This post is quite long and very important. It will tell you a little… well, a lot of what has happened to me in the last 5 years and more. I have a new opportunity and I wanted to share it all with you, so you will understand why I have not been able to stay on task and write every day, as I had been doing. I believe I will get back to that eventually. Please read on.
One week from today I will be starting a new chapter in my life – A New Beginning. At this age it is a tiny bit unnerving. However, I keep hearing that so wonderfully familiar, still, small voice in my spirit… “You are a child of the King”
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
and “There is NO WEAPON formed against you can stand.”
No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.
and “Keep close to Me and I will see you through anything.”
4 Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple.
and “Trust Me for everything.”
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.
And I am reminded that …
I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.
And other things that God whispers to my heart. You see this new chapter in my life is not really a “new” beginning in a way. I am finally getting back to a type of job that I have done most of my working life. To go forward, let me go back a bit and then I will explain.
I loved what I was doing. I was a Project Manager/Trainer for a bank software company and learning lots of great stuff. I was writing training manuals and developing classes and learning more about the proprietary bank software almost daily. January would mark two years that I had been with this particular company and I was thrilled to be working doing what I loved to do – almost back to what I had done previously.
You see … I had been working in the telecom industry as a Communications Specialist – which basically was a Project Manager/Trainer. I loved what I was doing and was so fulfilled every day with my work. It was not work to me, it was enjoyment and I felt fulfilled – which is a great combination. Not to mention it was pretty good money. Then the unspeakable happened.
One morning, I was headed to the conference room for our weekly staff meeting and I walked by the break room. There was a small TV on top of the refrigerator and it pointed out towards the hall. As I walked by, I saw a very unusual sight. It was an airplane flying into a very tall building. I thought, “Oh my… how odd that is” and didn’t think much more about it and continued on to the conference room. When I got there others were talking about the same thing and so the manager said “Let’s take care of some quick business and then turn the big TV on and see what it’s all about.” So that we did. We turned the big TV on just in time to see the 2nd plane go into the World Trade Center and we all just sat there in total silence. I just got chills just thinking of that morning and typing these words. It was so surreal. We sat there for what seemed like 10 minutes not saying a thing and all eyes glued to the huge TV screen. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Did that really happen? Did two planes actually just fly into the World Trade Center? What on earth could have happened to have caused that and why on earth would two large planes do that? As we sat there in silence and watched, it became all too clear what had really happened and who and why. A strange fear began to cover the room and each one of us there felt the uneasiness that blanketed the entire country. My manager broke the silence and said, “Those that need to go, GO. Go to your families. Go get your children and go home.” We all scurried around and got our belongings from our desks, turned our computers off and left. There were about 6 of us in the elevator and we all were totally silent all the way down to the parking lot level of the building. We said our goodbyes and looked at each other and didn’t know what else to say. It was such an odd feeling.
I called my husband and he said “Yes, I am watching the TV. Please take the back roads home. We don’t know what else can happen.” I agreed, said I love you and hung up the phone. It was about an hour’s drive home on the back roads. We lived in a small community South West of the Metroplex. It was a very scary drive home. At this point, most of us knew that America had been attacked! They came onto our own soil and used our own planes to do it! America seemed to be in shock! Everything … life as we knew it … changed that day in America.
OK, fast forward four months. January 2002, I am sitting in my Fort Worth office, carrying on business as usual. I used to split my time between the Fort Worth office and the Dallas office and this was Monday so I was in my office in Fort Worth. In walks my manager from Dallas. It was very unusual to have her come to the Fort Worth office but a nice surprise. She walked in and sat down in the chair on the other side of my desk. She had a box in her hand that she sat down on the floor. She very gently told me that things had changed so drastically and the company was having to lay folks off and I was one of the ones that had to be laid off. The 13 months with this company had been a wonderful time and I so loved my job. However, it was now coming to a screeching halt! I sat there in total shock … sort of like the feeling I had the day I watched two planes crash into the tall buildings in New York just a few short four months earlier. I felt my world come crashing down. I was speechless, which doesn’t happen very often. She simply laid it out and said “You can use this box to gather your things.” All I could say was “Ok then. OK…” And she stood there while I loaded up the box. It wasn’t too long after that that I realized that this was played out all across America after that fateful day on 9-11-2001. Hundreds, if not thousands, felt the sting of the change all across America.
The next several months proved to be a trying time for me. I could NOT find another job doing what I always had done – Project Management/Training. All the changes in such a short time in America caused companies to be so very cautious and so conservative. The job market that I was in was totally flat and there was no budging it. It was 16 months before I could land another job. The job was only part time and nothing like what I was doing but it was close to home and a reputable company. I was a teller at a branch bank for a large bank in the area. It was work with insurance. I was a little relieved and then 4 months later I landed another part time job. Now the pay for these jobs together didn’t equal the pay I had been making as a Project Manager/Trainer, but I was happy to be working again. A few months later something good happened. I was asked to come on board with another company that afforded me to use the training skills that I had acquired along the way and a bonus… I got to travel the United States! Wow! I loved that. Unfortunately, that only lasted seven months. Then it was back to the unemployment line. Luckily I was only in the unemployment line a few short months before I landed another training type job. Then about two years later another company wanted me to come on board with them. I finally was going to be with a company that I could use both Project Management and Training skills. Finally!
