A few weeks ago I received an email request to do a review for my boss based on his work performance. I was shocked. I had not received this request in 4 years. I suspect the reason I received it 4 years ago was because out of all of his employees I was the new kid on the block and was on a high under his leadership. He is the one who chooses which employees review him and I’m sure he felt I was his best bet. At that time his leadership was the exact opposite of the leadership I had just experienced for 2 years and I was loving all of the perceived benefits of it. Think relocating from Alaska to Hawaii. Both locations have their plusses and minuses and you simply can’t help focusing on the pluses (sunshine, beaches, hot shirtless men in leis) when you’ve been tired of the minuses of your previous location (snow, negative temperatures, need I say more?). Well, at that time it was easy to give him a raving review. I was wearing my rose-colored glasses and everything looked bright through those things. Fast forward a few years and there would be a stark contrast in my perception and my review. Only a few months ago I started shutting down my computer in the middle of the work day with every intention of walking out the building never to return (I can be really dramatic). God moved, and I was able to have a civil conversation with my boss. It was that conversation that actually helped us both change in our approach with one another. So this time, when giving him a review it wasn’t done with rose-colored glasses. But it also wasn’t done with hot fiery criticism as it would have been done a few months ago.
“Father, help me speak truth with grace”.
And I think I did. Just the fact that that was my heart made me proud. Work has been the constant challenge in my life since I graduated college (10 years ago). I have had bouts of asking for prayer requests about work from my inner circle but I pretty much gave up long ago hoping for a change. I submitted to my lot as I saw the same patterns of humility and waiting on God surfacing. I’ve learned that usually when I am discontent, but in God’s will, it is b/c I am focusing on one thing and God is focusing on something totally different. I can say in my career, I’m discovering His focus is more on my character and relationships with others. He has definitely grown me in my relationships. I was able to give my boss a “fair” review. I find myself making conversation with people who have historically annoyed the mess out of me and reaching out more instead of hiding inward.
These changes are taking place because of His Spirit.
But even with those encouraging happenings I have succumbed to discouragement. I’ve let my emotions lead me, sought comfort in old things and felt the pain of surrender. He tells me I need to let Him meet my needs. To trust Him in those intimate places in my heart and lean more on community. I know I must do this slowly, because when I rush ahead in the day to day I unknowingly default to relying on self. This happens time and time again and I only become aware after my own efforts have failed me. So, I will practice taking things slowly…
Slowly reaching out for His emotional and physical fulfillment.
Slowly reaching out for theirs.