It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. Psalm 118:8
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:3-5
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. Colossians 3:23
As I read chapter 4 of “Stressed-Less Living”, I realized the main source of my stress had been the opposite of Tracie’s: instead of not listening to God about leaving a job, I wasn’t being obedient in the job He intended for me. Three years ago, as my stress level peaked at my employment, I was moved to another building away from my support system. That year was an especially difficult one for me: my son left for Afghanistan, my daughter left for college 10 hours away, and we felt led to leave our church home. I also turned the BIG FIVE-OH that year. Turning 50 really didn’t add to my stress—I just think it’s an amusing detail to add.
I started to apply for jobs an hour away from our small town, in hopes that I’d find employment and that the hubby would also want to move there. You see, he was already commuting to that area, so it made perfect sense to me. I had several interviews, and my last interview was with another believer; it was a very good interview where I had been uplifted by our conversation and his positive comments on my qualifications. Although I didn’t get that job or any of the other jobs I had applied for, I gained such a peace that I was already in the job God had called me to do. That spring, as I participated in a focus group for a new Bible study for those in the education field, I found I had been too busy allowing the stress of my job to get the best of me, a.k.a. “giving the devil a foothold”. When I finally released that stress to God, I had such an overwhelming peace…yes, “a peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). I’ve been able to handle the stresses that come with my job better and I no longer allow the things that are out of my control to upset me.
That year I also received my first formal review at this job; for some strange reason, I had worked for my employer for 5 years without a review. Since I had been moved to another building, I had a new supervisor: one day she walked in, set a review sheet in front of me and told me to pick 3 things I thought I was good at!! I was so shocked, I honestly didn’t know what to say. She finally picked 3 things for me and wrote “It’s been nice working with Pat this year”. That’s it? Where was my REAL pat on the back? I had NEVER had a review like this before and was so upset in how she didn’t include how hard I worked without (much) complaining, how I always went over and above in my duties, how much I had helped her and was even able to perform some of her responsibilities, etc. I was so disappointed, I went to her supervisor. He told me that from what he had observed, that there were obviously more than 3 things I was good at. He asked me what I would like him to do about it, and I told him I needed to go home, cool off and think about it. After prayer that night, I realized I was being proud. Ouch. I was humbled as the LORD reminded of Colossians 3:23. I went in the next day, spoke with my supervisor’s superior and told him to just let it go.
And that my friends, was the year of BIG lessons for me! A BIG TIME POWER SURGE from the LORD: learning to trust in Him for strength and not my friends, learning that His ways are ALWAYS better than my own, learning that my confidence comes from Him and not my own fleshly abilities (or yearly reviews), learning that I work for Him and not men (or women), and learning that turning 50 really ain’t so bad!! ; )