This post is part of the Five Minute Friday blog link-up! Each week Kate Motaung provides a one-word writing prompt for participants to free write for five minutes flat and share their work with the online community. This week’s prompt is LAST and I lost track of time.

 

Last month, which was only yesterday, I wrote a 31 Day Devotional Series on the Fruit of the Spirit. It was the third year I participated in the October writing challenge and managed to post every day. Yay! 100%! That’s me, I’m a 100% kind of girl.

Always wanting to perform at my best, to perform at the highest level, to out-perform my male counterparts in this male-centric work environment of mine. An environment where there is little meaningful access for women if any. The only vehicles for advancement available are extra-excellent work performance, extra-extra hours, extra-outstanding academic performance. Oh! Let’s not forget the most important, a demeanor of sweetness and light. At least that’s what I thought.

That’s why this last year and a half at work has been so tough. Years of high performance (you can see that performance the keyword in this scenario) caused the sweetness and light to fade a bit. I was tired no, I was finally burnt out. Then, through a series of circumstances, some my fault and some not, I suffered work set-back there is no coming back from. Same company, different job. At 60 that can be extremely hard to take. Especially for someone like me.

Now what? A faithful employee. Endless hours of work. A tarnished career. NOW, WHAT?

There’s no one left to outperform. It’s just me. How can I prove myself capable, competent and a contender for the next promotion? Promo-what! How painful it is when we’re rejected by those we seek to please. A lesson I hope you don’t ever have to learn.

I began thinking, “Is this my last job? Maybe it’s time to retire.” That was the selfish me wanting to run away and hide.

No. Not yet. That’s what I heard down in my soul. You’re going to have to tough this one out.

God in His wisdom placed me here and hasn’t moved me yet. It’s not like I haven’t prayed for that move. In my misery, I sure did. Since I’m still too young to retire (there is an upside here), I stopped counting down the days (James 4:13-17). If God still wants me here, who am I to make different plans?

You see, that performance-centered work-life, it’s not what God intended when He provided the job. It’s not what He intends for any of us (Matthew 11:28-30). I used it to prove that I was good enough because I assumed everyone knew I wasn’t. I worked so hard I lost sight of the blessings right in front of me. A great husband and family, loving parents, a caring church family, good health and, most important, a God who loves me and calls me His child (2 Corinthians 6:18).

I still want to perform at the highest level, but I’ve learned not to over-dial.

God brought me into a new season (Isaiah 43:18-19). Again, in His wisdom, God allowed my job situation to change, it needed to. Because of that, I’m able to take on the role of primary caregiver to my sister, who lives with us, and our 90-year-old mom who still lives on her own but needs our support more and more. It’s a family affair, even to the cousins. We all jump in as needed, sometimes “fighting” over who gets to help.

My focus has shifted toward Jesus and at last, I’m learning to smile again.

God is teaching me that when I am at the foot of the Cross, Jesus provides all the job satisfaction I’ll ever need.

 

Bible reference is from the New American Standard Bible(NASB).

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