Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Blessed and Highly Favored! Part I

With the end of March just around the corner, I just realized that 2009 is 25% of the way over. Time is going by so fast and I am really making an effort to keep up with everything and everyone so that I don't miss anything. That being said, I think is really important from time to time to take a step back and really evaluate where it is that you are in your journey and to reflect on some of the events that helped shape that reality. If you have read or heard me tell the stories that I'm about to tell - great - but if not, please take a moment to reflect on my path with me - be prepared though.. this ride gets kinda bumpy at times. :)

I joined my church choir (more on this later) last week and we are singing this song this week that I thought I would share:

He brought me through hard trials
He brought me through tribulations
Never let a day go by and not realize
Had not been for the Lord who was on my side

Back was against the wall
He looked out for me
He heard my cry and rescued me
Never let a day go by and not realize we are blessed

Don't take it for granted that we are here today
Just know that we're blessed and highly favored
Just know that we're blessed and highly favored

As I look back through the years,
It's amazing how He kept me.

What the devil meant for evil,
God turned it around,
Turned it around just for my good.

I know that I am blessed and highly favored.
Just know that we're blessed and highly favored.

To prepare to sing this Sunday, our director asked us to take some time over the next few days to think about time(s) when God has come through for us and shown Himself and his power to us. Below is my first example:

I will start with my career right now. I am BLESSED beyond belief by this company and the people that I work with and am CONSTANTLY reminded of how BLESSED I am on a daily basis. I start this part of my story back in February 2007. The economy was just starting to take its nose dive and the first thing my company did in preparation for that was to lay people off. I was spared though and even promoted to another position in the company. The new position carried with it TONS of job flexibility, the opportunity to truly help people who were struggling and the potential to advance up the corporate ladder into positions of leadership --- OR SO I THOUGHT... After about a month or 2 of being in this position, the corporate culture at the company started to take a complete 180 degree turn. The position went right back to being exactly like the position that I had been promoted FROM and the consensus at that time between all of us there was "Look for a new job.. and fast!". So I started doing that. I went on interview after interview for several weeks and received nothing but rejection. I thought.."this is the end all be all.... I will be here forever!" After a while I just gave up on the search and went back to dealing with where I was and what I was doing at that time. the cycle went something like this: 1) *sigh* I still have a job 2) weeks of job interviews 3) no results 4) repeat.. this continued on over and over again for the next 18 months!

At the beginning of July 2008, it had been 6 months since I had made any of the "goals" that the company had set forth for us. Mind you, the goals changed sometimes on a daily basis AND I was still being asked to make the goal the world's way so that management and the company would look good on paper regardless of whether or not the customer was actually helped. In the back of my mind, I always knew that termination was a possibility but I think that reality became evident on July 9, 2008 when I got a text from my friend Miss Dallas to tell me that one of our boys had become a casualty of war -- Duane. I could not believe it! I was on vacation at the time and the only thing I could think about until I went back to work the next Monday was.. "surely if he was let go, my time is a-comin'". Upon returning to work, I noticed that the whole atmosphere in our little corner of the office had changed. None of us understood the "why" of the situation -- just that it had happened and that we could be next. The very next day - Tuesday, July 15, 2008 was the turning point for my part of the story. I worked for that whole day and about 4:30pm I get called into a meeting with one of the supervisors (not my own, he was out on paternity leave by this time) and the head of the department. You can already guess what this meeting was about -- yep, my failure to make the goals for the past 6 months. I was given a write up & an action plan and it didn't sit well with me AT ALL. You have to understand something about me: I don't get in trouble and I don't get written up. All my life, since I was a kid, I was the model child. All the teachers wanted 20 more just like me. All of my employers wanted people who would be reliable, hard-working... well, you get the picture. There was now a write-up in my file and I didn't like it!! My fate was sure - if the goal was not met in 30 days there was a very real possibility that I would be terminated. Bottom Line. I went home that day (on the train) on the verge of tears with the write-up still in my hand. I actually didn't break down until I got to my best friend's house to go to bible study that night and even then I was going to hide it from her until she asked "What's wrong with you? You look like you're about to cry.." (gotta love BFF's -- I sure do love mine!) Our lesson at the study that night was over Psalm 128. The first verse says: Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. There it was - God's promise that He would take care of me.. why? Because I feared the LORD and walked in His ways. I walked in to work the next morning with a peace about me that I hadn't felt in the longest time. I cleaned my cubicle up that day, threw away all of the old training books and notes and materials that I knew I wouldn't need anymore. Packed all of my personal belongings on that desk in a box (well, condensed it to one box) and put that box under my desk. If I was going to be walked out of there for doing things GOD'S WAY; I wanted to be prepared!! It didn't take people long to notice that I had done this. Many of them asked me what I was doing. I didn't really have an answer for them - just that something big was about to happen and that I needed to be ready for it.

During lunch that same day, I decided to work on Project GTFO a little and applied for two positions during that hour. Both of them were non profit, ministry positions. The next morning I got calls to schedule interviews with both of them .. I went to both interviews but one position stood out above the other one. The CEO of this company had agreed to meet with me at 7am for my interview because he saw the importance of me getting to work at my job by 8am when I was supposed to be there. The interview?? Not your typical interview. I think the only question that he asked me was to "Tell him about myself.." - the Holy Spirit took it from there. He said he would call me within the week. The Vice President of the company called me the next day to do a phone interview and I had a job offer by Friday. It gives me chills to type this but the verse on my Bible Verse Calendar on the day that I got the job read:

From the LORD comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
(Psalm 3:8)


God didn't stop there in revealing to me what His good and perfect plan had looked like from the beginning of all of this. Would you believe that THE WHOLE time that I was struggling through this thing -- 4 people in an office of 6 were preparing to retire?? The reason for me to go through the fire was to learn what I needed to learn about the industry, to become more spiritually mature, to witness to countless others about Jesus AND (last but not least) to wait until these other people were out the door and retired so that where I needed to be was ready and available for me!! :)

I have started to apply this principle to other areas of my life especially the singleness and my finances. I constantly have to think back on this when I start to get frustrated or discouraged in all of that.

Part II of this post will be coming soon -- a little harder to write but you'll read it when it's done.
Leave comments and encouragement if you like. :)


Mrs. Dallas said...

Wow talk about a testimony, hopefully your story will help and bless someone else that is going through some tough times and facing some hard choices. Continue with your deliverance and discovering your new "you".
Much Love,
Queen Dallas of the Douglas Royal Family

Kevin & Cam said...

You are a "chosen one"!! And along with being "chosen," we must be tried and tested. Although, going through the storms of life, in the midst of it all, our vision is not that clear. THANK GOD HE IS THERE TO HELP GUIDE US AND STEER US BACK IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION! God has a way of changing the "winds" of life, and bringing a "peace" about things. We just have to remember whose in control. I want God to get the glory out of my life!! And I know you do too! Continue keeping Him first! Love ya! (this entry really blessed me!)