In my third year at university, I applied to a competitive fellowship program. I was apprehensive because my GPA was below that of the application requirements. On my own, I would have never applied, but a friend had asked me to do so. I felt as though God was using her to speak to me, so I decided to make a faith move.
I completed my application a few hours before the submission deadline while studying abroad. By the next week, I had forgotten all about the program. I was too busy immersing myself in the study abroad experience. A month later, I got notified that I had progressed to the interview stage of the application process. When I realized that I had a real opportunity to be accepted into the fellowship program, I was excited.
Since I was not on campus, I had to do an online interview. The available times were during a week that I was traveling to a rural area and would be without access to a stable internet connection. I e-mailed the program managers to explain the situation. Their response was that if I could not do the interview, I would give up my place. I could only hope that I would get a good enough internet connection. The day I arrived in the village, I scouted my entire neighborhood to find a spot with connection better than 2G. There was nowhere.
The situation was outside my control, but I reasoned that if God wanted me to get into the program, then I would. On the day of the interview, my hosts asked me if I wanted to visit their farm. I went with them to take my mind off my frustration. On a whim, I took my phone with me. When we got to the farm, I noticed that I had a 4G connection. I e-mailed the program managers to tell them that I was available. I had been expecting to give up my place, so I had not prepared for the interview at all. By God’s grace, the interview went well.
The fellowship awarded me with a stipend and free accommodation to pursue any internship of my choice. It was a privilege because internships in my course of study are often unpaid. The responsibility for securing the internship was on me. I decided to wait till January when I would be on campus before starting the internship search. However, readjusting to the pace of university took all my focus. Halfway through the semester, in March, I finally began the search for an internship.
For the next three months, I either did not hear back or got rejected from all the organisations I applied to. I did not have enough experience. I began to be fearful, wondering if the program would kick me off if I did not find an internship by their May deadline.
Finally, one organisation e-mailed me for an interview. On the appointed day, I had a slight emergency and the interview did not take place. I asked to reschedule and they agreed, but I could tell that they were not too pleased. I was hopeful for a position with this organisation. The more I read about them, the more excited I became about the work they did.
That evening, my fears came to pass. I received an e-mail informing me of my suspension from the program by the close of the following day if I had not secured an internship. They were not going to accept any reason for delay from me. After a long, draining day because of the emergency, that e-mail was the last straw.
I directed my frustrations at God. I did not understand why I was facing challenges every single step of the way with this fellowship. When I was about to give up my place, God had made a way on my host’s farm in a faraway village. Now, I could not even get an internship. The other fellowship participants had long ago found positions at prestigious organisations. Why was I the only one struggling if God was truly with me?
All my pent-up frustration and anxiety from months of rejection came out. I begged God to come through for me. I could not imagine getting kicked off the program at the last minute after the journey to get in. In the middle of my begging and venting, Holy Spirit prompted me to praise and thank God. It was the last thing I felt like doing.
I told God that even if I got kicked off the program, I would praise Him. I was surprised that those words came out of my mouth. It was too late in the year to try to find another opportunity. Away from home, I was at risk of being homeless for the long vacation period. I had nowhere to go. I could not afford to do an unpaid internship. I cried myself to sleep.
The next day, I woke up with a miraculous sense of peace. This was the day that I was going to get kicked off the program if I did not secure an internship. In a burst of faith, I called the HR manager of the organisation that had agreed to reschedule my interview. I explained to her that I was available for the interview and she promised to call back after an hour. After a 20-minute conversation, she asked, “How soon can you start?” The call, intended as an initial interview, had turned into an internship offer.
I endured 3 months of fruitless searching and rejection for a program that God had made possible. On the day that I was about to get kicked off is when I got an internship offer. I am still amazed that God chose to come through, not in the first week or the second month, but on the very last day. Even so, He did come through. He did not disappoint me.
Romans 5:3-4 TPT: “…Even in times of trouble, we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope.”
Hope in God does not disappoint. God loves us too much. To anyone feeling the pressures, who may be reaching their breaking point while following God, be assured that the conditions are temporary. God does not intend to leave you where you are at. He is a good God. He will never fail you.