Sooooo Chapter 9 has literally been my life over the last couple of weeks…the chapter starts with her being rejected during a job interview but the kicker was that she had already told people and posted about her “obvious” victory on social media…Oouch!! In one unexpected phone call all of the sudden the opportunity that was, wasn’t…anymore. She goes into detail of the emotions she experienced…wanting to cry, panic attacks, wanting to ask for reconsideration, all the natural emotions, (I’m just gonna throw in cussing as well) I did all of the above when I was rejected, yep, especially the cussing, despite me being Christian. If I could throw in some sound effects at this point, it would’ve probably looked like the picture to the right, just in case you were wondering. Yep, even Christians curse at times. I don’t love God any less but sometimes life happens and it surprises the hell outta you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excusing it. I’m not condoning it and its not apart of my lifestyle but people put Christians up on a pedestal as if they aren’t human or have disappointments and when we do, they like to talk bad about the church. The church is human, not brick and mortar!!! Truth be told, we probably have more disappointments and trials testing our faith, its rarely acknowledged when we past test but let us fail and folk wait in the shadows to pass judgement and stone you. I’m telling you cause it needs to be said; Christians aren’t perfect. (In case you were wondering, you just witnessed a mini rant, its almost over, I’m good now😥) My point is, it happens, it just so happens that for me, in that situation, it was a cursing moment when I wasn’t selected for the Social Media job. I mean come on, I HAVE A BLOG, FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM AND TWITTER BUSINESS ACCOUNT. I couldn’t see God’s hand in that and although I thought, “What could be more social media?” I didn’t take into account, at least at first, when you don’t see His hand, trust His heart ♥ . (Don’t worry that ones free, it’s a great principle to stand on 😉) Apparently, someone else was a better fit. NOW, I understand that…but it took AWHILE…NOW, I can be logical…but in that moment, I wasn’t logical at all…and neither was she, Lysa that is.
She went on to compare herself physically to the recipient attempting to rationalize the decision based off of shallowness; so she could low key take the upper hand and distastefully look down on the company, as she counted her lucky stars she didn’t work for them. We all know comparison is a joy stealer but it was something there, it was a feeling that didn’t sit right with her. As she dug deeper, she realized something that was more disturbing, “I knew God could fix this, but He didn’t.” That realization is it for me. We are constantly told how fearful we are and how if we only had the courage to believe we would receive and then we finally do it. We step out on faith…We set our sights on it, pray, prepare and then get disappointed…making you not really wanna do it again. This is one of the things I struggle with most, “I know You can but are you willing to do it for me?” There’s a realization that has to be understood…sometimes He’s not, even though He always can.
…But what’s downright horrible is when God seems to just silently stand by, withholding answers and solutions for which you’ve cried out. That deep hurt can make you question His goodness. This situation was small in comparison to other rejections I’ve faced. But it tapped into a raw emotional place of other unresolved hurts, a deep well holding tears from many other times someone had said, “You’re not good enough.”…We aren’t always able to see clearly. Still, even when it seems otherwise, we must remember that sometimes when we feel rejected and passed over for someone else, when God seems busy elsewhere or even purposefully unmoving, the truth is He is at work, maybe doing something entirely beyond what we were thinking. TerKeurst, pg. 105-106)
I know this seems a bit over dramatic but you, we, I…don’t think as God thinks. The Bible says, that His thoughts are higher than ours and so are His ways. (Isaiah 55:8) We are not His equal, we are little gods meaning that we are created in His image but we aren’t Him. Being created in His image means, we have the ability and authority to operate as He does. It doesn’t mean we cower when things don’t go the way we think they should. We have to believe in ourselves and we cannot be moved despite the rejection. Ultimately, what helped me was to remember what I stood on from the very beginning, “What’s for me is for me.” I remembered that I wanted His will above my own and if I didn’t get it, then it wasn’t for me. I looked back on times when I was rejected and the outcome and every time the outcome was better than what I wanted to begin with so I decided to not fight against that. “I’m not being rejected, I’m being rewarded.”
