Something happened that I didn't tell you about. I didn't write a word about it. I guess, the truth is, I didn't want to give voice to the pain deep inside. By keeping the page of this story blank I thought I was protecting my rejected heart, but I think I thought wrong. Hidden hurt only festers. Open and honest hurt has the opportunity to be healed and made whole. Surrendering pain is good for the soul.
So here it goes.
Just a couple of short weeks ago I was "let go" from my part-time position at the city mission. The opportunity to be a part of the staff there was made available to me last fall. It was like a dream come true to be working in ministry. For years I had hoped for such a job. I never imagined it would come so soon and I certainly never imagined it would end just as quickly. For reasons that I may never fully understand, I was let go and the door of opportunity slammed shut.
The ending of that job, no matter how few hours it was a week or how unofficial my title, was a rejection that felt more like a slap in the face than a wave good bye. For days I replayed my words, actions and duties of the past few months trying to pinpoint where I went wrong. If I were of value and worth to the organization certainly they would have kept me on staff, right?
At the end of my pondering I didn't come to any neat and tidy conclusion. All I came up with was more pain, more mourning the loss of the job I celebrated as my dream come true, more wounds made by the sharp cut of rejection.
The pain of being let go might not have stung so much had it not been made on top of a thousand other cuts. Over the course of the past decade of my life the cuts of rejection and failure have been fast and furious. Relationship rejection. Friendship failure. Lost opportunities. Slashes made at my health. Cuts made to my attempts to finish college and get a degree. Milestones missed.
The pain of letting go and being let go has been so intense, so obvious in my life that I resisted giving voice to its latest source. I didn't want to admit another failure when I've already had so many.
But God wouldn't let me hide my hurt. He never does. In all of the hurt caused by being let go and having to let go, I've had to learn that when a door slams on my dreams I am never left in a dark hallway. God always unlocks and opens another door. Sometimes He simply props open another window. But He never abandons me in the hall with no where to go or nothing to do. He never leaves me suffering dreamless and hopeless.
When the mission called to give me my final word I went and sat in the hall of my own grief. For days I didn't even open my eyes to truly let the sight of the slammed door sink in. By refusing to look at the rejection and the hurt I didn't help myself heal. It took opening my eyes and acknowledging the pain to see that down the hall another door was ajar with the promise of another opportunity, another dream.
By pushing that door open I was introduced to a dream I had let die - the dream of health and physical restoration. In the past I've knocked on hundreds of doors with this dream on the other side. Sometimes the door has been opened if only for a moment. Other times the door has remained firmly locked. This time a door was ajar with that old dream casting out radiant light, bidding me to cross its threshold and take hold of its promise.
And so I did. I have. I am.
Letting go of dreams - and being let go by dreams - has been part of my story but it has never been the end of my story. The ending of one dream, no matter how painful the rejection, has always led me to greater paths, new doors and more glorious dreams.
The latest letting go is no different. It is not a slammed door. It is not a hurt to be hidden. This latest in my letting go series is my open door to go on living.
So here's to the next door, the next dream and the promise of my future on the other side of this threshold.