Thursday, July 8, 2010

Painful Revelations: Part 1

Perhaps I have never been more amazed at God’s fingerprints on the details of my life than I have been the last few weeks. There is so much to tell. Where should I start?

On May 11th, my employer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals notified us that they would be laying off 28 percent of the sales force on June 15th. I’m not sure why this surprised me since nearly every pharmaceutical company has been doing the same thing for the past several years. Maybe it was the fact that we had always been assured that Takeda would not be doing these cuts that gave me some false sense of security.

Speaking of false securities, I have never been fired. I’ve never been laid off. I’ve never been given an action plan for improvement. I’ve never gotten anything other than a positive performance evaluation. I am the anal one. The one in college who never skipped class. The one who everyone hated in high school. Over-achievers like me do not lose their jobs.

The problem is that over-achievers like me like to think we have control when we don’t. Such was the case on June 15th when my boss called to deliver the news of my… what? My termination! I was shocked. This wasn’t supposed to happen to me. What about the criteria that was supposed to be used to make these decisions? How did this happen to me? Was this a mistake? Please tell me I was going to wake up tomorrow and this all be a dream.

But it wasn’t. I did lose my job. People I cared about also lost their jobs. Still other co-workers kept theirs - including my partner and very good friend. How could she manage our business without me? What does tomorrow look like with our partnership now severed?
I have to admit it, I was hurt. Or rather my pride was hurt. How could this company not care about all that I had given to it during the past six years? Apparently, whoever made this decision didn’t think as much of me as I thought of myself! And what about my partner? As if it wasn’t bad enough to lose my job, I lost my partner in the process. I think that loss might have hurt the worst.

And I was mad. I didn’t deserve this. I had worked hard and been successful. What about all the extra projects I volunteered for? What about the leadership qualities I exhibited? What about going above and beyond to help our company and the people around me?

And now I can also admit that I was scared. Yes, somewhat because of the financial security my job provides for my family. But more so because I didn’t know what the future was going to look like for me. I didn’t even know what tomorrow was going to look like. What was I going to do? Get up and do what? I sensed God had work to do in my heart and I feared it wasn’t going to be pretty.

Well lucky for me (in so many ways) that I got this news on a Tuesday and My Princess and I were scheduled to leave the following weekend for a mission trip to Jamaica. So I spent the remainder of the week answering the endless phone calls of my colleagues and friends – all offering their words of condolence and encouragement, and getting ready for our trip.

As we packed, my emotions shifted somewhat from myself to the trip. We began planning for this trip nearly 9 months ago. Only God could have known just how much I needed this trip, just how much I needed to have my eyes opened, my priorities adjusted and my heart shaped.
I’m so thankful to God for allowing me to be broken and then taking me to Jamaica to fix me.

(Please read tomorrow to learn more about our mission trip, the work we were a part of there and the work God is doing in me as a result.)

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