She finished the chapter with talking about a conference she was invited to with her peers. She was excited to meet new people and make connections and then she was placed away from everyone else and when I say away, I mean everyone at her table weren’t able to make it and she was alone. I forgot to mention that she was on the other side of the room, alone…when she heard God say, ” You aren’t set aside, you are set apart.” I’ve heard this quote many times and it sounded good but when you are alone, at the time, it doesn’t feel like it’s happening because you’re special. It feels like judgment or even abandonment but the first idea that pops in my head definitely isn’t because I’m special. For Lysa, she realized that to be set aside was to be rejected but more than that, it would be an allowance to be self absorbed and insecure. So she DECIDED that set apart is to be given an assignment that requires preparation and she CHOSE to see herself on assignment. This is usually where I fell short; in the midst of the situation I would feel sorry for myself then eventually I would snap out of it. I am determined to be more conscious about this and choose to see the assignment, not the rejection.
The lesson was this: Anything that infuses us with humility is good. Even if it feels a bit like humiliation in the moment, the workings of humility within are a gift. The tweaking of us by God in the quiet is the saving of us in public. The only difference between humility and humiliation is that one chose to bow low while the other tripped and fell there. (TerKeurst, pg. 108)
This reminds me of a Hebrew letter that I’ve been studying, Tet. Random, I know but let’s explore…shall we? Now, there’s so much I could say but this post would be so much longer, which is one of the reasons why I love the language but that’s neither here nor there. Either way if you guys would like to learn more about it let me know; I use to teach the Aleph bet and can share some notes. I am by no means a Hebrew scholar but I enjoy learning and I don’t mind sharing, in fact, I would like to add more on this blog, we’ll see.
To explain this better, I have to give you some background information. The Hebrew Aleph bet is not only their alphabet system, it’s also their numeric system which contains pictures. Unlike our alphabet system, A is just A. In their system, The first letter is Aleph and is the number 1. It means Head, Leader or Father. The letter itself looks like a leader and often times the letters will have a duality to them, it can have more than one meaning, depending on your perspective or actions. To get back on the subject, this scenario reminds me of the Hebrew letter, Tet because as you can see in the diagram, Tet, has a duality of good and evil built right into the letter. On the right, in the first diagram, you see the “good” connotation, where the tail is suppose to look like a man bowed in front of a king. The idea is that when you submit yourself to be humbled, you are in the proper position to be crowned by authority. As you can see on the side, there is a scripture. Luke 9:23 states, Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. The Tet on the left is the evil connotation, which is a picture of a serpent who crowned himself. He wasn’t humble, in fact, just the opposite, prideful.
Please don’t confuse me, I’m not saying that it was wrong for the others to have people at their tables but what I am saying is that we all have choices. Specifically, for Lysa, in this situation, she could’ve made a scene demanding to be sat with everyone else, called the organizers names and showed off. In that instance, she would’ve chosen to be the serpent or she could’ve did what she did. She remained calm, she chose to seek God and what He wanted her to learn from this experience and what He wanted her to learn was humility.
1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, so that in due time He may exalt you.”
There were 3 things she learned as she embraced humility:
- The gift of being made less: As we decrease, He is able to increase.
- The gift of being lonely: This will develop compassion for others who find themselves in this situation.
- The gift of silence: When we are preoccupied, we often miss the still, small voice of God’s presence. We don’t want to miss when God speaks to us.