I was learning their software and writing training curriculum and training. I had arrived. Well… I thought so anyway. About 16 months into the job I approached my boss and told him I was going to be moving my folks up here and buying a house and wanted some assurance that my job was secure. He assured me that it was so we went through with all of our plans. Now this was in April and fast forward eight months – December 31, 2009. I am working at my desk as usual. I was planning the annual conference for the company and I was in my element! My desk phone rings at 10:20 a.m. and it was my boss. He asked me to come to his office. This usually meant he wanted an update on the progress of planning the convention. So I took all my notes and was ready to lay it out for him. When I walked up to his office, I saw the HR lady in there. Instantly, I thought “This is not going to be good.” Well, it wasn’t. I was given my walking papers, along with two other employees, that day. Once again, I was rendered speechless. So at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, 2009, I have once again, for the third time, been laid off since 9-11. I was totally devastated. What was I going to do? My mom and dad were at home in our “new” home, how was I going to take care of them, this surely is a bad dream but I wasn’t waking up! Everyone in the office was shocked and speechless. Everyone seemed a bit confused and disheveled that day after the news. No one was expecting this. I regained my composure and gathered my things and made a couple of trips to my car and off I went.
When I arrived at home, I was so sad and mom and dad were confused as to why I was home so early. I told them the news and the first thing my dad did was say this. “Come here, all of us. We are going to pray.” We huddled there in the dining room, with arms around each other. He prayed a simple, yet powerful prayer. “Lord God, thank you for this day. We are here together not knowing what is going to happen with this latest news, but we do know one thing. I believe, Lord, that You would not have brought us this far to let us go. So … like King Jehoshaphat prayed, we may not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” As he prayed I felt a sweet peace settle amongst us. The Holy Spirit’s presence was powerful that day and I will say He got us through the next few days in a powerful way.
2 Chronicles 20:12
12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”
The next 2 ½ years, again, proved to be quite trying. One night at choir rehearsal, at church, a new member joined. We made friends quickly and she told me about a job that she just acquired and she encouraged me to go and apply. I did, I got hired and it was the lowest paying job I had ever had since I was just starting my work life. However, the insurance was fabulous and I was covered from the first day I started. I was so grateful and felt revived once again.
Now, this job may have been different than anything I had ever done, after all, I was usually on the other side of the situation, training the folks to do what I was doing. You see, it was a call center. I had never dreamed I would ever work in a call center before, but here I was. After about 6 months of wrestling with many things, internally, I prayed to God about my attitude about what I was doing. He assured me that He was with me. I gave into my pride and felt that wonderful peace flood my soul.
7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I knew He was trying to teach me something and that is exactly what began to occur. I was humbled in a major way and began to learn so much about myself. I began to also learn more about God. I began to walk closer to Him, because that is the only way I could feel peace and comfort. I searched the scriptures for peace and found exactly what I was looking for. He reassured me, all the time, of His presence.
This past 27 months have been one of the most rewarding times I can remember. Yes, it was low pay. Yes, it was a call center. Yes, it was nothing like I had ever done before. BUT! It was God’s plan. I began to see God’s hand move in my life and others, and basked in His wonderful presence. I had always heard of the daily walk with God but never had I ever experienced what I experienced while I was working in that job. I learned to walk with Him, not only every day, but every minute. I talked to Him all day, in between calls and sometimes while I was taking calls. He has brought me through this time with a gentle hand and His reassuring love. It has been an amazing growth time in my life.
All this time I had been sending out resumes, applying for jobs – for two years. My managers knew that I was overqualified for what I was doing and they kept encouraging me to keep looking. I did apply for 29 different jobs within the company but only received 3 face to face interviews. So I resolved to the fact that I was not to work for that company except for what I was doing.
I received a call, finally, from a company that wanted a personal interview. I went and the interview went great. I was told they would make a decision by the end of January. The next day, I was going to work and I told God that I didn’t think that I could do that job for various reasons and I didn’t want Him to open that door for me. Knowing all along that I probably wouldn’t get the job anyway. Well, it was about 3-4 days later and I went on my last break at work, and there was a voice mail message from the recruiter from that company and it said… “Hello Leah, this is Joe with ABC Company and James wants to extend an offer to you for the job” (actual names are changed). I was astounded! Really? Is this true? I listened again and again. Yep, that is what he said. So when I got off work, I got home and told mom and dad and told them of my concerns, but didn’t think I could really turn this job offer down. They agreed and I called the man back and well… that is what I will be doing in one week… starting that new job.
I voiced my concern to God and He keeps reassuring me that He will go with me no matter where I go and what I will be doing.
10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
He also told me this… “Leah, you will have to lean on Me and trust Me for your strength.”
2 The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
And “This will bring you even closer to Me.”
8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
Oh my goodness… once again, that familiar, wonderful peace flooded my soul.
So to say the least, I am so excited. This job is exactly what I have done before. It is a training job with so much new to learn. I am up for the task and I will lean on my Heavenly Father for strength for my New Beginning.
Now I know that is a lot of information and a very long post… but I will tell you this, that if you have doubts in your life and wonder how in the world you are going to make it… call out to Him! He is waiting to hear from you and HE will reassure you, comfort and sustain you in any situation you could be in. After all, He calls you His beloved.