January 2019 - Part 1
I took it upon myself to do…something. Something to keep myself moving forward. I’m the first to admit I don’t have perfect ideas or great follow through when I do have a good goal, but this year I’m setting out to change. Change takes action. So, here’s to day one, week one of my 2019 challenge.
Love Without Limits!
I’m reading through Everybody, Always written by one of my favorite authors Bob Goff. This book inspires me (along with Bob’s other book Love Does) to love without limits. A type of love breathed out of no expectations, impossible becoming possible, terminating intimidation, and no limitations.
What does this kind of love look like? I’m spending this year, 2019, finding out. My hope is to have my journey inspire you to love in a new way and to stretch yourself as I go through the growing pains myself.
january - Part 2
Today, I asked myself what I was doing at my job. Why now? Why this place? Will anything I do make a difference?
To my surprise I had an important role to play.
I met with one of my student employees to go over this month’s tasks. Her words started out slow and methodical as she described her trip to New Mexico over winter break. “The food was a-mazing!” she exclaimed. I was sucked in by my fantasy of sipping ice cold water as I bronzed my skin in the hot desert sun. I saw her puzzled look. I realized I needed to snap my attention back to her. No more nonsense.
I asked about her first day of classes. She paused then her words flowed like a humming bird flapping its wings. I could hardly keep up. She had a bill. A large bill. She didn’t know how she would pay it. I saw her eyes grow bigger as she told me her story.
She said a phrase which replayed in my mind. “I know I’m supposed to be here. I’m called to be here.”
This was when I knew I wasn’t called to be at my job forever, because I didn’t feel the same weight of a call. I had a job. My passion didn’t extend beyond this point. Hers did.
However, I knew God placed me in this conversation for a reason. I too had experienced piling bills I couldn’t pay in college. One bill rounding out at $4,000. In college terms, that could buy a ton of Top Ramen. God redeemed it through a six month process.
I stepped outside of my role as her manager. I saw her as a friend. I asked if I could pray with her. She said yes. We left quiet space to settle our minds, and then we thanked God and asked Him for peace. After we were done, I said the picture that came to mind was quick sand. The more she flailed and tried to escape the faster she would fall into the trap of worry. So, I suggested she pause and let God pull her out. By this point, mascara was streaming down her cheeks and her eyes were flooded.
She said that was exactly what she needed to hear. She wiped her eyes, took a deep breath and decided to move slower. She event talked slower now. Walking out of our meeting, we didn’t do a lot of office work but we did process a lot in our hearts.
I don’t know if my time at my job will make a big dent in my career path or if I looked like a foolish supervisor, but I do know God put me there for today. And today, I got to be love to someone new.
Okay, this challenge just got more difficult over these few months.
I worked in a disorganized and bizarre workplace. I challenged myself to find the good in the mess. There is always something good. I was thankful to have my own office. I was grateful for the new plant thriving in my office. I was glad to understand myself and how I need to be firm in my identity.
My manager was one of the most challenging people for me to understand. I felt bad for her, because this was her first role in a leadership position and managing. I saw her taking her insecurities and uncertainty out on me. I thought I could help and stayed in this work environment to see if it would get better. It didn’t and ultimately I left.
What did I learn?
I found a new strength in me. I know I am a writer and won’t let negative words infiltrate my mind.
I know I can trust God with my work and to get me out of situations I feel stuck in.
I have freedom to leave a workplace.
I know I would like to function as a bold, understanding, compassionate, and strategic leader.
There is always something to learn from in a situation which seems negative.
And, in the end, I have compassion for my manager. I pray for her to find her identity in the Lord instead of her work.