In Job 42, after Job goes through all of the trials that God had allowed him to go through, it says that:
After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10
This verse came to me this morning in the aftermath of an emotional week.
Strangely enough, it helped to illuminate something important that had happened just last year. Elections. It all came full circle. In short, what happened with elections was a lesson in accepting God’s yes and nos. It was a lesson in learning to have faith and being rewarded for that faith.
Sometimes I like to ask God what’s on His heart and let Him lead me to passages in His word. Occasionally I’ll do it by praying and using a random Bible verse app. The morning of elections and the days before, I’d ask God what was on His heart and would be led to this verse:
And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21
Although I try not to rely on my feelings, that week there was this feeling that wouldn’t go away that me being president was not meant to be. I had worked really hard for elections and the whole semester long it was a priority for me. But it just didn’t happen. And the way that elections heavily affected me and the way that I see people now.
After I lost, the current president at the time didn’t stop there. At the awards banquet when he would pass on his role to my opponent, he shaded me in his speech. I won’t say how but people noticed. Regardless, my opponent did a great job as president and so would those who came after her. The way it happened though is something I will never fail to forget. I’m tired of trivializing it.
After a year of struggling with accepting what happened and trying (but failing) to not feel angry or upset, it all makes sense now. God was saying no in that time and I had to learn to trust Him and His answer. And so, now I realize that by having faith in God and accepting His no, He’ll give me something even greater in the future. He will give me twice as much.
That same semester, I entered into a case competition which one of the judges, a director in a Big 4 accounting firm, said was the most difficult she had ever seen. The subject material was more complex than that of previous semesters. We managed to place in the top four out of around 9 teams even though the memo that I wrote came out of 3 hours of work and a cup of tea.
Before I went to submit my memo, I bumped into a friend who was also applying for the competition and she said her team had been working on it for hours in the library. We were sure we wouldn’t get selected but we did.
The presentation for the case competition was the day after elections. Judges from accounting firms and the accounting faculty would come to evaluate our presentations and ask us questions. I practiced for the competition just hours after losing and I kept stopping to cry during practice.
The day of the presentation, some of us kept forgetting our lines. We all wore black and walked into our presentation looking like we were going to a funeral. We walked out looking like we had just left a funeral. We wouldn’t find out until awards banquet if we would place or not in the top three.
During the presentation, I remember when it came time for me to speak, I smiled brightly and spoke my first lines. The judges sat up and smiled back. Then somehow, something inside of me deflated and I sort of just wilted there on the spot. Then I was like “p_p”. And the judges were like “T_T”. Later on, one of the judges smiled at me and made eye contact but I was like “:|”.
I told myself I wouldn’t let elections affect me in the case competition if I lost but I didn’t expect to elections to happen the way it did. I was like a wilted flower the next day.
However, when I arrived at the banquet, someone came up to me and said excitedly that my team did place. We placed third – but we placed. I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t know what to make of this.” It turns out that we had the answer that was technically the most correct – so that’s why we placed above the other team.
That semester was a lesson in accepting God’s yes and nos. Elections, something I worked really hard for and which I lost friendships over, was God’s no to me. But the case competition, something I didn’t expect to win, was God’s yes. It makes God’s role in my life all the more real. I can work so hard for something and still fail if I don’t have His blessing, but at the same time, He can make even the impossible happen if He wishes.