“There’s a rainbow after the rain,” I hear people say again and again, and I always cringed a little whenever I heard it. Until there came a storm in my career, and this cliché became true for me. I was on the path of a promotion and then later down the road, I was not promoted. My world turned upside down.
Why? What did I do wrong? I stood out amongst the majority, if not all of my peers, and I’d developed faster than most in my team. A year into my role, I was recommended for promotion. I passed all the assessments and I was told verbally that I would get one of the supervisor positions. It was not yet on paper which meant that it was not yet official but I knew I was to become a supervisor, which marked a rather rapid climb up the company ladder. I deserved it. I’d worked hard for it. I prayed earnestly many nights that God would give it to me. And He didn’t.
During this storm in my career, I was reminded of Hugh B. Brown’s experience. He was ready for a promotion to the rank of General in the army. But he was instead appointed to a different role. With bitterness in his heart, he asked, “How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?” I heard myself saying almost the same words in my head. I did not understand why everything turned out to be the opposite of what I’d expected. I was engulfed in disappointment and anger.
Weeks passed. I wondered whether the Lord was even listening because it seemed like He was being silent but He proved me wrong. I was later offered a role that better fit my interests and talents. I was promoted. In my head, I heard the Lord’s voice louder than I had ever heard Him before, “Trust me. I know what I want you to do.”
I knelt in prayer that day with a heart overflowing with gratitude for the blessing that I had received. But at the same time, my heart was full of sorrow because of my unfaithfulness. I had been so focused on what I thought I ought to do and where I ought to be that I failed to recognize that my desire may not be the will of God.
All of us have difficult trials—experiences that may plunge us to rock bottom. These experiences come in different forms and degrees. Some of these will be a battle between our will and the Lord’s. There will be blessings that we work hard to receive, such as getting married in the temple, serving a full-time mission, winning a marathon, having a baby, getting promoted at work, successfully organizing a support group for women, etc. When we do not receive these blessings when we think we deserve them, we need to trust that the Lord is redirecting our course and leading us to where we need to be. If we have done our part to measure up to His expectations, we will receive all the help that we need as we traverse the path that leads to the future He has prepared for us.
Submitting our will to God’s doesn’t just happen once. We will be tried and tested many times, but knowing that God can see beyond what we envision for ourselves should be enough reason for us to put our trust in Him. Someday when we look back, we will thank Him for redirecting the course of our lives by giving us disappointments that turned into blessings in the end. If we put our trust in Him who only wants the best for us, He will sustain and uphold us all the days of our lives.