Let's Be Honest: Rejection Hurts

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I've been taking photos since high school and semi-professionally for 10 years.

In the beginning I accepted that I wasn't good enough for my friends and family to hire and watched them go to other photographers over and over again. 

After awhile, though, it was frustrating that not many of them would give me a chance to photograph their families. It's still frustrating and disheartening, even though my main motivation to photograph is to document memories for my own family. 

I sound pretty bitter, I realize this, but today I'm being honest. Sometimes bitter is how we feel. It's not a good place to live, however, and that's why it's important to keep working through these feelings and focusing on what God's path is for us, instead of what we think our path should be. 

I'm not going to lie (being honest today, remember?) I've been told a lot in sermons that God wants us to be happy and gives us the desires of our heart, but in the last several years I've felt like God is someone who puts his foot down on my dreams and says "no, no, no" over and over again. I've watched people have success, be able to make money to help support their families and walk pass me to people I know I can do just as good of a job as, if not better.

 I've tried to pretend I'm fine with it and I've tried to be the happy-go-lucky Christian I know I'm supposed to be, but some days I give up, sit down and have a good cry. I tell God I know I supposed to be happy all the time but on this day I don't have it in me. When the hits and rejections come repeatedly and like a steady flow, it's hard to smile and say "well, God has a plan for me" even if you know it's true. Some days you just need a good cry, lean into God and say "I don't get it and I need you to throw me a line, OK? Tell me what I'm supposed to do and show me I'm not going to be down in this gutter for ever, OK?"

I don't think God is offended by our weaknesses and, in fact, I think He welcomes them because when we are weak he can be strong for us.

I'm in an emotional gutter right now. Between health concerns, being rejected over and over again (even when I offer to do my services for free, which is a real sign you're probably not very good at what you love to do), I'm not really finding a way to get out of it. So, I'm going to sit here for a while and have a few good cries and in some areas I'm going to stop trying. I'm going to stop offering and asking and hoping someone actually hires me. It's exhausting working so hard at doing something no one really cares you do.

After a good wallow, I'll get back up again, of course, but I think a good cry is healthy and what many of us need at times, instead of trying to be strong and act like we have it all together. During those times I know God is with us, comforts us and wants us to trust that He will help us back to the surface again.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
— Proverbs 3:1-5 (NIV)

Lisa Robinson-Howeler

Lisa Howeler Photographer, Athens, PA

I'm a wife, mom, writer and photographer from Northeastern Pennsylvania. I'm a former journalist, which is what my degree is in, and enjoy the freedom of being able to create as a mainly self-taught photographer.