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Tue, Oct 21 2008 - 08:07 PM

Expect the Unexpected

I didn't realize it had been quite so long since I have blogged.  Yet at the same time, it seems like forever ago!!  

For a couple of years now, I have been praying for God to lead me out of the corporate world into a home-based business that I feel He gave my sister and I the idea for.  Most recently, that prayer had become more of a desperate plea.  

My job as a manager over 3 departments and about 100 people had become very over-whelming and stressful to me.  Physically, I was (still am really) a mess--constant tightness in the chest, knot in the stomach, shakey, near tears always.  I was just going through the motions each day, trying to stay afloat.  The best way to describe it is feeling as though I was trying to dig my way out of a hole and someone kept kicking dirt back in.  To make things worse, when I get stressed, I eat and I don't eat the right things.  Sodas, chips, chocolate and other comfort foods have been my main diet.  So, that brings weight gain which doesn't help anything!  Crazy what we do to ourselves! 

I genuinely like and care about the people I work with but it just didn't feel "right".  I felt and still feel as though I should be working from home and more involved in ministry.  I know God had me in my job for specific reasons--several of which I know right off hand and none of which really had anything to do with corporate business!   However, it seemed like my discontent was a clue that it was time to move on.  So, I prayed. 

Well, as often is the case, God answered my prayer (sort-of) but not in the way I imagined.   I was recently called into a meeting with my director and her boss.  Actually, my boss called me and said she and her boss wanted to meet with me at 2pm to discuss "some things".  She wouldn't elaborate.  For those of you in the corporate world, you know that usually is not a good sign!  Of course, I was nervous but I just kept reciting over and over....... " I know the plans You have for me.  Plans to prosper me and not harm me.  Plans for a hope and a future".  Deep down, I suspected that I was being pulled from my job. 

When I went to the meeting, they closed the door and I knew at that moment my thoughts were validated.  This wasn't a good meeting.  

Turns out, I am being "rotated" out of management into another side of the business that I have never experienced before.   I'll be in training both classroom and on-the-job as I move through several different levels.  Once I reach the final level, I can then attempt to get back into management should I so desire.  I'd have to compete with any other candidates for available jobs.   Luckily, they did not take any pay from me--although raises will be pretty much impossible since my pay will already be above the norm for the jobs I'll be rotating through.  And with changes made to our company's education requirements, I won't really be eligibe for a management position again unless I go back to school and take the courses they require.   

The reason for the rotation?  One, my company does that from time-to-time.  I've actually been rotated before--but for a similar position in a different department.  This rotation is actually out of management into a self-directed position for which I'll only be responsible for my own performance--not the performance of 3 departments and 100 other people.  Two, because I have been in the same job for 6 years and they felt I needed further development.

Well....... after my director's boss left (I held it together in front of him), I began to cry.  I couldn't even get my words out.  It felt horrible.  I felt like a failure --even though I had being doing the job for 6 years with good results, just the fact that the last year had been tough made me feel like a loser even though they were insistent that this was not a "bad thing".  It was a developmental opportunity to make me more "well-rounded".  The problem is this area of the company they are sending me to is NOT one that I'd ever go to voluntarily.  It is very much out of my comfort zone and the skills required don't at all fit my personality.   I think some of my tears were just a "release".  I had been under so much stress and feeling so overwhelmed that I wanted to cry many times but just wouldn't let myself. 

I decided God must really be working on my pride and my ability to trust Him.  He answered my prayer as far as getting out from under the stress and pressure that I had been feeling but He didn't answer it the way "I" wanted him to answer it!  Isn't that always the case?  We have our own ideas about what we expect to happen and God rarely works in the "expected".   He answered my prayer in a way that stripped my pride and left me confused and nervous-- needing Him to get through it all. 

I knew people at work would "talk" and speculate why I was moved.  Despite all the publicity stating it is a "positive thing", I knew the rumors would fly among the gossipers and spread like wildfire throughout the building.  And they have.  By the time all is said and done, the rumor will be that l have done something awful like been guilty of"sexual harrassment" .  That is just the way the rumor-mill works at my company.

As much as the decision hurt my pride, I had to accept that it truly was an answered prayer.  It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of me.  It doesn't matter if I am a "manager" or the lowest person in the ranks.   All that matters is what God thinks of me and whether or not I am honoring Him and earnest seeking Him in everything that I do.   

I wish I could say that 100% of my words and actions surrounding my "rotation" have honored God, but I can't.  I've had my moments of anger, tears and resentment, but I do believe that despite the "pride pain", this is a blessing and I must thank God for relieving my burdens and giving me a fresh opportunity with the same pay(praise the Lord for that!).  

While I am at peace with decision. I still believe God intends for me to work from home and have a ministry.  That is the dream I am clinging to. So, this move must be a step in that direction or God wouldn't have made it happen unless He is moving me toward soemthing even better than what I dream about! 

I have to assume that something in the new experience will benefit my ultimate goals and dreams.  Perhaps it is someone that I'll meet--either needing my help or me needing theirs.  Perhaps it is a new skill that I will learn.  Perhaps it is just the whole pride thing.  Whatever it is, God's hand is in it and I will move forward with a smile on my face, holding my head high and honoring God with my words and actions.   

People that work with me know that I am a Christian.  That hasn't always been viewed favorably.  Either way, I know that people are closely watching my reactions to this change.   I have to make sure that I reflect Christ and not my selfish pride and hurt feelings.  God did answer my prayer.  I will soon be released from the stress and worry that being a manager brings.  With that, I should feel better physically, emotionally and even spiritually.  I should have more energy and more time to focus on my writing, my future business and my ministry involvement.   So, it really is a good thing.  It is just not an easy thing. 

I genuinely care about all of the people I work with.  Telling my direct reports that I was leaving was hard.  Actually leaving will be even harder.   I start my new position November 5th as a student in a training class.  What a change of scenery that will be! Another good thing is that some of the people I work with can actually become "friends" of mine now.  As their manager, I couldn't cross those lines but now it won't be an issue.  No doubt, God will use that as well! 

So, now my question to the Lord becomes, what is next?  What is my next step?  How do I proceed and hold on to my dream of working from home? When do I make the "leap of faith" and move out of corporate America? Is there a chance that I am wrong and that isn't what God intends for me?  I am in a bit of confusion right now.  I am trying hard to discern God's voice.

I've been reading a lot.  I finished Joel Osteen's "Your Best Life Now".  I re-read Raleigh Jenkins, "God Will Provide" and I am currently reading 2 books both by Max Lucado--"It's Not About Me" and "Facing Your Giants". 

The general theme in all of them is ....trust God's Word, claim the promises written there, expect the unexpected and watch God provide for You.  Essentially, chose to believe God, be happy and trust Him.  He will always come through.  That is what I am doing.  One day at a time.  Some days better than others.

Lord,

You know my thoughts, my fears, my hurts and my dreams.  You have promised that all things work to the good of those that love You.  I love you, so I know that all of the changes going on in my life are for my good.  As Joel Osteen said, things are not happening "to me".  They are happening "for me".   Thank you for answering my prayers.  Help me to lean on You and not my own understanding or perceptions.  Help me to focus on Your Truth and not the facts.  Help me to discern Your voice and know what my next steps should be.  Thank you for loving me enough to die for me and for never leaving my side.  Grant me peace and joy in all of my circumstances and may I honor You in all of my words, thoughts and actions.  Amen 

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Name: worknmom

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About: I am a married, working mother with 2 children a daughter age 17 and a son age 14. I have a passion for writing and feel led to work with pre-teen girls. I blog mostly about my spiritual journey as I seek God's perfect will for my life.

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