“Rejection is a good thing – it reminds us we’re not perfect.” A friend of mine said that to me only hours before I received a rejection that I was convinced would never happen. When I remembered that, I smiled sadly: yet another lesson in humility where I thought pride wasn’t an issue.
I thought I knew what God wanted of me – to rejoin a group I thought I had left behind for good, show them His love, become a part of their community and spread the life and light of Christ into their lives. At first I was hesitant, but as the day of auditions came closer I grew more accepting, even excited for the change God “brought” into my life. Convinced that I was going where God was leading, I threw all my eggs into one basket, and abandoned my desire for other activities because I knew, I knew, that this was where God wanted me.
The one redeeming factor I had was a piece of wisdom I shared with my friends, as I recounted how I knew God told me to go back to this group. “My one prayer,” I would always say once I finished, “is that I’m hearing God correctly. I pray that if this isn’t in fact what God wants for me, that He turns their hearts from me, and that I don’t get accepted. I know that by popularity alone I could simply ask to rejoin the group. But I’m auditioning to have the greatest margin of error – if God doesn’t want me there, they won’t accept me. If they do, they will.” Well, in His faithfulness He’s turned me from a path that I thought was correct but wasn’t with the least amount of pain possible.
Then why am I still upset?
A large factor was that I became so sure. I stopped praying that prayer once I got to callbacks. Though I kept reminding myself that I’m here for God, I’m here for God, to give Him all the glory, it didn’t occur to me that perhaps God’s glory wouldn’t be found there. That, I believe, was a result of pride: I was proud that not only did I hear God, I was following Him. I was doing things right.
I quickly found the bitterness in my heart from being wrong; it felt like a weight hanging from my praises. Though I was thanking God for saving me from doing something that would turn out to be against His will, there was still a hint of disappointment.
But that’s okay. It’s alright to be human.
And I learned this: we are in the world but we are not of the world, neither should we be attached to any assignment we may or may not receive from God. We must remain wary until we see its fruit, because good intentions do not always point to God.
Another factor in my bitterness was that I gave up what I wanted to do for what I thought God wanted me to do. I love to dance – I missed the dance auditions for the sake of going to these callbacks. Did I just throw something away for nothing?
I don’t believe so. I know God saw my heart, and I’m sure He will turn everything for good. Perhaps in my absolute surrender I’ll find more than if I had been more cautious. Perhaps, having gone all in, I’ll find more riches in my poverty. I do know that I cannot lick my wounds in isolation. More than ever I need to rest in His presence, receive His comfort, find healing in His peace.
Maybe next time, when I see direction, I’ll get it right. And God is merciful – He always gives us a second chance… but that’s a different lesson.