“Lysa, we have to go in a different direction than we originally thought. We saw your great potential, but there was another candidate better qualified for this opportunity.”
Complete silence hung in the air as my brain refused to bring forth anything appropriate to say. I had to be professional. I didn’t want to further validate their obvious doubt about me. And I knew I’d regret doing anything that betrayed my relationship with Jesus.
But I wasn’t feeling very spiritually motivated in this moment of utter shock.
They’d already committed to me. I’d told people. I’d posted about it on social media. I’d been so excited.
And now in one unexpected phone call this opportunity I’d been so excited about was shut down.
With a total display of brilliance and intelligence, I mumbled, “Okay, um, sure, well, okay.” There was an awkward exchange of pleasantries and something about the weather and a totally flat-sounding promise of them being in touch with me about future projects. And that was that.
I wanted to cry. But I absolutely didn’t want to cry. I wanted to scream. Only I absolutely didn’t want to scream. I wanted to call them back and beg their reconsideration. However, I absolutely didn’t want to call them back and beg for anything!
I wondered if I might be teetering on the edge of some sort of panic attack.
Should I get a brown paper bag and breathe in some sort of calming rhythm? I’d have to Google the details on this. I was clearly handling this like a champ. And it seemed my reaction only further confirmed why I totally should have been rejected by them, which only made me feel worse.
I wish I could say I got up and went for a run. Or read my Bible. Or went to pull weeds. Something productive that I could later cheer about and say, “Yay, me. Look how well you handled that.”
Instead, I hopped on the internet to see if I could figure out who they’d chosen over me. My brain kept saying to stop this right now! But my curiosity and fingers wouldn’t cooperate. And it did not take long for me to see in pixelated detail her perfect smile, confident stance and impressive list of accomplishments.
With just a few clicks, a flood of painful thoughts made their way into my mind, drowning out any solid truth I knew.
I’m not pretty or confident enough. She’s a much better Bible teacher. I just don’t have it together like she does. God doesn’t have good plans for me.
This rejection messed me up for weeks. And it wasn’t just the pain of this rejection I felt. I was slowly replaying in my mind the past hurts that reaffirmed these inadequacies.
Then one day while reading a familiar Bible story, the Lord gave me a series of startling realizations. This deep hurt had stolen too much from me. It had begun to define me. And I had the power to get back what was taken from me.
By reclaiming my name. By declaring that I am much more than this situation or that lost opportunity. I am more than the sum total of that committee’s opinion of me. I am a child of God — holy and dearly loved. Hand-picked by God Almighty to be His daughter.
If you’ve ever experienced a deep hurt that has defined your life, I’m here to tell you that this may be a delay, distraction or even a devastation for a season. But it is not a final destination. You can reclaim your name. And over the next four days, we’ll learn how to do that together along with an amazing woman in the Bible who has been defined by one moment in her life.
Dear God, I offer up this defining situation/relationship up to You. I’m choosing today to not allow this to steal my joy and claim my identity anymore. My name is in who You say I am. Help me to stand on the firm foundation of Your truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Trade feelings of emptiness and depletion for a more personal fulfillment from knowing who Jesus is with Lysa’s new Bible study, Finding I AM.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Road Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 United States
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