Written Monday, April 26, 2004
I started a new job this past December. It has been the most challenging endeavor I have ever undertaken and I have often times wondered to myself, “Why on earth did they hire me for this position? I don’t have a clue what I’m doing and I’m just not good at this!”
You see the problem is that my brain is wired for topics like psychology and the history of humanity. My job, however, has to do with lab instrumentation and the software that runs it. I work in tech support so I am on the phone all day trying to convince people that I somewhat know what they’re talking about. To add to it, many of them have accents and I can’t understand what words they are saying, never mind the point they are trying to make! It is like the blind leading the blind!
I come home every night and try to block out of my mind the idea that I have to go to work tomorrow. I dread every phone call I receive because it is just one more opportunity for me to feel stupid in front of my co-workers who are good at this kind of stuff and don’t understand why they have to tell me three times how to do something that to them is so simple. Not only that but there are six of us in tech support and we all sit in cubicles so everyone hears every word that is said to customers. If I tell someone to do something the wrong way, everyone hears and knows further that I don’t know what I’m doing. About once a week I am convinced they are going to fire me and so I stress out all day and misconstrue what people say to me as a sign that the ax is coming.
I tell you this because I have never been as frequently defeated as I have been over the past few months. It is a high stress, high-pressure environment and everything I do bears consequences. I have always thought myself to be very detail oriented, but the amount of crucial mistakes I have made since I started this job have convinced me otherwise.
And so, today, I decided to try to work even harder. Monday is always a nice, fresh start. I decided I would do my best to not make a single mistake today. I would double and triple check everything in order to show them that I am a good worker and that I can be trusted with responsibility. And wouldn’t you know that within the first hour of my new start, I was confronted with three mistakes I had made last week and needed to fix! It is like I just can’t win. I was tired, grouchy, and defeated by 10am this morning. I felt like quitting and going home to bed.
Fortunately for me, and for my finances, I stayed and stuck it out. But as I sat there, once again feeling completely defeated, I thought to myself, “What a good lesson this is! It is good for a person who has not failed at much and who usually receives a fair amount of praise, to realize who she truly is. It is good for me to be humbled. Not only that, but for me to have my face rubbed in the dirt.”
I think for any of us to truly know humility, we must experience defeat. Extreme defeat in which we realize that, contrary to popular opinion, we are not in control and that God can and will have His way with us. I did not want this job but I felt like I was supposed to take it. I am not even to the point where I can be content in it, but I am thankful to God for providing for my physical and spiritual needs both at the same time.
I think as an American, I am convinced that I am within the will of God if I am happy and prosperous, but I have to tell you, that I have never felt so sheltered and protected by God as I have through this experience. Every time I suffer humiliation, I crawl back under His arm and feel the comfort of knowing that I am still His child and that He loves me just as much today as He did yesterday. All the more so, I have never had such a real perspective of myself as I do because of this. So many of my successes in life have been attributed to my faith in God but have ultimately come from hard work and perseverance. And now, my divine Creator has shown me that hard work and perseverance don’t get me anywhere. I have tried both in this position and have continually failed. The only thing that remains, the only thing that gets me through the day and keeps me from being fired, is that God has ordained for me to be in this position, at this company for a reason. I have no choice but to obey and trust that He is completing a work in me.
And so, tomorrow, I will again attempt a fresh start. Only this time, my fresh start will begin with calling on the promises of God, resting in the peace of His will, and thanking Him for another day to learn about who He is and who I am not.