I lowered my head as hot tears flowed down flushed cheeks, thankful for the cover of dark windows in my small sedan.
It had happened once again.
Despite hours of research, interview preparation and years of hard work, I was passed over for a job promotion, my hopes dashed with news of not being chosen.
As a young woman learning to navigate the workforce, the sting of rejection hurt, but something inside stirred a pain greater than just the disappointment of missed opportunity.
It was the ache of feeling left behind, colliding with all my insecurities at once to create an emotional avalanche.
Maybe you can relate?
Sometimes it can seem as though everyone around us is moving forward in natural progression while we’re stuck in time, marching to a slow beat in the rhythm of life.
Perhaps I took it too hard in the heat of the moment, but have you ever noticed that elusive dreams and seasons of waiting are rarely easy struggles to face, no matter where we are in life?
This experience of missing out can be painful, especially when wrapped in the raw emotion of feeling suspended in time, while the world advances around us.
Maybe you’ve experienced the pain of prolonged hardship or a tender wound of past defeat weighing on your heart.
Or maybe the struggle stirs from a series of disappointments that are finally taking their toll.
However it comes packaged, though, sitting in the pain of a delayed dream is hard. You and I see the ship of opportunity sailing away, with little promise of ever returning again.
But when it seems hope is floating on the wind, could the exact opposite be true instead?
Is there perhaps a greater purpose found in the waiting?
As a young person, the year after my disappointment at work proved to be one of slow, subtle growth. A period of learning rather than the strong forward momentum for which I had hoped.
So imagine my surprise when an unexpected offer dotted the horizon, filled with the potential of a better opportunity than before. One I could not have anticipated, and best of all, a role for which I was finally chosen.
As simple as it may sound, not getting the original job promotion became a life lesson, impacting my thought process with a lens to filter future experiences.
Experiences that bring heartache and uncertainty. Those that remind us that life is often lived in the waiting. It’s part of who we are and the forming of who we will become.
We wait for jobs and financial security. We wait for fulfilled needs of the heart and relational hope. We wait for test results and good news. We wait for direction and answered prayers.
But through it all, do we grow? Is the end result perhaps not as important as the journey in between?
Over the years, I have come to realize God is not bound by the time clock you and I set. I’m also learning that periods of uncertainty aren’t characterized by the absence of His presence, but are an invitation for sweet communion with Him that may not otherwise be possible.
An invitation to trust that He knows best.
God moves in ways we can’t always understand to foster growth and maturity in our lives. And a closed door today does not dim the light of opportunity for tomorrow when our future rests in His hands.
Each season of life brings unique needs and challenges in a rhythmic ebb and flow. Through it all, it’s my desire to hold steady and trust Him. May I encourage you to do the same?
Let’s remember, that even when winter seems long, spring is still coming.
The dark, hard road of testing may leave us wondering, hoping and waiting. But don’t lose faith. It may just be the bridge to a greater blessing ahead.
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; But when desire cometh, it is a tree of life.”