The Joke is on You!

There are many different types of rejection.

There is the full-hearted, 100% invested, you are an idiot, rejection. You know the type. It is the rejection that is a surprise ONLY to you.  This is the type of rejection that leaves you an inhibition-less, snot-filled, crying mess, desperately and pathetically begging someone else to do something else. These moments are the rare moments in your life where you really do feel like you are in a dramatic movie scene with even more dramatic music playing in the background. You have become eight-year old Bernice from the 90’s classic, Hope Floats. In the middle of her parents’ messy divorce, Bernice is stuck living with her mom and dreaming of the day her dad will come to rescue her. After months of waiting, he finally came. She ran to pack her things, but her dad wasn't planning on taking her with him.  She threw her prized possessions in the dirt, and ran hysterically behind a car she couldn’t catch.  Sobbing uncontrollably, and screaming over and over again, “Daddy, you want me!” He left, and she was left, crying alone in the dirt.

Of course, when a sweet innocent 8-year-old is crying in the dirt, it’s endearing, but when a 30-year-old is rolling around in the dirt begging someone to stay, it’s just pathetic.  But that is the thing with this type of rejection; you lose all dignity. You have become the crazy one.

There is, of course, another type of rejection. It is the rejection that has flipped the script. For this type you play the indifferent bystander that is begrudgingly convinced to participate only to be found wanting in the end.  For example, a few years ago, my sister gave my number to some guy I’d never met. We will call him Houston.  Houston called. I tried to be as funny as I had assumed Houston had heard I was. Houston and I spoke on the phone for about an hour. It wasn’t instant fireworks, soul mate, kinda stuff, but it was fun. Houston said he wanted to call me again. Score! I didn’t know Houston, so whether or not he called again didn’t really bother me. But Houston wanted to speak to ME again, so how could I deny him the pleasure!  A week later I received a TEXT from Houston, explaining that he had decided not to call ME again.

This type of rejection always catches you off-guard, namely, because you anticipate being the rejecter and end up being the rejected.  You come to this scene skeptical, and are manipulated to buy-in.  Suddenly, you want to beat down their door and say you don’t get to reject me, I’m supposed to reject you! Since I didn’t know where Houston’s door was, I couldn’t actually DO anything except aggressively delete his stupid text, which I did.

This type of rejection is starting to become normal in my job.  People keeping telling me how awesome I am, and when new positions open they beg me to apply. Each time, I rationally explain why I am not the best fit for this particular job, but they refuse to listen and convince me that they know better, so I apply, after all they have decided they want ME.   And so it goes, time and time again, I undergo a grueling interview process; only to be a told they have gone with a different person. In my head I say, “I didn’t even want your crummy job, you wanted me!” But it’s too late; they’ve cast the bait, pulled the line, and decided to throw me back.

Rejected and embarrassed I remember that I know something that they don't know.  Whether I have caused my own hurt, or was defrauded and bamboozled, God is in control. Whether I was the only one in the world who didn’t see it coming, or if the entire world was as surprised as me, God is in control. There is an overwhelming empowering freedom in truly believing that the world cannot hurt you beyond what God has chosen to use to help you.  I want to beat down their door and scream, “The jokes on you, Sucka’!” But instead, I smile because the joke is on them they just don’t know it yet.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Gen 50:20).

 “Come, let us return the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up” (Hosea 6:1).

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).