I asked God to speak to me. I prayed, I cried, I begged, I pleaded my lifes’ case (as if He didn’t already know) and I kept asking him to speak to me. I asked him to show me the answer to my questions, my requests and the path to the desires of my heart. I’d lost my job in February of 2015. I was employed by a major company, and in a role where I loved my title and my pay more than I actually loved my job. I liked being able to make a difference in the lives of people who actually wanted my help. I hated the politics though. I did not play the corporate game well at all, and quite frankly, I had no interest in trying to. That was one of the major turning points in my life. Prior to that I’d cried to God, my husband, my Mom and even a close friend or two because I wasn’t happy. I’d searched for other jobs for months before I left, to no avail. Meanwhile, my levels of stress increased, my quality of life remained unchanged, I was financially okay, but emotionally disconnected from the job itself, and I’d become a robot; programmed to do what I needed to do in order to provide for my family. The only problem with that was, I was not a robot.
I remember being in meetings, and thinking to myself “There must be something wrong with me because, I don’t truly care at all about what they’re talking about and this isn’t important at all. What’s the point?” My former co-workers were adding valuable feedback, asking insightful questions, and making suggestions about processes and procedures that I’d already known from my previous roles, and from simple observation were doomed to fail; miserably. What else was I to do? What else could I do but to sit there and wait for my time to wind down. I felt so incredibly confused. I knew I was intelligent, so why wasn’t I successful? I knew how my particular core business role was supposed to function, so why was I not compelled to speak up? I was at an awesome company with great potential for anyone of any race, gender, nationality, etc. to advance, and yet I had absolutely no desire to! My former boss and I had many conversations about my career path, and my answer was always that I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, except for keep my current position until I decided how I felt, but I knew I didn’t want to have his job. Who says that? Who literally tells their boss essentially “I’m not interested in advancing here, thanks!” I did. I looked at other positions, and nothing spoke to me. My lack of enthusiasm alarmed me. My lack of drive for this company beguiled me. I had a great schedule, but I was staying up late at night sometimes after my kids and husband had gone to bed, and I was listening to phone calls, writing evaluations, or planning meetings. I’d always encouraged my associates to step outside of their immediate situation, and look at how they and their contributions contributed to the overall dynamic of the company or “the big picture”.
The more and more I did this though, the less I was able to look at myself and see how I not only fit, but how anything I was doing was making a difference in the world. I wasn’t fulfilled because I was thirsty. Thirsty for purpose, and my “job” was not my purpose. As a Christian, being mindful of the words that came out of my mouth huge. I was always taught that once something comes out of your mouth, it can never return to it; that it was out there in the world, in the atmosphere, and that life could very much be spoken into words. I would tell God: “I am grateful, but I’m unhappy.” I would thank Him for blessing me with all that He’d blessed me with, but I would tell my Father God that I wanted to do better, to be better, but I never got better at my job, no matter how hard I tried, and I just couldn’t understand why
When God says “move”…
Looking back God told me many times to “move”. But, I didn’t realize it was Him talking to me. My sister (for all intents and purposes) worked at my same job as I did, and I remember telling her how excited I was about receiving my first evaluation from my employees. I’d scored a perfect score. My boss came to me and told me she couldn’t use it because it would mess up the bell curve with the other Managers. That didn’t sound right, it didn’t feel right, and it didn’t sit right with me, but I stayed. I was in a meeting and after listening to a call whereas the representative effectively steered a customer away from having a political rant, the leadership group discussed the call, not the actual quality, but instead the comments the customer made, and the degree of their validity. I stayed silent because I wholeheartedly disagreed, and I felt not uncomfortable, but offended. After a few moments, with a disapproving look, I shook my head and exclaimed “wow”. This seemed to bring the group back-but the damage was already done. I felt like I didn’t belong, but I stayed.
One of my co-workers had a major gathering at her house every year. She invited all of us members of leadership. I politely declined. On the next day that I came back to work after her party, everyone had spoken about how much fun they’d had, and how much they drank, and how they played some game which was of zero interest to me. I felt satisfied, and content because I really didn’t feel like I’d missed anything. Later that week, my Manager pulled me into the office, and told me that she’d heard nothing but great things from my direct reports about me, which was great! But, that my peers felt like me not going out with them, and showing up at parties that I’d had not time or interest in going to, made me seem anti-social. I was so confused. What made it worse, is she actually put that as feedback on my end of year evaluation as an area to improve. This was backwards to me. This was unfair to me especially since it had NOTHING to do with my actual work performance, but still, I stayed.
I stayed because my employees at that particular job site meant so much to me. They listened when I offered them both solicited and unsolicited advice. They were more than willing to work hard on and off the clock to help reach the team goals, which they understood translated to helping with their personal goals. I even got so close to them, that a few of them helped me and my children move into my first home, invited them to meet my family and eventually invited them to my wedding. I loved them. But, I still didn’t love the job, so I moved to another department doing the same JOB!
This time, I just knew that things would be different. And, they were—to an extent, but what wasn’t different was that God was still saying to “Move!” Even though I was now working from home, I found myself working longer hours, and extremely unhappy. God said “Move.”. I stayed.
I noticed myself getting depressed, and truly feeling both underwhelmed about my future at the company, and overwhelmed by the workload. God said “Move”. I stayed.
I felt unprotected, like my own boss didn’t have my back, and could sense a long battle that I didn’t want to fight. God said “Move!” I stayed.
Finally, when I couldn’t take anymore, and all that could happen to me did, and things were blatantly wrong, God said “Move, Andria. MOVE!” When I didn’t move on my own. HE moved me. He wasn’t going to wait any longer for me to listen, because clearly I either wasn’t obeying Him like I should have. I obeyed my fears when they said “Stay at your job. Stay secure.” But, I wasn’t secure at all. Listening to my fear, lead me to one of my greatest fears—of losing my job. Had I listened to God, I wouldn’t have been lost, I would have found another opportunity to be in another space. GOD doesn’t reveal His plan to us for our approval. We are His children, not the other way around. Fear is a lie. I lived in a lie, and I should have been living my life in faith.