It seemed like the perfect opportunity. Everyone thought so.
I found out about it just in time. I met all of the requirements. It was exactly what I wanted to do in the place where I wanted it to happen. It was almost like it had been designed for me. Surely that meant it’s what God wanted for me. I mean, why else would everything have fallen into place so wonderfully?
I happened to be at home when I got the response. I was standing at the kitchen counter, scrolling through my email, when I saw it.
Thank you for your interest…
It was a very polite letter. It included encouragement and kind words and best wishes. But do you know what it sounded like in my head?
Not good enough…
Someone else is better…
The brief email crushed all of the dreams I’d let grow in my mind of how awesome my life was about to become. I had prayed for this. I had been so sure this was God’s plan for my life.
I wish I could tell you it didn’t hit me hard. I wish I could tell you I immediately told God thank you for not letting me have that opportunity because He so clearly had a better plan in mind. But to be gut-level honest with you, I didn’t take it so well. Suddenly, I found myself without a plan B and without the confidence to even look for a plan B. After all, if I wasn’t good enough for something that seemed so good for me, why would I think there was something even better for me to do?
But the thing about God is He’s not like me (thank goodness). He doesn’t give up on me, even when I’m feeling burned out on positivity. He doesn’t even need to come up with a plan B because He’s known the real plan all along and nothing throws Him off track. Not rejection and not His slightly-dramatic daughter.
God already knows everything about our lives. He already knows every time we will feel disappointed, every time will feel like a failure. He also knows every time we will celebrate. Every time we will be filled with so much joy we can hardly handle it. Nothing surprises Him.
So why didn’t that opportunity work out for me? I really don’t know. But I do know that God has a plan for my life that I can’t see right now.
In Paul’s letter to the Christians living in Rome, he says,
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. “ – Romans 8:28 (NLT)
When life doesn’t turn out like we think it should.
When we wonder if we’re good enough.
When we’re disappointed and discouraged and doubtful.
God’s plans are for your good. They may not feel good right now, but they’re designed so that we can glorify God with our lives. He has a purpose for us.
When you don’t get an opportunity you hoped for.
When that guy doesn’t even know you exist.
When that friendship ends.
God understands our disappointments, and He knows our struggles. He also knows what’s coming next.
But right now? When you’re hurting or confused? Keep the bigger picture in mind. Remember God sees more than just what’s happening right now, and He has a plan.
When life doesn’t go the way you think it should, or when God doesn’t fix something like you think He should, use it as an opportunity to grow closer to Him. Spend time talking to Him in prayer. Let Him know how you’re feeling, but also tell Him you trust that He will work everything together for His glory and for your good.
What about you? Have you ever experienced disappointment that you didn’t understand at the time, but now that you look back on it, you can see how God had a plan all along?