Her Story: Moving Forward When God Says No

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

Over a decade ago, I believed I was being led to prepare for a very specific job. I had received the required certifications, logged hundreds of hours in training, and waited for just the right opportunity.

Along the way, I developed a focused plan of action to ensure I was ready to apply. As I love to do, I laid out every painstaking detail it would take to compete for a position of this caliber. I also told God that I had a 10-year time frame to reach this particular destination and then time would run out.

Therein was the problem.

This journey to the ultimate job started many years earlier when I felt God calling me to step out of the classroom and make the move to school administration. I left my comfort zone and quickly accelerated through one position and then another. I believed along the way that God had placed me right where I needed to be to contend for a top school leadership spot.

I garnered the necessary experiences to be qualified and I paid close attention to job openings where I would potentially be a good fit. While I was searching for just the place God needed me, I was also fervently praying to not have to move away from my family, my home city, my aging mother, my friends, or my church. I believed that God would provide just the right opportunity close to home, as I was not willing to sacrifice what I had for what I wanted.

So when an opportunity presented itself in relative proximity I took a chance. I had a lot to think about concerning the demands of the job, but I knew I had to try. I continued to pray about it and decided to go through the paperwork process, submit the application packet and wait. God had opened the door and I obeyed and walked through it.

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end, you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails ” (Proverbs 19:20-21, NIV).

As things turned out I was not the candidate of choice, but I did learn a lot through the experience.

It was a bitter pill to swallow because it was a place I thought I needed to be.

It was not His plan nor His timing.

Isn’t that what God wants from us? To learn from our circumstances and to glean what He’s trying to tell us or show us through our experiences.

God knew I would be disappointed, but more than that, He knew that when the fog in my mind cleared I would be much better off. The position wasn’t a good fit for me and I needed to see that. Good thing God has the ‘big picture’ scenario thing down to a tee–He saved me a lot of heartache and frustration.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, ESV).

God had a different plan for me. One that was of His choosing.

He wanted me to see things for what they were.

He wanted me to see the situation I would be in and recognize it was not what I needed. He also wanted me to see that the things I believed were important to move forward were not as important as His plans. Bottom line, this experience was not about what I wanted, but what He wanted for me.

I am thankful He sees the big picture and knows what is best for me--even when I don't see it or understand. Click To Tweet

It would have been easy to believe I failed, but I hadn’t. My plans had simply been derailed. This is how the enemy misleads us to believe his lies. He plants seeds of doubt. He wants us to believe that circumstances, failures, and successes define us. He wants us to believe that we have been ripped off, short-changed, and wronged.

None of that is true.

We are defined by our Maker and Creator. It is about who we are. It is about how well we hold up in adversity. It is about how well we deal with disappointments, big and small, and it is about how well we rebound and see God’s hand of protection in all that we do.

“May the beloved of the Lord dwell in security by Him, who shields him all the day, And he dwells between His shoulders” (Deuteronomy 33:12, NASB).

Have I suffered disappointment since that time? Of course I have. But God used that teachable moment to breathe new life in me. During a frustrating season, He showed me I had so much to be thankful and grateful for. I take comfort in that every day.

So as I keep moving forward, day by day, my trust is placed completely in God. He had been very clear about who was in charge in this relationship and it wasn’t me. I was to wait on His timetable because He’s not finished with me yet. And I had to remember that while things did not go the way I had planned, they did go the way I had prayed.

Reflection Questions

How has God used a disappointing season for good in your life?

What are your favorite verses to read when you’re waiting on God?

 

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me, mistakes and all. You are my rock and my salvation and You have proved it over and over again. I love that You take my heartache and pain and turn them into teachable moments that glorify You. Thank You for easing the frustrations by providing wisdom far beyond what my human mind can handle. Thank You for Your seeds of provision and Your protection from the evil one. We are defined by You and equipped to overcome any obstacle with You by our side. I’m thankful You’re not finished with me yet and I’m thankful all the days of my life that I am a Daughter of the King. Amen.

11 thoughts on “Her Story: Moving Forward When God Says No

Jodie Whichard Barrett

“But God used that teachable moment to breathe new life in me.” Mitzi- I love it when we can look back and see God’s hand. You are a treasure and always help me see that God is working things together for our God, even when it’s not like we thought and planned.

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Mitzi

Sometimes disappointments are just plain hard. Hard to understand and hard to accept. It’s okay to hurt a little bit, but it’s not okay to let ourselves wallow in the disappointment. I’ve discovered if I give myself some time and really think through the situation, God is always faithful to show me that He has my best interest at heart. More often than not He just wants me to get out of the way and surrender my plans so His plans can come to fruition.

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    Jodie Whichard Barrett

    Surrender is a word that he keeps bringing to my heart a lot lately, Mitzi.

    Reply

Jan Riley

Mitzi, Thank you for the encouragement and reminder that God is guiding our way even when the path seems dark and lonely. I appreciate your words today.

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    Mitzi

    Jan,
    You are so right. God directs our paths every second of every day through the pain and the joy, and His plans for us are so much more than anything we could imagine. Things may not always go according to our plans, but He has us fully covered. I am thankful for Him.

    Reply

Sue Donaldson

This is a life lesson we’ve all needed to learn and may continue to! Disappointment is the pits but it turns me to God. I love how you wrote: It wasn’t how I had planned, but it was how I had prayed.
That’s what I want all the time, and God knows us to so well to make it happen. A blessing (and I think you’re a gift in whatever position you are in!)

Reply

    Mitzi

    Thank you Sue for your kind words. Some phases or seasons of life are just hard, but I know that God has the very best plan for each of us. Things don’t always turn out like we hope or pray for, but I know from experience that He has saved me from myself–I’m really thankful for that. Hugs to you and thank you again.

    Reply

Laura Adams

I love your ending line, “And I had to remember that while things did not go the way I had planned, they did go the way I had prayed.” So many times in life, I pray for things, but when God doesn’t answer them in the way I expected Him to, I can miss what He’s doing in my life. Thanks for the reminder, Mitzi. Great post! :)<3

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    Mitzi

    Thank you Laura for your kind and encouraging words. When things don’t the way we planned it’s hard to be thankful for the closed door. But I did pray for His Will in each situation and He answered definitively. I sure am glad He has the BIG picture perspective instead of me, because He has saved me many times from jumping off in an area that I don’t need. He didn’t say I wasn’t qualified–He just redirected me so I didn’t have to experience whatever was head. Love you and hugs.

    Reply

Tara Horsley

As I was looking in my life I face a few disappointes, in my life. Be we all do. But I also know that they would be more oppinstiom would come my to my life. But I give each of them to God and wait. I love to lol back and see God’s hands. We are a treasure and always a help from God is working things together our. God even when I didn’t think or planned

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    Mitzi

    Tara,
    You are so right–we’ve all experienced disappointments. They sting and hurt. Hard to rebound sometimes, but from personal experience I’ve gotten through each one because I gave myself some time to heal. Praying faithfully and trusting Him is what matters. He is in control, and loves and cares for us as a father to a daughter. I’m very thankful.

    Reply

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