There was a lot of whispering around the water cooler. My supervisor was a candidate for Vice President of the department. Many asked, “Was she qualified?” Others thought, “There has never been a woman in this position before,” and “Is she even suitable for the task?” Although there were at least four other candidates, she was chosen to carry the torch of Vice President. Never had I been so proud of my boss of three years. My coworkers and I had a big celebration dinner filled with joy and plenty of gifts to honor her new-found success. Finally, her hard work had paid off and she was headed for bigger and better things.
After the initial excitement died down, I was hit with the news that there would now be a few more additional changes. Although the promotion was a wonderful achievement, I never considered that I would no longer report to my fearless leader. As she moved up the corporate ladder, there was now a new vacancy in the department and things were about to shift. Her current position needed to be filled and I needed a new supervisor.
There was again a lot of whispering around the water cooler. “Who would be the candidate for the new position?” “Would that person be as qualified as my last supervisor?” and “Is this person going to be suitable for the task?” Many candidates began to come into the office. With each interview, anxiety began to build and an unseen dark cloud began to fill the atmosphere. My work environment was encompassed with a state of worry and fear of the unknown. Finally, a new candidate was hired and things began to change.
Through this experience, I realized three things: God is sovereign, change is inevitable and worry and fear is the absence of faith and trust. I often wonder why God sometimes never fully discloses the stipulations of his blessings. For example, even when there is a promotion, we often lose things in the process in order to grow. As God takes us to higher heights and deeper depths, we may lose some friends along the way and may have to endure a lot of negative “whispers” and our faith may be challenged. We may feel uncomfortable at times, but we cannot let fear overtake our hearts, because even though our situation may transform, there is a time and season for every change and this too shall pass.
We must fully trust God that our outcome will be in our favor and even when we go through the process of not knowing the future, there should be a reassurance that God is in control. God encourages us in the book of Deuteronomy 31:6 to “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” He also reminds us in 1 Peter 5:7, to “Cast all our anxiety on Him, because He cares for us.” God is with us, through the journey of moving into the blessings He has prepared for us. He is with us when people speak words filled with questions of doubt and uncertainty and He is with us through the midst of change. Leave the unknown results to God, and never fear the outcome of moving forward.
“I suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, social phobia, and severe depression. I am not ashamed of it, but the social stigma associated with these conditions is so sad. My symptoms are horrible & I wouldn’t wish them upon anyone. It hurts my feelings and, to be honest, makes me a bit mad, when people don’t believe me because I am usually laughing, smiling & appear to be a very happy person. At times I do struggle. I know I can be difficult to live with or to be around when I get this way. I try my best to control my emotions, hide my anxiety or overwhelming thoughts, and most of the time I succeed. I manage to get control of things, but at times I break. So if you see me and I am quiet and not my usual outgoing self, it doesn’t mean that I’m upset with you or that I want you to “fix” anything. At times I just need/want to be by myself and don’t want to be made to feel guilty because I don’t feel like talking to anyone about the situation.”
My friend, Michelle posted this message on Facebook before she took her life last November. Wow, Michelle, my buddy since high school committed suicide. A strong weight crushed my heart after I heard the news. Michelle, you were the life of the party and a hardworking registered nurse. You were popular in high school and in our hometown. You were in my wedding! And…you even left a beautiful daughter behind who loves the Lord! But inside, I didn’t know Michelle was hurting to the point of leaving this earth on her own terms. I will always remember Michelle.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Everyone knows someone who knows someone that committed suicide. I am still lost for words and it still stings. Suicide is extremely serious and tragic in God’s eyes. Michelle and I talked about our life goals with many laughs. She was surrounded by people who cared for her and encouraged her, but that was not enough. A lot of people are going through it – neighbors, co-workers, family members. It’s tough out there! Through the greatest despair, pain and loneliness, there is still hope! That is eternal hope through a relationship with Christ. I don’t want to share my thoughts on people who commit suicide will go to heaven or hell. But me on the inside, I will continue to put my faith in HIM because He loves me and He will see me through it all. You, me, your neighbor, your co-worker are never alone if you know Him. In Romans 8:39 it says, “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Life can present despairing moments. Let us find hope in Jesus. God longs to give us a rich and satisfying life.
Encourage someone today!
If you or someone you know is in emotional distress or suicidal crisis,
call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline