Lessons Learned from the School of Rejection

How do we respond when those hopes don’t materialize?

Ever since my undergraduate days, I dreamed of studying at Oxford. So as I finished up my master of divinity degree at Princeton Seminary, I began planning and praying that the Lord would make a way for us to move to Oxford. In an amazing blessing, I was given a full fellowship to pursue a one-year master’s degree at Oxford. All I had to do was get into a program.

 

‘Tis the season when hundreds of thousands of students find out if they were accepted to the schools of their dreams. Whether you’re a senior in high school or an accomplished professional heading to business school, each of us hopes and prays that our applications will be successful.

But how do we respond when those hopes don’t materialize? And how should parents, friends, and mentors help those whose plans don’t turn out as they desired?

My Rejection Story

Ever since my undergraduate days, I dreamed of studying at Oxford. So as I finished up my master of divinity degree at Princeton Seminary, I began planning and praying that the Lord would make a way for us to move to Oxford. In an amazing blessing, I was given a full fellowship to pursue a one-year master’s degree at Oxford. All I had to do was get into a program.

I applied and was told I should have an answer by early February. The day for hearing about my application came and went. I didn’t understand. I had a sterling GPA and strong letters of support from several professors. My writing sample was among the best work I had ever done, and I was convinced that my acceptance was just a formality. After all, I had secured something much harder—a full fellowship to pay for my Oxford degree.

One morning, I decided to call the Oxford postgraduate admissions office to see if they could shed any light. The lady at the other end of the phone told me the letter was en route but might take another week or two to reach me. I begged her to tell me the gist of the letter. She paused and then took a deep breath. “I regret to inform you, Mr. Lindsay, that your application has not been successful.” It was the nicest way she could put the devastating news. I had been rejected.

I wept bitterly. I couldn’t go to school that day. I felt humiliated. How would I explain to the scholarship committee? What would I tell my friends? I’d asked everyone I knew to pray for my application. Needless to say, those prayers didn’t produce the results I wanted.

Read More

×

2019 Matching Funds Campaign: Goal is $7000 ... Donate now!