Archive | April, 2011

The Ultimate Rejection Letter

16 Apr

Herbert A. Millington

Chair – Search Committee
412A Clarkson Hall, Whitson University
College Hill, MA 34109

Dear Professor Millington,

Thank you for your letter of March 16. After careful consideration, I
regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your refusal to offer me
an assistant professor position in your department.

This year I have been particularly fortunate in receiving an unusually
large number of rejection letters. With such a varied and promising field
of candidates, it is impossible for me to accept all refusals.

Despite Whitson’s outstanding qualifications and previous experience in
rejecting applicants, I find that your rejection does not meet my needs at
this time. Therefore, I will assume the position of assistant professor
in your department this August. I look forward to seeing you then.

Best of luck in rejecting future applicants.


Chris L. Jensen

I absolutely LOVE this!!! A non acceptance letter of a rejection letter. Looking back at my life there are so many times I wish I would have approached rejection the way this guy did. Staring it dead in the face and saying,“Thanks, but no Thanks! I have had enough rejection in my life so I am unable to accept yours. Yes, it is a humorous response but to me it can be life changing.

 How different would I be today had this been my answer to rejection and the fear of failure? There are several instances I recall even as I sit here and write this,that  I wish I would have felt about myself then as I do now, because I know that I never would have let the rejection from others determine my perception of self-worth.

In a recent study performed by several physiologists, they noted that two of the top fears that affect people today are; the fear of failure and rejection. The fear of failure paralyzes us so that we can’t move forward. We are too afraid to stretch out and try something we are unsure of. Rejection is the fear of seeing how we are loved and accepted and it is simply given to those people around us. How we are seen as lovable? Where do we fit in or belong? How does someone feel about us? All of these things I just listed, give us a false sense of self-worth. Think about it… You meet someone and you really like them, but for them, the feeling isn’t mutual. What happens to your self-worth? I know for me personally, it gets rocked. Let me give you an example.

I remember standing in front of him at the front door of my house. I was in love with him and for a long time tried to make him love me back. Inside I knew it was never going to happen but I still tried. It was the blow that I was expecting but didn’t want to face it when it did. “I will never fall in love with you or marry you,” he said to me. One warm tear after another rolled down my cheek and I allowed those eleven words affect me to the core. Once again, I was seen as unloveable. Something must be wrong with me. Immediately I began thinking it was because I was not pretty  enough, or thin enough. Maybe it was my personality or the kind of person I was. It could be because I had “baggage” and a past! Every possible reason I could think of to validate why this person could not love me or see me as lovable, came to mind. I was heartbroken and once again found myself staring at rejection dead in the face.

It wasn’t until much later that I realized why, for so many years, I allowed the acceptance or lack of acceptance of others to determine my feelings of self-worth. That is where I put my value. If I was loved by someone, then I was lovable, but if  I was not loved by them, then I was unloveable. If I was successful at work or had a lot of friends, then I was lovable and felt valuable but the minute that was shaken; so was how I looked at myself.  If I matched up with the way society said I should then I was worthy of love… What a false perception of worth and this is exactly why for many years, I lived a life feeling that I never matched up and would never be loved just the way I was.

I have come to realize that it is not WHERE I find my value or worth, but in WHO I find my value and worth. Understanding that statement changed my life. The fear of failing and being rejected keeps in a place where we cannot grow. You can’t move forward if you are standing still. Even things that appear real are not,  and that is exactly what FEAR is: False Evidence Appearing Real. It cripples us and it can destroy lives if allowed. Trying to find value and self-worth in things of this world will only leave you like I was standing in front of that boy that night; rejected and feeling as though I was unloveable.

Here is what I love about my dad! I am his Princess. He looks down on me and all he can do is grin! He is so proud and in love with me. He knows everything about me and even that doesn’t change the way he feels about me. He knew me before he created me. To him I am fearfully and wonderfully made and nothing I do can separate that love. That is WHO I find my value and worth in. When I don’t measure up to the standards of this world that is okay, because the standards I do measure up to, Far surpass those of this world. You mess with me and you mess with my dad! Once I understood this…and  really believed it, I began to see that rejection and failure are nothing to fear. In fact, having a self-worth like this allows me to look at rejection and failure and say;”Thanks but no Thanks!” That is not who I am or where my value is placed. I am the daughter of the King and if he says I am valued and loved, then I know… I AM!

