Have you decided?”
I looked at my boss, annoyed at a question I thought I’d already answered.
“Yes,” I said. “I plan to stay until further notice.”
“I think it would be better if we parted ways,” she responded. “You can either quit, or not show up for a couple days so that I can fire you.”
My body tensed, and my throat went dry. I felt queasy, sick. “Can I decide in a couple days?”
When we struggle, we have to remember just one thing.
Her eyes narrowed. “No, you need to decide today.”
“Can I work until the end of the month?”
“No, you can work until the end of next week. Take a few minutes to decide, but you’ll have to let me know by the end of the day.”
One of my bosses never liked me. She was cruel to everyone. Her threats to fire employees occurred regularly, to the point that one day a coworker broke down and yelled, “If you want to fire me, fire me! I’m tired of hearing how you’re going to fire someone!”
For some reason my supervisor disliked me most. My coworkers had many theories. One thought it was because I was religious and she wasn’t. Another said it was because I stood up for myself. Still others claimed she just needed someone to blame for the company’s lack of business.
When one coworker asked our supervisor why she disliked me, she told her, “I don’t know. I just never want to see her face again.”
When I was given a choice to quit or be fired, I knew there was an ulterior motive. My mind flashed back. I remembered the stress and the times I went to the washroom and cried. I remembered her telling my coworkers and me that she shouldn’t have hired us. I remembered the panic attacks. I remembered my coworkers coming to my office in tears and having to comfort them. I remembered her disdain when I stood up for them. I remembered it all, and I walked to her office and quit with as much dignity as I could muster.
Four days following my last day of work, it hailed. I watched through the window of my building as golf ball-sized hail pummeled my car. I closed my eyes as tears threatened to fall from my eyes. My insurance company told me that my car was a total loss.
Two weeks following the loss of my car and my job, I gave notice to leave my apartment, knowing that the rent was too high for someone without a job. For the next two and a half months I applied to more than 200 jobs within a 300-mile radius. I seemed to be going nowhere; the devil seemed to be in control.
But he was never in control. I claimed the promise: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).
The devil can appear to take everything from us. He can take our jobs. He can take our feelings of worth and acceptance. He can take our families. He can even take our lives. But two things he cannot take: he cannot take our faith; he cannot take our joy. Those are things we have to give him.
When it seemed as though I had nowhere to go and nothing to do, God provided blessings I did not expect. He provided me with a better job. He provided me with a better car. He provided me with a better apartment. He even provided a group of close friends.
God is always there. When the moment is right, He shows Himself and His power. When we struggle, we have to remember just one thing: God knows what He’s doing.
Brittany Harwood wrote this when she lived in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada.