Sigh. I lost a co-worker this weekend. One of my favorites. Were we close friends? No…but I will surely miss him. I will miss his quick smile. The smell of his chicken pots pies at lunch and the easy quick conversations about not much at all.
I kinda knew he was battling something and most days I was pretty sure he was winning. He had to be winning right? He showed up to work every day. He worked hard while he was there and he was a leader. Like all of us, he had his good days and not so good days. Some days he just acted strange but never…NEVER off like mean or anything like that. He was genuinely a nice guy.
A couple months ago he got a promotion. His first week doing that new job on his own he had an accident. An expensive accident for the shop. He made a mistake. So of course that demands a drug test. GUYS…HE PASSED! He couldn’t have known it was coming and he was never afforded an opportunity of time to cover up. I took him to the clinic myself. HE WAS CLEAN! I was relieved. I was thankful.
So how does this happen? I just sincerely don’t understand.
How do I go about life and not let myself believe the signs? Or worse yet, not see them at all? How do time and time again I miss them? This is not the first time I have felt like I have failed at being a friend. Am I THAT self absorbed that I can’t see what is happening around me? Or do I simply choose not to see it? Do I ignore it subconsciously? Or am I so naive that I don’t even understand the signs?
Pastor Danny mentioned in this week’s sermon about how God puts difficult people in our lives for US. So that we can learn things about ourselves through our experiences with them. He also said something that resonated deeply with me because I often think the same thing about going through the same thing over and over again and it is something like this: Man, I really wish I could learn this lesson already. Obviously I haven’t figured it out yet because I’m facing this same issue over and over again.
I can’t help but feel this way about this too.
I lost a dear friend of mine nearly 14 years ago to suicide. I was supposed to go check on her that day as her behavior had become worrisome to my other co-workers and they knew her and I were closer than most other co-workers. I didn’t go. She had addiction issues. I never thought they were all that bad. I was wrong.
I lost my husband 3 years ago. He’s not dead to anyone but me I suppose. I lived with him for close to 16 years and had NO IDEA until the last 3-4 months that he was using heavy drugs. I mean seriously. No clue. I thought he was cheating on me. He swore he wasn’t but he was. Not with a human but with something much worse. Had I figured it out sooner, the end of my marriage might have been extremely different.
Now Nick. I’m pretty sure that even if I figured this one out I would have had no influence over the outcome but what if I could have? Did I miss an opportunity to help a friend like I did in the other situations?
I have so many doubts. Is there a lesson I am missing? Am I failing as a friend? And I failing my God? What is the purpose in all of this? I want desperately to know. I have no idea where to even begin.
So, those of you who have known me for a little while may know that I am a salesperson at heart. It doesn’t really matter what I product I have, I like to sell it. As a matter of fact, I sell everything right down to my personality. How and why you ask. Well, I don’t really know the answer to that. Maybe it is because I am a last born. I was always the only girl growing up. I have 2 older brothers and my father was a firefighter at an Air Force Base. My dad worked 24 hours on duty and then had 24 hours off duty. My dad liked his toys and he kept us kids busy by taking us out to play on his toys. My dad’s toys were boy toys. You know things like boats and motorcycles. So needless to say I was always doing “boy stuff” with a bunch of boys. I didn’t have a whole lot of girl friends and I didn’t get to or want to do a whole bunch of girl things. So when I actually wanted to go to girl things I had to be a pretty good sales person. You should try talking 2 boys and a grown man (who often was a lot like a kid) into taking you to the mall to go shopping. Not exactly the easiest thing to do and to be honest with you I wasn’t very successful at it most of the time but this is where I got the majority of my sales training. It is also where I learned to have a thick skin. I got shot down a lot but that never deterred me from trying. I learned what I wanted and I also learned to not give up.
For the most part, those lessons have served me well over my short 42 years. Usually I am pretty good at sales but lately I have been struggling and I am on a journey to figure out why. I could blame the economy (that only lasts for so long), I could blame my circumstance (but then I would have to change them), and I could blame the product. I am certain that I could blame a lot of different things but really what is to blame?
Could it be me? How could it possibly be me? I’m a GREAT sales person! Right? Maybe not. Maybe I am not on the right path. Maybe I am on the right path but the enemy is getting in my way. I don’t know the answer to those questions but what I do know is that I will never know until I actually bring the question to God and then actually listen for his answer.
I am not going to sit here and lie to you. Sometimes I pray before I start my day and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I even pray before I walk in to see a client, more often I don’t. Sometime I just find myself screaming “Oh My God!” to myself in my car after being emotionally beaten down by a day of cold calling. Sometimes I slam the phone down and cuss out the person I was just on the phone with because for some reason I think that actually might make me feel better. (It doesn’t. It just let’s the rest of the people in my office know how frustrated I am that day.) In all of these situations I never seem to listen for his answer.
So I guess the bottom line of this rant is that it is really down to me. I am a salesperson at heart but I can’t sell God on my plan. I have to buy into His plan. His plan for me should be the ONLY thing that I am concerned about. So instead of being the fast talking sales person that I have been all of my life, I really just need to shut up and listen and follow His will for me. Easier said than done? Yeah, you know it is but God doesn’t call me to be perfect, he calls me to be persistent.