Pslam 139:1-24


Soda’s, Snacks and a lesson I will never forget.

1 Apr

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40

We stood at the large steel door as the officer opened it. One by one,  we walked into the prison’s visiting center for those housed in yard 2. We handed the officer our ID’s,visitors pass and right hand so it could be stamped. We were then greeted by a young man who radiated thankfulness just to see us as if he had been expecting us for days. His smile was infectious and desire to serve Christ like; yet the outfit he wore told his story.

In a vertical line, on his blue pants read the words, “CDC Prisoner.” As I looked at his gentle face I began to wonder how he ended up here? What events in his life could have possibly led him to this dark and seemingly hopeless place? These are questions I will never have answers too but definitely something you think about visiting a place like that. He pulled out the chairs for us to sit and asked us if we needed anything. After saying no, and thanking him, he quickly left so he could  greet more people.

As I sat there, I watched that young man and the other two who also had the same job in the visiting center. They hurried around the room, moving chairs, setting up tables, cleaning off tables, taking out the trash, helping kids find books and games, even taking pictures of the other inmates and their families. They seemed genuinely happy to be serving despite the fact that they were doing all this “behind bars.” I went over to get some Uno cards, and the young man who greeted us, asked me if I had been there before. I told him that I had about 8 months earlier to visit my father. He said that he remembered my sister and I and it was nice to see us again. It was in that moment that I realized, weekend after weekend, he works in that one room, helping other families enjoy their time with the inmate they are visiting, and he goes without seeing his own. My heart began to ache a bit for this man, and the other two who had now joined our conversation.

I went to the vending machine to buy my dad another soda and some snacks and wondered when was the last time someone bought them something? When was the last time those 3 men felt some sense of value and worth? To the system, they are simply a number, but to God they are so much more. They clearly had made choices in their life that led them down this road, but I began to think… haven’t I? I walk in their as a visitor, but it is only by the grace and mercy of my Heavenly Father, I am not the one being VISITED! God gave me a second, third, twelfth chance, and thankfully I learned my lesson before it was too late, but did that make me better than these 3 guys, or any other inmate in there for that matter? My heart was then filled with thankfulness and humility for having a God who saved me, but the answer to my question was simple, No… I am not any better at all.

That day, our visit was cut short due to the number of people waiting to visit as well. The officer came over to our table, handed us a piece of paper and said that we would have a few minutes but then we would have to leave so the table come to given to someone waiting. It is funny because it seems that my sister, husband and I, had all been touched by those 3 guys. With little conversation, each of us grabbed our plastic bag filled with quarters and dollar bills and went to different vending machines, each getting an Ice Tea and snacks for them. The smiles on their faces as we gave them the food and heart-felt “thank you’s” meant more to me than I can say. I left praying those guys felt appreciated and valued, even if it were by complete strangers.

Later that night, while standing in our kitchen, Erik and I started talking about our visit with my dad. It was during this conversation where I realized the impact those men made, not only on my heart, but Erik’s as well. He said that he was humbled by their positive attitudes in spite of their situations. He said he was thankful that he was able to help make one of those guys days a little better. To us, a bag of chips, is a bag of chips, but to them, it was being noticed and appreciated. It was 3 people (strangers) who didn’t judge them for where they were but instead, did something for them in spite of it. It was a small act of kindness on our end, but who knows what that did for them? Maybe they will look for my dad and talk with him about us. Maybe they noticed that we are “different” from a lot of other people who come in and out of that visiting center and they will want to know what that is and my dad will be able to tell them … Jesus.

It seems like a simple lesson but unfortunately one that is easily forgotten. These 3 gentlemen reminded me of that lesson and it all comes back to this… what you do for the least of your brothers… you do for Jesus.

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