There’s so many characters in the Bible that also went through this. But we’re going to talk about one specifically, her name was Hannah and her story is found in the book of Samuel. In fact, she was Samuel’s mom but before she was Samuel’s mom, she was a woman who was barren. It didn’t help that her husband’s other wife was popping babies out left and right and took every chance she could to rub it in Hannah’s face. I can relate to this. I’m 33, I have no children and I’m not in a relationship. I hear it all the time; everything from “You don’t like kids?” to “You better hurry up!” As if it’s my decision. Trust, if it was my decision, I would’ve been married with one or two children but that’s not my story. So I understand the anguish when you want that and the very person or people that make you feel like you’re existence is worthless unless you’re a mom is as fertile as rabbits. I understand when she asked God to remember her or I’d like to think in more modern terms, “Lord, please don’t forget about me!”
Your issue may not have been about marriage or children but maybe about upward mobility, finances, friendships…whatever, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all experienced desperately wanting something that He’s enabled someone else to have and we’ve interpreted it as Him withholding His blessings from us. When we look at their lives we tend to use them as the measuring stick for success and it causes us to feel set aside.
As I’ve grown more, I’ve come to understand that comparison is the thief of joy, but what doesn’t help is that during these times it’s usually accompanied by a very silent God. That silence from Him is often times really loud and is what usually sends us into a tailspin of doubt. We are no longer, singing praises of “If He did it before, He’ll do it again” or “He’s no respecter of persons, if He did it for them then He can do it for me.” Nope, in those moments of silence, doubt creeps in because it’s usually at the times when we’ve done all we knew to do…we sung those songs a while ago, we stood on the promises, we “prepared” and we prayed…and still…nothing.
Lysa, successfully points out that in Samuel 1:20. Yep, 20 verses later, the Bible says “In the fullness of time, Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son.” Well ain’t that a knee slapper, we hate that don’t we? We never wanna hear…In the fullness of time. Because even though we know that we are in the world, we shouldn’t be of it and yet, still we are a product of the microwave society. We don’t want it now,
we want it right now!…Let’s be honest, we really wanted it yesterday…and that’s still not enough sometimes. We look at the other people around us and they are enjoying their blessings now and we want ours but God doesn’t work in our timing, just in case you didn’t know. Stories like Hannah’s, I suppose are a blueprint; not only to encourage but for guidance when we come to these type of situations. We should learn to expect the fullness of God’s timing and not our own. The key is if He said it, then it’s true, if it hasn’t happened, it doesn’t mean that it won’t, it means that time hasn’t been fulfilled and patience still has a work to do. Let it be done.
The last point is even though the other chick was a jerk to Hannah…and she was. God made us for giving but, He also made us to be forgiving. Hannah had to forgive and to do that, she had to give before she could understand the significance of her pardon. When we talk about forgiveness we often hear that it’s for us…that unforgiveness is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die or it’s like putting the person in jail but having to be their jailer. Why is that? Because you’re so busy focused on how that person offended you that you can’t move on, so you are literally babysitting them and it really is a poison to us. But in this concept, that God made us for giving, He created us to give and in terms of forgiveness, He created us to give pardons. In Luke 6:38 that says, “Give and it shall be given back to you, shaken down, pressed together and running over.” Therefore, when you give freely, you receive abundance. Who doesn’t need an abundance of pardons?
What if the opportunity of meeting new people wasn’t really the opportunity Lysa needed? What if this was a divine appointment, not to meet new people but to meet with the Lord? What if I didn’t get that job because I was spared from a burden? As I stated before, this isn’t a natural way of thinking but it’s necessary for us to go to the next level and we do this by practice. In practicing, we can be for giving all the time. We can be for giving God the glory in spite of circumstances, we can be for giving the other applicant who got the job the support they need when venturing into new territory and we can be for giving us the freedom to explore other options. Instead of rejection we can rejoice because someone walks in their purpose and we don’t feel bogged down in their lane. Instead, we get another opportunity to find our own lane. This perspective allows us to not be threatened by anyone’s success…we forgive God, the candidate, the interviewers, and ourselves. When we are for giving, we are the good Tet bowing in submission to our process. Pride causes us to take and takers struggle under the weight of what was never intended for them. So, don’t be for taking, be for giving. 🙂