My sweet friend whispered these words to me, curled up on the sofa in the office at his parents’ house after everyone else has fallen asleep, when I confess that yet another “Thanks, but no thanks” response has come my way, stoking the smoldering fire of rejection and discouragement that has been growing within me for over a year now with every disappointment on the job front.
I know what he means when he says it, and he knows that he needs to say it, because I need to hear it. He can sense, as I can, the tinge of frustration and exhaustion that color my words and the details I give about why this opportunity isn’t the right one, either.
In that moment, my insides are rattling with all the expectations I’m failing to juggle. I want to be strong and brave, but I also feel so deeply rejected that I can’t help the streams of tears I know are running down my face. I’m weary from striving, but am simultaneously terrified of what it would mean to quit this tireless escapade and do….anything else.
My prayers in this season have been simple and candid.
God, please help me be okay with rejection.
God, am I doing something wrong?
God, you have a direction for me. What is it?
God, please help me walk in this feeling the right way.
God, would you just be present with me?
I was sitting on a different couch with two friends, snuggling their precious almost-three-month-old baby, and I heard those same words, in an even more imperative phrasing, in their encouragement to keep going.
“You aren’t going to quit.”
One went on to say, “You are fighting a fight that you can’t NOT fight, Sarah. It’s part of who you are.”
I love it when things resonate. And in that moment, they did. Those words described the tug-of-war I’d been feeling between a sense of discontentment and an impassioned commitment to this path I’m choosing to walk. I knew he was right, and that I’d continue to engage in this in-between season until I find what I’m looking for. It’s not just about the goal. That’s why it’s so important. It’s about who I am choosing to be and who I am aspiring to become. And that is worth the process and the journey.
Maybe what I think I’m looking for will continue to change. I’m okay with that.
Maybe ministry will be different that what I’ve imagine. I’m okay with that.
Maybe I will need to work on creating meaning in whatever vocation I’m in. I’m okay with that.
However, I know that there is still more for me somewhere in this messy life, and I’m not going to quit searching for it.