I thought that after going through the process of two lost jobs, I knew how to handle disappointment. I felt like I was a PRO at dealing with rejection and being told “no.” I really did. But I recently applied for a little on-the-side writing gig and didn’t get it. It broke my heart, made me sad and then made me bitter. I hate the way rejection makes me doubt who I am and what my life is about. Am I not good enough? Is my writing not interesting? Am I too dumb? Am I not cool enough? (Sheesh, it makes me feel like I’m in junior high. That’s what it makes me feel like – an angsty teenager!)
Typically my route for dealing with disappointment is eliminating all mentions or reminders of it from my life until I feel like I can handle it in an adult-like, mature way – which isn’t mature or adult-like at all. Hiding isn’t the solution. Accepting that this simply wasn’t what Jesus wanted is the much better answer.
Looking at the root of the problem in and of itself helps me to distill my feelings into the actual heart of the matter, which is this: placing my identity in something other than Jesus. You see, sometimes I get wrapped up in titles – wife, mommy, marketing specialist, only child, church member, blogger, etc. and I forget that before any of these things I am nothing without Jesus. I am a pile of dung, a heap of chromosomes, a person who doesn’t deserve any of the wonderful things in my life but is instead given them by the grace and love of God. Knowing and really accepting these things are part of the process of believing in God’s plan for me.
Rejection and disappointment are inevitable. But what do you do when they are staring you in the face? Do you turn and give it the silent treatment and pretend like it doesn't exist? Or do you place your hope and faith and identity in Jesus? (Psst … the answer is the last one)