When a God Wink feels more like a Snakebite

God wink

I shook my head in disbelief as I came to grips with the situation: I had somehow landed in a pit of vipers and  needed to dispatch with them before they dispatched with me.

No, I wasn’t in the jungle, but in a new job, where I had been brought in for my positive attitude, expertise in customer service, and experience in a team environment.

The expectation was that I would be a key supporter and participant in helping to bring a greater spirit of teamwork to the business.

I was very excited at the opportunity to play a part in this inspiring plan as the often overlooked, but crucial, First Follower.

 

The dangers weren’t readily apparent at the start, as the staff was welcoming and helpful.

Plus, I was friendly with the person, someone I admired, who had brought me together with the owner for the initial interview.

However, the facade of friendliness soon began to fall away as some poisonous behaviors began to surface.

 

At first, I thought it was the re-alignment that inevitably occurs when a new person comes on board.

A critical eye is cast as your measure is taken, and skills are weighed.

If you are deemed worthy, you are invited into various alliances, or perhaps—be still your beating heart!—into the inner circle, much like the one the Popular Girls ran in middle school.

 

Rather than being able to help to usher in a new and optimistic spirit, I found myself increasingly isolated and on guard.

Gossip, ridicule, and other mean girl behaviors were sadly a regular part of the days.

I honestly couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing because it was so different from my expectations.

Every day I wondered, to quote Taylor Swift, “Why you gotta be so mean?”

 

The thought of leaving was constantly on my mind.

But, I kept thinking that because I had prayed so hard and so long for this job following months of unemployment that I was meant to be a light, a beacon, for this place.

If I left, I would be running away, like I had too many times before, as opposed to intentionally towards something better.

And that’s how I found myself in a pit of vipers.

 

When it came down to brass tacks, I only had three choices: [Continue reading...]

There’s hope in front of you

hope in front

How many times have you gotten discouraged reviewing the latest events in your life?

You probably cherry-picked the worst moments, blew them up into large and excruciatingly awful detail, and stacked them upon all the other examples you could muster of your incredible ineptitude or the impossibility of your situation until the tower tumbled and crashed on and around you, confirming your worst fears about yourself.

Whether it’s discouragement and shame or something deeper like depression and addiction, you need to know you are not looking at the real situation.

The truth is that there’s hope in front of you.

Always.

 

I can’t speak to the darkness of mental health issues, grave illness, or surviving a tragedy, but I’ve certainly been guilty of stacking my real and imagined stupid to the ceiling to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I am unworthy and incapable.

There was always something there, though, to bring me through, people that were put in my path, especially my husband and my family, to help me see the light, as it were.

 

Singer/songwriter Danny Gokey says it beautifully in his song Hope in Front of Me: 

I’ve been running through rain that I thought would never end

Trying to make it on faith in a struggle against the wind

I’ve seen the dark and the broken places

But I know in my soul no matter how bad it gets, I’ll be alright

There’s hope in front of me, there’s a light I still see it

There’s a hand still holding me even when I don’t believe it

I might be down but I’m not dead, there’s better days still up ahead

Even after all I’ve seen, there’s hope in front of me

 

He shares the sad event that gave birth to the lyrics:

“This song was written from a very dark place in my life…and the subject was about finding purpose in your darkest moments,” he explained, “When we went to write this song, we wanted a song that reflected the journey that I’d walked through. This song is not only my journey, but a reflection of so many people’s journeys. We all go through these times when it feels like the rain and the storms are never going to end, and when you pray it seems like it is getting darker and darker.”

Gokey’s first wife Sophia passed away due to an unexpected complication following a heart surgery. This occurred just a month before his audition with Idol, to which he made it a point to honor his wife.

“It’s those little pieces of hope that God puts in front of you that are the light at the end of the tunnel to keep walking towards. Instead of getting stuck in a toxic place, keep walking towards the light, and keep making progress until it all makes sense,” he said.

 

Keep walking towards the light.

Take one step after the other, thinking about what kind of story you want to tell about this time a year from now, and discovering along the way how to drop the blinders and embrace the gift of possibility in your marriage and your life.

 

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  ~Jeremiah 29:11

 

Comment: Where have you been able to see hope where you didn’t before?

I encourage you to watch the video below. I love both the message of hope and possibilities, of the rebirth of joy that can spring from the ashes of despair.

 

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