As I approach a return to work next week, these past four weeks have been a wake-up call. A call to acknowledge and own this label of COPD. A call to grow into knowing my body better. To learn what is normal and what is not. To be pro-active in living with a change in me that I preferred to ignore.
And the same for the company I work for.
A wake-up call that my presence each day, each week, each month cannot be taken for granted. A call to acknowledge and own the vagaries of life and employing living people. People who change, people who are imperfect, people who are not machines.
I had an email explaining that plans were afoot to employ someone to make sure my role was not so vulnerable to my living. That email challenged me.
Do I fear the new future – or do I embrace it … my choice.
If I fear for my future employment, my future income, my future ability to provide a lifestyle and living we have become attached to – I will fear each day – I will judge each day – I will interpret each day – I will look for evidence of my job being minimised and evaporated – I will seek badness – I will seek fear – I will see ugly.
That was my immediate default choice: fear and ugly.
Yet reality says there is another choice. That my job has been under threat in the past. But that the reality was a redesigned and changed job-spec. A reality that saw others employed to support the tedium and weekly grind of my job content. A reality that my new job-spec focused on relationships and interactions with those important to the business. That the new “job” grew to fill the entire week with the same – but different pressures – pre-redesign.
My choice was to believe and trust my employer valued my skills and experience. A choice to seek the good and not the ugly.
And that was my choice again this week (after reflection and the immediate “default”).
I may be wrong – I may be right …
My job security may be secure – or not. Yet what do I lose by seeking fear and ugly – and what do I gain by seeking love and trust?
I lose fear and I gain balance.
A balance and grounding to be open to new opportunities. New opportunities to bring the same skills and experience – proven to be valued – to new challenges. A grounding and balance to be open to choice – open to goodness – open to be more of the person I wish to be: to own who I am, rather than fear who I am not.
If you were an employer, a friend, a lover, an acquaintance … which choice would you prefer I make?
(and what choice would you prefer you make?)
We don’t have a choice, Paul. God has already said: “The just shall live by faith”.
I’ll tell you what. I’ve already done the fear and the ugly. Look back to when I was complaining of being isolated and abandoned. Yes, that is exactly what happened. Yes, it took 3 health crises BEFORE anyone could be bothered to see I was not lying about my late husband’s illness. When the third crisis put him back in hospital for a third time, that’s when things finally started to change. Not for the better for a long time, but things started to change. He finally got the care he needed and I got the job of finding out how it would be funded. Oh, what joy!
Two years and a death later, the Lord then completely took over. I kid you not, Paul: I was carried through the time of sorting out everything after Joe died. The Lord put everyone and everything in place and walked me through it all.
Then, after that was done, He started with putting me on the road to a move I desperately needed to make. Two months later, I moved home. I was robbed three grand’s worth of belongings at that time, and what the other party couldn’t steal, they tried to destroy. Was I angry and burning with it?
You’d better believe it. The ugliness was still pouring out of me. It was bad, Paul. But I recovered from it, with the help of Almighty God. I’ve got a home that I love living in, in an area which is right in the middle of everywhere else! It’s an incredible little town called Brandon. I have good neighbours who I can interact with. I have shops a few minutes up the road. I have a replacement buggy for the one that was nicked. I’ve replaced and upgraded the cooking equipment and furniture that was nicked. All my glasses were taken. I found some that looked like jars with handles on. Now, I save any jars I use, and have replaced my glasses with those! And I finally have a church 🙂
See, our Father will walk us through everything. Oh yeah. Anuvver fing, I am attached to a surgery where the people who work there actually give a hoot as to what happens to you. I am now under their care properly, like I haven’t been since the 80s. So it might take a few years of agony to get to the ecstasy of finding out just what it does feel like to have the One we call Father taking care of us. It’s a beautiful thing, being a child of God, Paul. Trials will always come, but be assured. So will the deliverance. That, I promise you.
I’ve still got trials now, but He’s teaching me to trust Him. That is our job, Paul. To live by faith and honour Christ in so doing. God be with you, bless you and walk before you, leading the way.
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I think what I have learned from the bible is that we have a choice always. I have also learned that my choices can and do change. That “ugly” can be as inviting as “love”, that getting my own back as powerful as not. I think the journey is a journey because it is all about choice. And choosing to follow is a choice that comes from strength rather than weakness.
I have always believed that if God decides to bring a change into my life, it is always for my good. When I was fired from a 20 year employer, it was for my good. When l severed the end of my finger, it was for my good. When I came down with cancer it was for my good.
Each instance changed my life drastically. Lifestyle changes galore. Through it all ny amazing wife stood beside me, believing in me, walking through it with me – even when I betrayed her! My rock, my helpmate, my friend.
And through each trial, and many more, He has made me a better man, husband, father, son, grandfather, and friend to those in my life. He has drawn me ever closer to His side.
So wherever this riad leads, and whatever turns and forks in the road you face, always take the high road. Something better awaits you!
Pete, I love your faith. My own learning is that God allows. Stuff happens not always because “God did it” but mostly because I did it. And I have also learned that “different” gets called called “better” for many reasons. And God has little to do with any of that.
And I agree that each fork in the road can be viewed in many different ways. My track record has many embarrassing moments. Yet here we both are. Alive, loved and loving, still seeking the future with increasing excitement.
“The greatest of these is … ” So few words, so much power to change!
You are so right my friend. And everything you say here I couldn’t agree more. My track record to as many embarrassing moments. But we serve a loving God who is merciful beyond our comprehension.
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T. Pete and Paul
Paul ‘As I approach a return to work next week, these past four weeks have been a wake-up call. A call to acknowledge and own this label of COPD. A call to grow into knowing my body better. To learn what is normal and what is not. To be pro-active in living with a change in me that I preferred to ignore.”
To love this within and to discard the label we are ourselves and not a label, what is within is used by our God in ever increasing ways.
Pete”And through each trial, and many more, He has made me a better man, …..He has drawn me ever closer to His side.+”
I,too, have discovered this, in my life of chronic illnesses, Bipolar Affective Disorder, Epilepsy and Osteoarthritis -to love and accept has allowed the Spirit within to use me in many ways.
” … to love and accept has allowed the Spirit within to use me in many ways.”
In a world that sees “being used” as bad, I think we are losing our ability to differentiate between what is good and what is bad. Yet more and more I find that “taking God out of the conversation” reaches that innate goodness and differentiation almost all I have met carry within.
I am glad we met 🙂
OBTW for some reason WP or the net is preventing me to expressing my agreement via likes so yes, I like this one.
I have been there many times (verge of losing a job), sometimes it came true because of the employer, sometimes because life changes forced me to make the change. Each time the Lord saw me through to a new opportunity, pray for HIs guidance and wisdom and I am sure He will see you through this time as well, dear friend.
Thank you for your kind words. They carry great truth and love.
If everyone might stop and listen to each other, our experiences, in various ways are very much the same.
God surrounds and nudges everyone, it is not necessary to involve God in our conversations by mentioning him, he is there. That is what meant by being used,employment of the highest order, a listening ear, a hug even a strict word are God’s voice and hands through us for he has none himself.
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Just as your words carry great truth. Thank you also 🙂
today I railed at God and demanded help with the bad seizure i was beginning to have – and he heard and answered me. We had gone to the eye clinic because Jessica thought her lens was damaged. Lens nice and safe, drops can vease and I wasn’t caught by any nasty nurses, because God called off the mess, who would have sent me to emergency where I would have remained for about 5 hours. So managed to get us both safely home.
Yay!! Nothing like a good old rail! 🙂
Yes, nothing like!
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