The problem with praise is that sometimes it can go to your head. Here's what I mean: after I speak somewhere, I am showered with praise as to how well I did. I like to shrug it off because I understand that the opportunity and ability comes from God and I would not be able to do the things I do without Him. And yet, it still feels good to have people say those things. If they say them enough, it becomes possible to start believing your own press.
And then the bottom falls out.
I started to think that I'm as good as everyone says, that every church would be extremely blessed to have me become a member of their staff. It turns out that this is not the case. I have applied to more churches than I can count, including my own church, the church that I currently teach and preach in. Do you know how many replies I have gotten? Two. One reply was to tell me that I had not been selected for an interview and the other was to inform me that I was not selected because I inadvertently put that I was interested in becoming a pastor and not the desired youth pastor. I have even passed over twice for a position that I felt I was qualified for.
I don't want this to turn into a post to get people to feel sorry for me. It turns out that I have been relying too much on my own abilities and not enough on the One who gave those abilities to me. Am I heartbroken? Absolutely. Do I feel hurt because I was overlooked...again? More than you can imagine. Yet, I know that God has a plan for our lives and I am trusting that He will make it known. It is my prayer that I will look back on this experience and have a good laugh about it.
Right now...it doesn't feel so funny.