I didn’t get a job this week.  Rather, I was turned down for a job this week.  I didn’t really want it, but I rode the spiral just cause it was easier to believe the part that said “they don’t want you” than to embrace the fact that I didn’t really want them.  What is it about rejection that screws with us so badly? People, jobs, loans… rejection makes me question my identity in unending ways.  It makes me believe I want something I might not actually want, but suddenly think I need to feel worthy again.  In my case it almost made me forget I am allergic to business-casual.  It can make me yearn for things that are downright bad for me.  The new kid at school called me “fat” and now I desperately want to date him.

My husband is good to me.  I don’t mean that in the “my husband doesn’t beat me” kind of good to me.  Not even in the “my husband is a hard worker” way.  (Both those things are true, of course.)  My husband is better to me than I am to him.  He is more gentle, more patient, more kind, and he has been since we met.  Despite all this it took him three years and two proposals to convince me to make the leap.  I love Jaron and I did from early on, but in our dating relationship I really battled the idea love must be fantastical, rather than just fantastic.  I had pined after boys before and to me part of the “love” experience involved drama and quite honestly unrequited or at least unpredictable feelings.  When Jaron came along he wore his heart on his sleeve, more than I had ever experienced before.  I loved it.  But time went on and he continued.  More time went on and he still continued.  I began to replay romantic comedies in my head, Christian romance novels I read when I was 9 years old (that stuff should be illegal), and found myself at times underwhelmed with our love story.  Jaron hadn’t taught me that I didn’t deserve him.

If this was the After School Special version of our story, I would finally have realized that I do deserve real love and would then be able to receive it from the doting, funny, ever-faithful boy next door.  But let’s be honest, that’s a load of crap.  I don’t deserve love any more than I deserve a Nobel Peace Prize.  It’s less about what I deserve and more about what I trust.  What really happened was that Jaron and I went through a real, painful conflict and what I found when we reached the other side was still me and Jaron.  A scarred, more tangible version of who we had been before.  And I knew that our relationship was real, that the love could be tested and stay true.  That’s the way it is with love.

Growing up in the evangelical Christian community, there was sometimes pressure to have a fantastical conversion story.  A moment when no one could argue that God intervened and saved you from what was surely imminent destruction.  Former drug addicts were featured a lot.  The thing is that each our stories progress on the same trajectory, regardless of the details.  It’s not about one dramatic moment that wraps the story up nicely for a twenty minute testimony.  You can’t get a Hollywood reel out of it; love between the two beings is not in question.  And I think I’m finally getting used to that.  Finally in a position where my first instinct is not to think that a job rejection means a God rejection.  More importantly, I’m finally in a place where I don’t believe that being loved leads to being rejected.  Don’t get me wrong, it still sucks when you don’t get the job.  But I know that the love doesn’t change.  Trust might, but not love.

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