o you enjoy feeling like a failure? Likely not. Most people don’t. Unfortunately, life’s events often leave us feeling like we don’t measure up. But that’s okay. It’s what we do with those feelings that makes us or breaks us.
I’ve been working on a graduate Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) program for about a year. I’m studying online so that I can work full time and still have time to chase this dream of helping marriages. This spring, I felt God’s subtle whisper speaking to me, telling me to apply to a similar Christian program in our area.
I researched it a bit and quickly called the people that I would ask to be my references and they were all delighted to help. I had all of my application materials completed in about 48 hours.
A couple of weeks later, I had a 2-hour interview with the head of the department. I was vulnerable with our marriage struggles and the glory that God had brought in the midst of those struggles. I walked out of the interview feeling ecstatic, sure that this was the first step of a great transition.
This was where God was guiding me. This was where I was going to finish my degree. All that was left was to wait for my acceptance letter.
The day finally came when that long-awaited acceptance letter was in the mailbox. I could not wait to open it. The excitement was flowing through every part of me! I fumbled to get the letter open and then read the words “Unfortunately, we’re not able to offer you a spot in our program.” Reality began to slowly sink into my brain and heart.
Over the next 24 hours, my mind and heart raced, asking questions like, “Why would God lead me into something only to be rejected? Where did I not measure up? Where did I go wrong?” I began reading my bible and praying in complete desperation. I was afraid that people would think less of me and my relationship with God because I wasn’t accepted. I know God’s promises–He is good and He has a plan bigger than what I can see. Although logically I can understand that, emotionally I really struggle.
I was told that my letters of recommendation were exceptional and my essay showed the growth that God had instilled over the last couple of years. I emailed the head of the therapy department just to see if she could give me a better perspective and understanding. Not only had I been rejected from the school, but she didn’t email me back. Twice. I felt broken and rejected.
God is Faithful, Even When We Don’t Understand
Have you ever had an experience like this? In those moments, we have a choice. Are we going to give in to the negative thoughts and drown in the feelings of failure, or are we going to trust and believe that God is who He says He is?
Psalm 33:4 says, “For the word of the Lord is right and true, He is faithful in ALL he does.” Allow yourself to cry. Allow yourself to let out those feelings of anger and disappointment. The grieving needs to happen so we can heal. In the midst of the sorrow, allow God to lift you up. It’s through the sorrow that God pulls us closer to Him.
One of my favorite songs is by Dara McLean. One lyric says, “Through the battle I’ll sing, I know you are for me, my whole heart I will bring, I surrender all.” While we may not understand the rejections or why God allows us to go through the difficult times, know that God is in control and that His plan is better than anything we could ever come up with.
Do you trust that God knows best in your situation?
If your answer is “no”, bring that to God. It’s okay if you don’t trust Him. There’s no shame in sharing that with Him. He wants us to bring our doubts, fears, and anger to Him. He can handle anything that you bring. In the midst of these situations, let God mold you and shape you into the person that He desires you to be. How is this situation going to to bring light and Glory to His name?
Question: Do you struggle with feeling like a failure? How do you work through those feelings? Let us know in the comments below.