When Life Feels Like a Sham


I’m sitting in a small enclosed room within a room, 5 feet by 5 feet, sound proof. A musty smell is in the air resembling the aroma of an old worn couch. I start to feel claustrophobic until I hear the audiologist ask, “Jesse, can you hear me?” I straighten myself in the most attentive way I can.

Yes”. I reply.

Through my small innocent ears in oversized heavy earphones we begin.



say…ice cream.”

ice cream”.



At three years old, before the soundproof room, I had a hard time listening to my parents. When they called me or asked me to do something, I refused. They thought I was merely being disobedient; this sometimes led to being spanked. My behavior was not changing much and my parents grew worried that it might be something more than me being defiant. My mother grew suspicious that I wasn’t able to hear her. One afternoon my mother decided to test me to see if in fact I was having a hard time hearing.

With my back turned towards her she asked me, “Jesse, do you want some ice cream?”

Ice cream was, and still is, (anything with sugar for that matter) my achilles heel.

With no response she approached me a few steps at a time until she was within steps behind me. She then knew it was for my lack of being able to hear her that I did not listen to her when she called on me.

Turns out, both ears were defective.

Through the years my mother worked hard to help me catch up with my speech: I had many more visits to the five by five room with awkward headphones repeating what they wanted me to repeat and raising my hand every time I heard obscure noises.

Adolescent years led to teen years and I started planning what I wanted to do with my life after I graduated.  At seventeen I was determined to go into law enforcement and be a police officer.  I attended college and graduated with a degree in Crime, Law and Justice.  I had applied to local law enforcement agencies and was to have a choice between two police municipalities.  All I had left to pass was a simple physical.

I was newly married with a newborn on the way when I received the letter I had been waiting for since I was seventeen.  To be offered a job as a police officer.  Instead of a job offer, the letter from the department was asking to remove myself from the application process because my hearing was not good enough.

I was not good enough because of my hearing.

Squeezing the letter in my hand I filled with anger and bitterness. Completely shattered and broken, I fell onto the bed.  Staring up at the ceiling, tears streaming down, my vision becomes impaired as it turns into a mosaic picture.

My wife comes in and she knows. The pain is running down my face.

Helpless to offer words that can change what is, she hugs me.

Anger, frustration, disappointment and more anger was all I felt.  I directed all those emotions in daggers straight towards God.  I blamed Him for making me the way I was.  I blamed Him for giving me “the desires of my heart” yet physically restricted.  I felt as though I had wasted four years of my life in college working for something I could never achieve.  I was exasperated at knowing there was no amount of work and drive to reverse or change this reality.

Eight years have passed and painful wounds still linger. The one question I ask repeatedly is this, “God, why have you made me the way I am and for what purpose?” I wonder what lies before me or will it merely be a reflection of the past covered in pain and disappointment.

I don’t know what the future holds. I’m not sure what will even happen tomorrow. But I know God has a plan for me and I have to put myself out there. To go to a place where I’m uncomfortable and uncertain. I desperately want answers to all of these questions–but I don’t have them.

So in the meantime, I’ll just hold on to these words.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.


  • http://unknownjim.com Jim

    Jesse, thanks for sharing this. I wanted to go into the FBI. I felt a lot of the same feelings and thoughts you felt when that came crashing down. I felt like a sham and I still do sometimes. But I know I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now if it wasn’t for some of the challenges I’ve faced. Maybe, just maybe, there is a lot of truth in that verse you have listed there. My brain likes to argue with God’s “plan” for me sometimes–but I really do believe He does know what is best.

    • JesseHoover

      I tend to argue instead of trust God too. I’m trying to be thankful for challenges. :)

  • http://bryanallain.com bryan allain

    have you considered modeling?

    (i kid, i kid.)

    great post, man. Congrats on the launch!

    • JesseHoover

      Thanks for stopping by! Modeling will never be an option….(that is what photoshop is for) ha!

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com Eileen

    Wow, great post! Keep sharing, love it.

    • JesseHoover

      Thanks Eileen!

  • http://www.findingedenmediablog.com Alle

    Woo hoo! Love seeing you in the online space!
    This is great…thanks for sharing, brother!

    • JesseHoover

      Finally taking the plunge!

  • http://Tammyhelfrich.com Tammy Helfrich

    What a great, honest post. It is so hard to understand God’s timing sometimes. I look forward t

    • JesseHoover

      I sometimes think God doesn’t reveal everything to us so that it makes us seek Him out. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://Tammyhelfrich.com Tammy Helfrich

    To following your journey!

  • Susan Heiser

    That’s a wonderful post, Jesse. I found you on Writers Unite on Facebook. Your journey is unique to you but the elements are common to all of us in one way or another. You drew me into your world to the point of tears. Just imagine what it’s like for the people who find themselves in your position but without a relationship with the Lord, without the knowledge, however bittersweet it is at the moment, that God’s plan will surely turn out to be better than our dream was? I look forward to future posts.

