. I might even be able to start reaching out to a group of kids I used to spend a deal of time with again. Lord willing! Thanks for laboring with me in this.
Carry on in faith and love whether the doors are opened or closed or even if it doesn’t feel like there’s a door at all!