There are only two and a half months until I finish college. Somedays I can hardly believe it. It feels like I just started. Part of what will allow me to graduate college is the successful completion of a six-week internship. The first step to a successful internship completion is, of course, finding an internship.
I applied for the best internship I could find, happening right in the heart of the largest city in Canada. I’m in school for journalism. Immediately after I applied, I started imagining myself taking the train to downtown Toronto each day, the bustle of activity featuring busy commuters surrounding me. I thought about the stories I would write, and the people I would meet. I couldn’t wait. Maybe it wouldn’t be simply an internship… perhaps they’d even give me a job afterward.
This must be what God wants for me, I thought. Why else did I feel so confident? Was God giving me a glimpse of what my future might hold?
I received an email from the company, requesting an interview.
I prepared for the interview using all the ways I knew how — I made connections with people from the company and called them to learn what their interviews had been like; I emailed previous interns; I wrote down the answers to questions I thought they might ask.
The morning of the interview, I felt nervous but confident. I could do this.
I didn’t feel great when the interview ended. None of the questions I had prepared answers for had been asked. I started to doubt everything.
I received the email yesterday: I didn’t get the internship.
The rejection stung. In a split second, all of the times I’d been rejected flashed before my eyes like a cruel slideshow. Have you felt that way, too? The hot sting of feeling unwanted or not good enough?
I wasn’t shattered. I knew, deep within me, that God’s ways often look different than what I have in mind.
I wanted that internship so I would feel safe and secure. I thought if I had this internship solidified, I would feel as though my future was set. (Finishing college brings some serious feelings of unsteadiness.) But weeks earlier I had prayed, “God, I don’t want to be comfortable. Don’t let me get comfortable. Let me only follow you.”
I remembered my prayer when I read the rejection email.
Faith isn’t comfortable, but then again, neither is Jesus. When I read the Bible, I don’t see Jesus as soft and mushy. I see Him acting strong and brave and vulnerable. It can be uncomfortable. He is honest — He doesn’t sugarcoat his words. His disciples aren’t living cushy lives.
So maybe following God’s plan isn’t about being comfortable at all.
Regardless of what internship I receive… regardless of if I ever get a job at all, I know that God has good plans for me. They might not be what I thought I wanted, but I’ve been following God long enough to know His plans are much better than we think they could be.
I’d like to keep being uncomfortable. It’s in the uncomfortable where I rely on God fully. I’ll keep opening my hands, palms upward, surrendering my future and my dreams and my plans.
Jesus never promised us a comfortable life. I remind myself of this when I feel confused or unsure about my future. Jesus didn’t promise comfort — at least not the materialistic kind our Western culture often knows. But He did promise fulfillment. In John 10:10 Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
I’ll choose a full life over comfort any day. Fancy internship or not. Boyfriend or not. A house I own or not. I’d choose Jesus every time.
So here’s a prayer I’m praying these days. It’s a prayer you can steal if you need.
Here I am, God. Here’s all of me. Keep me uncomfortable, so I can see you. May I not rely on the comfort of this world. May I only rely on you. Your ways are perfect — may I know that full well.
God has a plan for you, friend. Even in the midst of what might feel scary or unsure. His plans are good, and the life He offers is a life to the full.