“The slave drivers kept pressing them, saying, “Complete the work required of you for each day, just as when you had straw.” (Exodus 5:13)
In many ways, work is like marriage, in that if you end the relationship, there is nothing more to be gained, and a lot of hurt could ensue. In addition, most of us need to work to survive, so whatever baggage one is carrying from being let go or quitting will go to the next job.
This past week, God let me know that my behavior at work was going to get me fired. My work situation had been one where there was very much more than one person could do. I went from project to project trying to get help, but never talked to anyone long enough to develop trust or good communications. Also, I was so stressed that I left conversations in the middle of a sentence to get onto the next task. As a result, there were many complaints from other people to their managers. People did not talk to me, preferring my work partner. In addition, people doubted my project management abilities and appointed a project manager over my projects.
I submitted a prayer request regarding my job to FCET, and was very encouraged by the responses. There were quite a few very powerful prayer responses, and this was one of the things that, I would say, “persuaded” God to teach me a lesson rather than let me lose this job and have to start over somewhere (because of this, I wish to once again thank all those that prayed for me). Besides, God has work for me here, and I am convinced that he wanted me changed more than he wanted me to work somewhere else. The problems I was facing were old problems, but they had become invisible to me. In the prayer request, I said that that the negative attitudes from other staff were a result of the enemy attacking my Christianity, although I know now that is not true.
Two days before my performance review, I chaired a meeting and saw myself as God saw me, in the lack of leadership and relationship building skills, and the attitudes I was carrying from previous jobs and terminations. I was a cripple, unable to control any disruptions or relate to anyone in the room. People in the room took turns chairing the meeting. I had nothing to give, and was filled with negativity.
That night I felt very low and fell on the floor to God. Completely humbled, I gave all the sins of character that had been invisible to me to Him, and begged him to make me able to overcome this lack of social abilities at work. All the numbness that had been with me disappeared and I was filled with emotion about this situation. God had already caused progress in my sanctification by awakening emotion in me. We cannot care about others if we have no feeling for ourselves.
The next morning, I was on fire. My walk was confident, and everything came so easily and not as if it were in a pudding. I went to work, and communicated on a completely different level. There was more efficiency and I started a conversation with almost everyone I met, finishing the talk and making sure that they understood what I was saying. The negativity was also gone. I sent thank-you e-mails to several people whom I had not acknowledged as helping me. I also finished projects on that same day that had been stalled by my attitutude for weeks.
The next day, my annual performance review took place. My manager started the review by stating that the president of our division wanted me fired but he did not believe in doing that to valuable employees. From that statement, I knew that God was directing this person’s words. This statement meant that I was getting a second chance to improve my behavior. The manager went on telling the truth without naming names about everyone who had complained to his or her manager or to him about me. He said that he believed that if people know the problem and the truth, they could use it to correct the causes of the problem. He also said that he had noticed the change in me on the previous day! Even though he wrote an evaluation of unacceptable on my performance review, I was at peace. God had used my manager to teach me the lesson that I was unable to learn any other way. On the way home, I kept saying “thank-you” through my tears of joy.
Jesus does not want us to fail in becoming like him. And often He uses ordinary people to do His work of sanctification. Praise the Lord for his faithfulness to me this last week. We truly serve and awesome God!