I’ll Put You In Front…
A Short Story by Joy A. Adewumi (Spirit Pen)
‘Hi, Victoria. We looked through your portfolio and pitch and we appreciate your interest in working with us, but your level of experience and expertise is not what we require at this time. Heck! What does that even mean?!’ Vic whined as she tossed her phone on her bed in frustration! Why did this keep happening? Each time she applied for these contracts, she always prayed, but somehow they never worked out! What else did she have to do? Didn’t prayer solve all things?
Experience? She had more experience than many other creatives in her niche and they had no problems landing juicy gigs! Expertise? Heck! She was good at what she did. Really good. She’d even trained some very successful people, so that certainly wasn’t why she was rejected!
Each time she applied to one call for designers or the other, she ended up facing rejections in many different forms. At this point, she was sure she knew every single form by which a rejection letter could be drafted.
Tears stung her eyes and she shook her head vigorously. She wasn’t going to cry. Many great people had faced worse before their big breaks. She was tough, she could do this! She was going to go right back online and search for more calls. She wasn’t going to let this rejection pull her down.
With a bravado she wasn’t quite feeling, she stretched across the bed to pick her phone.
Why not take a breather?
What? A breather? A breather wasn’t what she needed right now. A breather was a bad idea. If she took that advice, she would only slide into depression and maybe give up.
Calm down and talk to God.
Talk to God? Of course, she talked to God. Every chance she got as a matter of fact. She’d probably bent His ears with her pleas on this particular issue.
Opening her Chrome browser, she was going to enter in a string of search keywords but restlessness took over her form.
Not giving up is great, but sometimes, when nothing seems to be working, you should ask questions.
Questions? How did that factor into anything? Was she supposed to ask God why she kept facing rejections? Wasn’t it obvious that He was taking her through a process and testing her ability to handle her moments of failure and rejection? What else could there be?
Just talk to God.
At this clear prompting, Alexis dropped her phone and blinked, not sure what to say. She opened her mouth a couple of times and closed them not sure the questions she was about to ask were okay. They sounded more like allegations than questions and that was honestly how she felt. If the Holy Spirit really wanted her to talk to God, He would have to help out here.
Accuse God? Question Him? Blame Him? That didn’t feel right. However, nothing else came from the Holy Spirit and Alex realised she would just have to talk.
With a deep sigh and a weird rush of emotions she blurted, ‘God, why? I don’t know. I mean, I just don’t get it! Why do I keep getting rejected? I have experience. I have honed my skills, I keep honing them, so why? People who are not half as experienced as I am land amazing contracts and each time, it takes all I’ve got to smile at them and congratulate them. I thought it was you checking to see how I handled failure and rejection but apparently, something else is wrong.’ At this point, the tears she fought to hold at bay broke forth like a dam and she just let out her misery.
‘Each time I bid for a job, I commit my ways into Your hands and ask that You bless then, but each of those times I come back defeated. Yet, I was bent on being strong in faith but I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I’m not sure my morale can handle much more. It doesn’t help that those I trained are far up ahead of me. I am tired. What do I do? Is there something I’m doing wrong? Is there some hidden sin working against me? Am I-‘
Check your phone.
‘What?’ Alexis blinked midway through her sobs. Was there a miracle waiting there. Maybe one of those emails she thought had been ignored. Excitedly, she double-tapped her phone’s screen but saw no email notification. Instead, she’d missed a call. She had placed the volume in silence mode while she was observing her quiet time earlier, so she didn’t hear it ring. Before she could swipe down to check the caller, a call came in again. The caller ID showed her sister’s name. Knowing for sure the Spirit was urging her to pick this call, she cleared her throat trying to erase all telltale signs of her previous sobbing fit, and picked the call.
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‘Hullo! How’s my favorite sister doing?’ Angela asked on the other end of the call.
Rolling her eyes, Alex smiled despite her mood. ‘I am your only sister, duh.’
‘Wha-ever! You’re still my favorite. So, howdy?’ Angie replied in her best duh tone.
Should she pour out her woes? Was this why God had prodded her to pick this call? But how was Angie supposed to help her? Her big sister knew about her rejection woes and she didn’t want to sound pitiable by regaling her with more tales of woe.
‘I’ve been better.’ She replied simply. If God wanted her to talk to Angie about it, He would have to make her press for information.
‘Ehya, sorry. Is that catarrh I sense? Your voice sounds like you’ve been battling with one. Anyway, babes, guess what?’ Angie enthused after sympathising with Alex and she could feel the excitement radiating through the phone. Too bad she wasn’t able to connect with it.
‘What?’ She asked infusing forced interest into her voice.
‘I got that job!’ Oh! Great, just great! Just when she was battling with her one million and first rejection, she had to rejoice with someone else for their own win. She wasn’t in the mood. In fact, what she wanted to do was just drop the call. But of course, she wasn’t going to do that. Angie had also been looking forward to a big break, her trials held no torch to Alexis’ though. They’d both been the spot of sunshine in each other’s journeys, encouraging each other. Now, just like every other person in her life, apparently, Angie had moved on to breakthroughville while she was left stuck in the valley of God when? Apparently, she was supposed to remember the job Angie was excited about but she couldn’t even task her brain to recollect. Angie was bound to talk about it anyway. So, Alex replied by rote, feeling partially bad for not being able to feel excitement for her sister.
‘Wow! Great! Congrats!’
‘Yea, thanks, dear. To think that the guy said if I had a made the bid a day before yesterday, I would have been denied because they had decided on someone else before. The person rejected the job and then my bid came in and according to them, my profile was just perfect. Can you imagine it?’
‘Whoa! I’m so happy for you sis.’ Alex replied again, fighting tears and swallowing back sobs.
‘Thanks, hon. I guess letting God take the reins this time paid off.’
‘Sorry, did you leave God out before?’ Alex inquired one eyebrow shooting up.
‘Noooo… Okay, this was what happened. Last week, I was talking with a group of friends and one of them spoke about how being attuned with the Holy Spirit in all her endeavours had paid off. She said she tells God to guide her every move and help her reach only for the opportunities designed for her. She said she prays for timing and the grace to be patient and wait on God’s every instruction. At the time I felt maybe that was one method to approach life, but as I was about to bid for the management of Lady Keziah’s 50th birthday event, I decided to try her method. God knows I had the mind to bid anyway and do it as soon as possible, but I wanted to see how giving the Holy Spirit absolute control could make a difference. He made me wait! Alexis, I was restless! But I was bent on seeing what difference this path would take and this morning, I got what felt like a go-ahead and made the bid.’
‘Wow! And the guy told you your timing and profile were just perfect?’ Alex asked, surprise, marring her features.
‘Yea! Babes! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten feedback that great. Plus this event is bound to be the big break I need. I just need to do a great job and big profile referrals will rush in. Mehn! I’m over the moon! Henceforth, honey, I’m no more wandering o. Any bid I want to make, it’s me and the Holy Spirit. “Baba God, will I be wasting my time, if not, when do I bid?” That’s the MO henceforth o. I know there are days I will have to step forward in faith, but I intend to include the Holy Spirit every step of the way. I can’t believe I didn’t see the enormous advantage I had in Him before now. I’m so glad I was a part of that discussion last week.’
Alexis sighed deeply as she pondered Angie’s testimony. Was this it? Was this what the Holy Spirit wanted her to know? The call ended after a bit of small talk and Alex dropped her phone on the bed, staring at the wall.
Her sister’s words rang in her head. I know there are days I would have to step forward in faith but I intend to include the Holy Spirit every step of the way.
So what had Alexis been doing? Of course, she’d never locked the Holy Spirit out of her endeavours. She always prayed about them.
You’ve been charting your path and asking for my endorsements. When I try to make you see I have for you, you are not aware it’s Me and you simply filter them out by your limited wisdom going for what you think is better for you. Your wisdom can only go so far.
What the heck?! She didn’t even know she’d been doing that. Had the Holy Spirit really been trying to guide her to the right jobs and she’d been ignoring them foolishly?
You don’t recognise an answer when you never solicited it. You never asked Me to guide you to the right jobs so even when I did, you could never recognize them. It was only natural that you would throw them out through ignorance.
‘Oh, dear! I am sorry. I can’t believe I’ve been ruining my own prospects all this while.’
I like you stepping out in faith and trusting that I’ve got your back but I also wish you’d ask if I have any instructions for each bid. You only know so much after all.
‘I know. I’m sorry. I won’t act independently going forward. I will include you every step of the way not just asking you to endorse my decisions after I’ve made them.’
I love you and I am interested in what you do. Your success is for My glory. I know what is right for you and how you can get it. I always have something to set you above every other bid but you never listen for them. Let me have the reins and follow my lead.
‘Jesus, take the wheels. I have been going about it all wrong. Henceforth, lead the way and I’ll follow. I want to make full use of the advantage I have in you. I invite you Holy Spirit to be my Senior Partner, please.’
As she threw her hands up in a sign of surrender, Alexis began singing a song that dropped on her mind.
‘If there’s a road I should walk, help me find it.
If I need to be still, give me peace for the moment,
Whatever your will, whatever your will,
Can you help me find it, can you help me find it?‘
With love, I thank you for reading the first fictional story for the year on our lovely blog. I hope you were blessed. There’s no better way to go this year than to put God in front. I pray as we do, our success will be accelerated beyond our wildest imaginations in Jesus name. Amen.
Drop your comments for me below. Let me know how you’ve been blessed.
Yours in improvement,