It messes with our feelings of belonging, makes us question our purpose and, when it hits us most deeply, causes us to question our value.
But it’s also just a symptom of being human.
Seems like rejection has been a bit of a theme around here lately. For me, it’s booking season; the time of year when I’m meeting with newly engaged couples about the possibility of photographing their weddings. I invite them over to my house, serve them freshly baked cookies and get to know more about them, their love story and their plans for their wedding. A lot of the time, it’s the beginning of a new friendship with a couple and excitement to be a part of their wedding.
But not lately.
The past three couples I’ve met with have written me kind (rejection) letters thanking me for my time and explaining their decision to go with another photographer. And the fourth ones I simply never heard from again.
It’s all part of the job. Comes with the territory. But when four in a row have had the same outcome, the feelings of rejection swell. Am I good at what I do? I’ve been doing this for almost 9 years, am I even relevant any more? Why don’t they like me? Wahhhhh!
Tony, on the other hand, has been looking for something more full time while he continues to build his therapy clientel. He’s applied to tons of jobs and has been waiting to hear from two of them in particular. Well in the course of a couple of days he received letters from both of those jobs, thanking him for applying, affirming his qualifications, but ultimately going with another candidate.
It stings a little.
Where do we go next? What direction do we head? So many questions, but seemingly fewer and fewer answers.
But maybe not. Maybe each one of these closed doors is actually an answer.
While I haven’t been hired by the past few couples I’ve met with, every wedding I am shooting this year is going to be awesome. I’ve bonded with each of the couples personally, across the board, so that I am genuinely excited for each and every one of their weddings. That’s such a blessing. And I’ve had some time to work on some other projects I’ve been excited about. Projects, like this blog, that feed my creativity in a way that I’ve desperately needed.
And interestingly enough, last week we were praying that Tony would hear about these jobs and we did. The morning we got the letter in the mail, I had prayed specifically that we would hear that day. And we did. So over the weekend we prayed that we would hear from the other one this week. Monday afternoon, the email came. So although there’s some sense of rejection and feelings of uncertainty, our prayers are being answered. Very specifically.
We know God is listening.
“Well, while we know You’re listening,” Tony prayed,”… I’d like a baby!” He’s cute.
I find myself again asking for direction, but this time, asking for the right thing to pray. My helplessness is revealed and I realize I have no idea what to do. But instead of scrambling to come up with ideas, I’m stopped. Waiting. Listening and looking. With an overwhelming certainty that we are not alone in this. That there is a plan. That rejection from people doesn’t budge our very value. That we are loved and being cared for along the way.
That’s where I rest.
Well… in theory, at least.