[nohp] adverb, informal
2. slang for “no”
I’m sure you’ve heard this plenty of times in your life span. Or maybe you’re more familiar with its euphemisms, “Sorry hun,” “It’s not you, it’s me,” and my favorite, “We regret to inform you…”. The thing is, I’ve heard no more times in the last 6 months than my heart can stand. For a while, just the thought of getting a no kept me from applying to jobs/internships, stepping outside of my comfort zone, or even doing what God wanted me to do. It’s crazy how one small word can cripple you into such a rut.
Sadly, rejection isn’t a foreign concept to me. Ever since I was a child, I struggled with acceptance on all fronts; from my mother figures… and classmates… all of which transpired into an inward battle with myself. I was never the cool kid. From summer camp grounds to the classroom, I could never quite find my tribe or group of friends that I felt accepted me for me (even though I had no idea who that was at the time). Maybe, unknowingly, I had a huge, glittery label stamped across my forehead that read, “Hey, I’m Aley. I’m funny, smart, and have a lot to offer you as a friend, but don’t bother getting to know me :).” Whatever it was, if we fast forward to now, it sure was effective in not only the friend department, but in the relationship and job opportunity sector as well.
At the start of college, my [then] step-mother separated from my father. She promised that, “nothing would change” and that she’d “still be my mother,” just to turn around and forget about me and my sister, just like she did my dad. That same year, I thought I finally found my best friends for life, only to lose them after my sophomore year due to a disagreement that, in retrospect, seems so small; petty even. A few months ago, I thought I found the love of my life, but he was never all the way there emotionally (which I later found was because he was still in love with his ex. Ouch.) And now, as I apply to what seems like every job opening on this side of the eastern sea board, the only good news I’ve gotten from anyplace is no response at all; because no news is better than bad news, right?
I hope I don’t sound too pessimistic in this post. But can you blame me? Seems like life took a giant dump all over any hopes of me ever having friends, love, a positive female role model, or even a job for that matter. So do I give up? Throw in the towel and just say forget it all? Maybe you’re at this point in your life. Things aren’t looking the way you hoped they would so you’re ready to put a pin in your story. Well, let me tell you a little something, something:
“It’s not over.”
Sometimes the thoughts of all that is going wrong in our life are so loud, that they tend to drown out the sound of all the good that has graced our life. You keep thinking about all of the no’s you’ve received, but what about the yes’s? I’ll give you a moment…
Philippians 4:8 encourages you to, “… Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable, and right and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” So what’s lovely in your life? What excellence has God placed in your life that is worthy of praise? Sometimes, it’s the very thing that we’re complaining about that you should be giving God thanks for. i.e. that summer job that you would otherwise be broke without, that boyfriend that’s getting on your nerves, or those summer classes that are going to help you graduate on time. Let me be the first to say that it’s easier said than done to think of all the good when it seems like all bad is around you, but it takes practice. Just try it out. The next time you feel like complaining about your situation, thank God for it and see how your attitude changes.
And while you’re at it, be thankful for His timing. This is a big one. I heard once that, “Rejection is just God’s protection,” and that’s stayed with me for years. And when I look over all of the no’s that I have received from company A and B, and remember all the rusty, dusty boys that just didn’t see me as “girlfriend material,” I can’t help but to be thankful for their rejection. That God saw fit for me to go through the temporary hurt that I experienced, as opposed to giving me a job that would turn out to be stressful or a boyfriend that would end up cheating on me. Think of all the time you saved! You never want to jump into something out of your own will, due to impatience or the uncertainty in God’s timing. I’ll say this until my face turns blue, God’s gotchu, boo! Philippians 4:19 tells us, “And the same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” That’s word, baby. And you can put your foot on that.
So, the next time you get/feel rejected, give God some thanks for it and think about what He’s protected you from and all that He has in store. Trust in His timing because it’s perfect.
You’ve just been served.