Phew! Quite frankly I’m thrilled about finally completing my posts on Evil, because it’s been hard remembering all that stuff. Some memories never fade away, especially the bad ones, right?
I originally started this whole series on Becoming What I Came To Be because it gets tiring listening to people make excuses on how they can’t be overcomers because of “too much baggage” in their lives. There’s never too much baggage that God cannot set us free from!
But, more on all that later.
Getting back to the topic of this post on honor and integrity, even after marrying the love of my life and knowing with confidence that he wasn’t going to turn me aside, I still struggled with the need to be accepted by others – particularly the people I worked with. I always wanted to be the best-of-the-best.
So after I had worked at the pancake house for a number of years (Evil – Final), I got hired at a popular steakhouse in downtown Seattle. Then, after working there for a few years, got an opportunity to work as a receptionist at a large law firm.
That was a huge shot-in-the-arm for my ego, and after working hard for a couple years, got an opportunity to move up to a legal secretary position in the medical malpractice department.
It was eye-opening to say the least! Yet I really enjoyed it, and put in a lot of extra hours in my quest to be the best I could.
However old habits are hard to break, aren’t they? Especially when you’re doing everything in your own strength.
The law firm I worked at employed a lot of staff. And since my inner craving was to become one of the best legal secretaries in the firm, I began pumping my secretary cohorts, as well as the paralegals, with questions on how to be more efficient – and then began putting those practices into my work.
The praises eventually came from my bosses for such great ideas and work ethic which I gladly took credit for – failing to acknowledge the others who had come alongside me.
After working at that law firm for a number of years, I got a job at another firm, but after 2 years ended up getting nailed because of my mouth. I had a great relationship with the two attorneys I worked for, but at a Christmas party one year my co-worker girlfriend had too much to drink and ended up squealing at how I’d been bad-mouthing one of my bosses behind his back. Needless to say things weren’t too comfortable after that.
Then another friend mentioned I should try doing freelance work. That way I could work the hours/days I chose, and when I felt like taking time off, I could!
Sounded like a blast, so with her help I ended up getting on the payroll at her same law firm – which was gigantic. And since it was so large I constantly had jobs!
But honor? No, it wasn’t present.
My first position there was for 2 weeks working for one of the inhouse attorneys – the only one at that time who had a computer. Everyone else still had word processors. They were willing to have me sit at that desk, but the work I did was very limited. One time I actually turned on the computer and then got so freaked out that I turned it off again. Surely I was going to blow it up – of that I was certain!
I’m not sure why they didn’t just kick me out during that period. I was so bored those 2 weeks that I ended up spending a large chunk of time sitting in the women’s room reading a book. Really pathetic. And they were paying me good money for that!
Another time I worked for an attorney that did corporate law – of which I knew nothing about. They wanted someone at his desk, but the whole time he never even gave me one thing to do! That week I used to work on personal invitations to a wedding party Gary and I were hosting, quickly hiding my stuff under a pile of papers whenever I saw someone heading in my direction.
There were, however, a few moments during my tenure at that law firm where I actually got placed at a desk where I could use my skills, and that was fun. One attorney was leaving to start his own practice and wanted to hire me to work for him – yet I knew it wouldn’t be a good fit.
Bottom line? I’m so thankful that I can honestly say I didn’t know the Lord during those times as my witness for Him would’ve been horrible…
Of course, no experience is wasted with our Father, and once I surrendered my life to Him, I began to understand how He uses everything we’ve gone through to mold and shape us into what He wants us to become. Unfortunately it took losing 2 boys years later for me to finally cry out to Him with all my heart, “Help me, Lord! Show me what’s real and true. I have nothing left.” (See Psalm 119:27.)
Next week I’ll talk about humility, and how my lack of it finally led to total surrender.