Not a Good Fit…the words seemed to jump off the screen and pierce my heart.  It hurt worse than finding out through mass email to the choir that another individual was selected as the interim choir director at my church. The church where I have spent countless hours attending choir rehearsals, substituting as choir director on occasion, singing solos in worship, leading the congregation in song, and assisting the Director with the choral music selections for two years.

Not a Good Fit…Seeing those words in a half-hazard email apology from the pastor who admittedly should have contacted me prior to the distribution of the mass email to the choir announcing the decision, just ripped open the scars and revealed the wounds left by church members and pastors elsewhere.

Those words hurt, and in a very philosophical way I started thinking about that phrase. “Not a good fit.” Paul used other words like ALIEN and FOREIGNER. I felt like (and to a certain degree still do) a foreigner, an alien, in my own church because the pastor wrote four simple words, “not a good fit.” No phone call, no discussion…the shepherd of his flock simply casting my heart aside in an email with those words. A friend who read it even exclaimed, “That’s not an apology at all!”

I’ve been quiet for a few months on this site and that’s why. Simply put, rejection sucks! But, I’ve put on my big girl pants, sing with the choir each week, attend a women’s bible study, and have a smile on my face. But behind the smile there’s still a lot of churned up emotion. Only a small handful of people know the story that didn’t get told. Now, anyone bothering to read this will at least know a portion of the very long, complex, unbelievable events that unfolded in a church music ministry over three years.

What I’m feeling is certainly no different than finding out you weren’t selected for the job you had your heart set on and seeing those same words…somebody else was a better fit. I get it, and personally, you don’t want to work for an organization where you are considered to be an alien, an outsider, a foreigner, or simply, NOT A GOOD FIT. You’ll be miserable, aggravated, and banging your head against a wall in no time. I do career coaching on this all the time with my clients…but this time it was deeply personal. In a sense, it was even spiritual.

But when the pastor of a church uses those words directly in an email to me, how am I supposed to feel? Part of me is somewhat thankful, as I can only imagine what it would be like to work for a pastor who would write those words in an email to a church member who sees him on a weekly basis. Another part of me wants to say, “Oh Yeah! I’LL show YOU who’s not a good fit.” It’s a struggle of words, a struggle of emotion, and a struggle with sin.

I have a lot more to say about this but here is a little bit of the wisdom gleaned from my experience thus far:

By God’s design, I am a foreigner or an alien. I’m not a good fit…I’m in this world and struggle to try to not be worldly or materialistic. I am a sinner and at the same time, I am redeemed only by grace through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.

I’m trying to gain wisdom from this and know that it will only come from God. He does have a plan and one day; it will be revealed…1Cor. 2:9 “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.”

There is hope. The choir at our church is growing and new people are joining. I’m glad, and the person directing is highly qualified and doing a fantastic job. It’s nice and I’m glad I didn’t walk away as I was tempted to do. Admittedly, I enjoy singing as much as I do directing; I always have.

Pain caused by others in the church lives, regenerates, and rears its ugly head time and time again, no matter how deep we’ve tried to bury it. Volumes of encyclopedias saved in millions of gigabytes could be written about how imperfect the church and its people are.

I’m battle tested, I’m walking wounded, I still survive, and I will never give up…because God will never give up on me, even though I’m not perfect. Or better still, not a good fit.