The Sting of Rejection
By Jesse Criss edited by Sophia Savalli
Over the last few weeks, I have had to deal with the inevitable reality that you do not get every job you apply for. Rejection can sting and sometimes even hurt a lot. You pour yourself into the interview process, you lay down dreaming of the potential jobs may have and maybe you even had an eye on a place you could live… only to have the whole thing come crashing down.
It hurts, but it’s what happens after the rejection that I want to talk about. Despite mine and your best efforts, we will get rejected from jobs. Why that rejection comes is kinda irrelevant, because you can’t control that part. You may blow your interview as I did several years ago.
I was going through a rough transition after being rejected (I’ll talk about that in a minute) and basically in my interview, I broke down and fell apart. I was emotionally and spiritually unhealthy and it all came out on the phone. So, when they said “thanks but no thanks”, it was clear I had a part to play in the rejection.
However, for the most part, there is nothing you can do to change the outcome of the decision. This has been the reality of my life for the last few weeks. I can’t change how decisions are made but I have full control over how I react.
Several years ago, I spent almost 4 months in talks with a church to come work for them. We traveled across the country to apply (on-site interview) and the weekend went really well. We met a ton of people, looked at houses and left with what we thought was a deal in hand. However, as soon as we landed I knew we were in trouble. I had a message that asked me to call first thing in the morning. The sum of that conversation was “I thought you were great, but some Elders thought you were just okay, so we are going to pass”. This sting hurt. Actually, it was like getting hit in the chest with a ton of bricks. The problem came over the next few weeks.
I would spiral into a self-defeating circle of self-doubt, frustration, anger and it all came together when one afternoon as I was sitting in my boxers on my couch crying, angry and then it happened. I screamed a scream from deep within my soul. It was so loud I hurt myself and to this day if I raise my voice my dog shakes in fear. That scream would come to define a season of my life where I allowed the sing of rejection to control me and my world.
Fast forward to the first few weeks of August and again the sting of rejection came. However this time there was no scream or self-defeating circle. It did hurt, I did have questions and I was sad. But I know it will be okay because this time my lead card is trusting that God will be my provider. This time my heart is in the right place and I know God will come through because he always does.
Maybe that’s not you, maybe you’re not in that same place. Maybe you have been stung so many times you just want to give up. If that’s you then I want you to try something for me.
TRY THIS: This week I want you to write down every single moment you can think of in your life where God has shown up. Start the process by praying that God would reveal moments to you, but then take a few days. Keep the list on your phone or make it accessible somehow but let it rattle around in your brain for a few days. When the list is done leave it for a day or two. After a few days come back to it and read it slowly, pray your way through it. Ask God to show you where He provided for you along the way.
Some of you reading this right now might be like where I used to be. Back during the big scream time in my life I was stuck in a dark hole and didn’t believe that God could or would provide. I was sure He didn’t care. Over the years I learned to look back at the journey of my life and see all these moments where God showed up. Then in the worst moment fo my life, when I felt like all hope was lost… it all clicked together.
“God was my provider”
`The sting of rejection is inevitable. Sometimes it will be job-related, sometimes it will be social and sometimes it will be family and friends. Regardless of the situation, rejection will come but imagine if we walked into those moments known that God was our provider. Imagine that our first thought was that, no matter what, God was in control and would see us through. The hard part is that it’s a choice we/I have to make every single day. We cannot control being rejected but can control how we respond.