Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.
There are so many things in life that we compete for.
Careers. Fame. Relationships. Wealth. Followers. Looks. Affirmation. Friendships.
We can either view competition as a way of motivating us to be a better version of ourselves, or, during a trial, allow stress to overwhelm us, ultimately, becoming a source of rejection.
I hope that this story enables you to never experience rejection again!
In the winter of 2013, I was a junior in college, pursuing a career in broadcasting. I had received a full scholarship to play basketball at the collegiate level, so with athletics playing an integral role in my life, my dream job was to be a sports reporter for ESPN. As an upperclassman, I was looking for internship opportunities, focusing on things that could get my foot in the door of the sports world. And if you've ever applied for an internship, you know how competitive they can be, especially an internship with a nationally televised conglomerate like ESPN.
As I've grown, I've realized that networking is almost as important as your talent level. And I've always said that God knows everyone, so He is the best contact I have. He had me in the right place at the right time that January when I offered some advise to a pageant contestant in Fairhope, Alabama who just so happened to be the niece of the Director of Championships for the Southeastern Conference. Next thing I knew, I had landed the BEST internship I could have ever imagined! I was going to intern with ESPN as they broadcasted the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee that Spring.
God is so good! I knew He had divinely intervened to give me something that I had wished for.
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
I called my mom, I called my grandparents, I told my friends at college. I WAS ON MY WAY TO NASHVILLE FOR THE SEC MEN'S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT!
Fast-forward to February. Everything was set. I had my hotel booked. I had my outfits planned for each day. I had researched the teams and players that were competing in the tournament. I had even looked up which reporters would be covering the games.
On February 27, just two weeks before the tournament, I received a call from the producer at ESPN U. I was thrilled to hear from an actual producer, but my excitement quickly faded as he explained to me that there had been a miscommunication in hiring interns; there were too many interns signed up to work the tournament. He apologized for the error, told me that they didn't need my service anymore, and said he hoped I would try and intern with them the following spring.
I hung up the phone, and immediately recognized that this was the enemy trying to steal from me. I had two choices in that moment. I could either receive what he had just told me as truth, or I could refuse to accept the death of a dream that was God-breathed.
Contrary to what I did when I first heard that I would be interning with ESPN, I didn't tell anyone the news. It wasn't because I was disappointed; I just knew that life and death are in the power of the tongue. And if I told myself - or others - that I wasn't going to be working the tournament, I would be declaring that lie over my life, and it would take root. I chose to only speak and believe what I knew was true, and that was the supernatural reality that I was working the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament in two weeks.
Worry is illogical if you know who your Father is. And my Father is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. It wasn't a matter of if He would provide a spot for me at the tournament, it was when, because providing is His nature.
With a week until the tournament, I still hadn't told my parents or friends what had happened - which meant I had a hotel in Nashville the following week, regardless. But every morning, I would thank God for providing me with the opportunity to work the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, and when doubt would start to creep in, I would begin singing praises to the Lord for everything that He had done for me. I as speaking to my mountain, and it was going to move.
The Monday before tipoff, my phone rang again. It was Craig Maddox, the man who had opened the door for me initially to get into the tournament. He apologized for what had happened before and asked if I still had arrangements in Nashville, because ESPN had made a spot entirely for me to work the tournament. I immediately started jumping up and down, agreeing to everything, hung up with Craig and tears began flowing down my face. I had just experienced a supernatural victory.
My dear, dear friends! I love you so much. I do want the very best for you. You make me feel such joy, fill me with such pride. Don’t waver. Stay on track, steady in God.
I called my mother and told her everything that had happened. We both were crying.
When I got to the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, I worked exclusively with ESPN, the producers, editors, and reporters - a position far better than what I was originally intended to work. With the initial internship position, I would have been one of 50 others, running stats back and fourth from the scorers table to the production truck. Instead, I was eating lunches with the president of the South Eastern Conference.
I firmly believe that if I would have allowed the disappointing news to become topic of conversation, I would have been left out of the tournament altogether. As believers, we have to fight from time to time.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
When the enemy tries to steal from you in any area of your life, stand your ground. It's up to us to not allow rejection to take root. If there's a 'no' spoken over your circumstance, rest in the fact that something even better is coming.