I got fired from my first job! I can talk about it now because I healed from that experience and moved on. It’s actually quite funny when I think about it now. On that fateful Monday, I reported to work and was ready to take on the day. My boss at the time called me into his office after a while, and I knew I would be given my assignment for the day and week. His girlfriend was present, and I remember he mentioned that he needed to discuss some things with me. Shortly after, he told me that he was grateful for my services and needed me to get my things and leave because the company did not require them anymore. Whoa! How embarrassed I was, mostly because his girlfriend was in the office at the time. I felt so inferior, so useless, worthless, unwanted and rejected. Who gets fired from their FIRST job only 3 months in? Hahaha! I could not get over the pain and shame. I felt like my life was coming to an end. How would I be in a position to pay my bills and basically live?
I stayed home that whole week basically crying and feeling so horrible. It took me a month and a half before I told my parents. I knew they would be the only people who would cater to my needs without conditions (God bless their hearts). Looking back now, I am so glad it happened. Not in that way of course, because it was extremely unprofessional and demeaning. However, I was free and God had better plans for me as I have come to see. I had time to do the things I loved and even had ‘me time’. I used to work till late at night, as late as 11 pm sometimes. The work environment was full of so much manipulation and mind games. The boss wanted to avoid paying some necessary government business fees, and even got mad at me once when the City Council officials found our location. (Okay, now this sounds like an illegal business, haha! But it wasn’t 😉 ) I am grateful for the experience and lessons I learnt though. I had put all my effort and time there, but I was able to forgive and move on. Even when I thought it was impossible.
I have been thinking about the heart lately, how delicate and fragile it is. No single living being can survive normally without it. As we know it, the entire body needs a constant oxygen supply through the pumping of blood to facilitate the process. The heart, our innermost being, needs a constant supply of God’s word for our spiritual lives to function normally.
We often use the word ‘heart’ in several contexts. Phrases such as, ‘take heart’, ‘He or she does not have a heart’, ‘I felt within my heart’ among many others are used to mean a number of things. As seen, the ‘heart’ can be used to encourage someone, define a person’s character or lack thereof, refer to a person’s innermost being among many other definitions. When God designed man, he ensured that there was a ribcage to protect the heart and lungs, and the skull to provide a good protective shield for the brain. Just take a moment and think about the human skeleton. Which other internal organs are as protected as the brain, lungs, and heart? I believe this is symbolic for us, how God requires us to guard our innermost being/heart and our minds/thoughts etc.
I have entered into a reflective season of my life, mainly because I am less than a month shy of my birthday and 2018 is almost coming to an end. I briefly talked about some issues on my previous blog post, but never quite got to elaborate the heart of the matter. Proverbs 4:23 (NLT) says;
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
This verse makes so much sense to me now more than ever simply because I literally saw how my life was a result of what I felt in my heart and what I thought in my mind. When we face rejection, experience heartbreak, experience discouragement, go through pain among many other difficult situations, we walk on the edge of life. One wrong step and we could be going down very hard and fast. In the spirit of being open, vulnerable and relatable, I experienced heartbreak in relationships, not once, not twice, but a good number of times which really affected my views about relationships, marriage, myself and life in general. My heart and mind were not guarded, so every single opinion thought and emotion would consume me entirely and become my reality.
I know how it feels when you are hung up on someone or something which is not really meant for you. I held on to my first job and it became a god to me. I even got to the point of feeling totally dependent and reliant on it. That job took the place of God; I had idolized it. It was my source, not God. I know now that some people or things are not meant to last in our lives, simply because they occupy the place of God. The worst part comes when God tells us to leave those things or people because an unhealthy bond is formed and we have to bear the pain of hurt when moving on. In most cases, we were not even meant to be involved with them in the first place. Other times, some people are generally not good for us and even take us for granted. That feeling of total unrest and lack of peace in those situations is God’s way of telling us that he has better.
Abraham had to leave Ur his home, Moses had to leave the comfort of the palace, the Israelites had to leave Egypt, even Jesus had to leave his comfort zone and spend time with God in the desert just to mention a few Biblical examples. Their lives were transformed due to their obedience. They left all they knew and all that made them comfortable in order to follow God. I used to wonder why Jesus was pleased with the disciples who had left their businesses to follow Him. My narrow-minded and carnal mind would not comprehend why Jesus would tell them to let the dead bury their dead. (Matthew 8:22). I mean, they are dead and we should pay our last respects, right? But he was simply calling them to leave the dead things in their lives. How many times do we hold on to dead situations and people yet are required to cut them off for our own good? We still fuss about the disciples and their teachings till this day simply because of their boldness and courage to follow Jesus. We have to, no! We NEED to leave the dead things because they are not fruitful and only cause stagnation in our lives.
I must say that God never intends for us to get hurt in those kinds of situations. I believe that he actually guards and protects us from them. When he asks us to leave a certain situation, he has a broader and wider perspective of our future. Our narrow perspective and thinking limit the work of God in our lives. In my own experience, I would not be keen to see the warning signs or even find out what God said about those wrong entanglements in the Word. Other times, the situation is so abrupt and comes when you least expect it. But God is so faithful, he will always ensure that we are able to bounce back and recover from the issues we face. I believe this so strongly because I found it so hard to move on without Him. It was always a wild goose chase, and the hurt would only increase.
The heart requires special care. Special protection and guarding which requires us to make some hard choices that will determine the course of our lives. Some decisions require great sacrifice and obedience on our part, but GOD ALWAYS HAS BETTER. I am not there yet, I don’t have it all figured out. But I am learning. I am learning to constantly trust God even when it literally doesn’t make sense. I recently got to a point where my heart got extremely tired. Tired of carrying people, things, situations and emotional entanglements that not only took the place of God but drained the brightness out of my spiritual life. The way I saw it, I only had two options. Carrying the baggage or allowing God to heal me so that I could have the boldness to move on.
Allow me to ask, what things are you holding on to that take the place of God? If it takes the place of God in your heart, then it probably shouldn’t be something you want to be involved in. Let us ask God to search our hearts and reveal any anxious thoughts within us (Psalm 139:23). Dear friend, guard your heart, guard your mind, and let your life and story be written by God. When we move and leave our place of comfort, we give him space and room to move in our own lives. He always has better for us, but are you willing to let go?