I got to talk to a couple former students about big life choices today. One young lady has faced multiple rejections from her dream plans, despite being a perfect candidate (perfect test scores, hundreds of volunteer hours, beloved by faculty, etc, etc). She made the comment, “What really stings is that growing up everyone told me I’d be able to go to any school I wanted, and I’d be able to go for free.”

My eyes got big. “They told me the same thing.”

I once read the two most important, life-giving words you can tell someone is “Me too.”

But sometimes my story seems so weird. So unrelatable.

That’s the lie right there, my friends. May we never fall into that trap.

So I listened. And I had to laugh at how similar our experiences were.

And while she isn’t getting what she wanted, I hope that my story of not getting what I wanted—but ending up loving what I have infinitely more—gave some peace.

We have to share our stories—both our joys and our sorrows. We have to allow others to take comfort from them, because that’s when healing happens for us, too.

We have to remember we belong to one another.

“Our tendency in the midst of suffering is to turn on God. To get angry and bitter and shake our fist at the sky and say, “God, you don’t know what it’s like! You don’t understand! You have no idea what I’m going through. You don’t have a clue how much this hurts.”

The cross is God’s way of taking away all of our accusations, excuses, and arguments.

The cross is God taking on flesh and blood and saying, “Me too.””

-Rob Bell

2 thoughts on “Roads

  1. Wow! This post really resonated with me. I had a similar situation in high school. I did all the right things, got all the right grades, and played the game just like they told me. I was always led to believe I’d be able to go anywhere I wanted with my brains, grades, scores, etc. I expected to get a certain result because it was what everyone said I would get if I did these things. Then the rejection letters arrived and it was a crushing blow. I felt as if everything had been a lie. I did everything you asked, so why didn’t it work out like you promised? Took me quite a while to recover from what felt like a bitter betrayal. I was so angry and upset that I walked away from the full rides at schools I thought were beneath me. I behaved like a spoiled brat; if I didn’t get what I wanted then I was going to burn it all down. I refused to even consider the “safety” schools that accepted me and made incredible offers.

    Eventually I found my way again and the story has a happy ending (except for crushing amounts of student debt), but I just wonder how things could have been different if I had different expectations? What if someone had just done a better job letting me know even if I did it all right it still might not go my way. There are lots of great candidates competing for spots and it’s not personal if you don’t get in. That there are always other options…

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