By Taylor Rogers
“I’ll do it by myself” is a quote often repeated in my family to tease me. There are numerous home videos of baby Taylor assuring everyone who will listen that she’ll do it by herself.
Do you ever feel like no matter how much you are praying and seeking the Lord, sometimes you’re still just doing it by yourself?
Believe me, I’ve been there too.
If it wasn’t clear, I’ve been pretty self-reliant since day one–driven, goal-oriented, and ready to make things happen. This part of my personality has served me well over the years, but it has also been one of the biggest sources of heartache in my life. Because spoiler alert, my ability to make things happen has limits. Learning to step back and trust God to lead me to the right things was a hard-fought lesson. I graduated college with a head full of dreams and plans and the perfect job practically landed in my lap.
On one of my first days at the job, I remember praying that the Lord would use it as an opportunity to teach me and build my faith. Little did I know what I had asked for!
That perfection I thought I’d found lasted all of about 2 weeks. I started the job in July—by December I had 15-20 applications out for new positions. I didn’t get one call for an interview.
By the next July, the number of applications I’d submitted had to be in the hundreds. I’d get an interview here or there and they’d go really well. I’d leave with my hopes up, with promises that I was moving on to the next round or they’d be in touch soon. Several went as far as to talk to me as if I was already hired. Yet, time after time those promises turned into rejections.
Every interview, every rejection, I continued to lift them up to God. I continued to pray over my situation. At times, it felt more like begging. I was doing everything in my power to change my situation and my power wasn’t enough.
I felt so alone and abandoned. I was showing up day after day painfully unhappy and trying to do it with a smile. Why was this so hard? Why did it seem like God was ignoring me?
Does this sound familiar?
I kept a prayer journal during this time and sometimes it is difficult to go back and reread just how miserable I was. I was trying to have faith, but sometimes it felt like I was pretending rather than actually doing it.
December came and went. It felt like an overwhelming reminder of what wasn’t happening. It had been an entire year of putting myself out there, getting my hopes up, and getting knocked back down.
And then somehow it was July again. I had tried so hard for so long and finally one day I just gave up. I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t try anymore. Standing there in the same place that I prayed for God to build my faith, I prayed for contentment. To help me be happy where I was until He saw it fit to move me. I tried on my own for so long and failed over and over and over again. So I asked for peace to find happiness until things changed. I surrendered to His leadership.
Two weeks later, I accepted a job offer to work at a company I’d always dreamed of. A month after leaving my old job, I’d gotten two other job offers and two more requests for interviews. Companies that had rejected me initially, remembered me and reached back out.
Of course, part of me laughed because where was all this a year and a half ago, but the newly stronger faith I’d built knew that none of those worked out at the time because I hadn’t finished learning yet.
If you are struggling to let the Spirit lead, you’re not alone! I’d love to say I’ve never doubted His leadership again, but of course I have. I still try to make things happen on my own. But when I am tempted to doubt, I am reminded of just how faithful the Lord was to me the whole time.
Sometimes He’s letting us learn a lesson He knows we won’t forget.
Taylor Rogers lives in a small town in North Carolina surrounded by family and friends. She believes in living with heart and intention and lifting those around her up. When she is not climbing the corporate ladder, you can find her chasing her dreams—running her small bridal shop, Chapel Market, writing, and traveling. Follow along @tay_rogers_13