“We don’t think you’re the right fit for us.”
I had hung up the phone hours earlier, but those words kept ringing in my ears. It didn’t matter that the woman on the other end of the line used a gentle tone. It didn’t matter that she had some really nice things to say about me: “We really like you, and we think you have a lot of potential.”
Suddenly, the only thing that mattered was that I wasn’t “the right fit.” Her remarks set loose a fury of repressed insecurity inside of me. It’s the kind of insecurity that – at my age – I thought I was so over.The thing is, self-loathing doesn’t discriminate by age. It will prey on you, even when you think you are Teflon against it.
In that moment, I was not Teflon. I was 12 again.
In my rejected heart, all I could hear were words that the woman didn’t actually say: “You’re not good enough. We picked someone else, someone better. And it’s not you.”
The completely crazy thing is, I had spent the previous two days at a Christian women’s conference about how we label ourselves. But I wasn’t in the audience of that conference. I was the speaker leading the conference.
Um . . . hello.
At that conference, I was encouraging others to tear off labels they’d been wearing too long. Labels like bossy, bimbo, weak, fat, stupid, boring, out-of-touch, childish, unqualified, unfit. I spoke these words into the microphone: “You are not that label. You are a daughter of the King. Let no label stick to you unless it was put there by God.”
Let me tell you, girl, there was freedom in that room! Holla! We all put on new, God-approved labels, like it was our job. With hands to the sky, all of heaven heard our battle cry.
Fast-forward two days. Now you see me here, alone in my kitchen, practically powerless under the tyranny of one sentence: “We don’t think you’re the right fit for us.”
My battle cry for freedom at that women’s conference felt like a faint echo.
This is what I’m pretty sure of these days. Behind closed doors, a lot of us are STILL the uncool, unwanted, never-enough kid of our youth.
But there’s an answer for that.