"God spoke to me one day. Loud and clear… "You are going to move somewhere far away."
My job was a nightmare. Actually, my boss was a nightmare. He seemed to want me fired, and to be trying very hard to set me up for it. Things were a mess.
I'd actually had a string of bosses who'd been difficult to work for, but this one took the cake. It didn't start out that way, in fact it started out quite differently. When I'd first arrived for my assignment in Memphis, my boss and I got along fantastically... in fact, all the bosses in the region were great. Everyone focused on working together as a team, and doing our jobs, rather than the petty little things people sometimes spend their time focusing on instead of their jobs. I remember telling my co-workers if I hit the lottery I would keep working because I enjoyed my job so much.
That all changed virtually overnight.
First one boss, then another, then my own boss were transferred to different positions. Almost overnight, I had a whole new set of bosses and suddenly I felt as if I went from "can't do wrong" to "can't do right." I wondered how the same person, doing the same work, could suddenly find himself disrespected vs. respected, criticized vs. praised. How could this happen to me? Now I had been languishing for several years, still not able to figure out what went wrong. I struggled with boss after boss until I just couldn't see any hope for the future with this company. I'd never been in this position before and I didn't see it changing for the better anytime soon. In fact, I was convinced my best option was to take a company buyout as those were rumored to be on the horizon.
But God had a different plan for me. First of all, He saved me. He had been working on me all along, but I had been resisting. I'd called myself a Christian all of my life, but had never actually given my life to Christ. I just lived the way I wanted to live, while still claiming Christ as my Savior... going to church, yet judging others, claiming I was a good person and trying to be "good" on my own, my own way. I had claimed Him as Savior, but I hadn't accepted Him as Lord, and I was living like I was my own god. Then my life fell apart due to the way I had been living and He showed me just who I am, a sinner... and the seriousness of my sin.
When I realized how I had sinned against a holy God and Him alone, I knew I deserved punishment, I expected punishment. However, what I found was grace, amazing grace... and the sound was so sweet, like nothing I had ever known before. I finally knew what the psalmist meant when he said that God had put a new song in his heart because I now had a new song in my heart. I still do. Amen.
As I was contemplating my future, God spoke to me one day. Loud and clear. Not like the usual "I feel like God is leading me to do this" but a clear message. I can still remember vividly exactly where I was: In Sunday school at church. The teacher was presenting, and God told me "You are going to move somewhere far away."
I was like wow! Where am I going? On a mission somewhere? Africa? China? I didn't know, but the message was so clear, I knew I would find out. I told my then-fiancee, both of us new Christians, and we were both excited at the prospect of God sending us somewhere. But how? My boss wanted me fired, not transferred... plus if I transferred out of the region, he would be short one employee since we were on a hiring freeze. If he could fire me, he might be able to finagle a replacement, but not if he let me transfer. How was God going to work that out? Within 10 days, I got a call from old boss... my first boss in Memphis, the one I had gotten along fantastically with.
Was I interested in relocating for an assignment in Puerto Rico? Yes, I was! When God said "far away" I just assumed it would be Africa or China... I didn't even think of the Caribbean! Yet, it was 2,000 miles away from Memphis. But how would we be able to work it out? Calling me directly was somewhat of a protocol violation, rather than calling my boss first, and I was certain my boss would never let me go once he became involved. But God already had it all planned. First I had to interview, which went well. Then, I learned that someone in another region wanted to come to Memphis because he and his fiancee who worked in Memphis wanted to get married. Two hurdles down. Meanwhile my former boss and I were having conversations with a friend of mine we had both worked with, who was in a position to help the transfer happen. This was a transfer between divisions, so the the division president would ultimately sign off.... except he kept saying he wouldn't let me go. Finally, my friend and another guy I had just happened to meet recently were able to convince the division sales manager and then the division president to let me go. Then I got a call from my boss asking me if I was interested in taking a position in Puerto Rico? Sure, boss, I'd be interested in that.
The whole process took about 2 1/2 months to complete, but God showed Himself involved in the whole process, opening doors and knocking down objections. It had all started with a message "you are going to move somewhere far away" and ended with my getting on a plane some 2 1/2 months later to report to work in Puerto Rico. Except it didn't end there; God also had a plan to begin maturing me, which He continues to this day... He continued to show Himself working throughout the whole experience in Puerto Rico and continues to show Himself active and present in and around my life.
Steve, Southfield, Michigan