It’s been a bit of a roller coaster over the last two weeks, some real ups and downs, especially over this last week, but in the end everything turned out fine.
Two weeks ago I was in Swansea, at the request of my friends Paul and Sarah, I was sharing my testimony at the Church they are planting in the city, it was a great day to actually be sharing my story as it was also the day I was celebrating three years of sobriety.
It went really well and I enjoyed every minute of the weekend. On the way home I was however overcome with emotion. As I finished my last drink at around 10.30pm 29th March 2012, as soon as that minute passed, I announced that fact to my friends in the car and cheered along with me. Then a little later I couldn’t hold the emotion in anymore and quietly cried in the back of the car, not tears of pain, but joy and thanks for what had been done for me on that day three years before and for all the great things that God had done in my life in the three years in between. I’m not sure whether anyone else in the car heard, I’m sure most of them were asleep after the busy weekend we had had helping Paul and Sarah run their fun day on Saturday and Church service on Sunday, but if they did hear, nobody said anything.
Even Monday afternoon I was still feeling all that emotion, I remember walking back from town and once more breaking into tears, thankfully I was nearly home, but by the time I got home I just collapsed onto the settee and continued crying, until I eventually fell asleep.
After taking the week off work and working at home on some drawing for the Architect’s, I went back into work on Saturday morning to be hit with a real bomb shell.
A colleague at work informed me that we were both in trouble over a handful of transactions that had turned out to be fraudulent, even though we had acted in good faith, we had failed to conduct the transactions to company policy, which is design to minimize this type of thing. Neither of us had anything to hide, but we were to face an inquiry later in the week, which should they take a hard stance, we could both be sacked for our conduct!
My manager wasn’t back in until Tuesday, so I wouldn’t have chance to speak with him until then and find out exactly what I would be facing. The strange thing was my friend was panicking more than I was, I felt quite calm about the whole situation. I know I can’t afford to really lose my job, but I didn’t fear losing it either, I had this kind of “what will be, will be” attitude.
Obviously Saturday evening I prayed heavily into this situation for both myself and my colleague. Come Sunday morning, Easter Sunday, I wasn’t too concerned for the future, I was apprehensive about facing the interview as part of the investigation, but not worried by the consequences, it was a strange feeling to have, but I wasn’t worried.
When Tuesday came, I walked to work and stopped by my Nan’s grave, where I stop most mornings and pray. Quite often I still have my headphone in as I pray and worship music on in the background, I did that morning and as I prayed about the outcome of the situation, at that very moment the lyrics to the song “Come Away” by Jesus Culture rang out in my ears, louder than I expected….
“I have a plan for you
It’s gonna be wild
It’s gonna be great
It’s gonna be full of Me”
Any fear for the future evaporated at the moment, I felt that no matter what happened on Thursday, whether I still had a job or not, it didn’t really matter, all would be okay, but God has a bigger plan for me anyway, I don’t really know what it is, but I need not worry for the time being, everything is going to be okay.
Later that morning I spoke with my manager, who said not to worry too much, he didn’t think it would come to either of us losing our job, I felt further reassured by that and carried on feeling quite positive despite everything.
The investigation on Thursday went okay, I faced a few questions and was completely honest about what I did and why I had done it, I admitted I knew I had made a mistake and would face the consequences. Apparently we aren’t the only branch to be caught out this way either, other branches had been taken for a lot more money than we had.
The long and the short of it was the both of us have received a verbal warning for not following procedure, it was accepted that neither of us did anything for our own personal gain or to help anyone defraud the company, we acted on instinct and in good faith, just not to company policy, so we both get a slap on the wrist and it goes on our record for six months and will then be erased.
Throughout all of this though, I still hadn’t really worried about losing my job, I know there was a chance that I could, but I wasn’t actually worried about it, what kept going through my mind was that what happened last time I found myself out of work, was not going to happen again this time. Last time I lost the ability to deal with life without alcohol, I gave up on life for a while and not until I lost all that was dearest to me, did I look to find a way out of the mess I was making, then and only then did I turn to God for help and He freed me from my addiction and starting the process of putting my life back in order. This time God already had my back, I knew this time He was with me through it all.
I’m not sure what the future will hold for me, that isn’t clear, but what is clear is that God has a bigger plan for my life, it may not include continuing to work where I am now, there may be a change in the future, but for now, I continue on the path I am on for the time being, until He makes it clear to me what me next move is.
COME AWAY by JESUS CULTURE
Come away with me, Come away with me
It’s never too late, it’s not too late
It’s not too late for you
I have a plan for you
I have a plan for you
It’s gonna be wild
It’s gonna be great
It’s gonna be full of me
Open up your heart and let me in