If you're following me on Instagram, you'll know I was applying for an internship.
I agonised over my cover letter for days, making sure it was perfect. Trying to sound professional, but also express my personality, my strengths and my hopes.
I sent it off.
And then I said, God, I often don't ask You for things like this, because something in me doubts it will make a difference, but this time I'm going to stand on the promise You gave us that says that You're able to do "superabundantly more than all that we dare to ask or think..." and I'm asking. I really want this. I think I've got what it takes. I'm trusting in You.
And I've been checking my email multiple times a day since.
They were only taking one Intern.
Perth is a tiny tiny city, and there are not many publishing houses.
The Intern program is highly competitive - I was only allowed to even apply because my grades were high enough.
I really, really want to become a professional editor - but I need experience. This is incredible experience. Not to mention how great it would be to put on my resume.
I let myself be hopeful.
So I was believing.
But then yesterday I got an email that started like this: "Thanks so much for your application for work placement in semester 1, 2018. Unfortunately, on this occasion your application was not successful. Your application was a strong one, but we decided another student was better suited for the position."
The email actually went on to say great things about supporting me if I'm able to source a placement somewhere else. It was laced with hope. But still, I was gutted.
And I let myself be gutted.
For a split second I stuffed the rejection down deep and took a deep breath, ready to move on, take action, shake it off. But then something in me said stop! Let yourself be sad. It's okay.
So I sat. And I told myself it was okay to feel. And then I cried.
I cried while I vacuumed the house, and I cried a little bit more while I mopped, and a little bit more still when the husband came home early and took one look at my face and said, "Oh sweetie" and wrapped me up tight in the best cuddle in the world.
But then I shook it off. And I read this amazing quote by Maya Angelou:
You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.
Then I had a little conversation with God, about how I still trust Him, and that I believe He's working on my behalf.
I took deep breaths and smiled as my kids put on carols and wrote out Christmas cards for their classes. I walked slowly to turn on the newly-strung lights outside and watched them dance their rainbows along the gable.
Then I sat and wrote emails and enquired about other intern placements.
In defeat, I learned how to let myself feel sad.
In defeat, I found out that I'm not a quitter.
In defeat, I discovered that I'm tougher than I realised.
In defeat, I realised how much I've grown - how I have learned to master my thoughts, so that they're not defeated either.
Defeat makes way for a better me, and today is a new day.