Last week I received an email. One of my daughters was about to receive rejection notice. The sender wanted to let me know first so that I could decide how to best tell her. The email clearly stated that she was being rejected because of the unusually large number of applicants.
That’s nice, and all. But still … she wasn’t chosen.
I called my daughter to sit with me while the house was quiet and the coffee was brewing. I opened up my Bible and read to her:
We talked about her week. It had already been challenging. We talked about trusting in God, drawing strength from God, and even finding joy in God in times of famine.
And then I told her, “I have another challenge to bring to you.”
She looked in my eyes, and she knew. “I didn’t get in, did I.”
I shook my head. And her eyes pooled and spilled over. Mine did too. I drew her into my arms like a little girl, and just held her.
After a while, I asked, “Can you tell me what you’re thinking?”
Her answer cut deeply. “I just wonder why I’m not good enough.”
Every mother wants to refute this statement.
- “You ARE good enough.”
- “There has to be a mistake.”
- “I’ll call on Monday and fix it.”
But the fact is, she had been rejected. For reasons beyond me, they had not chosen my daughter.
Rather than run too quickly from the pain of the moment and the reality of the rejection, I said, “I understand. I have been rejected for so many things. And it hurts. It hurts deeply.”
We just settled into that for a little while.
And then I drew on my deep conviction that God is great, and God is good. I pointed her back to trust, and strength, and joy.
I believe God will use this closed door in her life for at least four purposes.
This closed door will help her gain perspective. The door he opens might not be “better” in the way that most people think of better. But it will be better because it’s his open door.
This pain will teach her how to draw more deeply into him , finding comfort from the one who truly rejoices over her with singing.
This message of rejection is part of her journey to discover who she is and whose she is. I couldn’t fix the situation. I couldn’t take away the sting of rejection. The only one who can do that is the one who says “I chose you.” He’s the one who calls her beautiful and accepted and mine.
The door God opens to her will shape her heart for the work he planned for her long ago. In faith, I believe that when she looks back on this situation, she will see that God said “No” to something that seemed right in order to prepare her his plans which will give her a hope and a future.
We’re still in the middle of this story. The rejection still feels a bit raw, and we don’t yet know what the open door is. But I do know that even when the fig tree doesn’t blossom, and there is no fruit on the vine, we can trust in God, rejoice in him, turn to him for strength, comfort, direction.
What about you? Are you feeling the sting of rejection? Or perhaps someone close to you is experiencing rejection. The pain of the moment is real, but will you trust that God could use the closed door for good? I’d love to hear from you! Comment, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with me on Facebook.