In my previous post, I admitted something that many people never would. I uttered (or typed) words that some people may never say in their entire lives...words that strike fear in the heart of men and women alike.
I. Was. Wrong.
Because my new job didn't have an important-sounding title, because I wouldn't have people working under me, because I wasn't getting my own office and because I had to take a pay cut, I felt very short-changed. I felt like I'd gotten kicked in the gut...while I was already down. I felt like I'd gone down a few rungs on the success ladder. Funny thing is, I never wanted to climb any ladder. I never wanted a career or an office or to associate my feelings of success and self-worth with a pay check. I didn't think I was "that" sort of person.
That's another thing I was wrong about.
I went into the new job still feeling the sting of disappointment from having to "settle" and the realization that "settling" really bothered me.
Had I not worked hard? Had I not done more than my best? Had I not earned the raises and promotions that doubled my salary over the course of 8 years? Of course. In the end, was I working with no support and set up to fail? Yes. Is it natural to feel robbed when something you worked hard to earn is taken away? Sure. But, as a believer in Christ, I operate under another reality...or at least, I should. That reality is, simply: God is sovereign. He gives and takes away according to His good pleasure and He promises to work all things together for our individual good and His glory. All means all. Good means good. My present reality doesn't change these facts, no matter how much of a baby I decide to be.
For the first week, I was, basically, a grump. I tried not to let my resentment show at the office. Afterall, a friend had recommended me and the man who hired me was all compliments and confidence in my abilities. I didn't want to seem ungrateful...though, if I'm honest, I really was. Ungrateful and prideful.
Have I painted a clear enough picture of the mental, emotional and spiritual ugliness that was me that first week or so at my new job? I hope so, because I'm starting to really not like myself and I'd just as soon move on to the part when the ugly went away. You? Good!
My first two weeks, for the most part, went along with me being grumpy and people not really talking to me. I was the new girl. Distance had to be kept. Time was needed to feel me out and see if I was normal or friendly or what have you. Then, at the end of my second week, the friend who got me the job asked if I would be willing to go to lunch with him and another co-worker to read and study through John 1. The co-worker was attending a course on the basics of Christianity at our church and was a little hesitant about beginning to read the bible for the first time.
When the day of the lunch rolled around, my friend couldn't go, so it was just me and this curious and searching person I'd not said more than "hello" to before. To say I felt a bit nervous was an understatement. Thankfully, my new co-worker was very chatty and open and easy to talk with. Our lunch flew by and was quite enjoyable, though I wasn't sure I helped or made any sort of meaningful connection.
Those concerns were laid to rest when my phone rang the next afternoon. The co-worker called to ask if I had a minute to talk. I said "of course" and walked over to her office. She was waiting there with her mother. They wanted to talk about the course at my church and how they would "know" they really believed, really had faith, really received Christ.
As I attempted to answer those questions and shared my own testimony, I wasn't thinking about having my own office, or a company cell phone, or money, or titles; my only thoughts were about these two searching and hungry souls and how much I wanted the Lord to use my whiney self to somehow serve them.
After our talk, I walked back to my office thinking about all I'd gained in taking this job. I gained a boss that wants me use my abilities, and is also direct, honest and responsive. I gained a window that actually looks outside (and not just into a hallway). I gained a work environment that not only allows conversations about faith, but encourages them. I gained a relationship with a non-believer who is open, positive, and truly seeking (I pray I get to see the progression from curious to Christian). And, through that relationship, I get tangible and current evidence of being used by God.
Yes. I was wrong about this new job. Very wrong...and, I'm very thankful for that!