Getting rejected hurts – no doubt about it.
I remember the very first time I got rejected by a girl. I was a wimpy little 3rd grader who had a crush on this girl in my class. I decided I was going to ‘man up’ and tell her, so I wrote her an email via AOL.
I still remember my messge to her: I like you. Do you like me? If not, that’s ok. I will understand.
Her response: No.
Rejection straight up hurts. Whether it’s from a family member, friend, coworker, or some weirdo on Facebook you never talk to who decides to randomly comment on your post and diss you, when we get rejected it stings us in our heart – the epicenter of our emotions.
But, rejection also has a way of helping us out, and making our lives better.
I’ve learned to look at rejection differently these past few years. In fact, some of the biggest blessings in my life have come out of rejection. Let me share one of them with you.
Colorado Springs and Shenzhen
After college, I did a marketing internship at a publishing company in Colorado Springs, Colorado. My boss wanted to bring me onboard full-time, but the company didn’t have ‘the budget’ for it, so I had to look elsewhere. (Rejection #1: not getting hired at the company you did your internship at – a company you wanted to work for.)
So I explored all other options, including China. Shenzhen, to be exact.
There was an open e-commerce marketing position for this manufacturing company in Szhenzen, China. The company was run by two Americans, and I would’ve been working directly with them.
There was over 20 applicants, and I made it to the very last round: just me and one other dude.
However, they decided to go with the other guy, and not me. I got rejected and denied a second time.
Ouch. (Rejection #2: not getting hired at a company you applied for.)
Because I got rejected, I was forced to take the one and only other job offer I got: a marketing coordinator position from a company in Chicago, Illinois. (Man, oh man, was I sad to leave Colorado! Rejection #3: Not getting to stay in the state you want to live in.)
So why did this turn out to be awesome?
These three rejections forced me to move back to Illinois, because that was where my new job was.
Within a year after moving home, I had unexpectedly reconnected with a woman named Abby – the woman who is now my wife.
Abby and I had dated for three years in high school and into college, but we broke up (for three years) due to personal differences we had at the time. We unexpectedly ran into each other at a benefit concert a mutual friend was putting on, and started talking again. We kept talking for several months after that, had plenty of in-depth conversations, and 14 months later we were married.
Had I stayed in Colorado Springs or moved to China, it’s very likely I would have never reconnected with Abby, and we most likely would not have got back together or married.
You see, rejection often redirects us toward the right and best path.
The publishing company in Colorado was awesome to work at, primarily because of the team members I worked with. However, a year later all of them (except one) weren’t working at the company anymore. The team members either switched companies, or quit and started their own company.
The job opportunity in Shenzhen sounded awesome on paper. But would it have been fun to be over 7,502 miles away from home? Maybe, but it could have have been totally miserable being in a foreign land, not speaking the language, and having no friends or family members within thousands of miles from me.
Plus, I would not have reconnected with Abby, and we probably wouldn’t be married today.
Sometimes, getting rejected turns out to be for your good, because it keeps you away from people and things that wouldn’t be good for you, and it keeps you headed in the right direction – the best direction.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 ESV