Whenever you run away
Whenever you lose your faith
It’s just another stroke of
The pen on the page
A lonely ray of hope
Is all that you need to see
A beautiful history
I went through the valley this spring. It began with stress at work caused by underperformance and some relational issues there. Fear multiplied mistakes, and mistakes multiplied relational strain. It got to a point that I would be sick to my stomach at work and depressed at home. Finally I quit the job (or was voluntarily terminated, depending how you look at it). I left with a lot of anger and bitterness in my heart. Some might say it was justified, but I’m not proud of how long it’s taken to forgive.
I floundered for five weeks, searching for work and not finding it, trying to make sense of what happened, trying to find things to do with myself, trying to find casual work to pay the bills. How do you write a compelling resume or sell yourself at an interview when you’ve royally screwed up the last job? It seemed no one wanted me, or that’s what I told myself.
You shouldn’t always listen to what you tell yourself, by the way.
Then things seemed to fall into place. I had a couple interviews. I found a part-time job. I got some temporary work. I was offered a summer job.
Yet it was confusing. Of the two interviews, I was certain both would offer me a job. I negotiated time to wait with the summer job. Of the two jobs, one was for an egg packing company at minimum wage and bad hours. The other was at a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant with good hours and good pay. I really wanted that one, but they wouldn’t give me an answer. I prayed and asked for advice, and decided to turn down the egg job.
They called and offered. I turned them down. I bawled my eyes out. Here had been a job at my fingertips and I had turned it down? “Am I crazy?” I wailed, pacing around in my apartment. “God, you led me here. Don’t let me down now.”
And then I had my accident, which I chronicled in The Funny Version. And there I was laid up, unable to work. I remember lying on the stretcher in the hospital and going “God, what are you doing? What are you doing?”
Paying my bills was what He was doing.
Within a short time I had money from workers compensation, and the paycheque from the temp job. Suddenly my rent and my credit card bills were paid. I was in pain and I was functionally useless, but I was taken care of. I was also employed. About a week after my accident, while I was visiting with my Grandma, I was called and hired for the job I’d wanted. Start date, about a month after. I also spoke to my boss at the temporary job and he said I could come back to work until the new job started.
I just had to get well, and that took about three weeks.
My friend Amanda and I recently reminisced about when we’d worked together at the job I quit—the one where I’d been sick and depressed. I opened up to her about what had happened to me at that job. Our experiences there were very different, but neither of us work there anymore.
“But if we hadn’t worked there we wouldn’t have met,” she said. And that’s true. I gained a dear friend from that job I messed up.
After Amanda and I parted ways, I gave it some more thought and realized there were a few big perks to losing that job. For instance, I was able to get a part time job at a clothing store. I really enjoy that job, but I also get great discounts on clothes. I love fashion, but after a couple years of college, a low-paying job, and unemployment, my wardrobe was quite depleted. Now it’s… not.
And the other job is much better paying and has benefits—I cringe when I say that because it sounds so middle class and mediocre and apathetic, but when you need a grand in dental work… And this job has plenty of room for me to grow into it.
And, I’ve gained new friends at the places I work.
And I had time to start a blog while I was unemployed, which is my pride and joy.
And I learned about communication, honesty and clarifying expectations.
I am hesitant to get too optimistic, because I was really optimistic about the old job and it turned out to be hell on earth. I grieve for my loss of trust and loss of relationships. But I trust that as I go forward, I will see how these speed bumps and spike strips on the road were pushing me toward something better.
I’ll look back and see my beautiful history.
By the way, I’m not saying all of this to make you feel sorry for me. I’m trying to tell you that God’s been good to me, and all that I’ve gone through (which is minor compared to what some have experienced) has been used to make me a stronger person, and to increase my faith. I hope that this account is an encouragement to you.