    • JesseHoover

      I have often thought the same thing, how it could feel really hopeless when failures or disappointments come and there is no God to place your hope in. Great to meet you and thank you for stopping by!

  • http://www.educatebohol.org Scott Berry

    Jesse – For me it was vision — poor depth perception and color vision. I had always wanted to be a pilot – oh well. John 9:1-4 tells about a man born blind. When asked why, Jesus responded “… so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” Is there something there for those of us who are born with some ‘deficiency’?

    • JesseHoover

      What a great verse! I think we all have ‘deficiencies’. Some are visible and some aren’t. This is how I believe that God displays his power and evidence in our lives. Because we all need Him.

  • http://embracingthislife.com Laura

    I was expecting to read how you figured things out and everything is great now but I think this is better. That you are still having to trust God’ with an unknown future. That’s real life and something I can relate to.
    As a military spouse the last verse you shared is a true comfort!

    • JesseHoover

      Thanks Laura for commenting. If you ever see me write I have it figured out, then promptly call me a liar! : ) I don’t think anyone ever has it figured out, all the more a reason to trust God always!

  • http://www.amylearns.com Amy Tilson

    Jesse, thanks for sharing your un-fine. I noticed the ite in the elevator at Allume, but didn’t really think twice. I think my background in audiology and hearing impaired ed. have been a double-edged sword at times. I am acutely aware of some issues and completely dulled to others. What I can never know is your personal experience and I thank you for sharing. We all have a unique purpose and our circumstances equip us for our work. Congratulations on your new space here!

    • JesseHoover

      Thanks Amy!

  • http://balanceindetail.blogspot.com Megan Daniels

    Amazing post! The beginnings of your story ARE my son’s story. At age 3 he got his first set of hearing aids and was over a year speech delayed. He’s 5-1/2 now and we’re on our second set (his hearing has gotten a little worse) and he’s no longer speech delayed. His first two years of preschool were in a Deaf/Hard of Hearing program and it was very speech and hearing skills intense.

    I have asked so many times… Why God, why? And I also cling to Jeremiah 29:11. We have so many storms that we face in life, if we just keep our eyes on Him the storms seem to not be so bad.


    • JesseHoover

      Megan, the early years can be hard, but the hard work you are struggling through will pay off later on. My mother was most influential person in my life who worked with me, to get me caught up after finding out I had a hearing problem. How hopeful it is to trust Him!

  • http://www.KariDay.com Kari Day

    Oh how I understand the heart you have behind this post. I understand it from a wife’s point of view… the helpless feeling of not knowing how to help the one you love and longing for them to no longer be angry with God. I am so glad someone gave voice to this particular pain that often remains hidden. Thank you.

    • JesseHoover

      Thank you Kari.

  • http://www.sonyamacdesigns.com sonyamacdesigns

    now I wonder if he can hear me …. ?????

  • Lacy Campbell

    Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes we do not understand his plans for us. I often have wondered what will happen with my daughter and her future. She also has a hearing problem and is only 19mths old. I know God will take care of her but sometimes it’s hard not to question him.

  • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin Slade

    Thanks for sharing, Jesse. My daughter cannot hear in her left ear. It hasn’t caused any problems thus far but no one has explanation as to why this happened.

    All I can think is that it makes God’s work more glorious. Perfection leaves no room for God to move in us, right? Thanks for braving your story with us. God’s not finished with you yet and I look forward to walking the journey with you as you share!

    (My husband is thinking about starting a blog…how can I convince him? LOL)

    • JesseHoover

      Convince him with a box of chocolate donuts and milk…that WILL do the trick.

      • http://joyfulmothering.net Christin Slade

        Oooh good one! Seems I didn’t need to get that far…he’s decided to do it! :)

        • JesseHoover

          Can’t wait to see it!

  • http://tammygrrrl.com Tammy Perlmutter

    I am so psyched to be here for your very first post! Great launch!! Thanks for sharing your vulnerability and disappointment. Those things can be hard to talk about, especially in Christian circles. My husband was denied a job once due to high blood pressure, and he had a similar experience. Happy to see you on here!!

    • JesseHoover

      Tammy thanks for being here for it!

  • http://www.livingonehanded.com Ryan Haack

    Wow…thanks for sharing, Jesse. I know a thing or two about being “made differently” and the restrictions that come with it. But, I’m learning to see the opportunities these days, too. Finally. Great job, dude. :)

    • JesseHoover

      Thanks Ryan!

  • http://dailygallen.com tim gallen

    jesse, amazing story! thanks for sharing your pain and truth.

    that jeremiah verse is one of my faves. i am constantly asking what god’s got in store for me. trying to just trust and enjoy the ride.

  • Trinity

    ABSOLUTELY what I needed to hear in this season of my life! Even though things aren’t going how I planned, they are going how God planned. Just because I had something else in mind, it doesn’t mean He forgot about me or is trying to punish me. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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