Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Glimmer

Dearest Folders,

About five months ago I suffered an injury at work, and I wrote out several scenarios that God could take me. The recovery was llloooonnnggg, and I endured some good-natured ribbing from co-workers (and some passive aggressive stuff, but none of any consequence). I was transferred to a different department along with a dangled carrot of becoming a "specialist," received a magical cortisone shot, and waited. The manager who possessed the carrot left to have back surgery - AND NEVER CAME BACK. The same thing happened two summers ago - a manager sent me to Leadership Training, with the intent of making me a supervisor, suffered a heart-attack, and was forced into physician-ordered retirement.

So, I continued on,  jostled about in my seat on  the "Faith Bus," thinking about the clothed lilies and fed birds of the air, wondering why God would not allow me a way of escape. About a month ago, the new manager of my department approached me about a promotion. I asked for time to think about it, and she honored my request, suggesting I go to another store to "shadow" an employee currently holding the position. About a week later she said she HAD to know, was I in or was I out? The store was losing money and rank in the district due to the lackluster performance of the associate previously holding the position, so I knew there would be a lot of pressure, which is why I wanted time to pray/think about my decision. I accepted.

In typical Diz-fashion, I plunged in like gangbusters. I spent the first week trying to figure out what the heck I was supposed to do (that's how my big-box rolls), self-trained, was boxed about the ears a couple of times, unintentionally stepped on toes, and brought the numbers up. They hired a part-time associate to assist, who I trained with my "vast" knowledge obtained from the week before, and we rocked our numbers/quotas/dollars, by week two. I received a substantial raise (in big-box world, that is), a regular schedule, and am really enjoying my work!

The crazy thing is, the cortisone shot completely wore off - almost exactly when I was promoted. My arm is on fire, even more so than before I had the shots. Because I couldn't feel the pain, I continued to injure the arm, damaging it further. My first instinct was to immediately go in for another magic bullet, as my injury case is still open, but I decided I better wait. I foolishly abused my arm during the last numbing, so for the moment pain is my friend.

Whoever thought pain could be a friend? Not I. Phillip Yancy and Paul Brand wrote a book, The Gift of Pain, which I read so many years ago that I couldn't personally relate. They described how pain is beneficial both spiritually and physically, but what I remember most is Dr. Brand's contribution.  Brand studied leprous patients, noting that the deadened limb nerves resulted in a myriad of secondary injuries, including severe burns and infection. Had the afflicted been able to feel the painful sensation of burning, for example, they would have avoided touching hot surfaces, or repeatedly injuring the same area.

The same is true for the pain brought on from life's difficulties. I was resigned to the fact that God had forgotten me. I still campaigned for promotion, speaking to different managers and such, and continued applying online for other jobs, but I really didn't believe. God, in His infinite mercy, showed up at the 11th hour - which, I'm told, He often loves to do. Testing my faith, willingness to persevere, and acceptance of His will. I wish I wasn't such a slow learner, forgetting so quickly all His successful rescues from the past, but that is my old creation fighting to keep my eyes fixed on visible and earthly things. Painful events reveal a lot about our spiritual nature. That is a gift of pain. For me, it bubbled up unbelief, self-pity, more pride, and just how unspiritual I really am :). It's so easy to believe, have faith, and praise God when things are going our way and we are feeling good. That's why the Apostle Paul is one of my faves - his faith never wavered during situations far worse than hoisting buckets and rugs.

So, my Faithful Few, I can already feel the change in my health from the regular hours! Previously, I would begin working each day anytime between 6AM to 2PM, getting home between 3PM to 11PM - all in the same week. So, one day I would start at 6AM, the next day 1PM, then the next day might be 8AM, and so forth. It's the same feeling that a Mom gets when caring for a newborn - I was delirious. Had I had received the supervisory position that I so desperately tried to snag, my hours would still be all over the place. My back has improved greatly, too.

If  you read my synopsis on miracles, this one is the kind that happened over time - and I rejoice. To God be the glory. He gave me a job better suited for my personality and age, with a smidge more money to boot. But, more importantly, I received a clearer snapshot of my spiritual state, for which I repent and pray never to revisit. Thank God for His Grace.


  1. Glad for the blessing of the stable job! Thanks for your encouraging posts

  2. Excellent news, glad the new job is working out (pardon the pun). Sorry about the arm. Man, I wish you could come out and run our family business for us. Management is our weak point.

    Have a great Christmas.

  3. @ Abbie - Thanks! And I'm happy to know they are encouraging to those not related to me :)

    @ David - If it weren't for the people, managing would be easy!