This is a post about work, and I’m excited to share a few stories with you today! This is part one of two.
Fun fact some of you may not know – I currently work for Hershey’s! Yes, Hershey’s chocolate. My favorite products are anything with dark chocolate and, of course, the Reese’s cup! What are some of your favorites?
Although I could write about the deliciousness of Reese’s cups all day, our focus today is on WHO. Who are you working for?
I got fired from my first job when I was 23. The HR department tried to make it sound as pleasant as possible and gave me a generous severance package, but at the end of the day, I got fired. The walk out to my car felt as if I was walking with cinder blocks attached to my feet. One slow, heavy step at a time.
The flood of questions started streaming into my mind – What am I going to do next? How am I going to pay the bills? OMG.
I called my friend who had lost his job in the past to get advice. He was incredibly kind and made me feel safe. He embraced my hurt with compassion and empathy. The heavy shame and pressure I felt in my body slowly vanished after one short, uplifting conversation with a friend.
Side note - it’s amazing what you can do for people when you listen to their pain and react in a loving way. I never felt judged, inadequate or unworthy when anyone could have easily judged me in that moment.
God’s love works the same way. On our most painful days, He loves and values us. In my shame, I imagine Him putting his arm around my shoulders, like a good, loving father would; pulling me in close to comfort me. Our circumstances don’t change His unwavering love. God isn’t up in Heaven rubbing salt into our wounds. He is a source of light on our worst days, and I truly think my friend showed me God’s love that day. Be that friend!
The next three months of unemployment were filled with ups and downs. Searching and waiting to find a job when you don’t have one can be a nightmare! I can’t count the amount of times I felt insecure, anxious and in question of God’s presence.
However, I used my extra free time (since I had a lot of it) to dig deeper into the Bible.
My journal from a few weeks after getting let go read these words:
I have never felt like I know Christ better than I do now. It’s funny – a few weeks ago when I had a job, I was drained, down and confused about being so unsettled. I asked God to connect with me and to make His presence known again. I wanted to feel Him with me more. Yet, all I felt was an empty heart.
Now, with no job, I feel like that prayer has been answered. I am restoring. I am not worried about whether I lost my job out of being unfaithful or sinful because I know God does not operate like that. I am rested and I am at peace even though I don’t know what is next. I know God will provide. He has blessed me with a break and a Christ-centered, restored mind and heart. I am thankful for this trial.
Through unemployment, I learned God will remove things from our lives for a divine purpose, whether we like it or not, and it is ALWAYS for His and our benefit. Unemployment taught me how to have complete dependence on Him, which ultimately left me feeling happier and relieved regardless of my employment status. God is in control, and I am not. Repeat.
When you feel like your job situation might make you debate walking off of a cliff, remember this:
God always has the bigger picture in mind and it involves your entire faith journey here on earth; not just today.
When I prayed and asked for more of His presence (with a job), I didn’t expect Him to answer that prayer by taking my job, but it was the perfect answer at the time. After about a month away from the work world, I realized there is a consistent, heavy emphasis on “do” instead of “who.” What do you do for a living? What are you doing today? Do, do, and more do.
However, the most important question you can ask yourself is who? Who are you going to follow today? Who are you going to honor with your life? Who is your focus on?
I was placing a great deal of my value in my work, but losing my job made me realize my value, without a doubt, comes from Christ.
A verse that continued to stick out to me was, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men…” Colossians 3:23.
When I am seeking joy, I have to remember work is important, but who I’m working for is most important. Jesus worked as a carpenter, which means he understands what it’s like to have a job. Our work is an opportunity to become more like Him. Our jobs are a gift!
When I place my focus on working for the Lord, the rest seems to fall into place. I’m a more patient, kind, diligent and dedicated worker because I care about the Lord and what He thinks about my work the most. I respect authority, but I know in my heart who the ultimate authority is. I find joy in knowing I am working for a God who LOVES me, not a boss who gets upset with me if I make one mistake!
Being a Godly employee means we’re kind when we don’t feel like it. We have trust when circumstances seem out of control. We work with honesty, honor and respect for everyone around us. We can be game changers in our jobs if we work like the Lord is our boss. So, go be game changers!!
Have an awesome week!
· Think about your job as a gift, and use it as a tool to serve the Lord today. Try to view setbacks as opportunities to rely on the Lord.
· How can you show kindness to your boss and co-workers today?
· GO BE A GAME CHANGER.