A little story.
About five years ago, I interviewed for a job. It was a good job, one that fit my skills, and I was well qualified (or they wouldn't have interviewed me, honestly). Another woman was also interviewed, and she was offered and took the position. I received a very kind rejection letter, explaining all the reasons why I was not chosen. It was actually a good letter--the reasons given were very real, and spoke only of my lack of fit for the position. In other words, I really felt that the decision was fair, and that the other candidate was clearly a better choice. The letter also let me know that I, too, would have done well in the position. It was really a positive affirmation.
Yesterday, I was talking with one of my former professors, who had been speaking with people from that same institution that interviewed me. He discovered that the woman who was hired has been let go, not because of anything she did wrong, but because they are changing their priorities as an institution and no longer need a full time employee in that role.
My first thought was: Wow. Lucky me. I would be out of a job right now.
And then I kept thinking about it. In a way, I am without a job now, though it's really by choice. I'm in formation with a religious order that I love and feel called to. Five years ago, I had not begun discerning religious life at all, and the job would have taken me to a place where the Society of the Sacred Heart has no presence. I might not have met the Society. I can't imagine that I would have avoided God's call to me personally, but I really have no idea how it would have worked out.
It is humbling to realize that things happen for a reason, even the disappointment of not getting a particular job. I am so grateful that I didn't get that job, that I was in St Louis when I met the Society, that I met the Society at all, and that God has called me and led me to this moment.