I loved my job at the bank. I love my beliefs, my God. The two, however, did not love one another, a constant battle that resulted in my being fired. My family began to suffer due to extenuating and unnecessary demands for my time at work. I was engulfed in my ambitions to climb this imaginary ladder to a pinnacle with no peak. Best efforts to rise above, think outside the box to improve processes and mitigate negative customer impact resulted in negative blow back. I had to pay taxes for being a woman in the corporate game where I refused to fall on my knees in an act of fellatio to the men that controlled the future of my career. A hidden blessing came from my termination, a lesson about having faith.
What I lacked was faith.
On this day one year ago I was subject to a bank sanction for my transgress questioning regarding neglect of escalated customer files. Toe-to-toe with senior leaders, respectably inquiring of laxity on such high profile reviews. My bold actions came with an expense as my career teetered with my every breath. The sanction was harsh based on my principal to forgo a meeting with my superior and his superior. As a woman I felt bullied, ganged up on and terrified to be in a closed door meeting with my boss. He was repugnant with violent outbursts, mistrust, berating actions, I feared him. So with that, the sentence was issued for 12 months where I was hamstrung to initiate any emails to anyone above my pay grade and in the event any of my actions were seen contrary to senior leadership direction I would be subject to termination.
Devastated. I held strong as I choked down the pain and a bit of my pride. Upon returning to my desk one of my employees saw me distraught and offered comfort. She stood strong in her faith and offered to pray with me, right then, in the office. Her prayer offered comfort and strength in a time where I was floundering without. Keeping my composure was out of the question. I gasped for air through tears, heartbreak and the overwhelming amount of love and kindness from my subordinate.
What I learned in that moment, in that prayer, in my retching state, was how out of control the events were and how little I could control; how I needed to have faith.
The months following resulted in frustration, anger, my patience began to wear thin at home due to my restrictions in the workplace. Struggling to deal with these frustrations, they were improperly misdirected to my family. I began to dive deeper into scripture. I sought comfort and relief in prayer to pacify my unrest and provide answers. Everyday I prayed for a new job. Praying to be away from the tyrant who I had to answer to on a daily basis. I prayed for him to gain wisdom because his doltish ways made me want to slap my palm to my face, repeatedly.
My prayers were being heard, as each day I found more strength to tolerate my job. Job interviews were rolling in and my outlook was positive and the bleakness began to subside. However, offers for said jobs were less than forthcoming. By this time I was a month into my corrective action and I attended a conference on prayer. Bold, direct prayers were what we needed and while those prayers are not always answered right away or the way we want them to be answered, an answer will one day come nonetheless. So I stayed the course and kept on with my prayers. I was a step closer to understanding and gaining faith.
Staying the course led me into the mouth of the serpent on June 19th, 2014 as my employment was terminated from Wells based on violation of their ethics policy. The policy that I so strongly upheld based on the vision of the organization. Great irony and peace was found in my termination, and on that day my faith was made stronger. I prayed to escape the confines of the misogynist who I believed controlled my future and career. Granted my release was through termination, I was able to identify my blessing; my faith was cemented in the fact that this one event would transform my entire being and life.
How deluded I was to think such horrific thoughts that this puny, mortal man would carry such a weight. My God carried more weight and power than he did. On that day I felt an amazing peace and strength as I shook my former boss’ hand and I wished him well. Even though I was the one who was terminated, I had the strength, class and happiness to accept my fate. That was faith I had felt in the Lord as He guided me through that moment.
From that day I have had nothing but faith.
I prayed each day to guide me through, to show me where I needed to be in life and with my family. Prayer for assistance through my unemployment, to provide financially. I asked to be shown what He was willing for me in my life. Pleasantly surprised by the answer of I had extra time on my hands, so I began writing again. A love I have forgotten to resort to when my brain was overflowing with words and thoughts. Think Dumbledore and his Pensieve. My writing has helped open doors for me that I had previously left dormant, my expression let me explore gifts I never exploited previously. The world was a keystroke away.
Prayers showed me how deep my faith truly was when I asked to provide for my family, my children, especially when Christmas was around the corner. So I made the struggling decision to tithe, at the ten percent, when I had so little. My meager earnings I was bringing into our home was what little I could do to honor my Father, but it was enough in His eyes. Gigs began to roll in, finances began to improve little by little, Christmas was in more than an abundance. He saw me through, God deepened my faith by showing me his great will for me, my family, my life.
Time was utilized more wisely as I began volunteering more at my church. Applying my knowledge in various capacities benefited others and I was beyond joy to help so selflessly. My nature is benevolent with every fiber, so I was eager to share my dexterity in a multitude of areas within the organization that so deeply touched my life. This is what he was calling me to do.
Fleeting moments would wave over me of panic, grief, fear. I would be celebratory with joy, overcome by anger, frustration, and then emotional exhaustion. While I would have momentary lapses and succumb to the weakness, faith is what carried me through. Praying in the heat of that moment got me through. God, carried me through. I was meant to feel the pain, to work through my feelings, I needed to learn what He was telling me. The uncertainty was all part of the learning process. Learning to have unwavering faith in the face of our darkest moments. Moments that we would dwell upon, share with others; misery loves company, but I just couldn’t share with anyone else but Him.
When I would apply for positions I was more than amply qualified for, hear nothing in response to those applications, I learned to have faith. When I questioned why I didn’t get those jobs, my daughter would come to me and beg that I not go back to work as her eyes welled with tears, I had faith. When finances began to strain, I dug in with my tithing and never faltered, I had faith and then He provided. Hebrews 11:1 speaks of faith, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I hoped for happiness, success, freedom. All of those were provided for me because I prayed enough, believed in my bold prayers enough, had enough faith that this wouldn’t be easy, but my outcome would be the most beneficial.
I could not see that my happiness, success, and freedom was within me, God given. I just had to see what made me happy was being myself and not letting others try to change who I was, who I am. I just had to see that my success was in the eyes of the beholder; three priceless sets of blue eyes who saw that I could create in my kitchen what Van Gogh did on canvas. More so was the partial stranger who read this blog and sang praises of the raw beauty in life and the emotions I painted from writing about those moments.Â I found an immense faith in being fired when I learned to see. I just had to see that my freedom was in letting go, relinquishing control of a life so out of control, having faith of His greater plan for me.