Some of you who follow my blog regularly might be asking, “Why the flying flip did she write about David’s Mighty Men as a follow-up to her bleeding heart emo post?” Well, most of you probably don’t use the endearing colloquialism “flying flip”, but you know what I mean.
Here’s why: Because in the midst of my emotional breakdown last week, I felt a whole lot like David in those stories – minding my own business, excelling at what is expected of me right where I am, unintentionally stumbling upon an opportunity for visibility, totally dominating that opportunity simply by being myself, encountering jealousy from insecure people, being attacked by said insecure people, attracting the depressed and disillusioned, and ultimately triumphing over all the $@%#! thrown at me because I kept the faith and focused on the One who I knew was in control of it all.
Okay, so I’m still working on that last part, but I’m a self-identified work in progress. As for the other parallels to David’s experiences:
Minding my own business & excelling at what is expected of me right where I am
I am well liked and respected at the large corporation where I work. I have been identified as a future leader and have been recognized for good work through both bonuses and promotions. I can’t stand office braggarts. I am a “head down” kind of worker that lets my work speak for itself. And it does.
Unintentionally stumbling upon an opportunity for visibility & totally dominating that opportunity simply by being myself
Although I am a quiet worker (truly the only part of my life where I act with any semblance of humility), my boss frequently has me present my ideas and project deliverables to senior leadership. Because I don’t care about rising through the ranks (I want to be a stay at home mom, assuming of course I ever find a man crazy enough to commit to me), I always do well at my presentations. Because I’m not nervous. Because I don’t care about impressing anyone.
Encountering jealousy from insecure people & being attacked by said insecure people
My department at work is currently playing a proverbial game of musical chairs where the music starts, we shuffle teams and positions, some chairs get taken away, and then everyone (who can) sits down. Over the past few weeks, two different senior executives have approached me about jobs they’d like me to apply for during our restructuring. Both jobs would be promotions.
Some peers of mine, as well as one manager who isn’t my biggest fan (some drivel about “not playing nicely in the sandbox with the other children” because I have a brain and an opinion) have stirred up gossip that I have a sense of entitlement and am greedy for a promotion. I have since been “coached” that I should refrain from applying for any roles that would be a promotion in an effort to salvage my reputation.
My character has been maliciously slandered by insecure, jealous coworkers. I wasn’t looking for a promotion. I was the one approached by the hiring managers. I was minding my own business, excelling at the station in life in which I currently find myself. But when people feel threatened, like King Saul did by David, they act in absolutely heinous ways.
One of the few benefits of this truly painful, frustrating, humiliating, enraging, angst-ridden, debilitating season of life is that our trials become our ministry. Everyone at work knew my wedding date. Everyone at the office – a very professional, buttoned-up environment – watched the train wreck that was my broken engagement. Everyone has watched (from afar, mostly) the slow, gut-wrenching healing process of the past several months. And now this. Most people knew I was considering applying for those jobs; that I had been tapped on the shoulder by senior executives requesting me on their teams. So now when I don’t apply, there will be more gossip; more losing of face.
I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have no poker face. So everyone at work always knows exactly what is going on with me. Humiliating as this can be, the good part is that I have suddenly had new relational doors opened to me. Since my coworkers have seen me in a vulnerable state, they are far more comfortable pulling me into a conference room to confide in me; share their hurts with me; seek my opinion; ask for prayer or even just a hug.
Since the people are what keep me going to work, I am thrilled to have deeper, more meaningful relationships with the people I spend essentially a third of my life with at the office anyway. As I walk through this time of transition, my prayer is that I can at least be a light of hope to others down there with me in the valley.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort, too.” 2 Cor. 1:3-5