Spiritual Disappointment

This post is directed towards Christians with a theologically charismatic background. If that’s not you, feel free to read, but it may not make sense if you don’t share that background yourself.

I know these two guys. They don’t know each other. They live in two different cities. They’re both at roughly the same life stage, about 15 years older than me, and are entrepreneurs who have earned credibility in their respective industries.

Both guys are also prophetic and are trusted by their churches and Christian friends with this gifting. What that means practically is they feel like God says stuff to them, and then they go and tell someone else what they’re hearing.

I experienced a weird coincidence with both of them. It left me disappointed.

First Guy

We were both employed at the same church. He comes up to me one day and starts talking. I understand the prophetic and can spot those kinds of people pretty easily. Sometimes they walk up to you out of the blue and say “Can I share something with you?” which is code for prophetic.

First Guy tells me he believes God singled me out to him as someone for whom he could reach out and make himself “available.” He sees me as a potential leader and he feels like God wants him to make sure I have the opportunity to grow into that person. Great! I’ve been looking for both spiritual and career mentorship (and he was a few steps ahead in both)—I would take both or either.

Side note: “available” is a great word to convey openness without commitment or risk. Use it the next time you’re getting interviewed on a podcast about your spirituality.

I eagerly looked forward to whatever was next. It was an answer to prayer.

Unfortunately, nothing happened. I reached out several times, making each message as simple as I could manage. “Want to meet up?” No response. “Hey, I’m going on this trip to southern California soon. I heard you have friend XYZ living there? Would love to meet them.” Nada. I ask a stupid simple question—maybe it was about a book, I don’t remember—just to try and get the non-existent conversation going. I just wanted something, man. I get a response weeks later saying they’d look into their friends address. It was after I’d already gone on the trip. Apparently getting ghosted isn’t just for dating relationships.

First Guy worked on the same floor as me and knew where I sat. I think he was simply too busy to have anything else go on in his life. That would’ve been fine, except for the part where he literally said he felt like God wanted him to become a resource (or something) for me.

Second Guy

I was in a new city where I didn’t know many people yet. I get connected to the Second Guy, a friend of a friend. Again, Second Guy is 15 years older and also seems to be entering the “cruise control” stage of his career where he’s advanced far enough and has settled into his routine.

We sit down in a coffee shop. Right away, Second Guy tells me he initially didn’t want to make any time for me, but then he felt like God told him to. He tells me a few stories that would place him firmly in the “prophetic” category of Christian, which I didn’t realize beforehand but is a pleasant surprise. Ironically, I also appreciated the candor of him saying he wasn’t initially interested in meeting but God told him to make time—maybe because it implied God still wanted something to happen with me.

Second Guy tells me something very similar to First Guy, where he essentially feels like God has something in mind for me in new city. He wants to help me find a job and “land” in this new city. Not as big of a promise as the first guy, but it’s in the same spirit of him being prompted to help me and make himself available.

Sweet. I’m feeling quite blessed at this point. Move to a new city and God’s already making moves for me.

I’m in the middle of a job hunt. I didn’t ask this guy for a job or even bring up my job hunt until he asked if I was working yet. All on his own, he asked for my resume to send to one of his contacts.

I prepare my resume and send it off. At the time, I had an email tracker I used to tell if recipients had opened my messages (super helpful when job hunting to know if your emails are getting read and ignored or not read at all). Another thing the tracker did was tell me if someone forwarded the email and someone else opened it. I sent my resume and saw this guy opened it…and that’s it. He never sent it on. I wait a week or two to not be pushy (he’s doing me a favor), and he finally sends it to his contact about two months later. And that’s it. Hey, at least he sent it.

I don’t remember if Second Guy’s contact ever opened it. I follow up to ask about it. He seems disappointed his contact didn’t respond. He invites me to his office to at least meet his team, which I happily accept. Apparently, making time for a 15-minute meet-and-greet is a big challenge because the nearest time he can book is a month out. Well, okay.

The day comes and I get an email an hour beforehand asking if we can push it back a couple of weeks. It’s a busy day, apparently. Really?

I guess beggars can’t be choosers. We push it back. Again, this is literally a 15-minute meeting where I say “hi” to the 5 people he works with in their small office. The day comes. I have an unrelated job interview at 9am, and then meeting Second Guy’s team around 10:30am a few blocks away. At 8am I get a message asking to meet 9:30 instead, as there is no other time that day. I inform him of my prior appointment. We do not meet.

Why am I telling you this

These two instances bother me, even now. I think if either one happened by itself I would’ve just written the person off. But when there are two separate instances of God supposedly telling two people the same thing out of blue? And then they both ghost? It took me one step forward and two steps back.

I prayed during all of university for a spiritual mentor. Other “prophetic” folks told me before university I find a mentor if I prayed. Whether spiritual or professional, I was disappointed when I couldn’t find any mentors.

Hearing someone almost say my prayer back to me for mentorship, when I hadn’t told anyone, made it feel like God was listening.

The dismal experience of raising hope, only to have it taken, left me with disappointment much greater than the original. It’s like going to a restaurant when you haven’t eaten all day, and an hour later when your food hasn’t arrived, the server comes by and confesses they never put the order in.

My mindset went from “I need to work and pray harder to make myself a better candidate for mentorship” to “God is aware of what I want and is acting facetiously.”

Maybe the real lesson is “no one else will help you.”

I genuinely don’t understand what these guys were thinking. I don’t understand how someone could be confident enough to say they’ve heard God and yet have the audacity to not follow through.

I have prayed for many, many thing throughout my life. Some of those things have come through. The big ones seemingly have not.

I’m not trying to be a downer here, and I absolutely do not want to become bitter. However, I have lost interest in pretending the Christianity I have encountered has worked for me in any meaningful way, or has even been consistent to its own rules.

I would love to be proven wrong.

developer, writer, marketer, optimist

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