|Stefan Mustain grew up at New Covenant; he told us this story a few years ago on a visit home, and it has stuck with me ever since. May it also encourage and inspire you. –Renée|
In 2010, I was under constant stress to perform what was virtually impossible, given the market conditions of my job in a declining industry. I was constantly thinking about how to get out, but wasn’t sure what I wanted or what I “should” do.
Lamenting a job I hated and asking God and my parents for guidance on what to do next, through a series of crazy “coincidences,” I listened to a radio interview, through which I strongly felt God tell me, “Apply to business school for social entrepreneurship.”
I was stoked. God had given me the next step in my life! I knew nothing about business schools (let alone applying to them), and I soon learned that it was already past the deadline for the first round of applications for the following year, and I still had to:
– Sign up and study for the GMAT.
– Take a refresher math course (how to do long division??)
– Take the GMAT.
– Research schools.
– Write essays; complete applications
– Schedule interviews and visits.
And I had just a couple months to do all this. It was a whirlwind—a ton of work in a short time with high stakes—but it was OK, because this was a mission from God after all!
My applications requested a recommendation from my current manager, which she obliged. But she also notified our HR director, who flew in from NY to meet with me, telling me they’d like to keep me. Not wanting to burn any bridges, I told him that I was interested in international business, and was merely exploring opportunities to grow- business school was not set in stone.
He informed me that we did have an international division, but no position was available, nor would be anytime soon, but he would explore and keep that in mind. I expressed openness to waiting for some different position, but I had zero interest in staying with the company. None! I was thinking, “As soon as I get that first acceptance letter, I’m out of here, suckers!”
In the next couple weeks:
– I heard from the first school: denied. That was OK, I had six others.
– Our VP International, Ken, called me and said he wanted to meet. There might be a position for me.
– I got the next rejection letter. Five was still pretty good odds.
– The company flew me to NY to meet and interview with Ken.
– Next rejection.
– They offered me a new job, with a significant raise, to boot.
– Next rejection. And the next, and the next…. I wasn’t accepted anywhere.
I was devastated. I had been so excited to start this new trajectory in my career and life adventure. I felt like a loser and a failure. Everyone knew. It was going to be humiliating to break it to my friends and family that I didn’t get into a single school.
I was confused! I had been certain this was God’s calling. “OK, God, I don’t understand it, but I believe that you led me to this. So I trust you with this whole situation. I choose to look for whatever you want to do through this. Regardless of the circumstances or outcome, I am yours.
. . . “But I don’t get it: you told me I was going to business school!”
God: I never said that. I told you to apply to business school.
Me: . . !!! . Well I guess you got me there. That’s an excellent point, God.”
As I thought more and more about the job offer, I came to realize that it could actually be really cool. I’d get to use my Spanish; I’d get to travel to Latin America; I’d have a new challenge, and would get to learn a new and growing side of our business . . .
Through my times of surrendering prayer and dialogue with God, He revealed to me that His plan all along was the new job offer. The only reason that I received the job offer was because I had applied to school.
It didn’t take long before I was extremely grateful that I had not gone to business school, and that I had this new, amazing job, which led to countless blessings in my life: adventures, growth, learning, new opportunities, many new friendships, and meeting my future wife!
Order of Service: 2/10
Sermon: Holy Together: Beyond Individual Purity in the Church