It’s been a year this week since two doors had opened for a new job. After a year of unemployment, mental breakdowns, and more rejection than I ever could have anticipated, things were finally starting to look up. Not only was I training for a security job, I also had two other interviews that same week. Both jobs I seemed to have “an in” with going into the interviews, but I prepared profusely.

Of course, we know the door I ended up walking through was the Monroeville United Methodist Church. But that same week I had an interview with a church/school in Charleston, SC. Everything was leaning towards that position. It seemed as if my entire career had been building towards it. My Dad was already in talks about getting a moving van before the interview happened. Lauren and I began preparing ourselves for a civil court marriage if I got the job (she just really loves the beach). It seemed as if the stars were aligning and everything I had been waiting a year for was about to be worth the wait.

I was so nervous before the interview because it was via Skype. I don’t know if you’ve done a Skype interview before but it’s horrible. It’s hard to hear. Hard to respond. And when you’re already nervous, it makes for a grueling event. Needless to say, the interview didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I was nervous and wasn’t really prepared for some of the questions I was asked because I wasn’t informed they were in the job description. But I tried to remain optimistic. They said they’d contact me in two weeks. So I followed up with a thank you email the day after. I tried to communicate with my contact asking how I can be more prepared in the future. No response. Two weeks went by. I followed up with another email. No response. 4 weeks went by and I contacted 3 different people in 3 different leadership positions who had a say about this job and not one single response. Total radio silence. After 9 years and 3 degrees, I’m working as a security guard wishfully thinking that the next email I receive is from someone with some sort of response. Hundreds of emails flow through my mailbox every day. Thousands of butterflies filled my stomach with each email. Zero responses came back.  

It’s been a year and a different job later, and for some reason, I’m still riding the Bitter Bus. Maybe it’s because I never received closure? Maybe it’s because it was the last rejection I faced before I started my new position? Or maybe it’s because there was so much build up going into it that I feel like I’m a disappointment to my Dad and Lauren. At the time, it was the dream job. It was everything I had been working towards for 10 years only to be left without any form of communication. It was the harshest rejection I faced during that season.

It’s been said by people wiser than me that it’s probably for the best I didn’t get hired for that position because clearly, that was not the right person to work for. While I really wish I was closer to the beach, I’m glad God opened the door to MUM. An interesting thing happened when I interviewed for this position. I wasn’t nervous. I actually felt like I came alive and a passion awoke inside of me for the first time in years. I didn’t have all the answers to all the questions but I had the passion again. Something sparked inside me. And I’m glad it did. Pastor Ed is a genuine and authentic Pastor who not only cares deeply about me but actually listens to what this Millennial has to say. I love working for him because I know that he supports me.

That isn’t to say it’s been easy, no ministry is easy. But there is a blatant reason why this door was opened and the other was closed. I needed to serve under a pastor who not only cared about me but wants to see me succeed. God needed me to be here so that He can change my perspective on His plan for my life. In our egocentric society, it’s easy, even in ministry, to believe that it’s all about my plan and what I want “because I’m following God”. But I can only serve one master. I cannot serve both myself and God. I have to trust and have faith knowing that God will use me in the way that brings Him glory, not in the ways that will only boost my career and reputation.

I called this “Rejection, Bitterness, and the Tale of Two Doors” because to my own downfall, I’ve allowed the bitterness of rejection eat at me. Even though there can be no doubt I walked through the right door, the rejection of the wrong door still erodes my soul. And now that Lauren has been unemployed for over a month, a lot of those same feelings are coming back. Even though I chose to walk through the only door God had opened, there are days where I choose bitterness over God’s plan for my life. I’m bitter from facing a year of rejection. I’m bitter about how everything played out at the end of Hebrew University. But to put it honestly, there’s a part of me that’s a little bitter at God.

I know what you’re thinking. Oh no! He’s a Discipleship Pastor! He can’t be bitter at God! Burn him at the stake! Well, hold on to your wigs, judges. I’m in the process of working things out. I obviously still love and follow Jesus. But there is a definite part of me that is disappointed in the way in which God has worked out His plan for my life. But I’m still breathing and I’m not going gently into that good night. I can’t allow rejection to cultivate seeds of bitterness in my soul lest I lose all sense of love, hope, and forgiveness. So I will continue following Jesus, I will continue pursuing His plan for my life, and I will continue doing my best to remember that it’s about bringing God, not myself, glory. Isaiah 55:9 reminds me that God’s ways are higher than my ways. And after over 3,000 years of people putting their hope in God, I can’t allow a couple bad situations derail me from God’s ultimate purpose for my life.

I don’t do well with rejection. There’s no argument from me that I need to grow a thicker skin. And I’m working on it. Henri Nouwen said that every time we have a chance to become bitter or we go through rejection, we should allow those moments to be a pruning to claim more fully that we are a beloved son/daughter of God. And those moments should help us reclaim our belovedness so that we can love and forgive those who hurt us. I think in many ways this year has been just that: a pruning. I’ve had to face some things I didn’t want to face. I’ve had to make some decisions I didn’t want to make. I don’t know everything that God is doing. But what I do know is that I’ve made a commitment to serve Jesus, and for better or for worse, I know I have some work to do on that commitment. Nevertheless, I’m thankful that those trials and hard times produce perseverance, character, and hope. And hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).

