In the face of disappointment…

“There is a lie that drags us/beating and pulling into disappointment.”

What Happens when the Heart Just Stops, The Frames

“Bless the Lord, my soul. All my being, bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord, my soul. Do not forget all the gifts of God…”

Psalm 103:1-5

I found out today that I didn’t get an editing job I was really counting on getting. I mean, really counting on getting. It seemed like fate that I should get this job. We need the money, and I’ve been praying really hard. Right after I started praying, this opportunity came along. It had to be God, right? I took the editing test. I thought I did well. I didn’t think I aced it, but I certainly thought I performed well enough to be trained according to this particular journal’s style. My emails to the company exuded confidence in my abilities. My conversations with friends exuded confidence in my abilities.

Instead, I received an email containing this line: “In general, your test did not reveal expertise in standard editing marks, an ability to query authors, proficiency in grammar rules to improve text, and basic familiarity with scientific terms.” It still hurts to re-read that. I can – and did – make excuses to myself and others about not being formally trained as an editor, that I was new to the science field, etc, etc, blah blah blah. Under it all is that punch-in-the-stomach blow of rejection, and it just hurts.

So, ok. That’s the temptation. To give into the immediate hurt and believe that I’m a failure, that I’m not good at this, that I was never meant to be a writer or an editor and I might as well stop fooling myself and give up. And the greater temptation is to discard my foolish notion that God actually had a plan for me, that getting this job was His will. That He actually wanted to give me something that I wanted.

A friend once said that Psalm 103, rather than being an exultation, was a command. That sometimes we need to order our souls to bless God. The hard part is having faith when you don’t get the answer you think you are going to get. I thought God had this job for me. He may or He may not. Who knows why things you think you are sure of do or don’t come to pass? Maybe I’d hate editing medical journals. Maybe I’m supposed to focus more on my kids and my home. Maybe I’m supposed to put all my efforts into this blog, which will be discovered by some bigwig in the publishing industry who wants to give me a book deal (did you hear that, God?)

I doubt myself easily. I’m quick to believe the bad and reluctant to believe the good. Unlike my husband (and my biggest cheerleader) I don’t always believe that anything’s possible so long as you don’t give up. And somewhere deep down, I don’t always believe that God is a God who wants to give me good things, things I want, work I’m good at doing.

So, my little soul, I command you, BLESS the Lord. All that is within me, BLESS His holy name. Editing job or not.

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2 thoughts on “In the face of disappointment…

  1. I can relate to this completely. I spent much of 2010 and even up to today trying to figure out what I want to do with myself personally and professionally. I was convinced multiple times that the situation in front of me was what I needed and what God wanted for me. None of them worked out and I am familiar with the ‘punch-in-the-stomach blow of rejection’. Losing my patience, doubting myself and that God had a plan for me is something that I am familiar with as well.

    I do believe that God speaks through those around me and I have benefited much from their perspective (your thoughts above may have moved to the top of my list). My current situation is still very much in flux but I am on solid footing spiritually and I feel close to God. One thought I have been entertaining is that I need to focus more on the journey rather than the destination.

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