Maranatha/ מרנאתא

It’s been a year this week since two doors had opened for a new job. After a year of unemployment, mental breakdowns, and more rejection than I ever could have anticipated, things were finally starting to look up. Not only was I training for a security job, I also had two other interviews that same week. Both jobs I seemed to have “an in” with going into the interviews, but I prepared profusely.

Of course, we know the door I ended up walking through was the Monroeville United Methodist Church. But that same week I had an interview with a church/school in Charleston, SC. Everything was leaning towards that position. It seemed as if my entire career had been building towards it. My Dad was already in talks about getting a moving van before the interview happened. Lauren and I began preparing ourselves for a civil court marriage if I got the job (she just really loves the beach). It seemed as if the stars were aligning and everything I had been waiting a year for was about to be worth the wait.

I was so nervous before the interview because it was via Skype. I don’t know if you’ve done a Skype interview before but it’s horrible. It’s hard to hear. Hard to respond. And when you’re already nervous, it makes for a grueling event. Needless to say, the interview didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I was nervous and wasn’t really prepared for some of the questions I was asked because I wasn’t informed they were in the job description. But I tried to remain optimistic. They said they’d contact me in two weeks. So I followed up with a thank you email the day after. I tried to communicate with my contact asking how I can be more prepared in the future. No response. Two weeks went by. I followed up with another email. No response. 4 weeks went by and I contacted 3 different people in 3 different leadership positions who had a say about this job and not one single response. Total radio silence. After 9 years and 3 degrees, I’m working as a security guard wishfully thinking that the next email I receive is from someone with some sort of response. Hundreds of emails flow through my mailbox every day. Thousands of butterflies filled my stomach with each email. Zero responses came back.

It’s been a year and a different job later, and for some reason, I’m still riding the Bitter Bus. Maybe it’s because I never received closure? Maybe it’s because it was the last rejection I faced before I started my new position? Or maybe it’s because there was so much build up going into it that I feel like I’m a disappointment to my Dad and Lauren. At the time, it was the dream job. It was everything I had been working towards for 10 years only to be left without any form of communication. It was the harshest rejection I faced during that season.

It’s been said by people wiser than me that it’s probably for the best I didn’t get hired for that position because clearly, that was not the right person to work for. While I really wish I was closer to the beach, I’m glad God opened the door to MUM. An interesting thing happened when I interviewed for this position. I wasn’t nervous. I actually felt like I came alive and a passion awoke inside of me for the first time in years. I didn’t have all the answers to all the questions but I had the passion again. Something sparked inside me. And I’m glad it did. Pastor Ed is a genuine and authentic Pastor who not only cares deeply about me but actually listens to what this Millennial has to say. I love working for him because I know that he supports me.

That isn’t to say it’s been easy, no ministry is easy. But there is a blatant reason why this door was opened and the other was closed. I needed to serve under a pastor who not only cared about me but wants to see me succeed. God needed me to be here so that He can change my perspective on His plan for my life. In our egocentric society, it’s easy, even in ministry, to believe that it’s all about my plan and what I want “because I’m following God”. But I can only serve one master. I cannot serve both myself and God. I have to trust and have faith knowing that God will use me in the way that brings Him glory, not in the ways that will only boost my career and reputation.

I called this “Rejection, Bitterness, and the Tale of Two Doors” because to my own downfall, I’ve allowed the bitterness of rejection eat at me. Even though there can be no doubt I walked through the right door, the rejection of the wrong door still erodes my soul. And now that Lauren has been unemployed for over a month, a lot of those same feelings are coming back. Even though I chose to walk through the only door God had opened, there are days where I choose bitterness over God’s plan for my life. I’m bitter from facing a year of rejection. I’m bitter about how everything played out at the end of Hebrew University. But to put it honestly, there’s a part of me that’s a little bitter at God.

I know what you’re thinking. Oh no! He’s a Discipleship Pastor! He can’t be bitter at God! Burn him at the stake! Well, hold on to your wigs, judges. I’m in the process of working things out. I obviously still love and follow Jesus. But there is a definite part of me that is disappointed in the way in which God has worked out His plan for my life. But I’m still breathing and I’m not going gently into that good night. I can’t allow rejection to cultivate seeds of bitterness in my soul lest I lose all sense of love, hope, and forgiveness. So I will continue following Jesus, I will continue pursuing His plan for my life, and I will continue doing my best to remember that it’s about bringing God, not myself, glory. Isaiah 55:9 reminds me that God’s ways are higher than my ways. And after over 3,000 years of people putting their hope in God, I can’t allow a couple bad situations derail me from God’s ultimate purpose for my life.

I don’t do well with rejection. There’s no argument from me that I need to grow a thicker skin. And I’m working on it. Henri Nouwen said that every time we have a chance to become bitter or we go through rejection, we should allow those moments to be a pruning to claim more fully that we are a beloved son/daughter of God. And those moments should help us reclaim our belovedness so that we can love and forgive those who hurt us. I think in many ways this year has been just that: a pruning. I’ve had to face some things I didn’t want to face. I’ve had to make some decisions I didn’t want to make. I don’t know everything that God is doing. But what I do know is that I’ve made a commitment to serve Jesus, and for better or for worse, I know I have some work to do on that commitment. Nevertheless, I’m thankful that those trials and hard times produce perseverance, character, and hope. And hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).

Maranatha/ מרנאתא

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